Charles Blow's Saturday column for the New York Times , 'Newt's Southern Strategy,' tastelessly conflated GOP candidate Newt Gingrich's (imagined) racism with conservatives who believe the media have a liberal bias, while Blow called the former House Speaker a "vile, reptilian, hatemonger" on his Twitter feed.
Up with Newt. Down with dignity. That's the way it goes.
Newt Gingrich is surging in South Carolina and has a good chance to win that state's primary on Saturday. But, as he rises, so grows the dark shadow that he casts over his party and the grievous damage he does to its chances of unseating President Obama.
Romney dares not go there. Not Newt. He's the street fighter with a history of poisonous politics who not only goes there but dwells there. He makes his nest among the thorns of open animus and coded language.
Take the issue of media bias for instance: according to a September Pew Research Center poll, more than three-quarters of Republicans said that news organizations are politically biased. That was appreciably higher than both independents and Democrats. And that same month a Gallup poll found that three-quarters of Republicans believe that the news media are too liberal. This, too, was appreciably higher than independents and Democrats.
Blow blows by the fact that the Gallup poll he cites shows that 50% of independents and even 20% of Democrats also find the media too liberal – showing the idea of liberal bias is hardly fringe, even among non-Republicans.
Then he went onto to hinting Gingrich was using racism:
In a previous debate on Monday, Gingrich rebuffed a suggestion by Fox News's Juan Williams, a debate panelist, that blacks might be offended by his notion that they should demand jobs not food stamps, or that poor children lacked a strong work ethic, or that calling Obama the 'food stamp president' might be 'intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities.'
Gingrich scoffed: 'I know among the politically correct, you're not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.' More points. That crowd went crazy.
On Friday, Gingrich doubled down and told a campaign crowd that 'the idea of work' seemed to Williams 'to be a strange, distant concept."
This conjures the historical fiction that blacks are lazy and plays to the belief among many Republican voters that race is inconsequential to one's ability to succeed in this country. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released this week, Republican voters, particularly those in the South, were more likely than all voters to say that blacks and whites have an equal chance of getting ahead in today's society.
Blow got even nastier against Newt on his Twitter feed Saturday: 'We have 10 days until the Fla. primaries. Maybe I'll be able to get in one column that's not abt what a vile, reptilian, hatemonger Newt is.'
And this: "Food Stamps" again... You know what. Just go on and use the "N" word and get it over with. I'm tired...