Newt Gingrich loves ‘The New York Times,’ hates the media

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Newt Gingrich at the debate. ()
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MANCHESTER, N.H.—Early on during tonight's ABC News/Yahoo debate, Newt Gingrich stunned the filing room where all the media were gathered with his surprising salute to The New York Times, which he cited as a credible news source (probably to the disgust of some conservative voters), four times while responding to a question from George Stephanopoulos about Mitt Romney's tenure as C.E.O. of the investment firm Bain Capital.

But Gingrich unleashed his scorn for the mainstream media at large a bit later in the event. Here's the rush transcript of those remarks, via ABC:

GINGRICH: I just want to raise -- since we've spent this much time on these issues -- I just want to raise a point about the news media bias. You don't hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won't accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won't give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?

The bigotry question goes both ways. And there's a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.

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And here's the transcript with Gingrich's earlier comments about the Times:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Speaker Gingrich in on this discussion, because, Mr. Speaker, a group supporting you run -- one run by one of your closest long-time advisers just put out a very scathing attack, just today, on Governor Romney, on his tenure as the CEO of that investment firm, Bain Capital.

It calls that tenure "a story of greed," that's a quote, saying that Bain made spectacular profits by, again, quote, "stripping American businesses of assets, selling everything to the highest bidder and often killing jobs for big financial rewards."

Do you agree with that characterization?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I -- I haven't seen the film, but it does reflect "The New York Times" story two days ago about one particular company. And I think people should look at the film and decide. If it's factually accurate, it raises questions.

I'm very much for free enterprise. I'm very much for exactly what Governor just described, create a business, grow jobs, provide leadership.

I'm not nearly as enamored of a Wall Street model where you can flip companies, you can go in and have leveraged buyouts, you can basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers. And I think most...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that the Bain model?

GINGRICH: Well, I -- I think you have to look at the film. You have to look at "The New York Times" coverage of one particular company. And you have to ask yourself some questions.

The Governor has every right to defend that. And I think -- but I think it's a legitimate part of the debate to say, OK, on balance, were people better off or were people worse off by this particular style of investment?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in December, you said that Governor Romney made money at Bain by, quote, "bankrupting companies and laying off employees."

GINGRICH: That was, I think, "The New York Times" story two days ago. They took one specific company. They walked through in detail. They showed what they bought it for, how much they took out of it and the 1,700 people they left unemployed. Now that's -- check "The New York Times" story, but that's their story.

The paper of record also got some love from another one of the candidates tonight. As Glynnis MacNichol pointed out on Twitter: "Ron Paul also apparently reading the NYT...citing @CJChivers story of Iran pirate rescue."

UPDATE: Gingrich got it wrong, journalists pointed out on Twitter: It was a Reuters story.