A Serial Husband: New(t)s or Gossip?

A Serial Husband: New(t)s or Gossip? December 26, 2011

President Obama may be more of a plodder than a doer when it comes to his leadership style, but you have to hand it to him, Obama is no gossip-monger. (Donald Trump take note).

Did you catch any of the Barbara Walter’s interview with the Obamas, leading into the holiday weekend?

Babs asked Obama what he thought about Newt Gingrich’s three marriages.

Obama answered: “I’m not big on people’s personal lives — being poked and prodded and that that ends up being the primary issue,” Obama said. “We’ve got such big issues to deal with right now and there’s such substantial differences right now between certainly my position and any of the Republican candidates. That’s what we should focus on.”

Wouldn’t that be something? Journalists actually focusing on the issues instead of the latest gossip.I’d feel a lot better about paying that cable TV bill if journalists did as President Obama suggested.

I became a big fan of the journalism of Anderson Cooper during Katrina. I found him to be smart and hard-working. But then I think he got burned out following the Haiti earthquake, so they gave him a daytime TV show and replaced him on CNN with that constantly snarky Erin Burnett. Then there’s Piers Morgan who doesn’t hold a candle to Larry King. King’s real strength was that he treated everyone with the same level of respect. He was never one to get gobsmacked. Morgan could do away with all the celebrity fawning. Even the once intellectually formidable George Stephanopoulos has now gone over to the dark side of morning talk shows.

It might be news that Newt Gingrich is a serial husband, but only if the interviewer can make the case for why it’s news.

Otherwise, it’s just outright gossip.

There was a time when Barbara Walters knew the difference, and the importance of that distinction.

So what are the top three issues that you wish more journalists would address when interviewing potential presidential candidates?

What news source do you rely on most often?



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  • Karen, I don’t like gossip about personal lives,either, but I would say that Newt’s adultery while at the same time, slamming Clinton for his adultery, is evidence of a lack of character, and I’d like to have a president with some level of integrity. So while Obama is right in refusing to comment on it, I am still right in taking Newt’s behavior into consideration as I evaluate him as a potential president.

  • Dso227

    You raise a good point about gossip. Christians ought to treat this issue as serious as other sins identified in the Bible. Unless, of course we adopt a position that sin is only something the other person does.

    Unfortunately it seems that if one opposes a candidate then whatever happened in their marriages and families are considered fair game. Conversely, if we support a candidate then we object that it is their personal life and has no bearing on how they might govern.

    The big issues for me are, off the top of my head and not necessarily listed in order of importance, economy, national security, regulatory freedom. The economy is a big one. It was ‘the economy, stupid’ in the 90s and it is even more so today. The checks being written today assume a growing and vibrant economy. Once laws are passed they are binding whether or not the economy is working and trying to pare down existing laws to match present reality is nearly impossible (for a number of reasons). Someone has to shoulder the burden and I am nearer the end of my working life and will not be able to help much more.

    As to news sources, I try to cast a wide net. The evidence of bias in reporting is IMHO epidemic. There are such obvious examples of reporters and editors picking sides it seems the only way to achieve a balance is to read widely. I listen to NPR and talk radio. I try to read reporting and editorials from domestic and mostly European papers that are in English. The international reporting in the US is quite weak.

    There are a number of blogs that I like to read for news. These make no pretense of being non-biased but at least there is a degree of transparency in the facts and opinions. Christian blogs that take the Faith seriously can lean left or right and make a serious and biblical case for or against a candidate. Lots of liberals or progressives dislike Gingrich and will at least try to argue a biblical case. Lots of conservatives don’t like Obama and likewise argue against him.

    Kudos to asking these questions, even when they concern a candidate you probably would never vote for.


  • Rsfred

    I am big about choosing a candidate with high standards of personal character because I think that gives someone a better chance of making the right decision under pressure.