New lawyers representing criminals in court usually have to learn a lesson about cross examining police officers. The veteran cops have been inside a court room a lot more than young lawyers have and some of them have courtroom savvy and know how to answer questions in a way the can bite an unsuspecting young lawyer on the ankles. In other words, just because the witness is a grizzled cop who never went to law school doesn’t mean he (or she) isn’t a lot smarter than they look. I was once warned by a senior partner in a firm where I worked that cross examining a particular police officer would require all-night preparation because, “The guy knows how to take your snarky question and shove it right up your ass.”
A good reason for Newt Gingrich’s sudden lease on a new life is his ability and willingness to take on the silly questions he gets from a liberal news reporter (there doesn’t seem to be any other kind) in a Republican debate and shove it not in a body cavity but into the bright sunshine to expose the fatuousness of the questioner. This is all to the delight of conservatives who have long ached for a candidate that refuses to pander to the liberal media. The little over one-minute video clip below shows the best of Newt taking on a dumb question and turning it back on questioner Scotty Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor:
Note the overwhelming difference in the decibel level and duration of the first applause, which was for Scott Pelley, and second and continuing applause for Newt. Newt 1+, Pelley 0-.