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Note to media: Newt Gingrich has long been an opportunistic conspiracy-theory peddler.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s not unusual for the former House speaker to carry water for the president—he’s been doing it for months. This morning was no different.

What’s different is that this time, reporters felt taken aback that the self-professed scholar would stoop to such low depths.

Let’s take quick stock of who Newt Gingrich is. He led an impeachment crusade against President Bill Clinton for having an affair, while he was having an affair himself. He broached the topic of divorce with his ailing wife while she was hospitalized because their marriage was inconvenient to his extramarital affair. He called President Barack Obama the “food-stamp president,” and said his conduct in office was explicable “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”

Gingrich has moments of unusual clarity, such as when he admitted that whites in America “instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk” that black Americans face. But clarity is not the norm for him, especially now that he is hawking a book about Trump.

I’m sympathetic to the fact that this puts reporters in a tough spot, but at some point everyone objective needs to come to terms with the fact that the president and the people in his orbit are, nearly to a person, bad actors. One can work a full career in American politics and never encounter an assemblage of such low overall moral character. Newt Gingrich is desperate to be part of that crew.