January 22, 2012 by staff
Marianne Gingrich, Three days ago, ABC thought it had a blockbuster interview so potentially damaging to Newt Gingrich that they debated whether to air it before the South Carolina primary. Then, just hours before it aired, Gingrich ripped CNN debate moderator John King for even bringing it up, staging what may be remembered as one of the most succesful defense plays of the 2012 cycle. In tonight’s primary winners and losers tally, ABC’s Nightline and Marianne Gingrich certainly come out on the bottom. As does Drudge Report, which was largely responsible for the hype surrounding the interview.
“I think the Drudge build-up was too much,” a senior television producer tells me. “Didn’t have the goods to merit that kind of treatment, not a blockbuster. Drudge really owned and hyped it — does make one question his impact in a primary. As for larger impact — I think the CNN question allowed Newt to soar and turn a negative into a positive. But what happens next matters — this is still uncomfortable stuff for Gingrich to confront.”
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