The most popular ‘MTP’ guest of the year

THE MOST POPULAR ‘MTP’ GUEST OF THE YEAR…. In the previous post, I mentioned what disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on “Meet the Press” yesterday. I neglected to ask a relevant question: why on earth was Newt Gingrich on “Meet the Press” yesterday?

Yesterday was Gingrich’s fifth appearance on “MTP” just this year. In fact, Newt Gingrich, despite not having held any position in government for over a decade, was the single most frequent guest on “Meet the Press” in 2009 of any political figure in the United States. Literally.

From March to December, Gingrich appeared on “MTP,” on average, every other month. No one else in American politics was on the show this often.

I’m reminded of something Eric Boehlert wrote recently:

[A]s often happens when I read breaking, this-is-what-Newt-said dispatches, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Who cares what Newt Gingrich thinks?’ And I don’t mean that in the partisan sense. I mean it in the journalistic sense: How do Gingrich’s daily pronouncements about the fundamental dishonesty of Democrats (Newt’s favorite phrase) translate into news? Why does the press, 10 years after Gingrich was forced out of office, still treat his every partisan utterance as a newsworthy occurrence? In other words, why does the press still treat him like he’s speaker of the House? It’s unprecedented.

Eric wrote that seven months ago. It’s still true.

Keep in mind, “Meet the Press” didn’t have the actual Speaker of the House on at all this year. It also featured zero appearances from all of the other living former House Speakers (Hastert, Wright, Foley) combined.

There’s just no reasonable explanation for this. Gingrich was forced from office in disgrace — by his own caucus — 11 years ago. What’s more, he’s kind of a nut — we’re talking about a former office holder who speculated, just last week, about hidden messages from God in snowstorms.

And yet, no other political figure was on “Meet the Press” more this year than crazy ol’ Newt Gingrich. If someone can explain why, I’m all ears.