Gingrich: I’ll “serve notice” that future debates must allow audience cheering

posted at 1:20 pm on January 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In last night’s debate, Newt Gingrich never seemed to catch fire, and the consensus on Twitter last night was that the admonition to the audience by NBC not to react to the candidates hurt Gingrich more than anyone else. In the South Carolina debates, the ovations Gingrich received for his attacks on the media helped fuel his victories and the game-changing result in the primary on Saturday. After his flat performance, Gingrich warns that he won’t take part in any debates that forbid cheering:

In an interview with the morning show “Fox and Friends,” Mr. Gingrich said NBC’s rules amounted to stifling free speech. In what has become a standard line of attack for his anti-establishment campaign, Mr. Gingrich blamed the media for trying to silence a dissenting point of view.

“I wish in retrospect I’d protested when Brian Williams took them out of it because I think it’s wrong,” Mr. Gingrich said. “And I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate.” …

Mr. Gingrich’s performance in the debate in Tampa on Monday night was far more muted. Critics noted that he seemed to be off his game. The National Journal, which co-hosted the NBC debate, compared Gingrich to “a stand-up comedian whose routine suffers without echoes of laughter egging him on.”

Mr. Gingrich clearly noticed something was off, too. “We’re going to serve notice on future debates,” he told Fox. “The media doesn’t control free speech. People ought to be allowed to applaud if they want to.”

Free speech? Meh. The media does not stifle free speech; these debates are their events, their forums, and they have every right to set the rules for participation in them, for both the candidates (with whom they negotiate) and the audience. Free speech does not mean that NBC has to broadcast cheering sections. It’s a false and silly argument. If Gingrich or any of the other candidates choose not to participate in these media events, that’s their prerogative, of course. If people in the audience don’t like the rules, they don’t have to sit there, either.

There are plenty of good reasons to question why Gingrich and his colleagues agreed to do 19 of these media game-show events. I’d start with the poor selection of questions, topics, and moderators, as well as gimmicky chimes and “This or That” nonsense. Audience hooting and hollering doesn’t make my top ten debate attributes. In fact, I find that kind of behavior off-putting for something as serious as a presidential debate. That doesn’t mean that we won’t allow the audience to participate in the Hot Air debate, but I hardly think of that as a critical, make-or-break aspect to the event.

Update: Bad news for Gingrich if he gets the nomination:

I called up the Commission on Presidential Debates, which handles the general election debates, and they confirmed that audience participation has not been allowed in the past in debates, and will not be allowed this cycle either. So, if Gingrich is the GOP nominee, he’ll have to face a silent audience during his debates with the President unless the rules are changed.

Update II: People are complaining that the original headline is misleading.  I’ve changed it to narrowly fit what Gingrich said, but what was the obvious interpretation of “serv[ing] notice”?  Was it that Gingrich would demand audience participation but take no action if the debate moderators didn’t comply?  What about that is “serv[ing] notice”?

Update III: Actually, the Lincoln-Douglas debates did have cheering sections, or at least audience responses.

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Using quotation marks for your interpretation of what you think someone meant to say. Guess you were absent the day their proper use was explained in English class.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Aren’t quotes used all the time in fiction?

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:09 PM

So you’re saying the televised debates are an entirely commercial venture? Then I’d say these “audiences”– completely controlled and scripted by their media masters– need to organize and get paid for the “production value” they add to the media product, like they do in the entertainment industry. We could call these human props the Screen Audience Guild, but the acronym is already taken.

The point is, these aren’t purely commercial ventures. They’re public services, and the public is entitled to its say, even at debates.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

If the audience were to react spontaneously, what should happen?

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

That would be entirely up to the decision of the employees of the privately-owned corporation which is privately-sponsoring the debate in a building they privately rented for the evening if they informed the audience of the rules prior to the debate starting.

If I own a bar with a big sign that says “No Swearing Here” and you come in and cuss like a drunken sailor, which I once was, I can throw your butt our the door.

NBC? Would probably inform folks of the rules they were told about earlier. Happens again? Stop the debate.

There are no First Amendment rights where privately-owned corporations are involved.

You can also get tossed out of the visitors’ gallery in Congress if you whoop and holler? First Amendment? Nope. Issue of decorum.

Yelling “F..ck” in a crowded theater or something like that.

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

What Newt meant to say was:

“I’m actually a windbag who, while very well educated, is actually a blowhard who’s cynical enough and experienced enough as a politician to know that politics is never about substance. It’s about style, emotionalism, and appealing to people’s base instincts rather than making sound, rational arguments. So how dare you mitigate my advantage in manipulating the voters by taking the dogpound out of the mix?”

Redford on January 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Very true. Newt is full of hot air.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Using quotation marks for your interpretation of what you think someone meant to say. Guess you were absent the day their proper use was explained in English class.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Aren’t quotes used all the time in fiction?

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Yes, they are. The aptly-named Ms. Duh was trying to sound smart, but ended up looking foolish. That happens to Palinistas like Ms. Dug from time to time.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

captn2fat on January 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Music is an accumulation. Like pinball machines that have multiples. One can fire them all up at once.

Unlike wait you turn talking, music from many sources at once is cacophony. Reminiscent of the Tubes trifecta of Sam the Sham’s ‘Wooly Booly’. Sadly, it is no longer on youtube. Themes from a Summer Place, me thinks.

Oops, OT /

Ham sammiches aside, I’m voting for ‘state your name’ Nov 6 2012. AB0.

mickytx on January 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Because they know Romney has a glass jaw even more brittle than Obama’s.

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Uh huh…like when Romney had Gingrich staring like a deer in the headlights for what seemed an eternity? That kind of glass jaw? Face it, unless Gingrich has a crowd screaming to feed his ego, he just cannot sustain a reasoned argument.

csdeven on January 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Aren’t quotes used all the time in fiction?
whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Yes, they are. The aptly-named Ms. Duh was trying to sound smart, but ended up looking foolish.
bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I wasn’t getting on her case there, I was honestly curious if there were a rule excluding such usage.
(Not that I worry much about observing rules of grammar, heh.)

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I don’t deny their right to set the rules but I still believe it to be another anal retentive attempt to control the agenda. Everyone knows the rules, and the consequences, carry on.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

de rigueur

Your points are no points at all.

“Public service,” not a commercial venture? Then why were there commercial breaks during the debate? Didn’t the companies advertising during the commercial breaks pay NBC, a privately-owned corporation, for running their commercials?

And where does it say that a privately-owned corporation privately-sponsoring a debate with private funds has to even have an audience?
Nothing. They can go “sans audience” anytime they choose.

And if the candidate don’t like the rules of this privately-owned corporation? Then don’t go. When smoking was allowed in cafes, I didn’t go to the ones that banned it.

So, public service? Want to guess how many millions NBC, a private corporation, received from other private corporations for running their commercials during this “public service?”

LOL!

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Better yet, have the host network’s corporate sponsors pay for the audience.

“This audience response brought to you by Tide. There’s no debate–Tide cleans a candidate’s dirty laundry the best!”

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I have to agree. Applause, boos, moans and groans are a way of communicating with one another and our candidates. Seems like a way to isolate us from another. Why?

lynncgb on January 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

“If you allow the enemy to shape the battlefield you will always lose.” Sun Tzu

If the leftwing press (or any other for that matter) can control the message and the true effectiveness of them, it is they, not us who will dictate the winners and losers.

James Moriarty on January 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Your absolutely correct. The MSM is always trying to control the agenda.

The viewing public has several weapons, including don’t watch them, don’t buy from their sponsors and buy stock in them and go to the stockholders meetings and loudly complain.

Pocketbooks always are a concern, even to the MSM.

But trying to make it a First Amendment issue simply won’t wash.

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I believe the entities that have hosted these debates have said how the attendees where selected, usually in intro remarks if nothing else. And/or at their websites. Part of the boilerplate to which most folks don’t pay much attention.
At any rate, the answer to Newt’s problems is both obvious and simple. Just don’t attend any debate where he doesn’t like the format.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

If you were referring to me about not paying attention to that part, you would be right.

Night Owl on January 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Obviously, you know nothing about constitutional law.

I’m sure that’s not my only flaw.

When I was back there in seminary and law school, we were taught that First Amendment issues only arise when there is action by government or those acting under color of law to limit free speech.

Yeah, try using that argument when the Gay Club wants to express itself at a private university.

There is no such thing as a “Fourth Estate” duty. The media, except PBS, is all privately-owned. They are not the government nor are they acting under color of law. Their licenses are privately-owned by private corporations.

The ‘Fourth Estate’ is a creation of media and not in the Constitution. My point is that organizations who operate under the 1st Amendment shouldn’t abridge people 1st Amendment rights, as if to say the 1st only applies to them, the press.

There is no duty, via these privately-owned coporations, via their privately-owned license, to host any debates at all ever.

Well, yes they do. Furthermore, licensees don’t have ownership rights to the public spectrum – “…The Radio Act of 1927 established the regulatory premise that persists to this day: the spectrum belongs to the public and that licensees have no property rights to continue using it.[2] Although the spectrum is licensed to bidders, the purchase does not represent ownership or rights, only privileges to using that part of the spectrum.” Essentially, when they sponsor debates it is a public forum, not a private event.

When the U.S. government, or a state government, sponsors a debate and therefore acts under color of law and limits Freedom of Speech, then you have a point.

The US government never sponsors debates. Ever.

As it stands now you lack both any knowledge of constitutional law and a clue. You can obtain the first by studying – you’ll have to figure out on your own how to get the latter.

Cheeky, but not dispositive. Did you actually earn a degree from that seminary and law school?

Horace on January 24, 2012

JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Yep, that would be a long term tactic when a short term remedy would do.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You are only beclowning yourself with this line of reasoning. BTW – I got the equivalent of a B+ in Con Law.

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Well, you’ll know the answer to this question off the top of your head then. Who owns, leases and regulates the use of all broadcast bands in the United States?

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I can’t believe this moron is only concerned with the debates formats and audience cheering…as if this is what takes to be the leader of a country…one thing is for sure, he will never comes close to the presidency…

jimver on January 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Sorry, JonPrichard – you made the relevant points before I did.

Rather a distorted perspective on Horace’s part. Given his statements regarding the freedom of private companies (which are not privately owned – their parent companies are publicly traded and are therefore entities of the state, do you suppose he believes these companies have the right to urge sedition and revolt against the government?

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Breaking: Dems meddling in Repub debates ban meddling with their meddling.

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

What Newt meant to say was:

“I’m actually a windbag who, while very well educated, is actually a blowhard who’s cynical enough and experienced enough as a politician to know that politics is never about substance. It’s about style, emotionalism, and appealing to people’s base instincts rather than making sound, rational arguments. So how dare you mitigate my advantage in manipulating the voters by taking the dogpound out of the mix?”

Redford on January 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Using quotation marks for your interpretation of what you think someone meant to say. Guess you were absent the day their proper use was explained in English class.

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Paraphrase is restatement of a text or passages, using other words. The term “paraphrase” derives via the Latin “paraphrasis” from the Greek para phraseïn, meaning “additional manner of expression”. The act of paraphrasing is also called “paraphrasis.”

Aren’t quotes used all the time in fiction?

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Yes, they are. The aptly-named Ms. Duh was trying to sound smart, but ended up looking foolish. That happens to Palinistas like Ms. Dug from time to time.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

It is incorrect to use quotation marks for paraphrased speech. This is because a paraphrase is not a direct quote, and in the course of any composition, it is important to document when one is using a quotation versus when one is using a paraphrased idea.

What’s that you were saying about ending up looking foolish?

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Nicely done.

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I can’t believe this moron is only concerned with the debates formats and audience cheering…as if this is what takes to be the leader of a country…one thing is for sure, he will never comes close to the presidency…

jimver on January 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

But, but, the Newtron is SOOOOO SMART!!!!!

Gunlock Bill on January 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

The ‘Fourth Estate’ is a creation of media and not in the Constitution. My point is that organizations who operate under the 1st Amendment shouldn’t abridge people 1st Amendment rights, as if to say the 1st only applies to them, the press.

Even dumber than your previous post Mr. Pritchard.

You obviously don’t understand the Bill of Rights set out in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These are protections AGAINST the government, not obligations put on the public.

The First Amendment guarantees Freedom of the Press, it does not obligate the private press to do a single thing. Private organizations do not “operate under the First Amendment.” They have no “duty” under the First Amendment to preserve Freedom of Speech. That is placed upon government, federal and states, under the XIVth Amendment, those acting under color of law. “Congress shall make no law….” That’s all it says. Does not say “Private corporations shall guarantee Freedom of Speech.” At least, not in my copy. Perhaps you have the up-dated version.

And I cannot recall a SCT decision where hootin’ and hollerin’ at a privately-sponsored event is “protected speech” entitled to First Amendment protection. If I missed one in the Supreme Court Reports, please provide a link to it.

NBC has an obligation to its stockholders to make money. That is about it. If they make money from it, they will sponsor debates. If they do not, they won’t. Why doesn’t NBC sponsor debates with the candidates for the 15th State Senatorial District in Arkansas?
Uh.,.number of viewers?..uh…money from commercials? Duh.

Yes, I did get a Juris Doctor. More than you did. But, I give up. Read into the Constitution whatever you like, Won’t make no nevermind to me. Adios, Moo-chaw-chose.

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

There is no duty, via these privately-owned coporations, via their privately-owned license, to host any debates at all ever.

Well, yes they do.
JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Oy. As I said, you are totally clueless on broadcast licensing and FCC requirements. I really don’t mean that as an insult, just that your beliefs are completely false. Take it from those who know about such matters.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

When you remove the qualifiers from my characterization of the debates– “not purely commercial ventures,” “not entirely commercial ventures”– you get your straw man. But those are the straw man’s points you think you’re answering, not mine.

I didn’t say the debates weren’t commercial ventures at all. Of course the networks/cable channels have commercial breaks, of course they spend a lot of money to produce and broadcast them, but they do so in the spirit and long tradition of public political debate. And that’s what they want their tv viewing audiences to think they’re viewing. Otherwise they’d be advertising “candidate roundtables,” wouldn’t they? And debates involve audience reaction.

And where does it say that a privately-owned corporation privately-sponsoring a debate with private funds has to even have an audience?
Nothing. They can go “sans audience” anytime they choose.

But they don’t. Why is that?

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Just heard a possible explanation about this on Hannity. Someone who was in the audience claimed the NBC people were extreme in their control even going so far as to warn the audience during commercials. Apparently, the audience wasn’t too pleased either.

A small nuance of what went on which could perhaps explain what on the surface looks like a Newt off the reservation remark.

I also just heard JT Watts endorse Gingrich…and his reasons are the basis of my thinking (right now—I could change my mind). He said he was in the trenches when the Dems and the establishment came after Newt and Newt didn’t waver. Come to think about it, I’ve never seen any other candidate put through the kinds of humiliating questions Newt has gone through. And he stands firm and admits mistakes. He made the point that we need someone who can be transformational. Managerial isn’t sufficent because we’re so far gone. I think he makes a good point: Grant not Custer.

Portia46 on January 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

The debate sponsors set the rules for these debates – if Newt doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to attend. Newt is a whiner.

Pork-Chop on January 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

It is incorrect to use quotation marks for paraphrased speech. This is because a paraphrase is not a direct quote, and in the course of any composition, it is important to document when one is using a quotation versus when one is using a paraphrased idea.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Would you have linkage to a reliable authority to support your position, Flora? I’m just not sure how it’s incorrect usage. I ain’t alway be using the goodest grammar, but it’s subtleties are of interest to me.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Just heard a possible explanation about this on Hannity. Someone who was in the audience claimed the NBC people were extreme in their control even going so far as to warn the audience during commercials.
Portia46 on January 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I wouldn’t mind if all debate hosts laid down that law. My druthers is to let the candidates have at the issues and each other without the circus aspect. In fact, I’d prefer no audience, never liked the idea even long before Newt.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Would you have linkage to a reliable authority to support your position, Flora? I’m just not sure how it’s incorrect usage. I ain’t alway be using the goodest grammar, but it’s subtleties are of interest to me.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Quotation_mark

btw, my comment was not directed towards you. bluegill seems to take pleasure sniping at every comment I make trying, to show others how superior she is. It was past time for me to get smack her down.

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Sorry, JonPrichard – you made the relevant points before I did.

Rather a distorted perspective on Horace’s part. Given his statements regarding the freedom of private companies (which are not privately owned – their parent companies are publicly traded and are therefore entities of the state, do you suppose he believes these companies have the right to urge sedition and revolt against the government?

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012

Thanks Pol,

I’m not actually trying to make a legal/constitutional argument but thats the way Horace sees it. I’m arguing that a press organization, whose core raison d’ etre is the 1st Amendment, shouldn’t be trying to ‘silence the crowd’ but should support that expression. And then, I’m also questioning a corporations right to squash free expression when they are covering and hosting a public event, on behalf or the public and on the public’s licensed airwaves.

Of course the 1st Amendment has its limits too. You aren’t allowed to disrupt a City Council meeting, for example, without getting escorted out. Still, the City Council must make provisions for grievance and expression at public meetings.

JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

So it is the cheering that wins elections!

KOOLAID2 on January 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

In a manner of speaking…yes…first its family and friends, then colleagues, then campaign workers, then supporters, Each of whom tries to convine their fellow citizens that the candidate is worthy of your vote. And the most successful way is to verball and otherwise applaud the candidate, when what they say, resonates with you…sort of like when your preferred candidate says something during the debate that you are watching at home and you jump up in front of friends and family and exclaim…. “YES!!!!!!”

RedLizard64 on January 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

“The First Amendment guarantees Freedom of the Press, it does not obligate the private press to do a single thing.”

Horace on January 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Really? The courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, have never issued rulings on what obligations the First Amendment sets upon those companies and individuals seeking protection under the First Amendment?

Let’s give you the easiest hint – what have the courts ruled on libel?

“On the internet virtually anything can be asserted, but that does not make it true.” Thomas Jefferson

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

btw, my comment was not directed towards you. bluegill seems to take pleasure sniping at every comment I make trying, to show others how superior she is. It was past time for me to get smack her down.

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

And this is what happens when you’re trying to carry on a conservation online, on the phone and in person at the same time.

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Further, if the debates are pure commercial ventures by private companies (but those companies are publicly held, aren’t they?), then the candidates should be paid for their services, too. The Candidate-Actors Guild. CAG.

(Although I like Christien on January 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM’s idea of corporate sponsors for the candidates, too. “Newt Gingrich is brought to you tonight by Freddie Mac! Bain Capital: the Proud Sponsor of Mitt Romney!”)

It could be argued, however, that the candidates already are receiving payment in kind, since they desperately need the free advertising, and the networks need the paid advertising.

The debates are already dangerously near infomercials as it is. Except that stage audiences are encouraged to oooh, ahhh, and applaud when they tape infomercials. You political audiences need to sit there like stumps. Now we can really call them “stump speeches.”

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

btw, my comment was not directed towards you. bluegill seems to take pleasure sniping at every comment I make trying, to show others how superior she is. It was past time for me to get smack her down.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

I know, I like to have my fun, but I try to avoid the back and forth sniping as much as I can. I think most folks here are good people who would disagree, but wouldn’t be nasty to one another in person. But, hey, if a person can’t vent on the intertubes…

Thank you for the link, though I was looking for a more English-”snobby” site. Something snooty sounding, like “Oxford” or the like.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

In my 30 years of watching debates, I have never seen the audience being allowed to cheer or boo as I have this year. The audience consists of supporters and can make it appear, as they did in SC. that a candidate is doing a whole lot better than they are.

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

SO…do you attribute Newt’s SC win to the fact that the average American is “programmed to respond to the cheering, booing, canned laugh lines?

RedLizard64 on January 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

And this is what happens when you’re trying to carry on a conservation online, on the phone and in person at the same time.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Just so you don’t get them mixed up!
:D

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

So it is the cheering that wins elections!

KOOLAID2 on January 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

In a manner of speaking…yes…first its family and friends, then colleagues, then campaign workers, then supporters, Each of whom tries to convine their fellow citizens that the candidate is worthy of your vote. And the most successful way is to verball and otherwise applaud the candidate, when what they say, resonates with you…sort of like when your preferred candidate says something during the debate that you are watching at home and you jump up in front of friends and family and exclaim…. “YES!!!!!!”

RedLizard64 on January 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Well said.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Forget ABC and NBC, when does QVC hold its debate?

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Forget ABC and NBC, when does QVC hold its debate?

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Careful, the Obama campaign is already characterizing these debates as “The Antique Roadshow.” I made that up.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Sorry, JonPrichard – you made the relevant points before I did.

Rather a distorted perspective on Horace’s part. Given his statements regarding the freedom of private companies (which are not privately owned – their parent companies are publicly traded and are therefore entities of the state, do you suppose he believes these companies have the right to urge sedition and revolt against the government?

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

There’s also a “big door” open to interpretation here when the public is invited to a private institution or property. Some rules/laws can not infringe on certain public rights.

Rovin on January 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Very clever!

Christien on January 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

The ‘Fourth Estate’ is a creation of media and not in the Constitution. My point is that organizations who operate under the 1st Amendment shouldn’t abridge people 1st Amendment rights, as if to say the 1st only applies to them, the press.

Even dumber than your previous post Mr. Pritchard.

Well, at least you could spell my name correctly.

You obviously don’t understand the Bill of Rights set out in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These are protections AGAINST the government, not obligations put on the public.

Of course I know this, as does every Conservative really. The entire Constitution is a limiting document, not a government empowering one. But this is a strawman you’re erecting. I’m not arguing that a private entity is required to allow clapping and cheering. I’m saying they shouldn’t be in the business of abridging expression.

The First Amendment guarantees Freedom of the Press, it does not obligate the private press to do a single thing. Private organizations do not “operate under the First Amendment.” They have no “duty” under the First Amendment to preserve Freedom of Speech. That is placed upon government, federal and states, under the XIVth Amendment, those acting under color of law. “Congress shall make no law….” That’s all it says. Does not say “Private corporations shall guarantee Freedom of Speech.” At least, not in my copy. Perhaps you have the up-dated version.

That’s your strawman argument, not mine.

And I cannot recall a SCT decision where hootin’ and hollerin’ at a privately-sponsored event is “protected speech” entitled to First Amendment protection. If I missed one in the Supreme Court Reports, please provide a link to it.

Privately sponsored, as you say, isn’t the same as a private event. Clearly, a presidential debate is a public event. You seem to be saying such events are the same as having a store in the local shopping mall, where you have every right to boot out some loud offender interfering with business. What I’m saying is that the debates hosted by a private company, but under license on the public’s airwaves constitutes a public event. The public airwaves ARE the public square and subject to 1st Amendment jurisprudence – if they weren’t, the networks wouldn’t be able to broadcast half the offesnive programming they do.

NBC has an obligation to its stockholders to make money. That is about it. If they make money from it, they will sponsor debates. If they do not, they won’t. Why doesn’t NBC sponsor debates with the candidates for the 15th State Senatorial District in Arkansas?
Uh.,.number of viewers?..uh…money from commercials? Duh.

NBC (its member stations) also have an obligation to serve the public interest as stated by the license agreements. They pledge to serve the public interest so they can get the license. As for the 15th state district – yet another one of your lame strawmen. The local NBC affiliate would likely host those and they hold the actual FCC license to broadcast.

Yes, I did get a Juris Doctor. More than you did. But, I give up. Read into the Constitution whatever you like, Won’t make no nevermind to me. Adios, Moo-chaw-chose.

Horace on January 24, 2012

Getting a JD apparently didn’t give you the ability to argue the law cogently.

JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 5:28 PM

There’s also a “big door” open to interpretation here when the public is invited to a private institution or property. Some rules/laws can not infringe on certain public rights.

Rovin on January 24, 2012

Yeah, like when a small town City Council meeting is held at the rented Moose Lodge. Do you exchange your 1st Amendment rights for a silly hat when you walk through the door?

JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Can’t blame Newtie for trying to swing things in his favor. All he has are applause lines. Substance, not so much.

Constantine on January 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

I’m sorry Ed, I don’t get how “protest” and “give notice” equates to won’t play. And I also don’t care what the moderators say, if the crowd is moved they will react.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Exactly.

kingsjester on January 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I agree. Stifling the crowd reaction at the debates is tantamount to censorship as far as I’m concerned.

The msm got their wittle feewlings hurt when Newt rebutted them and the crowd demonstrated their approval. Must shut ‘we the people’ up now.

IndeCon on January 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I wonder if there will be any audience participation tonight. Or will everyone sit in stunned silence.

katy the mean old lady on January 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

What’s that you were saying about ending up looking foolish?

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Nice nightstick. )D

katy the mean old lady on January 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Gingrich sucking has little to do with no cheering.

I don’t want to EVER hear Gingrich talk about defending the sanctity of marriage. That’s all I’ll say on that disgusting huge-headed monster. Okay, I said more.

fatlibertarianinokc on January 24, 2012 at 6:04 PM

I wonder if there will be any audience participation tonight. Or will everyone sit in stunned silence.

katy the mean old lady on January 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Another one like last night and they’ll be nodding off out of their chairs.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Missed some comments:

If he wasn’t sure what the interpretation of Gingrich’s comments were he should have gotten clarification before using the original headline in this post, which was,”Gingrich: I won’t do debates where audiences can’t cheer”. It was misleading because that’s not what was said.
But then it shouldn’t surprise me that it wouldn’t matter to you, since you are perfectly happy to accept and excuse misleading statements made by Governor Romney as long as they are directed at another candidate.
Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Ed linked to the story which had the full transcript. I fail to see any reason why Newt’s campaign needed to be contacted for clarification. His words could not have been clearer!

This is beyond absurd. Surely you know headlines at Hot Air are rarely direct quotes. Have you not seen headlines which start with the word, “hey”? You think that’s a direct quote? It’s editorial license and it’s not Ed’s fault if commenters are too lazy to go to the source to read the full quotes in context.

Remember when something Gov. Romney said was misconstrued, even thought AP was skeptical from the beginning and issued numerous updates and clarifications, Romney supporters were not amused.
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/30/video-newt-gets-emotional/
Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Come on, Cindy. That was a completely different circumstance. Newt was on Fox and Friends and was talking with no crowd, no one interrupting him. Mitt was at a Town Hall meeting (or was he outside on a stage?) with a large crowd who was interacting with him, and there was a ridiculous assumptions made that he was referring to Newt when there was zero evidence of that.

Buy Danish on January 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Romney supporters, wanting to silence the citizen voter and prevent aspects of their participation in our citizen participation republican form of government. That my friends is attacking our Republican form of government!

astonerii on January 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

PolAgnostic on January 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM
Rovin on January 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM
JonPrichard on January 24, 2012 at 4:56, 5:28 PM

Meant to say before leaving: great analysis of the corporate media/tv/public square nexus. Private sponsorship of public discussion at its best.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Newt is full of hot air.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And Hot Air is full of Newt! :)

alwaysfiredup on January 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

The only requirement to a debate is one that you agree to. I can understand in the general why there might be attempted silencing, but if it is a primary…so I don’t understand it. Control freeks, Authoritarians/statists, anti-party setting, Arrogance. There’s no scoring, this isn’t college debating.

brian williams is garbage, NBC is garbage, Politico is garbage, National Journal is random hackness, NY, California, Chicago…garbage. Overpaid people on tv giving opinions while wearing clown-face (too much make-up) are garbage.

btw, what’s the point of an audience? why not just an empty auditorium?

John Kettlewell on January 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Buy Danish on January 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I agree but had the tables been turned I don’t think that would have been the argument, but we will never know. I can speculate and infer the same as everyone else.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

btw, what’s the point of an audience? why not just an empty auditorium?

John Kettlewell on January 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Excellent point.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

btw, what’s the point of an audience? why not just an empty auditorium?

John Kettlewell on January 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Excellent point.

Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Do the audiences pay for the seats? Or are they given the seats as favors for favors?

astonerii on January 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Newt’s bombast falls flat and appears as just cranky whining without the aid of cheering minions.

Philly on January 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I can speculate and infer the same as everyone else.
Cindy Munford on January 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

But there’s nothing to speculate about with Newt.

Buy Danish on January 24, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Did it not occur to anyone this might be payback for Newt calling the media out?

James Moriarty on January 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Did it not occur to anyone this might be payback for Newt calling the media out?

James Moriarty on January 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

It could be.

NBC’s Brian Williams Intentionally Drains Excitement Out of Last Night’s Debate

PatriotGal2257 on January 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Thank you for the link, though I was looking for a more English-”snobby” site. Something snooty sounding, like “Oxford” or the like.

whatcat on January 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The Purdue OWL

Overview of Punctuation

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

annexwcp on January 24, 2012 at 7:34 PM

It is incorrect to use quotation marks for paraphrased speech. This is because a paraphrase is not a direct quote, and in the course of any composition, it is important to document when one is using a quotation versus when one is using a paraphrased idea.

What’s that you were saying about ending up looking foolish?

Ms. Duh, you live up to your name more and more with every comment you post. There is nothing more obnoxious than someone who tries to correct others’ grammar and punctuation on here. How fitting and ironic it is, then, that your pedantic, grammar school marm correction was actually WRONG. Yep, the person’s post you tried to correct was perfectly fine. The quote in question wasn’t paraphrasing. It was a mock quote. The person’s use of quotation marks was totally valid. Oh, dear… how embarrassing for you that you tried to use that attempted correction as a way to look smart.

Besides, Ms. Duh, you, a worshiper of that brilliant orator Sarah Palin, really have no business going around badmouthing others’ grammar. Why don’t you stick to writing pro-Sarah Palin posts, and avoid the attempts at correcting other people’s punctuation on here, ok? It’s not really your thing.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Newt can’t talk without sycophants nearby. Lame! What a panderer. This alone should disqualify him from consideration.

aloysiusmiller on January 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Newt can’t talk without sycophants nearby. Lame! What a panderer. This alone should disqualify him from consideration.

aloysiusmiller on January 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Imagine what “The Daily Show” would be like without all the cheering. The cheering from the peanut gallery influences the way the viewer sees things.

John Stewart seems neutered during interviews with no live, cheering audience. Newt’s the same way. The fact that they require the cheering to make themselves look better shows their weakness. Newt needs the audience screams to puff up the effect of his cheap, gimmicky demagoguery during his pompous debate acts. Without the cheering, Newt looks small.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 7:47 PM

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Not according to the Purdue (University) Online Writing Lab,

Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

Use quotation marks to enclose direct quotations.

Do not use quotation marks in indirect or block quotations.

The Purdue OWL was the recommended site for all grammar-related questions while I was completing my degree.

annexwcp on January 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

annexwcp on January 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

The problem for you is that it was a mock quote. The reference you mention describes how to quote other writers’ work. That’s not what the original commenter was doing. He was providing a mock Newt Gingrich quote. Do you understand?

Regardless, it’s rather petty to attack someone over their use of quotation marks, which makes it all the more funny when that attack turns out to be wrong and embarrasses the person making the criticism.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

So a little bit of the arrogant little jerk emerges. Just wait, you will see a lot more. Let’s just hope those who suffer from lack of memory of Gingrich’s history see enough to enlighten them before their shortsightedness hands the country back to the Obama Regime.

Of course, those who are gullible enough to dismiss Gingrich’s blatant lies about lobbying and the dog eating his other contracts are probably not smart enough to figure him out in time.

Sigh. This is why we conservatives booted the worthless self-centered jackass from the Speaker’s chair – did you see him say he resigned because he “accepted responsibility for the election losses”? What a lying piece of crap! He wanted to remain Speaker and had his Establishment pals behind him – all they cared about was that he wouldn’t be carted away in cuffs after his plea deal. The conservatives threatened a revolt and had the votes to block him.

He could have served his term, having just been elected, and could have had his choice of committee chairmanships. But as always, it is all about Newt and his precious ego, so he resigned and went home to Georgia bought a house in Northern Virginia and instantly joined the revolving door of former legislators who become influence peddlers.

Newt admitted having a lawyer write his Freddie Mac contract to avoid being “technically” a “lobbyist” even though that would be the only reason for them to hire him, to influence Republicans to support their continued raid on the taxpayer to subsidize Democratic deadbeats.

How stupid are you people?

Adjoran on January 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Newt admitted having a lawyer write his Freddie Mac contract to avoid being “technically” a “lobbyist” even though that would be the only reason for them to hire him, to influence Republicans to support their continued raid on the taxpayer to subsidize Democratic deadbeats.

How stupid are you people?

Adjoran on January 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Newt Gingrich won’t win the nomination. There are more sane people out there than idiots.

But, to answer your question, yes, there are many stupid people out there voting in the Republican primaries. Many of them are the type who believe that Sarah Palin is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that she would have been the greatest presidential candidate ever. Yes, it’s stupid, but those are the kinds of people we’re dealing with. You see them post in comments here all the time. They are the ones most likely to fall for Newt Gingrich’s pompous, blustery talk-back debate routines. Such people are embarrassing, yes, but we’re stuck with them for now.

bluegill on January 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Haven’t read all the comments, but when I saw the Drudge linked NYT story early this afternoon, all I could think was if Newt can’t have his cheerleaders, he won’t play.

It also occurred to me that Newt is, once again, changing the subject to excuse his inability to answer Mitt’s claims. If Newt only had his cheering squad, his retorts would have somehow been more fluid and convincing. The fact is, Newt isn’t use to anyone advancing a solid and factual argument while simultaneously stealing his thunder. He was outgunned by the truth and the truth left him speechless.

Slainte on January 24, 2012 at 8:29 PM

I’m happy about the third update. It would have been a sad thing to let something like that slip by without correction.

sublibertate on January 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Romney supporters, wanting to silence the citizen voter and prevent aspects of their participation in our citizen participation republican form of government. That my friends is attacking our Republican form of government!

astonerii on January 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Would I be attacking our Republican form of government if I called you a foolish windbag who only serves to embarrass himself?

almosthandsome on January 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

While Newt supporters claim he will bury Obama in debates, take note that Newt needs an emotional “red meat” audience. Hey, I thought it was the liberal mind that relies on emotion, while the conservative mind relies on fact and common sense. This may not happen during the presidential debates, so does that mean that Newt will stand there staring into space, as he did the other night? The presidential debates will be heavily monitored and the audience will be chock full of Obama supporters. This “new” so-called Conservative movement with Newt at the helm might as well rely on emotion, afterall it attacks success, wealth, free enterprise and capitalism. I am getting a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, Newt as the GOP nominee who embarrasses me again as he did back in the late 90′s and during his over 10 years on “K” Street. Newt loves to mention that he nearly gave birth to Ronaldus Magnus, I wonder what the “Gipper” would think of Newt today? WWRRS ?????

BabysCatz on January 25, 2012 at 3:31 AM

A P.S. to my last comment – I take solice in some comments posted here. I thought there for a moment that I was the only one concerned with a Gingrich nomination. When Newt started on his surge back in Iowa, I “googled” my little fingers off researching Newt and his days on K Street. What is so sad is that all you need to know about Newt’s past 13 years are right there, in front of people on the “interweb” with video (in most cases) to back it up. Newt has indeed sold his soul to the highest bidder while on K street and just think – if Newt gets the GOP nomination, we can never again make Clinton – Blue dress and Weiner jokes. This is very scary to me….

BabysCatz on January 25, 2012 at 3:42 AM

It was, indeed, NBC’s debate, their soapbox. The owner of the soapbox can control who stands on it and how. It is Gingrich’s right to walk out if he disagrees with the rules. These rules, in fairness, must be established far enough in advance that the network is not embarrassed by a candidate walking out just before a debate is to take place.

{^_^}

herself on January 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Update III: Actually, the Lincoln-Douglas debates did have cheering sections, or at least audience responses.

Too bad O will never agree to those.

netster007x on January 26, 2012 at 3:44 PM

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