On Thursday, December 1, several left-wing radio talkers viciously attacked Newt Gingrich, the GOP front-runner. There is a special toxicity level they reach when talking of the former House speaker.
Take Randi Rhodes, who mocked his appearance: "He always looks like a corpse that was pulled out of a lake! Every time I watch CSI and they pull somebody out of the lake, I think, hey, is that Newt? No, it's this week's murder victim. He's bloated and a massive mutiliated middle aged flesh curtain hanging!" Then take Mike Malloy, who compared Newt to an ax murderer and railed against his bad breath:
Gingrich, of course, is identified by the Washington Post as a man of ideas - oh yeah, he's got ideas. Uh -so do ax murderers, so do Dick Cheney, so did George Bush - but so what?
I've been railing on this piece of human waste for the past couple of nights now because I know Gingrich! You know- I - I spent enough time around this freak when he was a member of Congress from um the congressional district right next door to us and I've been to enough public functions in Atlanta over the past 20 years to have gotten, in a sense, to know what this smelly bastard is like. And he really is vile! I say smelly because he's got breath that would knock a buzzard off a crapwagon from 100 yards. He really is a bad man!
Malloy used to work for CNN, that alleged haven of civility and centrism. Thom Hartmann was more willing to slam the entire Republican field on Thursday on the issue of personal character:
Republicans really don't wanna be talking about character, 'cause when it comes to Mitt Romney, it raises questions of why did he tie his dog to the roof of his car...When you're talking about Newt Gingrich, it has to do with being a serial adulterer...When it comes to Herman Cain, it has to do with all of this stuff that's coming out. When it comes to Rick Santorum, strange things like bringing home a miscarriage and putting it on the mantel for the kids to look at. Strange character stuff in the Republican Party.
Hartmann was also an extremely cynical historical guesser, charging almost every recent president had extramarital affairs (Gerry Ford?): "Carter was probably also the only president in the 20th century who never had an [extramarital] affair...but, beyond that, he was the only president...who wasn't out killing people [in war], and I think that those are both dimensions of morality. "
After all this bile on liberal talk radio, it all came full circle on Thursday where anti-"Toxic Talk" Bill Press blamed all the incivility and meanness on -- well, Newt Gingrich:
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D): You know Barney Frank whose an astute observer of politics as anyone said that you know Newt Gingrich is probably responsible for the current level of vitriol and polarization we have.
PRESS: I think so! It started with him!