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updated 01/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

I'M STILL NOT SURE WHAT TO MAKE OF this whole flap involving Connie Chung, Mrs. Gingrich and the First Lady. I sympathize with Newt's scenario: that his innocent mom was tricked by an unscrupulous media weasel. But the issue isn't that clear-cut. Bear in mind that TV newsmagazines have become an endangered species this season. The few remaining practitioners are more desperate for dirt than a pile of drowning worms. When a scoop-starved newsmag host, like Chung plunks you down in front of the lights, wires you for sound and has three different cameras cranked and running and then you claim you assumed you were speaking (or even whispering) in confidence, well, I don't know. That assumes a measure of naïveté akin to applying for a jumbo loan and listing an auspicious letter emblazoned with Ed McMahon's beefy visage as your sole collateral.

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