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Tuesday Crib Sheet: NYT Goes After Gingrich College Records, Romney Fights With Media


– The other day the New Wonkette was salivating over hidden meanings in Gingrich’s office gewgaws; now the NYT is poring over Gingrich’s 1971 dissertation. Yes, really.

Mr. Gingrich would be our first president with a Ph.D. since Woodrow Wilson. Does his work as a historian tell us anything about him? Or, for that matter, anything about why, despite certain events in 1776, he considers “anticolonial” an epithet? To address these questions, a good place to start is his 1971 Tulane doctoral dissertation: “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960.”

For Pete’s sake. This is the stupidest thing the NYT has written today. Can you imagine if the NYT pored over Obama’s college thesis, or hey, even his college records, which have never been release despite repeated requests? Can you imagine the NYT going over Fast and Furious emails they way they’re rifling through Gingrich’s thesis — or devoured Sarah Palin’s emails?

Al Jazeera opens a new bureau in Chicago.

Previously on Al Jazeera:

Why It’s Time for Rep. Peter King to Investigate AlJazeera

Another AlJazeera Journalist Suspected of Terror Ties

U.S. Officials Suspected AlJazeera Ties to Al-Qaeda

How AlJazeera Kills Americans

Mitt’s media blowback:

Mitt Romney’s vulnerabilities as a candidate are well known, yet a seemingly new one surfaced last week: his unusual brittleness in the face of media questions.

With one prickly interview with Fox’s Bret Baier on Tuesday — in which the candidate appeared uncomfortable and even angry fielding basic questions about his record — the former Massachusetts governor set off a round of speculation about his ability to operate outside hermetically sealed campaign events, reminding his rivals and the media of the extreme lengths to which he has gone to evade the national press.

On a Fox panel that night, Juan Williams called the interview “disastrous,” Jonah Goldberg said Romney appeared “uncomfortable” and Baier said people thought Romney seemed “irritated and tense” — sentiments that were echoed across the other networks that night and in print the next morning.

For a candidate who has been in the national spotlight as long as Romney, his discomfort with Baier was telling. And it reflected a deliberate and long-standing strategy of dodging tough questions and questioners.

Fox moving to the center?

Conversations with Fox sources and media executives suggest a new strategy: Fox is trying to credibly capture the center without alienating its loyal core of rabid viewers. To this end, the network is flexing its news-gathering muscles in high-profile ways that will capture media attention.

Why bother? Partly as a preemptive measure against CNN. While CNN has slipped again to third place in the cable ratings race, Fox recognizes that the network still poses the biggest threat if it gets its act together.

A CBS journalist slips into Syria, where foreign journalists are banned, to report from the inside:

For her first assignment since joining CBS News, foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward secretly visited Syria, where foreign journalists have been banned in an ongoing attempt by President Bashar al-Assad to quell opposition.

“I had all sorts of things I wanted to see that I felt American audiences had not been able to see,” Ward tells TVNewser.

Ward entered the country alone on a tourist visa, spending two days in Damascus before she felt comfortable reaching out to an underground network of government defectors she interviewed for the series, which begins this evening.

Someone should do this but call it “Mom’s Basement” and base it on Media Matters.

Chuck Todd is pummeled on his own show by Donald Trump.


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