And as long as I can remember, media coverage about him has contained misstatements of facts. The vast majority are simple mistakes that are easily corrected, understood and rewoven into an ongoing storyline.
But one of them seems to have taken on a life of its own, and simple corrections have not sufficed to set the record straight. Why does this happen? I can’t be sure, but I suspect that the narrative created by these untruths proves to be so much more compelling and more dramatic than what actually happened that it proves irresistible.
I’m talking about the story of my father’s visit to my mother while she was in the hospital in 1980.
For years, I have thought about trying to correct the untrue accounts of this hospital visit. After all, I was at the hospital with them, and saw and heard what happened. But I have always hesitated, as it was a private family matter and my mother is a very private person. In addition, for the four people involved, it was one of a million interactions and was not considered a defining event by any of us.
My mother and I have both recently run into quite a few people who hold an inaccurate understanding of this hospital visit. Many think my mother is dead.
So, to correct the record, here is what happened…
If I have believed a lie — and it seems I may have — then I have been unfair to Gingrich. I didn’t like him much, back when I was a Democrat, so it was easy for me to believe the worst.
Now, in fairness I’ll have to take a second look at Newt. With new eyes.
I suspect I won’t be the only one doing so.
This election couldn’t get more interesting for its twists and turns.
I have problems with each of the Republican candidates and this includes Newt though it has little to do with this particular story. If only I could erase from my mind the picture of Newt sitting with Nancy Pelosi and embracing the man-made global warming garbage. Then I might be willing to take a second look at the man. I’m not there yet.