Anyone remembering the ascent of Newt Gingrich to House speaker in 1995 surely noticed a difference between media coverage of that historic event and Nancy Pelosi taking the gavel back for the Democrats in 2007. One had all the joy of a child's funeral. The other was "New Year's Rockin' Eve."
CNN even had a countdown clock to the Democrats regaining the majority. All that was missing was a lighted crystal donkey that would descend down a pole on the top of the Capitol dome. CNN's Dana Bash called Pelosi's gavel grab a "moment to savor," surely true for her supporters, but the bitterest of pills to swallow for those who worked their hearts out last year to keep Pelosi and her liberal army from retaking the House. CNN left no doubt where it stood on this divide.
The liberal media despised Newt and adore Nancy. They've demonstrated this by the way they played up the Gingrich threat in the weeks after the '94 GOP tsunami, while virtually ignoring Pelosi and her radical agenda for the last two months.
Their response to Gingrich was swift, intense and severe. Their reaction to Pelosi was pleased -- but noticeably restrained. Gingrich was portrayed as an extremist threat to everything near and dear to Americans. The arrival of the San Francisco ultraliberal is apparently business as it should be, the natural order of a reasonable and civilized society.
Newsweek featured the infamous cartoonish holiday cover at the end of 1994, titled, "How the Gingrich Stole Christmas!" But Newsweek has yet to publish a Nancy Pelosi cover. Time pictured Gingrich on its cover as a red, white and blue menace, with the words: "Uncle Scrooge: 'Tis the season to bash the poor. But is Newt Gingrich's America really that heartless?" Time has also published no Pelosi cover. Time's idea of a tough Pelosi piece after the Democrat victory was an article by her daughter Alexandra describing how much her mother and President Bush have in common. What ultraliberal San Francisco Democrat?
CBS attacked Gingrich with poetry on its program "Sunday Morning." CBS anchor Charles Osgood's poem also began with the theme "How the Gingrich Stole Christmas." The anchor-poet charged, "He'd even take kiddies away from their mamas." In fact: "The Gingrich said things that the Whos thought were shocking. He'd take back each present and empty each stocking." (On another "Sunday Morning" show, CBS commentator John Leonard suggested the new conservatives in Congress were a "slash-and-burn Khmer Rouge.")