Won’t stop teasing Chris Christie: Just eighteen minutes into the show, Maddow was teasing Chris Christie.
She wanted us rubes to watch her full hour. So she started teasing the short and somewhat dishonest segment with which she would end the program:
MADDOW (12/12/13): All right. The one story in politics right now that feels like it was lifted from outtakes from The Sopranos today got even more New Jersey than it was yesterday. And it looks like it now may be turning into a real problem for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and that story is coming up.Yay! A real problem for Governor Christie!
Stay with us.
In fact, Rachel had no particular evidence of any such thing. She has been pushing this topic since Monday night, when she started her program with a 19-minute segment about it.
Can we talk? On Monday night, she had no evidence that Christie has done something wrong. As of last night, she still had no such evidence.
She did have her “Sopranos” hook, and her jibes about New Jersey.
Increasingly, Maddow’s show is becoming a showcase for silly partisan snark—silly, and sometimes a trifle dishonest.
Midway through last evening’s program, Rachel teased Christie again. She did so at such length (282 words) that we’ll only cite her final lines, in which we were told that Christie “is apparently dead serious about” the subject in question “when he talks about it in private. And the way we know that, and we do know it now, is coming up. And it is a remarkable story.”
It sounded good—and the wait continued. It was a bit like the wait New Jersey residents had endured at the George Washington Bridge!
Alas! With four minutes left in last night’s program, we were still waiting for that “remarkable story” concerning Christie. Rube-ishly, we had been waiting 38 minutes since we received our first tease!
You might say we’d been “watching that space.” So far, nothing had happened concerning the hated Christie!
Finally, in the last four minutes, Rachel ran through her report. The bulk of that time was devoted to giving the background all over again, as she had done, in full-length segments, on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Here’s the background:
Back in September, a minor New Jersey official had closed three lanes of traffic from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge. This created a week-long traffic jam which crippled the town of Fort Lee.
The minor official was a high school friend of Christie’s. First, the minor official lied about why he had done this weird, stupid, dangerous thing. Last week, though, he resigned his post with the Port Authority.
How weird! It seems he may have done this to punish Fort Lee because its mayor wouldn’t agree to endorse Christie for re-election. But that remains pure speculation—and there is still no sign that Christie was involved in this ridiculous conduct.
Was Christie involved in this stupid conduct? Everything is possible! For ourselves, we’d be inclined to call it unlikely. Again, there has never been any evidence that he was involved.
But so what? Increasingly, Maddow’s show is devoted to giving us gong-show partisan bullroar. On Monday night, she devoted the first 19 minutes of her program to this remarkably minor affair, skipping the three million serious topics she could have discussed at that time.
(She ended by bringing on a New Jersey Dem to suggest that of course Christie did it. He presented no evidence in support of this claim. Nor was any requested.)
On Wednesday night, Rachel did another full segment about the very stupid conduct in which Christie has been shown to have played no part. Last night, she teased this piddle all through the program, retaining us for the full hour.
The first tease came at 9:18. She did the segment at 9:56, and it was mainly a recap.
Maddow has covered some very important topics during her years on the air. Last night, as the teasing persisted, she did a segment about the new “rape insurance” bill which just became law in Michigan.
Maddow has a lot of tools. She’s smart enough that she could serve as an emissary to the wider world on these important topics. But she seems to want to make lots of dough, and she seems to think that we her viewers are dumb and highly tribal.
Last evening, she proved it all night long, teasing the hated Christie. We've always heard that love and hate are two sides of one coin.
We’d call this a bit dishonest: On all three nights, there was no evidence showing that Christie was involved in this stupid conduct.
There was no evidence Monday night. Last night, there was still none.
So far, there’s no evidence whatsoever. But so what? Rachel seems to think that we her viewers are dumb:
MADDOW (12/12/13): It’s still kind of a hilarious story. But it is becoming significantly less hilarious for Governor Chris Christie.Just a thought:
How long can he go on before he actually explains what happened here?
There is still is no explanation for what happened here that makes any sense and seems to be borne out by the facts. What happened, and when is the governor going to explain it?
Now it’s time for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Have a great night.
Christie can’t explain what happened if he doesn’t know what happened. In three nights of substantial time loss, Rachel has presented no evidence suggesting that he does.
Maddow is a former Rhodes Scholar. Surely, she understands that logic, but she seems to assume we do not. We’d have to say that this is the way her cable program is drifting.
What kind of ratings did last night’s teasing produce? People! Watch this space.