Even Newt Gingrich Can't Be This Dumb

TC Sottek, writing for The Verge:

After losing his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and his chance to build a manned moon base by 2020, Newt Gingrich is turning his sights on pressing issues a little closer to home. “We’re really puzzled,” Gingrich says in a new video, clutching a small handheld device. “Here at Gingrich Productions, we’ve spent weeks figuring out what do you call this? You probably think it’s a cellphone.” It’s a smartphone, of course, but at no point in the former House speaker’s two-and-a-half minute video does he utter the phrase. “But think about it,” Gingrich says. “If it’s taking pictures, it’s not a cellphone. If you can get Wikipedia or go to Google, that’s not a cellphone.”

“Think about it,” Gingrich says, “this device is something new and different. I’ve been calling it a handheld computer, but I decided that’s really misleading.” Explaining that the device in his hand “has the computing power of a 2003 laptop,” Gingrich extols its virtues, noting that “its real power is networking.”

A story like this seems so incredulous that it belongs in The Onion. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I first saw the video -- I kept thinking to myself that even Newt Gingrich can't be this dumb. It has to be a parody. To Gingrich’s credit, though, I do understand his point on the level that a smartphone isn’t just a cell phone. They’re effectively pocket computers, but to openly wonder about what to call it is arguing semantics that don’t matter.

(via Stephen Hackett)