“Where Are the Statesmen?” asked the onscreen graphic as MSNBC's Thomas Roberts interviewed a son of the late Ronald Reagan about the state of the Republican Party in light of the presidential primary season thus far. Of course, MSNBC chose to bring on the Gipper's liberal namesake Ron Reagan rather than Michael Reagan, a solid conservative who has endorsed Newt Gingrich. Roberts opened the segment by asking Reagan, “why is Gingrich… still in this race? Does he really find himself to be a viable contender to go up against President Obama?”
Nowhere during the segment, of course, did either Roberts or Reagan fully disclose Reagan's political leanings, leaving less-informed MSNBC watchers with the natural presumption that the former radio show host and son of a conservative president might himself be a right-leaning Republican.
Later in the segment, Roberts cited a New York Times blog that asked, “Where are the Republican elder statesmen?”
The post “basically question[ed] why no GOP vets have stepped forward to cautiously nudge a candidate out of the race… for the good of the party,” Roberts noted before asking Reagan why no party elder had done so thus far by publicly pushing Gingrich to quit.
As you may recall, early last month, Roberts brought on Reagan to analyze the GOP primary race. As with today's appearance, he failed to disclose Reagan's liberal political ideology and how that colored his view, negatively, of the entire GOP field.