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Did you hear about the question that left Newt speechless that he actually answered?

Did you hear about the question that left Newt speechless that he actually answered?

Every now and then there is just one of those mainstream media moments which points out how false narratives are created.

This time it’s a story from CBS Boston titled Gingrich Left ‘Speechless’ By Young Voter’s ‘Old People’ Question (h/t reader punfundit in the Tip Line).  Here’s the pertinent section, with the bold italics added by Mike Toole, the CBS reporter:

“I would like to know what hope I have as a hard-working, young individual, what change will you actually accomplish in Washington? What can be done in eight years that will affect the life that I have yet to live, that you have already lived?”

That drew more laughter and applause from the crowd.

“You know, there are moments in this business where I’m just left speechless,” Gingrich said.

What do you think?  Are politics just for ‘old people’?

CBS Boston provides audio cutting off right after “I’m just left speechless.”

The story has spread far and wide how Gingrich could not answer a question posed by a young voter.

There’s just one problem.  The story is misleading.  Right after the exchange quoted by CBS Boston, Gingrich answered the question, via The Concord Monitor:

After the crowd settled down, Gingrich gave an answer a student might have heard decades ago when he was teaching history at West Georgia College.

“Let me suggest to you that if we had this meeting in 1859, a young person might have asked that question, and it wouldn’t have occurred to them that in two years they would be volunteering for the Union and Confederate armies and that more Americans would die in the following four years than all of our other wars combined,” Gingrich said to a sober, silent audience.

What did Davies think?

He’ll probably vote for Gingrich, he said in an interview after the event.

Reuters also reported that Gingrich answered the question:

“There are moments in this business where I am just left speechless,” said Gingrich, before going on to explain why most political issues, such as the threat of a nuclear Iran and crippling student loans, were not just an “old person’s concern.”

(video added)

That’s right folks, the question which left Newt “speechless” and which caused CBS Boston to ask if politics only was for old people actually was answered by Newt and convinced the young voter to vote for Newt.

I have sent a tweet to Toole asking for a correction.  I’ll keep you posted.


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Thanks, Prof. I missed his response.

Thanks for this. I saw some of the “speechless” articles and the half quotes, but had not before seen the full story. Our country is at risk due in part to the MSM, which by creating and publishing lies misinforms the public.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

The irony is that it was Newt’s great answer that left the crowd speechless and perhaps a bit introspective. I’m sure that were more people that left there knowing they would vote for Newt.

I wonder if Toole isn’t just his name. Perhaps it is also descriptive of his personality.

Romney could have answered the question too…

“I’m not gonna go back to Reagan/Bush” then explain to him how great everything was when he stifled the economy of MA to only 1.4% growth (at a time of 5.4% average state growth) with heavy regulations and taxation (including Cap&Tax) in an effort to promote a nice, clean place to live free of evil things like production.

He can also restate things like his 2009 stance:
“I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they’ll be doing, and that’s net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that’s one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed.”

because all we really need is another Stimulus, ya know.

Whatever you do, just don’t worry kids – DemoMitt Romney will solve problems you didn’t even know you had (like not enough “diverse” activist judges in the courts, looking out for the best interest of the 1/100000 who might want the system completely changed to suit them)

BannedbytheGuardian | January 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Last night I was having a bit of fun on the Newt post & then i spent a few hours listening to American music of the 1850s & those that really hit home during the civil war .

I began with Hard Times Come Around No More. Then some of the Confederate songs .

Co incidentally Newt was breaching the same idea. It is the unspeakable – but it is no longer the unthinkable..

The traditional adage of multiple and, hopefully, independent sources remains relevant today. Nothing has fundamentally changed. We, as individuals and cooperatives, continue to compete for finitely accessible resources, both natural and human. There is no reason to believe that journalists are any less prejudiced to their personal or special interests than any other person. In fact, it is obvious that in all matters of politics, economics, scientific, etc., they individual have a bias which is clearly reflected in their works. The best we can hope for is objectivity, but we should not settle for anything less than criticality.

    Anchovy in reply to n.n. | January 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    There is a big difference between bias and intentionally misleading to support that bias.

C-Span recorded and archived this 1/5/12 event. The whippersnapper asks his question at around the 1-hour mark. There were a couple funny moments while the guy delivered his question, and Newt milked them a bit for their comedic value, before answering the question fairly persuasively.

I was lucky to turn on CSPAN just as this question was being asked. Gingrich did a great job.

There’s many a reason that there is no Republican party in Massachusetts – wholesale bias of the media to the left is one of the main reasons. It was not always like this but in my lifetime I have seen the Boston Globe go from a highly respected, twice daily newspaper to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party. In fact, Kerry’s biographers were on the staff of the Globe.

Republicans WILL NOT be afforded fair coverage

What’s that? How can my thesis be correct in spite of Scott Brown (R, MA)?

His wife, Gail Huff, is a long time on-air television reporter and everyone here knows Ayla.

He gets a pass…

The Civil War? Quite an optimistic historical parallel. Of course if Gingrich were to be elected the chances for war with Iran would go up dramatically so it’s understandable he’d want to warn the young man. And if Gingrich had asked the same question as a young man in 1963 he could never have imagined 4 years later he would be crawling through the jungles of Southeast Asia. That happened, right?