Live By the Comically Biased "News" Network, Die By the Comically Biased "News" Network

Before he had to give up the job to run for president, Newt Gingrich was (among other things) a paid Fox News commentator. Well, it looks like he won't be getting that job back:

DOVER, Del. -- During a meeting with 18 Delaware Tea Party leaders here on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich lambasted FOX News Channel, accusing the cable network of having been in the tank for Mitt Romney from the beginning of the Republican presidential fight. An employee himself of the news outlet as recently as last year, he also cited former colleagues for attacking him out of what he characterized as personal jealousy.

“I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through,” Gingrich said during the private meeting -- to which RealClearPolitics was granted access -- at Wesley College. “In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact.”

Gingrich may have a point (I haven't been watching much Fox lately, but Newt isn't the first person to describe them as in the tank for Romney). But he probably should have seen it coming. I'm guessing that he bought all that "fair and balanced" crap, but didn't understand Fox's true nature. When you're a conservative, Fox's relentless criticism of the Obama administration and liberals in general just looks like truth-telling. But once you have a contest between conservatives, the channel's identity becomes a little clearer. Fox is part of the Republican establishment. That establishment is more complex and multi-layered than you might think, but in the end, Roger Ailes is going to shape his network's coverage to accomplish two goals: making money, and serving the interests of the Republican party. Gingrich said, ""I assume it’s because [Rupert] Murdoch at some point said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney,’ " but it's much more likely that it was Ailes, who runs the network.

Once he became a candidate, Gingrich became a threat to the GOP. Not because, as he would have it, he's such a transformational, outside-the-box figure, but because he's so widely reviled. It's one thing to have him come on your programs and call Barack Obama a socialist, but it's another thing entirely to have him running around the country tossing brickbats at the guy everyone knows is going to be your party's nominee.

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