Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Newt Gingrich Cuts and Runs on Diane Rehm UPDATED

I was in the car today shuttling Kid T about and listening to the Diane Rehm show. Her second hour guest was former House Speaker and current politcal commentator Newt Gingrich promoting his what-if novel about Pearl Harbor. I caught about the first half-hour which prominently featured one of the multible personalities living under that white Beatles mop: Respectible Conservative Intellectual Newt.

T and I went shopping for a bit and when we came out at ten till, Ms. Rehm was barely containing her anger that Newt had bailed around twenty till, leaving her to vamp the rest of the hour. From what she and the callers were saying, it sounds like Mortal Partisan Kombat Newt took over once the calls started coming in and taking on his position on Iraq. Tonight I'll try to listen to the podcast and find out exactly what sent Newt scurring under a rock.

The last thing I heard him say before we got to the store was that the US needs to stay in Iraq, seemingly at all costs, because if we are perceived as losing, it will be devastating. But when faced with an insurgency of irate NPR listeners, Newt apparently decided that losing isn't so bad after all.

If Newt does decide on a Presidential run, let's try to remember that the guy who's supposed to face down Al Queda couldn't stay in the box against a bunch of tweedy NPR intellectuals on the phone.

UPDATE: Diane Rehm has spoken again about the incident. Details in a new post.


Anonymous said...

I was listening live. It seemed that Newt did not want to take listener calls.

I'm thinking that he agreed to the hour show, then his staff members said the last part of the show will be calls. Newt waited for a break - then cut out.

I'm guessing he was worried about questions that he might not be properly prepped for.

Jill said...

Great post Scott - thanks. I wasn't listening for some reason this morning.

Anonymous said...

First off, Diane Rehm, at age 71, is gorgeous. I listened to the show as well and I took it for what it was...he could give her 40 minutes to promote the book and no more. Like Newt or not, he is not one to duck and hide or avoid a good debate. It is too bad he didn't live up to his committment.

Paul Ackerman said...

I listened on the podcast on the drive in this morning.

The irony of the man who advocates "Lincoln / Douglas" style debates and cannot spend the time to actually talk with listeners is breath-taking.

And I've never heard Diane ever raise her voice let alone speak as she did after Newtie tucked tail and ran.

Anonymous said...

Newt and a great many other conservatives rarely emerge from their bubble to be *confronted by intelligent members of the public*. Especially on Iraq.

Former secretary of Defense Rumsfeld thought he was with the usual crowd of dittoheads, when Ray McGovern suddenely emerged and *handed him his ass*.


Conservatives are terrified of that type of real exchange, that's why they usually only do broadcast with no call-in, or screened audiences. If they can't keep the transmit button down, they look for a different venue.

John Ettorre said...

That last line of yours was right on. The fact that anyone at all in this country takes Newt serious as a presidential candidate is pathetic. For all his occasional intelligence, curiosity and dimestore futurism, he's also a certified loon. Nothing he does would really surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Rehm is an expert on being MIA on her own show. How much warning does she give Susan Paige or Steve Roberts to fill in for her on her many absences from pneumonia, voice treatments, or just because she sprayed perfume on her contact lenses before placing them in her eyes?

There is no other radio show where the host goes into a hissy fit because they are oblivious on how to come up with extemporaneous material because a guest did not stick around for the entire hour.

Rehm was told in advance about the amount of time Gingrich was able to commit to. If Rehm was too mechanical to depart from her predictable format and read emails and take calls after 15 minutes then she is the one with egg on her face, not Gingrich.

Today she took 10 minutes to whine how she was sucker punched by Newt leaving her with 20 minutes of dead air time. She also declined his invitation to come back at a future date. Apparently petulance knows no age limit.

The notion that NPR listeners are comprised of "tweedy intellectuals" is not only amusing, but wishful thinking.