CyberAlert -- 04/21/1996 -- Gingrich & Oklahoma

Gingrich & Oklahoma

They don't make the left responsible for the Unabomber, but they do continue to blame conservatives for Timothy McVeigh. From Friday night's Washington Week in Review on PBS:

Mara Liasson, NPR: "When the President went to Oklahoma City last year and made those comments about loud and angry voices, he also made comments about certain conservative talk show hosts, that was very controversial. Do people in Oklahoma City connect the loud and angry voices with what happened to them?"
Gloria Borger, U.S. News & World Report: "Yes, they're not happy about the G. Gordon Liddy's of the world, they're not happy about the name calling that goes on, on talk radio...."

Borger then goes on to note that Sam Gibbons called Republicans fascists for disagreeing on Medicare, Tip O'Neill and Reagan disagreed with each other on everything, but after six o'clock they were friends

Then this discussion:
Jane Mayer, The New Yorker: "Should we read anything into Rush Limbaugh's, I gather his popularity is dimming somewhat, does that mean anything?"
Borger: "And Al Franken's is going up. I don't know. There may be a backlash against it, but Rush Limbaugh is still very popular. And again, I don't want to pin this on Rush Limbaugh. I think that's unfair. I think debate is healthy in this country. I just think there's a certain way we ought to conduct it. And I must say something about the press here, because we're all part of this, we live at the bottom of the food chain, you know, and we feed off of all of the fights, we like a good fight as much as everybody else. After being in Oklahoma City this week, it was very sobering to me talking the people there and I wish we could all kind of lower it sometimes, lower the decibel level."
Ken Bode: "Well one of the people who has got to take some of that advice is the Speaker of the House, doesn't he?"
Borger: "Well, right. I think, you know, when Newt Gingrich was campaigning to be the Speaker of the House, Newt went around the country, not saying that the Democrats had bad policies, but he called them thugs and liars and dumb. That's very strong language and maybe that language is fine in a way to help you when you need to inspire your troops to get a congressional majority. But once you've got that majority and once you're Speaker of the House, I think it behooves you to tone it down. Now, after Gingrich has been been Speaker for a year I think we are seeing him tone it down."
Mayer: "He's paid a price for some of this. His popularity, too, seems to be plummetting doesn't it?"
Borger: "He has. Well he had a negative rating that is way over 50 percent."
End of the show and another night of insight from PBS.

-- Brent Baker