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January 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Once again raising the question of how far a news organization should go in revealing the personal foibles of a presidential candidate, ABC is planning to broadcast an interview with one of the ex-wives of Newt Gingrich tonight (Thursday), just two days before the South Carolina primary. Various reports had indicated that ABC executives had debated the ethics of airing second-wife Marianne Gingrich’s interview with investigative reporter Brian Ross so soon before the election. The Drudge Report posted an “exclusive” report citing an ABC insider as saying that a “civil war” had erupted inside the network and that a tentative decision had been made to air the interview next Monday. But late Wednesday, the network said that it would be featured on Nightline tonight and that excerpts would be released to the press earlier in the day. (Almost certainly they will also be included in ABC World News with Diane Sawyer this evening.) Meanwhile, in an apparent effort to blunt the effect of the interview, Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman, sent an open letter to ABC News on Wednesday defending their father. “ABC News or other campaigns may want to talk about the past, just days before an important primary election. But Newt is going to talk to the people of South Carolina about the future,” the letter said.