TAMPA, FL — Newt Gingrich, who regularly sparred with what he described as the “elite media” during the Republican primaries, is now working with The Washington Post Company.
At this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Mr. Gingrich is debuting “Newt University,” a series of academic-style classes he’s conducting at a Hyatt hotel near the RNC festivities. Newt University is being “presented by the Republican National Committee,” which has paid KAPx, a division of the educational company Kaplan to run the courses. As noted on the Newt University website, Kaplan is “the largest subsidiary of The Washington Post Company” and is wholly owned by the media company.
Newt University features lectures on such topics as “‘We Believe In America’ – We Don’t Believe in Obamacare” and “‘We Built it’ – Small Businesses and Civil Society Build America.” Along with Mr. Gingrich, the lectures feature several prestigious guest speakers including; Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Utah Senator Mike Lee and Mr. Gingrich’s wife, Callista.
Among other media outlets, Mr. Gingrich’s lecture series has been written up by the Washington Post newspaper and Slate, which is managed by The Slate Group, an “online publishing unit from The Washington Post Co.” The Washington Post story about Newt University included a disclosure that “Kaplan is part of The Washington Post Co.,” the Slate story did not include any disclosure.
Update (10:26 p.m.): Dave Weigel, who wrote the Slate story, said he was unaware of the connection between The Washington Post Company and Newt University, because he arrived at Mr. Gingrich’s event today after it began.
“I arrived late and saw/heard no sponsorship disclosure,” Mr. Weigel said.
Newt University isn’t Mr. Gingrich’s first association with a media company. Prior to his presidential campaign, Mr. Gingrich had a contract with Fox News. However, his relationship with the channel subsequently soured. We reached out to Newt University and Mr. Gingrich to see if his work with The Washington Post Company means he has had a change of heart about the media. As of this writing, we have yet to receive a response.
Update (8/28/12 12:37 p.m.): A spokesman for Mr. Gingrich, R.C. Hammond responded to Politicker’s question about whether Mr. Gingrich has had a change of heart about the media by simply saying, “The convention paid Kaplan for a service.”
We pressed Mr. Hammond and asked if Mr. Gingrich is “a fan of the Post.”
“He is a fan of learning,” Mr. Hammond said.