Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right …

As sure as the sun rises in the east, you knew that President Obama would be taking flak for staying at the baseball game the other day in Havana (and doing the tango in Buenos Aires) despite the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels.

This is a president who is determined not to let terrorists disrupt our lives. In fact, in explaining why he stayed at the game, Mr. Obama said, “You want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation, but the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives.”

So, a while back, right after he went before the cameras to condemn the beheading of an American by ISIS, he went off to play golf.

He wasn’t going to let terrorists disrupt his life. You either buy his logic or you don’t. But be assured that President Obama understands that symbols matter. But understand too that he believes the picture of him enjoying a baseball game in the wake of what happened in Brussels is a more important symbol than one of him hurrying out of the ballpark and disrupting his day because of ISIS.

Reasonable people will either agree or not.

I’m not weighing in on the wisdom of staying at the ballgame. Though dancing the tango so publicly in Argentina while our allies in Belgium were mourning seemed like a very bad presidential decision. What bothers me as a journalist is how partisan we’ve become, and how it’s infected opinion journalism.

If George W. Bush had stayed at the baseball game, liberals in the media would have bashed him. (That’s pretty much what they did when after being told what had just happened on 9/11 he briefly continued reading stories to kids in a Florida classroom.) But it’s a safe bet that conservatives on talk radio and Fox News would have defended Mr. Bush if he had stayed at a ballgame in Havana, saying something like, “President Bush showed that he’s not going to cower to ISIS! We can’t let terror dictate our lives! Hail to the Chief”

This is the hyper-partisan world in which we live. The media both reflect that hyper-partisanship — and fuel it.

Chris Matthews, a reliable liberal, made a lot of sense regarding Mr. Obama at the ballpark – and not because he said the president was “off base” by staying at the game.  I’ll leave it to you to agree or disagree with Matthews.  But when a liberal guest, Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post, told him that Republicans “constantly kick the president for not doing something that they think he should do,” Matthews responded: “There might be another sin there too, to defend him on every front.”

In other worlds, liberals too often defend President Obama no matter what he does – and conservatives wouldn’t give him credit if he found a cure for cancer.

I’ve spent most of my life as a journalist and one of my fundamental beliefs is that it isn’t only straight news reporting that must be fair, it’s also opinion journalism. And here’s the news flash: very often it isn’t – and the culprits are on the left and on the right.

Instead of honest analysis, too often what we get on talk radio and conservative television is partisan ideology.  The same kind we get from politicians.  That can’t be good.




Implausible Deniability & (Bonus) Translating Obamaspeak

Generally, when it comes to White House scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra, the relevant questions are what the president knew and when he knew it. However, when it comes to Obama and Benghazi; the monitoring of the AP reporters; the targeting of Fox’s James Rosen; and the IRS’s intimidation of conservative groups; the questions appear to be what did Obama not know and when did he not know it?

Again, most presidents want to at least appear to be on top of things; Obama wants us to believe he’s merely a bystander just waiting for Jay Carney, dressed up as a cop, to come along and say, “Let’s just move along. Nothing to see here.”

Whenever an administration is caught, as it were, with its hand in the cookie jar, the chief executive wants to have plausible deniability. That’s why he doesn’t make it a habit to write a memo that reads: “Dear IRS: I’m in the middle of a re-election campaign. Please do everything in your power to shut down the ability of conservative groups to raise money…at least until November 7th. Much appreciated. Regards from Michelle and the kids. See you at the Easter egg hunt. Sincerely, President Barack H. Obama.”

Instead, what these guys do is have a trusted lieutenant like Valerie Jarrett or David Axelrod let it be known in the appropriate circles that the boss would like to see certain things take place, and then, with the cooperation of stooges like Attorney General Eric Holder or IRS attack dogs Doug Shulman and Lois Lerner, those things just miraculously happen. And not even the FBI can find an Obama fingerprint anywhere, not that they’re likely to look too hard.

When I finally got a peek at some of those emails regarding Benghazi released by the White House, so much was redacted — a $10 word meaning blacked out — that I was reminded of those 18 minutes of tape recording that went missing during the Watergate investigation. It does seem as though all those comparisons of Obama to Lincoln and FDR were a bit wide of the mark. Clearly, it was Richard Nixon who was this schmuck’s role model.

Speaking of schmucks, a Fox poll asked people which of the recent scandals concerned them the most. IRS topped the list with 32%; followed by Benghazi with 27%; the monitoring of AP reporters scored 21%; and 10% went for none of the above, claiming that all of them were of grave concern. I might have preferred to see a higher score for Benghazi, which saw four Americans slaughtered and an eight-month full court cover-up by Obama, Clinton and Carney, but that’s an honest difference of opinion. However, the truly shocking number was 8%. That represented the percentage of Americans who were not the least bit concerned about any of these matters. And I will remind you that these ignoramuses are allowed, even encouraged, to go out and vote every Election Day.

Chris Matthews, who says almost as many stupid things as Joe Biden, and for added comedy effect says them with a lisp, recently labeled Obama “The Perfect American.” Apparently he based his conclusion in large part on his belief that Obama has never broken a law, which strikes me personally as a very low standard for perfection. But in addition, Matthews has apparently chosen to ignore the fact that Obama boasted in his autobiography that he regularly used illegal drugs as a young man.

In the meantime, we know Obama lied about what happened in Benghazi for no other reason than to be able to campaign as the super hero who killed bin Laden with his bare hands and went on to personally decimate Al Qaeda. One can only conclude that Matthews is as easy a grader as Obama, who, as I recall, gave himself a B+ near the end of his first term.

Back in the 1940s, President Harry Truman had a little sign on his desk in the Oval Office that stated: The Buck Stops Here.

If Barack Obama had a sign on his desk, it would read: The Buck Stops Here… Just Long Enough to Catch Its Breath.

TRANSLATING OBAMASPEAK

I have never been good with foreign languages, so it’s little wonder that I have had so much trouble figuring out what Barack Obama is talking about. Still, it didn’t take me too long to realize that “fees” and “revenues” are what the rest of us call taxes.

I’m ashamed to admit that the first time I heard him say, “I can’t comment because there’s an ongoing investigation,” I assumed he couldn’t comment because there was an ongoing investigation. By the second time, it dawned on me that what he was really saying was “There’s no way I’m going to talk about (Operation Fast & Furious) (voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers) (the monitoring of the AP) (the national security leaks to the NY Times that made me look like I knew what I was doing when it came to foreign affairs) (Syria) (Benghazi) (the targeting of conservatives by the IRS) while an ongoing investigation is taking place.”

And if you asked when any of those investigations was likely to be concluded, the honest answer, which you’d never get, is sometime after January 20, 2017.

Does Obama actually think anyone believes him when he says that he had no idea that Internal Revenue was targeting right-wing groups and individuals? In order to swallow that, we would also have to believe he’d have been equally in the dark if the IRS had been targeting liberals for the past two or three years.

He’s not alone when it comes to speaking in code. For instance, when you ask Hillary Clinton why it makes no difference who killed Ambassador Stevens and his three colleagues in Benghazi, the honest answer would be that neither she nor Chelsea was one of the four victims, so it was no big deal.

And when Bill O’Reilly tells guests on The Factor “You’re dodging my question,” it really means they’re not agreeing with his latest pontification.

A reader sent me a question he wished somebody would ask Obama: “Why is it that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood get free F-16s, but law-abiding Americans can’t be trusted with hunting rifles?” On behalf of Obama, let me assure you that there is an ongoing investigation.

Another reader pointed out that if you cross the North Korean border illegally, you’ll be sentenced to 12 years hard labor. If you sneak across the Afghan border, you’ll be shot. If, on the other hand, you enter the U.S. illegally, you get a job, food stamps, a driver’s license, a place to live, health care and an education. Some would suggest that proves we are better than North Korea and Afghanistan. Others would suggest that what we are is a nation of suckers and screwballs.

On a somewhat related matter, although I love the game of baseball, I despise the World Baseball Classic, which is not to be confused with the World Series. For one thing, the competition begins when the winter baseball season south of the border concludes. Thus, Latin players are ready to go at a time, early March, when our own players are supposed to be getting into shape with their teams at spring training camps.

But worse than that basic unfairness is that players being paid millions to play for the Yankees, Cardinals, Red Sox and Mariners, are expected to play for their native countries. Even those who have resettled with their families in the U.S. are encouraged to compete under a foreign flag against their native-born teammates.

I know I shouldn’t be too surprised. Major League Baseball, an organization so corrupt that it knowingly turned a blind eye to players juiced up on steroids erasing the records of Ruth, Maris and Aaron, just so they could sell a few more tickets, cares about the Game about as much as Obama cares about America.

Radio talk show host Dennis Prager has pointed out that when it comes to religion, there are three self-identified groups: Believers, Agnostics and Atheists, and of the three only the Agnostics are hypocrites. As Prager argues, if a person really can’t decide whether or not God exists, doesn’t it behoove him to attend a church or synagogue every other week? Instead, Agnostics behave exactly like Atheists, who at least have the courage of their convictions.

But I would suggest that Liberals, including the Atheists in their ranks, have their own religion. It’s called Big Government. They don’t question it. Instead, like Muslims, they prostrate themselves to it.

Their faith is so great that it doesn’t even occur to them that at some point, Satan, otherwise known as a Republican, will inevitably gain control of it, and whatever powers have been granted or gobbled up by the executive branch will be in the hands of their archenemies.

But, then, nobody ever said that the followers of Liberalism were smart. Well, at least not with a straight face.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Alas, E Pluribus Pluribus

Not being conversant in Latin, I may have bungled the title, but I figure that if e pluribus unum means one out of many, what we have turned into is an America that the Founding Fathers would never recognize. When you look at the election map, we more closely resemble the Balkans than the America that used to lie between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Even if, like me, you wonder what happened to those two million Republicans who saw fit to vote for John McCain, but decided to stay home this time alphabetizing their canned goods, there’s no getting around the fact that Obama has managed to expand on FDR’s base. Whereas Roosevelt managed to win four elections by appealing mainly to blacks, Jews and union members, Obama has cobbled together those three blocs along with Hispanics, homosexuals, single women, Asians, Muslims and college students.

One can hardly blame Obama for causing divisions. After all, he was desperately seeking re-election. And you can’t blame Romney although a lot of right-wing Monday morning quarterbacks are doing so. He ran a fine campaign. And if the guy who oversaw the worsening of a bad economy; pushed through ObamaCare; lied about Benghazi; and promoted class, gender and race, warfare, could get himself re-elected, you can’t blame his opponent.

You can, however, blame the media that stood by while Obama provided the clumsiest cover-up of a government scandal since Watergate; that helped him portray Romney as an evil plutocrat; and applauded his every utterance as if it came straight from the Mount.

You can also blame parents who have reared the greediest, most self-indulgent, self-satisfied, bunch of hedonistic morons in this nation’s history. I mean, it’s not as if these youngsters who think that everything from a college education to cell phones and a lifetime supply of birth control pills are entitlements, were hatched from eggs, although they clearly have close ties to those, such as chickens and snakes, who are.

The reason that the future looks so bleak is because, as I wrote prior to the election, America could probably survive four more years of Obama, but it can’t survive a population that would re-elect him. It means that the takers now out-number the makers. What’s more, when you consider the demographics, it’s obvious that Obama’s groupies breed at a far faster rate than the rest of us. I guess that figures because they have so much more time to devote to that particular activity.

After Obama defeated Romney, Paul Krugman, who would be an embarrassment to the NY Times if the Times had the capacity to be embarrassed, advised Obama not to even consider compromising with the Republicans in the House. Instead, Krugman, who has won a Nobel Prize in the field of Economics, said Obama should call their bluff and let the economy go over the cliff. I guess there’s no reason why a guy who pulls down about $50,000 per speaking gig should concern himself with what another recession will do to the middle class. It just goes to show that the Peace Prize isn’t the only inexcusable waste of Alfred Nobel’s TNT royalties.

In the aftermath of the election, Chris Matthews thanked Hurricane Sandy for helping to get Obama re-elected. In a way, it’s rather magnanimous of Matthews to give a thumbs-up to a malevolent Mother Nature. It can only mean that he has finally forgiven the old girl for cursing him with that embarrassing lisp.

Speaking of Sandy, I have tried in vain to find mention of any nation offering to help us deal with the debt and destruction left in its wake. I would hope, but not expect, that Congress would keep that in mind when determining to which nations we should extend foreign aid with money we first have to borrow from the shylocks in China.

There are two groups of people to whom we are expected to bend a knee simply because they are identified as civil rights leaders or former members of the military. In the first group, we find such leeches as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Joseph (“White folks are all going to Hell”) Lowery, the reverend who delivered the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, no doubt because Jeremiah Wright was still busy crawling out from under the bus where Obama had thrown him.

In the second group, we find the likes of Colin Powell, David Petraeus, Charley Rangel, John McCain and the late Rep. John Murtha. I’m not sure if the Peter Principle applies, the notion that people tend to rise in a bureaucracy to their level of incompetence, but it certainly seemed to kick in once these guys returned to civilian life.

In the aftermath of the election, I have tried to adopt a philosophical attitude. I tried to remind myself that this, too, will pass. But that’s like saying this, too, will pass when referring to a kidney stone the size of Obama.

Frankly, I’m not sure what I find the most disgusting, but contenders are, one, that 80% of blacks, whites and Hispanics, between the ages of 18 and 29, voted for Obama; that a super candidate like Romney couldn’t even do as well as John McCain; or that 50,000 Americans squandered their birthright voting for Roseanne Barr.

Finally, on November 6, 2012, it’s as if the ship of state was renamed the Titanic and the majority of the passengers said, “Hey, look, there’s an iceberg. Let’s hit it!”




Forward to Yesterday

I find it fascinating and amusing that Obama said that the GOP convention was like a re-run and should have been viewed on a black-and-white TV with rabbit ears. If I were Obama, I’m not sure if I would ever bring any sort of ears into a conversation. But that being said, if anyone is looking backwards, it’s the putz who wants to claim Clinton’s economy for his own.

But who can blame him? At this point, he’s probably ready to claim Greece’s economy for his own.

Before moving on, it should be mentioned that the booming economy of the 90s came about in spite of Bill Clinton, not because of him. The 90s boom owed more to Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress that delivered tax cuts and welfare reform after the ’94 elections. Prior to that, Clinton was just as big a loon as Obama as he tried to push the unfunded HillaryCare bill on America 16 years before Obama saddled us with his own even bigger and more vile version.

The difference is that Clinton was bright enough to go along with the Republicans and, thus, get re-elected in 1996. Obama, being less of a practical politician and more of a left-wing nutjob, has continued to press for an enlarged federal government, leading to a $16 trillion national debt and an annual trillion dollar deficit and, ironically, has done his best to gut Clinton’s signature legislation, welfare reform.

David Axelrod, who could be a dead ringer for Hitler if he only trimmed his mustache, accuses the GOP of being backward-looking. But the one thing that Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that we all wish the clock could be turned back. Liberals want to turn it back to the 90s, while conservatives would like to turn it all the way back to the Reagan era of the 80s.

In reminiscing about Ronald Reagan, Peggy Noonan said, “You can’t buy courage and decency, and you can’t rent a moral sense.” It’s as obvious as the ears on Obama that Reagan was a man of character. It’s why he could actually work with House Minority leader Tip O’Neill (D) to get things done for the good of the country. All that Obama does is sulk and call John Boehner (R) and duly-elected Republicans in the House obstructionists or worse.

As Noonan has said, a lot of people disagreed with Reagan’s politics, but she has never met anyone who didn’t genuinely like and respect the man. Is there anyone who believes that the same could ever be said about Barack Obama, an arrogant narcissist, who revels in the adoration of college students, Muslims, welfare recipients and the reflection in his own mirror?

Speaking of welfare recipients, Chris Matthews, who has devoted so much time to defending Obama that he could moonlight for the Secret Service, recently said, “We passed the civil rights bill, and still the country is basically white here and black there. There’s ‘hoods, there’s ghettos, and there’s whites living in the ‘burbs. It hasn’t changed a lick.”

Actually it has. Just not for people like Matthews, Holder, Sharpton, Farrakhan, Jackson and Obama, who would be out of business if being race card-playing con men didn’t pay so darn well.

But it’s not just Matthews, who should bear a scarlet H on his forehead, denoting hypocrisy. Apparently in 2008, while trying to get Ted Kennedy’s endorsement for Hillary, Bill Clinton, in referring to Obama, said, “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” How ironic that a scant four years later, it’s Clinton who’s shlepping water for Obama.

According to Matthews, when Republicans use such terms as “welfare,” “birth certificate,” “food stamps,” “European socialism,” “Chicago” and “work requirements,” it’s actually code for black people. At least Matthews didn’t disclose our secret handshake or the password to enter our tree house.

What is truly remarkable is that liberals never feel the slightest bit of shame or embarrassment to say such stupid things when their own houses are constructed of the most fragile sort of glass. For instance, according to a recent article at WorldNetDaily, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews live in the lily white suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland. At last report, Chevy Chase has a black population of roughly five percent. Also, he and the missus have never contributed money to the campaign of a black political candidate, except for Mr. Obama.

Matthews, who came to fame when he channeled his inner teenage girl and confessed that listening to an Obama speech sent a tingle up his leg, reminds me of the guy who took a Rorschach test and claimed to see a naked woman in every single ink blot. When the doctor concluded that in his professional opinion, the subject was suffering from a sexual fixation and clearly required therapy, the patient protested, saying, “Hey, I’m not the one with all the dirty pictures!”

Finally, we come to Antonio Villaraigosa, soon to be the unlamented ex-mayor of Los Angeles. In evaluating the GOP convention and its large contingent of Hispanic speakers, he announced, “You can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect that people are going to vote for your party.”

That is a message he should have delivered to the Democrats when they decided to make him the chairman of their convention for no other reason than this second-rater happens to have a brown face and a Spanish surname. This is a guy who became a union organizer and then a politician only after failing to pass the bar exam four different times. Sometimes it seems as if politics only exists in order to provide a fallback position for really dumb people.

The Republicans featured Hispanic speakers because decent and remarkable conservatives such as Susana Martinez, Mel Martinez, Luis Fortuno, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, actually hold major political offices.

The Democrats, on the other hand, were so desperate to have an Hispanic presence that they stuck Villaraigosa front and center in spite of the fact that an ethics investigation found him guilty of accepting — and not paying taxes on — free tickets worth tens of thousands of dollars to the Academy Awards, various rock concerts and courtside seats at Laker games.

In addition, there’s the $68,000-a-year in tax dollars that go to his daughter for answering his phone. And lest you think that greed and nepotism alone define our city’s mayor, there’s the fact that over the years, he has had any number of tawdry affairs, one that ended with the birth of a child, another that involved the wife of a friend, and still another with a TV reporter that brought an end to his 20-year marriage.

Is it any wonder that with a track record like that, Antonio Villaraigosa stands a very good chance of being the Democratic standard bearer in the 2016 presidential election?

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Write to BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.



Guilty Pleasure: Watching Newt Neuter the Mainstream Media

For media-conscious conservatives, there is perhaps no greater aggravation than that of the prevailing liberal tilt that exists within the mainstream media. Every day, we see or read of fresh examples of bias that we wish we could simply laugh off, but can’t because we understand how important the role of news conveyers are in shaping public opinion. From the absurd Democratic narratives that they instinctively lend credence to, to the selective reporting and astounding double-standards that they spread across the airwaves, the media has long been in need of a bold and brash wake-up call to force them to look at themselves, and at the joke they’ve made of their profession.

Low ratings and dwindling subscriptions certainly haven’t done the trick. Neither have the words of media critics and watchdog organizations who regularly offer a compelling case against them. Even when journalists within the mainstream media’s own ranks bring attention to the problem, nothing changes.

Until something changes, the best chance conservatives have to marginalize the influence of the liberal media is to stop playing the game on the media’s terms. An ideologically-slanted media shouldn’t be the people who frame our national debates. After all, every recent poll has shown that Americans no longer trust them. Conventional media-wisdom needs to be publicly beaten into shape the moment blatant favoritism is put on display. As some of us were reminded earlier this week, there is one man who is particularly gifted at doing this: Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

For those of you who didn’t see the Newt Gingrich/Thomas Friedman exchange from last Sunday’s Meet the Press, I highly recommend that you check it out. Gingrich took on the uber-liberal New York Times columnist on the wide-spread media narrative that conservatives are too “extreme” when it comes to the issue of abortion. Gingrich absolutely obliterated Friedman by pointing out that Barack Obama voted three times to support post-birth abortions (the killing of born-alive babies that survive an abortion attempt). He also pointed out that the president supports tax-payer funded, late-term abortions. Yet the media absolutely refuses to label Obama’s position on abortion as “extreme”. Gingrich argued that there is no more extreme position that exists in our politics. By the end of the segment, he had the normally snide and over-confident Friedman (who host David Gregory tried repeatedly to bail out of the mauling) squirming, and trying to disqualify himself from having to answer the charge by claiming that he was just there as a journalist. Rarely do we witness a media figure humiliated so soundly.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen such a display from Newt.

Gingrich first proved himself in the media watchdog role four years ago, at the 2008 Republican National Convention, when he was asked by an MSNBC reporter to comment on Sarah Palin’s weak resume in reference to the vice presidential position she was running for.  Many might remember that this was a wildly popular media narrative back then. Mainstream pundits were up in arms over the notion that some hockey-mom from Alaska could potentially become a heartbeat away from the presidency. Never was there any concern from those same people when it came to Barack Obama, who unlike Sarah Palin, never governed a city or state. In fact, he had no leadership experience at all, yet the media never questioned his credentials. Gingrich went off on the absurdity of the media-driven narrative, running down a list of Palin’s numerous accomplishments before challenging the reporter to list a single thing that Obama had done, other than “talk and write.” It was such a thumping that you had to wonder if the unsuspecting reporter might have cried himself to sleep that night.

In early 2012, during the Republican presidential primaries, candidate Gingrich made sport out of several of the misleading and irrelevant questions he received from members of the media, but it was CNN’s John King who took an outright scolding during one of the debates. Mere days before the important South Carolina primary, ABC News decided that it would be a relevant venture to pursue an interview with Gingrich’s ex-wife and let her unload on her former husband. Gingrich’s divorce, which had begun over twelve years earlier, was reportedly a messy one. The media, of course, was well aware of this. Just days after interviewer Brian Ross seemed to take unsettling joy in letting Marianne Gingrich dish on Newt, John King chose to confront Gingrich with the allegations she made as the first question of a nationally televised GOP debate. Newt’s passionate response was an absolute indictment of the mainstream media’s vindictive nature toward conservatives. After all, this is the same media who actively worked to protect both President Clinton and Presidential candidate John Edwards from accusations of infidelity. And both of those Democratic politicians we’re fooling around on their wives in real time – not well over a decade earlier! The public condemnation, that left John King looking like his parents had just caught him with his hand in the cookie jar, struck a chord not only with the enthusiastic crowd in attendance… Many believe the moment actually won Gingrich the state primary, where he had previously been behind in the polls.

Last week at the Republican National Convention, Gingrich decisively smacked down MSNBC’s Chris Matthews over the long-held, liberal belief that speaking of our expanding welfare burden is somehow an example of racism. Gingrich quickly rattled off the single argument that shuts the entire false narrative down cold: Pointing out how many Americans are on food-stamps isn’t racist. Identifying the food-stamp programs with racial minorities and perpetuating a stereotype (which is what much of the liberal media has done over the past couple of years) is what’s racist.

Aside from all of these spectacles being really, really fun to watch, it makes you wonder just how much different the media environment in this country would be if newsrooms actually encouraged some diversity of thought. Imagine if they made an actual attempt to encourage people with traditional, easily-defensible viewpoints like Gingrich into their profession to balance out the overwhelming liberal group-think that exists there now. I’m not just talking about those in front of the camera, but those behind it as well. Just think of the number of ideological biases that would be recognized before they ever made it to air or print. It seems to me that such a move would allow the media to earn back much of the credibility they’ve lost.

Will that ever happen? Unfortunately, no.

Sadly, for now, conservatives will have to deal with the media the best they can, hopefully by taking a few pages out of the Newt Gingrich media playbook.