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Why Do Other Pundits Skip Maddow's Reporting on Newt's Alleged Scams?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Amy Fried, Ph.D.     Permalink
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Rachel Maddow has repeatedly pointed out on her TV show, a rather shocking habit of Newt Gingrich: according to Maddow's reporting, Gingrich is a scam artist.

Maddow first pointed out how Gingrich - apparently mistakenly - chose a strip club as the recipient of one of his scammy awards. The catch, of course, is that in order to pick up their award, recipients needed to fork over $5,000.00 to Gingrich's organization. The award got more attention than Gingrich probably wanted, when the strip club owner - seeing the humor in the situation - gladly accepted the award, anxious to show off the signed gavel owed her.  Maddow reported that Gingrich rescinded the award and the dinner invitation that went with it, when he realized the nature of the business involved. Unfortunately, that didn't stop Gingrich's organization from trying to scam the same business later on. (In the end, the gavel was passed on to Maddow as a souvenir.)

News of the same scam tactic surfaced when the mother of Huffington Post's Sam Stein - a physician - also received a fax congratulating her on her award, leaving the detail of the $5,000.00 price tag for later.

During an appearance at New York's 92nd Street Y, Maddow pointed to the hypocrisy of Gingrich slamming recipients of unemployment benefits (which, of course, are part of an insurance program paid into by the recipients) as being paid to do nothing, when this is reportedly how Gingrich makes his money.

Of course, Gingrich's hypocrisy has grown since then, most recently going after - of all things - child labor laws.  Later, of course, he doubled down on this strategy by trashing the poor as providing no work ethic for children - unless, of course, the work is illegal. The obvious error of this position is evidenced by the concept of the "working poor."

The  postscript to this story is that the Gingrich outfit that ran this scam - American Solutions for Winning the Future - is been sued for back taxes owned on their former office on K Street in DC. This, from a man who scolds the poor on responsibility!

Yet, I've noticed that when various pundits list the baggage that Gingrich carries, they go through the familiar list of marital infidelity, ethics charges in the 90's, activity that looks a lot like lobbying even though Gingrich denies it, and his ties to Freddie Mac, rather than the alleged scams that Maddow is reporting on. While I admittedly have not kept track of all media on this topic, I do watch a lot of MSNBC, and I would expect Maddow's colleagues to be the first to reference her reporting.

The result gives the impression that Maddow is reporting on some obscure reality that is irrelevant to everyday politics. I'd like to hear others' theories, or media I may have missed. Is it simply considered impolite to call Gingrich a scam artist? Is there controversy over the facts in this case? Is it considered too trivial to mention? I welcome your comments.


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Amy Fried is the author of "Escaping Dick Cheney's Stomach." She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, and has been an advocate for church-state separation and other civil liberties issues. She writes on women's issues, media, veganism (more...)

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