Newtmax -- er, Newsmax's Gingrich hype machine rolls on in a direction few fear to tread: explaining away Gingrich's ethics problems as House speaker.
A Jan. 25 article by local Republican shill David Patten engages in a huge game of hair-splitting:
Associates of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are stepping forward to rebut accusations from Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney that he resigned in “disgrace” and paid an ethics “fine.”
Gingrich insisted during a candidates debate Monday that reports he was fined $300,000 for House ethics violations are inaccurate and records back up his claim the payment was not a fine.
A Newsmax examination of the House Ethics Committee report, and the record of the House debate in January 1997 as recorded in the Congressional Record, supports Gingrich’s contention that the $300,000 he paid was a “reimbursement” or “sanction” related to legal fees, but not a fine or admission of any wrongdoing.
Many media accounts continue to refer to the payment as a fine, although the official Ethics Committee report on the matter, which the House accepted in its sanction of Gingrich, clearly indicated otherwise.
That'sd really what Patten's entire article -- insisting that the $300,000 was not a fine for a violation.
This was followed by a similar, unbylined article:
Despite ongoing allegations to the contrary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was completely cleared by the Internal Revenue Service in February 1999 of politically driven allegations that he earned money by teaching a college course that was partisan rather than educational.
Newsmax also did another "exclusive interview" with Gingrich largely devoted to Obama-bashing, followed by an article on a "newly surfaced video" showing that 'no less a figure than Nancy Reagan asserted that President Ronald Reagan passed the “torch” of Reagan conservatism to Newt Gingrich — belying efforts by Mitt Romney supporters to cast Gingrich as anti-Reagan."
Newsmax really is completely in the tank for Gingrich, isn't it?