Craig Shirley


This column was co-authored by Borko Komnenovic

Newt Gingrich is getting attacked again by the redundant liberals at the Washington Post. Yawn.

That isn’t big news, especially when the Post does it. What should be the concern, however, is the method some members of the media use to discredit him on what is one of his strongest cards in this primary game—Reagan conservatism. Liberalism is one thing. The pretense of professional journalism is quite another.

News flash to the Post: No one in their right mind (or the right) has ever thought that paper were a gateway to Reaganism. Indeed, some still remember the savaging the Post laid on Reagan for years.

The University of West Georgia, where Gingrich once taught, holds the collection of papers which he donated years ago. It is not open to the public, since it hasn’t been fully processed yet, but under the Freedom of Information regulations some members of the media have gotten into it enough just to pull out material to hit him with, never to find complimentary information.

It is not quite expected that every reporter that opens the UWG files falls in love with Gingrich, but what really surprises is how they tend to use the unrepresentative sample in order to push their previously prepared agenda. How else can it be explained that Gingrich was taking aim “not only at a beloved conservative icon” (Reagan) but also at limited government, as Jerry Markon’s recent piece in the Washington Post suggests?

A reporter really has to go out of his way to omit in these files pieces that read, for instance, “Being a loyal ally of President Reagan’s has its rewards. One of those reaped by Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was a weekend trip from him…to the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua… to represent the United States at Antigua’s Independence Day celebration.”

Shock and surprise, this also never made it into the Markon piece.

Or the piece from 31 years ago that came out in the local Carrollton, GA newspaper “Gingrich Lauds Reagan Economics—U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich spoke only in glowing terms of…President Reagan” That was the case when then newly elected President Reagan outlined in the speech “the basic elements of his national economic plan” to which Gingrich remarked, “anybody who knows anything about my campaign knows these are the things I’ve been saying.”

Markon somehow missed this too. Tisk. Tisk.

Craig Shirley

Craig Shirley is a Reagan biographer, a presidential historian and Chairman of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. His firm is assisting Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.