The House of Representatives Speaker stood behind earlier comments urging advertisers to rethink buying space in newspapers that present misinformation about the free market, although he noted that advertisers should not just complain about coverage of their businesses.
"It is legitimate to sit down with a publisher and say . . . you do not want to subsidize a reporter who is misinforming the public," Gingrich told those at the National Newspaper Association's (NNA) annual Government Affairs Conference.
"Why can't we get accurate coverage of how the free market works?" he asked. "You can't be as powerful as the news media are and not expect to be criticized."
A few days earlier, Gingrich reportedly told business executives that there were socialists on many newspaper editorial boards and that the business people should rethink advertising in those papers.
Gingrich declined to name the socialists, according to published reports.
House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) later took his own informal poll of the group, asking, "Are any of you now or have you ever been a member of the Socialist party?"
From the balcony, no raised hands were visible.
Also speaking were Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who outlined their take on current policy. Some of them also discussed their presidential candidacies.
The NNA asked attendees twice ? the day before the declared, potential noncandidates spoke and then after their presentations ? about who would be their choice for the Republican presidential nominee.
Dole came in first, increasing his standing to 33% from 31% the day before.
Next was Gramm, whose support rose to 17% from 6% in the prior poll. Third was Lugar, who better than doubled his first-day 5% to reach 14% of the vote.
Specter showed an impressive gain, reaching a fourth-place 13%, up from only 2% in the first vote.
With no votes, 0%, in the first round of polling, Gingrich's commentary garnered him 6% of the vote for a fifth-place finish. Others in the poll, ranked by their second-day percentages with first-day numbers in parenthesis, were: (6) Colin Powell, 5% (14%); (7) Lamar Alexander, 4% (15%); (8) Jack Kemp, 3% (11%); (9) Write-in candidate Tommy Thompson, 2% (0%); (10) Ross Perot, 1% (2%); (11) Christine Todd Whitman, less than 1% (6%); (12) Pete Wilson, less than 1% (3%); (13) A tie between write-ins Strom Thurmond and Dick Cheney, both with less than 1% (0%); (14) William Weld, 0% (from 1% as a write-in); and (15) Patrick Buchanan, who received 0% of the vote in both polls.
By: Debra Gersh Hernandez SOME NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL boards are so out of touch, sitting in "their ivory-tower fantasy land," that every day they are misinforming the people, according to Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).