In a private meeting, Newt Gingrich blasted Fox News, his former employer, and said CNN was more 'fair and balanced' than Fox in covering his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
On Wednesday, Gingrich met with 18 Tea Party leaders in Dover, Delaware. As ABC News reports, the meeting was private, but the website, Real Clear Politics, was allowed in. Gingrich laced into Fox News after he was asked how he felt the conservative media covered his campaign.
Gingrich was quoted in Real Clear Politics as saying, 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 blamed the biased coverage on orders sent by Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp., Fox News' parent company. He said,I assume it's because Murdoch, at some point said, 'I want Romney,' and so 'fair and balanced' became 'Romney.'
Gingrich added, 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.
Gingrich worked as a paid analyst for Fox for years, leaving after he officially made his bid for the Republican nomination. After Gingrich won the primary in his home state of Georgia, the Washington Examiner wrote about how his former Fox News colleagues made fun of him.
Steve Hayward, of the Weekly Standard said of his victory speech, It felt like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, reliving the exploits of his high school football game.
Fox analyst Juan Williams accused Gingrich of being "too self absorbed." And Fox's Brit Hume was quoted as saying, He made history. He gave the longest victory speech ever given by someone who is 2-18 in the contest so far and has won his home state and the one next door.
The day after Gingrich's remarks, Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, was addressing students at the University of North Carolina's School of Journalism. During the question and answer period, he was asked about what Gingrich had said about his network. Ailes said, as reported by Newsmax, that Gingrich was "trying to get a job at CNN because he knows he isn't going to get to come back to Fox News."
During Gingrich's meeting with the Delaware Tea Party leaders, he excused himself at one point and left the room to do a television interview— with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.