Hell Hath No Fury…Nor ABC News Any Ethics

As a man with 2 ex-wives, I can understand exactly what Newt Gingrich must be feeling.

On a day which showed him gaining in the polls, heading into the South Carolina Republican Primary, ABC News announced that it would air a brutally revealing interview with one of his ex-wives, Marianne.

Last night, around dinner time, Matt Drudge ran the following story:

Marianne Gingrich has said she could end her ex-husband’s career with a single interview.

Earlier this week, she sat before ABCNEWS cameras, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

She spoke to ABCNEWS reporter Brian Ross for two hours, and her explosive revelations are set to rock the trail.

But now a “civil war” has erupted inside of the network, an insider claims, on exactly when the confession will air!

ABCNEWS suits determined it would be “unethical” to run the Marianne Gingrich interview so close to the South Carolina Primary, a curious decision, one insider argued, since the network has aggressively been reporting on other candidates.

A decision was tentatively made to air the interview next Monday, after all votes have been counted.

Gingrich canceled a press conference on Wednesday to deal with the matter.

“He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected,” Marianne Gingrich, Newt’s wife of 18 years, explained to ESQUIRE last year.

Then, later in the evening, Breitbart.com reported:

An ABC News executive tells The Associated Press that the network has interviewed Newt Gingrich’s second wife and is likely to air the segment Thursday on “Nightline.”

That’s two days before the South Carolina primary, where the Republican presidential candidate is trying to topple GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

The ABC News executive did not indicate what the ex-wife, Marianne, said in the interview and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans for airing the interview were tentative.

The ex-wife has said Gingrich proposed to her before the divorce from his first wife was final in 1981. Her marriage to Gingrich ended in divorce in 2000. Gingrich admitted he’d already taken up with Callista Bisek, his third wife.

Gingrich has said he has no relationship with his second wife.

Can you say, “Dan Rather”?

Concerning the original placement of the interview after the SC Primary, Fox News Host Greta Van Susteren was thinking the same thing that ABC initially announced:

There is often no perfect answer…you just have to use your best judgment and hope in the end it is the right thing to do.

I have no idea what this ABC interview is other than the limited stuff I am reading on DrudgeReport at this hour. I am flying blind in this posting and my opinion is only based on what little I know now.

What I DO know is that we are only 2 days out from the South Carolina primary and there is a high risk from the Drudge Report description of an explosive interview of unfair poisoning of those going to the polls. There simply is not enough time for a candidate to respond to the explosive report and fairness also includes fairness to the candidate.

This is not to say that news should be suppressed (it should not) but news should also not be used to ambush. Thus…in light of the close time to the South Carolina primary…if I were ABC, I would hold this interview until after the polls close on Saturday (or I would have showed it a week ago.)

Yesterday, Newt told a crowd in SC that he expected an attack.  However, he was expecting a different culprit:

Newt Gingrich warned a crowd of about 350 in Warrenville, S.C., he expects Mitt Romney to attack him for the remainder of the week.

“I fully expect the Romney campaign to be unendingly dirty and dishonest,” Gingrich said. “They thought they could buy this. They’re discovering they can’t buy this.”

He concluded his 40-minute town hall by encouraging attendees to help him combat attacks.

“I think they have internal polls showing them losing,” he said. “I think they will do anything at any level.”

Gosh.   Could ABC’s decision to air part of the interview before the SC primary have anything to do with the Democrats’ wish to face Mitt Romney in the general election?

Mmmmm.  It’s a possibility.

This just in…Mitt Romney receives an endorsement from a Former President:

Former President Jimmy Carter wants to see Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination and run against President Obama next November.

“I hope he wins,” Carter said of the former Massachusetts governor in a Thursday night interview with MSNBC. “I’m not taking a position, but I would be very pleased to see him win the Republican nomination.”

Carter, a Democrat, added that he thinks Romney would lose in a match up against Obama, and that he supports the president’s re-election.

I alluded to Dan Rather earlier. Remember him?  The former anchor of the CBS Evening News had a long, distinguished career.  And then he got just a wee bit overzealous, leading to the incident now affectionately known as  “Rathergate”:

CBS News, owned by Sumner Redstone’s Viacom multimedia conglomerate, announced January 10, 2005, that it had fired four CBS News employees, “including three executives, ousted for their role in preparing and reporting a disputed story” about George W. Bush’s military service, which aired September 8, 2004, on 60 Minutes.

The story relied on four documents which suggested that, first, Bush had “disobeyed an order to appear for a physical exam,” and second, that “friends of the Bush family tried to ‘sugar coat’ his Guard service.”

The authenticity of the documents allegedly written by the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, “one of Mr. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard commanders in the early 1970, … were raised almost immediately.”

“Some critics said the documents were most probably forgeries prepared on a modern word processor. Other critics questioned whether Killian would have – or could have – written them.”

“After a stubborn 12-day defense of the story, CBS News conceded that it could not confirm the authenticity of the documents and asked former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former Associated Press President Louis Boccardi to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.”

CBS said that its personnel “action was prompted” by the independent panel’s 234-page report. The panel concluded that CBS News “failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece” and that CBS News “compounded that failure with a ‘rigid and blind’ defense” of the 60 Minutes segment.

As a result, “Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard’s deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy” were asked to resign. Mary Mapes, the producer of the piece, was terminated.

CBS also reported that CBS News anchor Dan Rather had announced in November 2004 that, in March 2005, he would be “stepping down as anchor of The CBS Evening News on the 24th anniversary of his first broadcast as anchor,” but would “remain with CBS News as a correspondent for 60 Minutes Sunday and 60 Minutes Wednesday.”

So, now one of Newt’s ex-wives wants to “end her ex-husband’s career with a single interview”?

I not only question the timing…I’m sure of it.

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2 Responses to Hell Hath No Fury…Nor ABC News Any Ethics

  1. Kurt Epps says:

    Not for nothing, but Marianne is one hard-looking woman.

  2. josephine says:

    I wouldn’t dare comment on this. I’m with Newt Gingrich all the way to the White House.