When did NBC News suddenly become concerned with the welfare of the Republican Party? On Monday's NBC Today, former Democratic staffer and current chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd hyped Republican fears of Newt Gingrich: "...look what Gingrich did when he was essentially on the ballot, if you will, in '96 and '98, he helped re-elect a Democratic president..."
Todd promoted the idea of the GOP in disarray: "So there is this panic that they could not just lose the presidency, but lose control of the House and actually blow their chances at picking up the Senate. That's why this panic that the establishment will just do whatever it takes to stop him [Gingrich]."
Over the weekend, TV pundits from both the left and the right, similarly pushed the notion that Gingrich would damage Republican chances in November.
On Monday, moments after Todd outlined a doomsday scenario for Gingrich, Meet the Press host David Gregory bizarrely dismissed the former Speaker's supporters as " the grief-stricken right."
On Sunday's Today, Gregory had elaborated on that observation, claiming that Gingrich's South Carolina primary win was "the revenge of the Tea Party" and that, "There's anger, there's anxiety among conservatives, among the grassroots of the party, and Gingrich in South Carolina connected to that. He was the candidate of grievance, if you will."
Read the complete transcript of the January 23 segment with Todd and Gregory.