Newt Gingrich will "debate" Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, his second big appearance on an NBC political show in less than a week. Last night on MSNBC's Hardball, Gingrich joked with Chris Matthews about history, politics, and how a black mamba attacks during his first major appearance on the network. If we have learned anything about Newt Gingrich, it is he is always up to something. So, what is Newt up to? We think he's trying to get a new TV job.
How do we know Newt's hustling for a talking head gig? Let us present the facts:
- One, Newt needs a job. Gingrich has a well-documented taste for expensive things, but his presidential campaign caused parts of his large moneymaking organization to go bankrupt. Newt needs money.
- Two, Gingrich has demonstrated that he likes making money by talking on TV. His entire career has been one long march in that direction. As congressman, he figured out he could making thrilling TV out of C-SPAN. He was a frequent Sunday news show guest, and was a paid contributor for Fox News before he started running for president.
- Three, Gingrich burned his Fox News bridge so bad. In April, he complained the conservative network was biased against him. "I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through," Gingrich said. "I assume it's because Murdoch at some point said, 'I want Romney', and so 'fair and balanced' became 'Romney'. And there's no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches Fox." Fox News chief Roger Ailes scoffed Gingrich was just "trying to get a job at CNN because he knows he isn’t going to get to come back to Fox News."
Four, Gingrich made a play for a CNN job, and appears to have failed. After he used a question from debate moderator John King to rail against the liberal media in January, Newt tried to make nice. King "did a great job," Gingrich said. In April, he sucked up to CNN a little more. "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." Fox
sent out a press releaseissued a statement saying, "This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN – that's the kind of man he is."
- Five, NBC is the last network left. Gingrich has been trying to get that news network to like him, too. He was a guest at MSNBC's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner after-party in late April. And he's letting himself get slapped around a little bit by the liberal Chris Matthews. His job Sunday will be to represent conservative talking points against a Democratic governor.
"I'm not going to worry about Newt Gingrich," The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes said last month. "He's going to find his way. He always has." If Gingrich performs well this weekend, perhaps it will be the start of another Newt comeback. His third—or twelfth—depending on how you count it.