It’s time for someone to take Rachel Maddow...!

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

...and lead her away from her desk: Rachel Maddow has become an undisguised clown. She’s now a nightly parodic version of her own lost self.

Money and fame can do that to people. We’ve seen this fact put on display from Judy Garland and Elvis Presley forward.

That said, it’s time for someone to take Maddow by the arm and lead her away from her desk.

If you want to see what it means to be lost, we recommend that you watch the tape of Maddow’s opening segment last night. (Click here. You might want to turn down the volume.) Get ready for the extreme histrionics with which this lost cable soul sells her undeveloped eggs to her pitiful viewers each night.

Pretending to enlighten those viewers about the strange events in Fort Lee, Maddow started last evening’s program with an absurd declaration. Lost souls devise ideas like this:
MADDOW (1/27/14): On Friday, we learned that David Wildstein, the guy at the center of the "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee “bridgegate” shut down scandal...we learned that the Port Authority had cut off David Wildstein. They notified him on Friday that he would have to be paying for his own defense in the Chris Christie bridgegate scandal in New Jersey.

[...]

Port Authority says there’s no answer yet on whether Bill Baroni is also going to be on the hook for paying for his own legal defense.

That question of whether or not Bill Baroni is going to be cast aside by the Port Authority the way the Port Authority has cast aside David Wildstein turns out to be a super interesting question and a super interesting problem overall for everybody else implicated not just in what happened on that bridge, but implicated in covering it up afterwards.
Will the Port Authority pay for Baroni’s legal expenses? We’re sorry, but that just isn’t a “super interesting question.”

The question of what happened in Fort Lee is extremely interesting, in part because these unexplained events seem remarkably strange.

But who will pay Baroni’s fees? That is pretty far down the list of super interesting questions. Except to Maddow, who has a nightly show to peddle, and wants viewers to think she knows much more than she does about these strange events.

Earth to Maddow: An incoherent claim doesn’t come clear if you repeat it many times and say it even more loudly. That was the approach Maddow took when she screeched to the skies last night about the Fort Lee cover-up/cover story.

Warning! The key words in this defiantly stupid passage are these: “as far as we know:”
MADDOW: Bill Baroni, as far as we know, did not arrange the shutting down of those lanes on that bridge and the grid-locking of Fort Lee, New Jersey, as far as we can tell. He’s not the one who put that plan into motion the way David Wildstein did. He`s not the one who apparently called for it the way that somebody in Chris Christie`s office did.

Bill Baroni, though, is the one who tried to cover it up. In an almost impressively elaborate way, it was Bill Baroni who spun this whole elaborate tale to the New Jersey legislature back in November, before we had seen that "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" e-mail. It was Bill Baroni who showed up at the legislature with photographs and charts. He brought big photos that he drew on, expounding in great detail, spinning this ornate tale about the traffic study. He testified for more than two hours about that traffic study that we now know did not exist.
In this deeply stupid way, Maddow continued to rage on the moors, telling her gullible, misused viewers about that traffic study—the one “we now know did not exist.”

What does Maddow mean when she tells viewers that the study “did not exist?” We still have no clear idea. Meanwhile, she ought to be fired for saying those things because, despite wasting hours of time on this ranting, she has never told her viewers the following basic facts:
Basic facts Maddow hasn't reported:
*Traffic data were collected each day during that peculiar week.
*The traffic data were then analyzed by Pott Authority traffic engineers.
*Starting on August 21, bridge officials had been told about the impending study or test.
*A very clear (if inane) rationale had been presented to the officials. In the testimony of bridge director Cedrick Fulton, Wildstein was posing a question “which neither of us could answer.”
Summary conclusions were prepared about the results of the traffic lane closings. These data were reported in the Bergen Record.

Was this entire process a hoax? That’s certainly one of the possibilities. But on a journalistic basis, Maddow is misbehaving very badly. Despite the hours she has burned on this topic, she is withholding basic facts from her misused viewers.

You might say she’s pulling a Wildstein! Except it still isn’t clear what Wildstein did.

Maddow knows about the facts we've listed, but she has never shared them with viewers. Instead, she rages on the moors, clowning, snarking and rolling her eyes as she begs for the “ruin” of the people she apparently must believe to be bad so she can believe herself to be good.

Which she currently isn’t. Maddow needs to be led away from her desk, very gently, by friends, if she has any.

As she continued last night's testifying, Maddow kept restating her incoherent point. After playing tape of Baroni at a November 25 hearing, she snarked the following at her viewers, pretending to be speaking in Baroni’s voice:
MADDOW: [Speaking as Baroni] “We at the Port Authority are super sensitive to the effect of traffic on our cities. We have nothing to be embarrassed about with this traffic study. Fort Lee has been getting more than their fair share of access to that bridge for years now. So yes, we had a traffic study to show how selfish Fort Lee is and how much they are hurting everybody else.”

That was totally made up. There was no traffic study. The whole thing was concocted as a cover-up to disguise what we now know they were actually up to. Now, that is known and we know that Bill Baroni was in on it. He knew exactly what happened, down to the fact that emergency services were having trouble reaching someone who was having a heart attack, because of that traffic on the first morning of the shutdown.
“There was no traffic study?” To this day, we have no idea what Maddow means when she makes that statement.

Traffic data were collected, and those data were analyzed. What exactly does Maddow mean when she says we know there was no study? Isn’t it time she explained?

As we’ve noted many times, that attempt to conduct a “traffic study” or a “test” may have been a hoax. It may be that The Wildstein Gang just wanted to shut Fort Lee down for some reason which is still unknown.

In that sense, it may turn out that there was no good-faith attempt at a traffic study or test—that the whole thing was a sham. But on a journalistic basis, that hasn’t been demonstrated yet.

Meanwhile, Maddow keeps refusing to report some very basic facts.

To our physician’s eye, Maddow is morally ill. Her weird bouts of dishonesty have suggested this state of affairs for some time. But last night’s raging on the moors make this point fairly obvious.

What does Maddow mean when she says Baroni’s testimony “was totally made up?” When she says, “There was no traffic study?”

We don’t know, but we do know this:

Traffic data were collected that week. Maddow needs to report that.

Those traffic data were analyzed. She needs to report that too.

Preliminary conclusions were reached—conclusions which were quite underwhelming. That too is part of the basic sworn record. Maddow’s viewers have never been told.

Instead, a morally sick person keeps waving her arms, raising her voice, rolling her eyes and pimping her snark.

Maddow has become a parody. She’s acting out Network, The Sequel.

If Bill Wolff were a journalist, he would know what to do about this. But Bill Wolff has no background in news. In effect, he is the hoaxster in charge at The One True Channel.

Because Wolff is himself a hoax, he doesn't know what to do with his star. Let us help this unqualified person:

He needs to take his Judy, his Elvis, and walk her away from her desk.

The sort of thing a lost soul says: At one point, Bill Wolff’s lost soul made this presentation last night:
MADDOW: At one point, Assemblyman John Wisniewski asked Bill Baroni if the legislature could please see this traffic study that he seemed to know so much about. Bill Baroni told him no. He said the legislature couldn`t see it. He couldn`t provide data or numbers about the traffic study because the study was cut short. The traffic study was ruined.
In fact, Wisniewski asked if there had been a “report.” This is the start of the exchange to which Maddow referred:
ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI (11/25/13): So there is a report that exists?
BARONI: No. Because the week was cut short and it was never completed. So that’s why I said in my opening remarks these numbers are—
WISNIEWSKI: No, no I understand your opening remarks. But my question is: Somebody compiled data to give you, right?
BARONI: Well, the data— It wasn’t created, it was not created to give to me.
WISNIEWSKI: No, not created; compiled.
BARONI: Compiled—yes.
WISNIEWSKI: Somebody printed out something from readers, and assembled the statistics—
The boys went on and on from there, with Wisniewski asking if the data could be provided to the committee.

The data were provided. Last night, Maddow played it cute. To this day, she has never told her viewers that those data were ever compiled and analyzed at all. Instead, she keeps suggesting that no such conduct ever occurred.

Everyone in the New Jersey legislature knows these basic facts. Due to her ridiculous conduct, Maddow's viewers, night after night, are being kept in the dark.

Maddow should report the basic facts to her viewers. Better yet, the task should fall to the person who take her place as she tries to recover her health.

Maybe Bill could ask Ronan to do it. If only Judy and Elvis had taken a little time off!

129 comments:

  1. Oh my word!

    Kevin Drum told you, point blank, that the Port Authority collects and analyzes the same traffic data every damned day.

    And since he put it quite succinctly I quote: "Yes, data was being collected while the lanes were shut down. However, as Somerby points out, it was tolls data. This is collected every day automatically. Nothing special was done during the Fort Lee lane closures."

    Are you being willfully ignorant? Or are you stupid, crazy and/or on drugs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And to think some of Bob's reader's still wonder why the Caine Mutiny comments keep right on a coming.

      There was no study Captain Bob. There are no keys.

      Delete
    2. Yes, the Caine Blog: written for geniuses and trolled by idiots. The data is recorded every day. Just because it is printed out and studied doesn't make it a "legitimate" study. Where are the twenty seven eight by ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was?

      Delete
    3. The Port Authority collects this data every day but the lanes are open during those days. The study occurs when the lanes are closed and the same data, collected every day, is then compared to the data obtained while those lanes were open. Get it. They compare the days when the lanes were closed to the days when the lanes were open. That is the study. You manipulate something and observe the effect. That is how research is done.

      To wilfully repeat over and over that the same data is collected every damn day ignores the essence of the manipulation involved, the lane closures. THAT was the study. Please stop repeating your same old garbage without responding to this point, which I have now stated in response to your stupid comments three times.

      Delete
    4. "That is how research is done."

      Bullshit. Complete, utter bullshit. You have just put your willfull ignorance of how traffic "research" is done on full display.

      On the off chance you are more interested in learning how professionals conduct traffic "research" instead of regurgitating what Somerby feeds you, here's the short course:

      ww.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/01/no-there-was-never-legitimate-traffic-study-about-fort-lee-lane-closures

      In case you want to ook deeper, try reading the FULL testimony of Fulton, Durando and Foye and find out what traffic professionals consider a "study"

      http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/pubhear/atr12092013.pdf

      And please, don't read just the parts Somerby has cherry-picked for you. Read it ALL.

      Perhaps you'll then see how following Somerby's lead has made you look like such an utter fool.

      In short, you don't know one damned thing about how a traffic study is done, and especially one that involves lane closures.

      So please take you and Bob can both take your pseudo-intellectual know-it-all bullshit about matters you lack the intellectual curiosity to learn about and stick it where the sun don't shine.

      Delete
    5. Drum is no traffic engineer. I have read those sources and they do not support your assertion that nothing but routine data collection occurred. Your aggressive name-calling changes nothing.

      Delete
    6. "That is how research is done."

      Yet another crack at crackpot commentary. The entire exercise could have been conducted as follows:

      August 21 (Bob's date the two bridge officials are put on notice)

      Wildstein: How much faster would the main lanes clear the toll booths if we took two of the three lanes reserved fro Ft. Lee traffic and used them for the main lanes?

      Fulton or Durando: We just don't know.

      Wildstein: What would it take to find out?

      Fulton or Durando: We could run a computer analysis with existing traffic data we measure daily. It would show not only how much fater main lane traffic would clear the toll booth plaze, but could predict the additional delay for Ft. Lee traffic.

      Wildstein: How long would that take?

      Fulton or Durando: Well, using last week's worth of data, we could probably give you a preliminary report by September 6.

      Problem is sometime before August 21, on August 13 to be exact, Mr. Wildstein got an e-mail from the Deputy Chief of Staff saying, saying "Time for some traffic problems n Ft. Lee."

      At this point Anonymous 6:32 you should be saying:

      "Got it."

      Delete
    7. "Drum is no traffic engineer."

      And neither are David Wildstein, Bill Baroni or Bridget Anne Kelly.

      Traffic studies are designed by trained professional engineers, not Beavis and Butthead.

      And you'd have to be a pretty heavy hitter in that profession to be allowed to mess around with the GWB, Believe me.

      Delete
    8. Who ever said Drum was a traffic engineer? He's a journalist/blogger with enough common sense to find out what a real traffic study is and to read the testimony in full before shooting his mouth off about "possibilities" that exist in his head and nowhere else.

      He put it quite succinctly in his blog. Hence the term "short course". Want the longer course in what a real traffic study looks like and the months of advance planning that goes into them? Go read the testimony of Durando and Fulton. I believe you'll find their professional credentials in order.

      Delete
    9. No one is saying it was a competently done study. There is a lot of room from that to saying there was no study.

      Delete
    10. THERE. WAS. NO. STUDY.

      There is no room to say otherwise.

      THERE. WAS. NO. STUDY.

      You can speculate all you want about possible motives and about everyone who might be responsible, but . . .

      THERE. WAS. NO. STUDY.

      It's like looking at a murder victim even after the autopsy and saying, "Well, he could still be alive. It's possible. We don't know. In journalistic terms (GAWD, what a weasel term!) it's never been disproved."

      But it is clear.

      THERE. WAS. NO. STUDY.

      Delete
    11. Saying something over again doesn't make it true. Neither does bullying people. That 's why Maddow is bad at her job.

      Delete
    12. Kevin Drum:

      'Technically, [Somerby is] right: there's plenty of evidence that bridge authorities talked about the study before the lanes were closed.'

      Delete
  2. It’s time for someone to take Bob Somerby...!

    ...and lead her away from his laptop

    [Despite the immeasurable harm this will do to the nation's black kids. Tragically, they'll have to fend for themselves.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or maybe the blogger could just shut up and not say anything.

      Delete
    2. That statement along with a pea shooter and bullhorn are emblazoned on the troll coat of arms.

      Delete
    3. I never saw that coming. Good one!

      Delete
    4. Yes, that crazy old troll coat or arms. I'll trade you mind for your Blogger T-Shirt that reads:

      See Invisible Cultural Breakdown
      Visit Mt. Somerby!

      Delete
  3. Bob Somerby has become an undisguised clown. He’s now a nightly parodic version of his own lost self.

    Money and fame can do that to people. We’ve seen this fact put on display from Judy Garland and Elvis Presley forward.

    We have no such explanation for Somerby.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When generating as many comments as possible is your currency, it can drive you to destruction. Black kids must be warned that their only advocate in any media anywhere is on a suicide mission. They will be left to fend for themselves in an wholly indifferent, of not downright hostile, world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some will become star defensive backs and mislabeled "thugs." Still others will go on to become college professors and forever disappoint.

      Delete
  5. Is Anonstrodamus still reading? Can you make a prediction?

    Will Somerby and Maddow become dayroom scrabble buddies?
    Or will they try and gouge each other's eye's out in group?

    ReplyDelete
  6. bob somerby says,

    "If Bill Wolff were a journalist, he would know what to do about this. But Bill Wolff has no background in news. In effect, he is the hoaxster in charge at The One True Channel.
    Because Wolff is himself a hoax, he doesn't know what to do with his star. Let us help this unqualified person:
    He needs to take his Judy, his Elvis, and walk her away from her desk."
    ------

    >>> bill wolff is vice-president of prime-time programming at msnbc. such a big decision involving their 7 million dollar 9:00 pm est host would, i think, be made at a higher level. at least msnbc head phil griffin, if not the new woman they put in charge of the msnbc,cnbc, nbc (etc) conglomeration or even steve burke, head of nbc universal. maybe even brian roberts, head of the whole comcast/nbc univeral company, considering the amount of money involved and the political delicacy of a change.

    but maybe somerby is privy to information most arent. i suppose its possible that wolff is really in charge and reports to brian roberts, bypassing griffin, burke, et al. but it would seem odd to also have wolff acting as madows executive producer, making firing her that much more difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's one thing to take issue with what Maddow said. It is quite another thing to do it in the manner that has become Somerby's MO.

    To wit:

    "undisguised clown"
    "extreme histrionics"
    "misbehaving very badly"
    "lost cable soul sells her undeveloped eggs"
    "her pitiful viewers"
    "incoherent"
    "defiantly stupid"
    "screeched to the skies"
    "morally ill"
    "wierd bouts of dishonesty"

    Malala would weep. So would King. So would Mandela.

    Just who is Bob thinking that he is convincing, other than his ever-shrinking choir?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe Bill could ask Bob to do it.

      Delete
    2. You're right. Bob should be more mindful of his ratings and adjust his commentary accordingly.

      Delete
    3. "undisguised clown"
      Check.

      "extreme histrionics"
      Histrionic, check. I wouldn't call it extreme

      "misbehaving very badly"
      Misbehaving, check. On the scale where Faux News is a 10, I wouldn't give this one a "very."

      "lost cable soul sells her undeveloped eggs"
      Don't get the metaphor

      "her pitiful viewers"
      "Piteous" would be a better choice. "Pitiful" can have the connotation of deserving contempt.

      "incoherent"
      Don't get that.

      "defiantly stupid"
      Check

      "screeched to the skies"
      Screechy, check. To the skies, no.

      "morally ill"
      That would require intent and thus mind-reading.

      "wierd bouts of dishonesty"
      At least TDH can spell "weird" correctly.

      Darlin' Rachel is correct that the question of who's paying whose fees is interesting, if not "super-interesting." Generally, public employees enjoy qualified immunity from lawsuits against them for actions they perform in the course of their duties, even if they're negligent. Thus public employers usually defend their employees in court. If such employees' actions are deliberately criminal or criminally negligent or if the employees deliberately act outside the bounds of their authority, they may lose their immunity and their employers can cut them loose. Is that what happened to Wildstein? We don't know because Darlin' Rachel just repeated what the Port Authority said: they were following their bylaws. It would be nice to know what those bylaws said about continuing representation.

      As TDH notes, Wildstein and crew were up to something. This involved traffic engineers, collecting data, analyzing it, and coming to the conclusion that traffic flow to NYC improved a minor amount. As TDH also notes, this could have been a hoax, designed a priori to deflect criticism. Most definitely it wasn't a "legitimate" traffic study, the kind planned and executed by traffic engineers according approved standards and subject to management approval and public scrutiny. But why pretend that Wildstein simply shut down Fort Lee's access lanes and made up a story after the fact?

      On another topic, can someone explain to me why it's funny to make snarky comments about TDH's reporting on black students' test scores.

      Delete
    4. Because we find the repetition funnier than the old joke about Ann Coulter's Adam's apple. (This may not be true. We just don't know. It has not been journalistically disproven. We just mention it as one of may possibilities.)

      Delete
    5. I agree with you deadrat. The traffic study story, whether concocted to cover illegal or justify incompetent actions came in advance. The problem BOB has is that, just as Maddow has presented insufficient evidence to rule out the incompetence theory, he has presented no evidence which indicates Wildstein asked for or was interested in any of the data the PA collected routinely to be anlyzed in a form that would answer the question he posed if his motives were in good faith.

      Good lord, man, this storm brewed up in the Legislature for months. Why supress it if it existed?
      If it was there, and not brought forward, Christie is a bigger idiot and his appointee and his "eyes and ears" at the Port Authority.

      KZ

      Delete
    6. Anonymous @8:56A, Old joke? Believe me, I"m serious when I say you have to check the Adam's apple.

      Too much information? Sorry.

      Yeah, I get that you find the repetition funny. Why, again, is it amusing in the first instance?

      Delete
    7. KZ,

      Here in this universe TDH doesn't have to present evidence that Wildstein was doing anything in good faith. That's because in this universe, neither TDH nor anyone else has any idea what Wildstein was really up to. So TDH says over and over, "we don't know; it doesn't make any sense." Since TDH isn't making a claim, and in fact, says he can't make one because he doesn't know the answer, exactly what "evidence" do you want him to present?

      How do things like this work in your parallel universe?

      Delete
    8. "Here in this universe TDH doesn't have to present evidence that Wildstein was doing anything in good faith."

      Of course not. In Bob's universe, Bob never has to support his own theories. He only has to conjure them up. Evidence? That's a rule for everybody else. Not for Bob.

      Unfortunately, Bob has landed facedown into a very rare mud puddle -- the negative that CAN and HAS been proven.

      THERE. WAS. NO. STUDY.

      "That's because in this universe, neither TDH nor anyone else has any idea what Wildstein was really up to."

      BINGO! That's why you keep asking questions. That's why you continue to investigate. TO FIND OUT WHY!

      Good Gawd, man! Journalism isn't about stopping when you don't know the answers. It's about following the evidence wherever it leads until you DO find the answers.

      And following the evidence where it leads means you don't waste your time on wild goose chases because some blogger can conjure up all sorts of wild "possibilities" that fly in the face of the mountain of evidence you already have.

      It means you FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE WHERE IT LEADS.

      And it isn't leading to a "traffic study," bungled, botched, stupid, insane, or on drugs.

      Pull your head out of Somerby's ass and breathe the free, sweet air. Thinking for yourself might give you a headache at first, but try it.

      Oh, if you want to continue with your little battle of wits? Little boy, you are unarmed.

      Time to cue up your incessant, "Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well if you don't like it, what are you doing here?" line?

      Or have you already done that elsewhere in this thread?


      Delete
    9. There was a study -- not a good one and maybe not a real one but there was a study. Saying there was no study is a lie.

      Delete
    10. OK, Durando was lying when he said there was no study. Fulton was lying when he said there was no study. Foye was lying when he said there was no study. And "sad, humiliated," Chris Christie himself was lying when he realized it wasn't gonna fly and finally admitted there was no study

      Rachel Maddow is obviously lying when she says there is no study. The reporters on this story from the NYT, Wall Street Journal, Bergen County Record, and every other newspaper and TV station in and around New York and New Jersey are lying when they say there is no traffic study.

      In fact, the only one telling the truth is Bob Somerby.

      Ha. Ha. Ha. He should use it at his next corporate convention stand-up gig. It is sure to get a lot of laughs.

      Delete
    11. Many good Anons had added much to answer your latest comment deadrat. But since you directed your query my way, allow me to answer as well. BOB has, whether you think he has a universal requirement to do so, offered innumerable pieces of information in his efforts to show there might possibly have been a good faith study even if he cares to couch it negatively in repetitve language that "it cannot be journalistically disproven, whatever the bad part of your silly imaginary after life that might mean. I did not suggest he needed to prove anything. I simply said, with apologies for repetition: he has presented no evidence which indicates Wildstein asked for or was interested in any of the data the PA collected routinely to be analyzed in a form that would answer the question he posed if his motives were in good faith.

      In fact, despite unsworn testimony by Mr.Baroni that such data was requested by Mr. Wildstein at the start of said "study," the two officials through whom such a request should have been made recall in sworn testimony no such request from Mr. Wildstein.
      Mr. Wildstein does seem to have taken an interest in
      what was happening while the closure was in progress. But little to none before or after.

      These fellows who acted in theoretical good faith seem, in fact, to have put nothing in writing about this study before of after it occurred which they could offer up to an investigative committee to prove their good faith. What appears in writing is

      a) Some internal PA staff analysis done of data routinely collected before during and after the event which looks at impacts during the closure.

      b) Some snarky politically loaded e-mails which cost two people jobs they held with Gov. Christie.

      c) Some efforts to shape the developing PR storm after the "study" was aborted by the Executive Director of the PA.

      KZ

      Delete
    12. How silly of me. I neglected to answer your final question." How do things like this work in your parallel universe?"

      It is a vast universe, but more elliptical in its relationship to yours than parallel. I can only speak of how we do things on my planet, Doom. I rule.
      Fat guys and stupid guys are rarely put in charge.
      The self righteous are ridiculed, but you probably already guessed that. Finally we do not ask the ages of underlings of differing sexes (we have more than two) but we would never measure it by half a rotation around our solar body. You would be shocked at our age of consent. We are in a fairly large orbit by your solar sytem standards. Almost as slow as morning rush out of Ft. Lee with 2/3's of the toll booths closed.

      KZ


      Delete
    13. KZ @2:14A, And apparently there are no rhetorical questions in your universe.

      Delete
    14. KZ @2:02A,

      Why would you say that TDH has presented no evidence to indicate that Wildstein acted in "good faith" unless you felt he had some obligation to do so? In fact, TDH is careful to note that whatever preparations that Wildstein did before the closures might simply have been a ruse to provide cover if things went awry. It's hard to understand how Wildstein could undertake an action that not only seems stupid in hindsight but about which stupidity he had ample warning ahead of time. Did he not understand the consequences of tying up traffic? Did he not understand that his plans could never stand up as a legitimate traffic study? Did he not understand that no one would believe he had a defensible reason for his decision?

      But until we found out why someone would do something so stupid and self-destructive, we shouldn't 1) pretend that we know, or 2) claim that the "unstudy" was a post-hoc fiction.

      What's so hard about this?

      Delete
    15. Pre-hoc, the "study" was Wildstein's bullshit line to Durando and Fulton because he couldn't repeat his orders from Trenton: "Time to create traffic problems in Fort Lee."

      Post-hoc, this was Baroni doubling down on that to cover his and Wildstein's posteriors, which had suddenly become joined.

      What is so hard about that?

      Oh, I know. Bob Somerby is the Lone Ranger, the only person left in the United States who still thinks this still might have been a legitimate study because the Port Authority collected the same data they collect every day, and by golly, deadrat is going to continue to play the role of loyal Tonto.

      Delete
    16. There's nothing hard about that. It's just that your easy interpretation might not be right.

      TDH doesn't write that there might have been a "legitimate" study. So you should stop saying that. In fact, he concedes that the unstudy might be a ruse or a hoax.

      What's so hard about understanding that?

      Delete
  8. Do all you trolls imagine that Maddow has no effect on real people's lives when she makes dishonest statements about their supposed wrongdoing? Do you think it is OK for her to do that while earning large sums of money? I think the adjectives listed are more than earned by her behavior.

    If these trolls are in any way connected with Maddow's enterprise, then many more adjectives are warranted. There are 12 comments already and none of them is substantive. As much a waste of energy as Maddow's show and about as honest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see. Name a real person whose life has been effected by Maddow copvering Ft. Lee.

      Delete
    2. By Maddow individually? Well, no one.

      By the the whole press corps smelling both a rat and blood in the water? Chris Christie for one.

      But I won't be shedding too many tears over that. Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost on the wide man.

      Delete
    3. The point of many a "troll." When your least heinous act is to claim abject stupidity or plain craziness, you don't get much sympathy if the reportorial work is shoddy.

      Maddow's reporting, as best my timeline tells me, began after Wildstein was headed out the door and Baroni was close to falling.

      Delete
    4. What did Bridget Kelly do?

      Delete
    5. Do you mean beside not fessing up when the fat man told her to? Or beside taking a fall for the fat man depending on your point of view?

      Do you ask because of any suggestion somethin ills has come her way due to the faulty journalism with which this blog is preoccupied?

      Delete
    6. What exactly did she do besides sending an ambiguous email?

      Delete
    7. Ambiguous? Wildstein didn't think so.

      It's about as "ambiguous" as a smoking gun.

      Put yourself in Wildstein's $150,000 chair. If you didn't already know exactly what she meant, when you got an e-mail from Kelly that read, "Time to create traffic problems in Fort Lee", would your response be, "Got it" or "What the hell are you talking about?"

      Delete
    8. So Christie fired her for ambiguity? The sorry bastard.

      Delete
  9. The Daily Howler is simply bot a credible source for an analysis of Rachel Maddow. He's had her dead to rights, but he's also run post after post of overheated nastiness of the sort he claims to decry in others.
    On this story, She seems to have been correct and way ahead of the curve, he's beating her to death over an issue (was this a traffic report?) seems to have been settled in her favor.
    But I'll admit it, I don't care, and as a non N.J. voter I had very little interest in the first place. Bob has proved his point: through petty, smart assy nastiness you can lose the very people you are trying to reach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg, my interest as a non-NJ voter is that it involves a person who was considered to be a strong candidate for president of the United States. In fact, he had done a lot of things to position himself for a run at POTUS, including a very carefully crafted narrative that he was a hands-on, get things done, no nonsense, very popular red governor in a very blue state whose only interest was the people of New Jersey.

      Paul Begala wrote after his last, long press conference that Christie was faced with two difficult choices -- crook or schnook.

      He is either a crook who was deeply and personally involved in this, or he is a schnook who can't control either his staff in Trenton and his hand-picked "eyes and ears" on the Port Authority.

      Christie took the schnook route.




      Delete
  10. If Bob were serving time for murder and posted daily screeds against murder, he'd still be right

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In you heart you know he is.

      Delete
    2. Poor analogy. He's not serving time for lecturing others on standards of civility he routinely breaks. And if he didn't acknowledge his own violence he'd be correct in a wayward fashion that encouraged more violence in the world.

      Delete
  11. Making stuff up is not being "way ahead of the curve."

    I do not think this has been settled in her favor. There was some sort of study -- just not the kind that should have been done. For her to keep saying there was no study is just plain wrong (unless she says what she means by study). Further, saying that Baroni was lying, after editing his tape to make it seem he was talking about Ft Lee emergency vehicles instead of those on the bridge, is lying. We don't know yet why this whole mess happened. She has just decided to believe her own theories and act as if they were true. But this is not a settled matter at all. That's why Somerby is still talking about it.

    A journalist cannot just assume that his or her pet theory about something is correct. That is malpractice. It is propaganda as bad as when Fox makes things up. It is unfair to the people involved because it affects their lives. Crowing about legal costs incurred by these people is ugly and vindictive. Like you, I don't care enough about any of these people to hate them. It makes me wonder why she does.

    Somerby hasn't lost me or any of us who value clear thinking and fairness in journalism. Maddow has.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "A journalist cannot just assume that his or her pet theory about something is correct."

      And that is NOT what Maddow did. That is what Somerby told you he did, and like a good little doggy, you lapped it up instead of letting the thought even cross your mind that Somerby, in his increasingly insane obsession with Rachel Maddow, might not be telling you the truth.

      Delete
    2. Are you saying that the quoted transcripts are inaccurate?

      Delete
    3. No. They are cherry picked by a man who then rails against others for editing. Have you not read the transcripts where officials say this was odd, unprecedented, and no kind of study they are familiar with?

      Delete
    4. "Are you saying that the quoted transcripts are inaccurate?"

      Have you even read the transcripts? In full!

      Because if you had, and you had the reading comprehension of a fifth grader, you would know the crooked little game Somerby is playing with you, and you would know who the "rube" really is.

      Delete
    5. An odd study is not the same as no study.

      Delete
    6. The word "odd" was not used by a person to describe a study. It was used to describe the actions given to him. If memory serves me correctly, and I will check them again directly and report back, it was used by the man who replied the word "study" was not used in his recollection.

      In the meantime I suggest you read the transcripts yourself, or suggest your reread them if you are unclear on that point.

      Delete
    7. And just because Wildstein told Fulton and Durando it was a "study" doesn't make it a study either. And Fulton and Durando damned well knew it. Which is why they had a "very firm" discussion with Foye, who wrote them a smoking hot e-mail ordering the lanes re-opened IMMEDIATELY.

      And why all three testified about the planning and protocols necessary for a study, none of which were in place for this obvious malicious act "to create traffic problems in Fort Lee."

      Quote, unquote. Source: Bridget Kelly, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Gov. Chris Christie.

      Try and sweep the parts of the transcripts you don't like under the rug, but they are still there. Including the parts about how seriously the Port Authority takes the need to close lanes, and all the planning and notification required to do so -- in addition to the additional staff and expertise to conduct a serious study of the effect of closing access lanes to "the world's busiest bridge.

      NONE OF WHICH WERE IN PLACE WHEN WILDSTEIN ON FRIDAY ORDERED THE LANES CLOSED ON MONDAY.


      Delete
    8. This stilll doesn't add up to no study.

      Delete
    9. Only to a person who can't add.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous 9:38.

      I correct myself. The individual who testified that the word study was not used on September 6 when Wildstein advised him that he had ordered the closure of two toll lanes exclusively serving Ft.Lee was Cedric Fulton. Mr. Fulton also testified he had only had one conversation he could recall with Wildstein on that topic. He said about two or three years earlier Wildstein asked, in what he described as casual conversation, if he knew why Ft. Lee had three lanes dedicated to its entrance. He said he did not. He also said he had no conversations with Wildstein after the lanes were reopened. The traffic personnel who collect, analyze, and report on traffic data work under Mr. Fulton. He did not testify when asked of any request or order from Wildstein to collect, analyze, or report on any test or study involving traffic changes resulkting from this order.

      Mr. Fulton's immediate subordinate, Roberto Duran was the General Manager of the bridge. He is the person to whom the order to close two lanes was given directly by Wildstein. He also said he had never seen any order like it in his 35 years at the Port Authority.

      Durando recalled the same conversation in 2010 or 2011 with Wildstein that Fulton did. The first time since that causal conversation about why Ft. Lee had three dedicated toll lanes Ft.Lee lanes was discussed again was on August 21 (which is 8 days after the famous 'Time for traffic trouble' e-mail) when Wildstein asked if there was a Memorandum of Understanding that would prevent reducing Ft. Lee from 3 to 1 toll lane. He told Wildstein he did not,but would get back to him. He did not indicate this inquiry was accompanied by any instructions or other questions which might indicate a study was underway or contemplated in the future. His next contact was on September 6 when Wildstein directed him to close the lanes the next Monday, September 9 and to not inform Ft. Lee official in advance. He did indicate Wildstein called it a study at that time. Durando called this order, odd, wrong and something he had never seen in his 35 years at the Port Authority. He said he was not involved in prior planning or conversations about a study, nor was any report made on the impact of the closure that he knew
      of.

      I will give quotes from the transcripts in a later comment.

      Suffice it to say the two top officials in charge of this bridge testified they had no knowledge of or participation in any study involving closure of any lanes involving Ft. Lee prior to the date Wildstein ordered them to implement such lane closures.
      Neither were asked to collect or report on data collected during the closure although their staff did collect and analyze that data as part of their routine monitoring of the roadway.

      This was not a study.

      Delete
    11. From the transcripts:

      ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: Okay. And you were -- this is my last question, Chair -- when you were directed, or you were advised, I guess, that the Bridge was going to be closed, you were told that was for a study?

      MR. FULTON: An understanding of what would happen if Fort Lee didn’t have those three lanes.

      ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: And that was for a study?

      MR. FULTON: I’m not sure he used the word study with me; but it was clearly a desire to understand what would happen if Fort Lee did not have those three lanes.

      ASSEMBLYMAN JOHNSON: And we know what happened.

      MR. FULTON: Congestion. (laughter)

      ............

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Did you for a moment think that his (WILDSTEINS'S) direction was wrong?

      MR. DURANDO: It was odd.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Did you think it was wrong, yes or no?

      MR. DURANDO: Yes.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: And notwithstanding that, you went ahead and implemented it.

      MR. DURANDO: Yes, sir
      ............................

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Was there any discussion with your engineering staff or your traffic experts within the Port Authority on that Friday, the 6th, about the impact of this lane diversion? Did you
      have any conversations with that staff?

      MR. DURANDO: Not that I recall; no, sir.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Can I ask you why not?

      MR. DURANDO: Because to measure the impact of the study, the study would have had to have been implemented. We make decisions as to the impact of something based on traffic figures which hadn’t occurred yet.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: How many times in the past have you or someone instructed you to divert lanes in order to do a traffic study on the George Washington Bridge?

      MR. DURANDO: This was the first time.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: And you’ve been with the Port Authority for 35 years?

      MR. DURANDO: Yes, sir.
      ......................

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: That’s not the question I asked you. My question is: Was there careful deliberation prior to this decision being implemented?

      MR. DURANDO: With regard to this study?

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Yes.

      MR. DURANDO: No, sir, there was not.

      ASSEMBLYMAN WISNIEWSKI: Did you know that at the time you made the decision to go ahead and accede to Mr. Wildstein’s demands?

      MR. DURANDO: I knew that we had not been involved in any discussion to plan a traffic study involving the Fort Lee lanes.

      Delete
  12. Bob, thank you for persevering and do not in any way be discouraged. What you are doing is right and superbly done.

    LTR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, Mrs. Somerby. :-)

      Delete
  13. Bob, criticizing any reporting at MSNBC as other prominent reporters have made clear bring forth nightmarish trolls. No matter, you are right.

    LTR

    ReplyDelete
  14. Eight days after Bridget Kelly issues her "time for some traffic problems" email and Wildstein responds, "Got it," Wildstein bypassed the chain-of-command and asks Mr. Durando directly whether there was some memorandum of understanding with the city of Fort Lee that guaranteed use of three toll lanes for the entrance. Mr. Somerby didn't bother to tell us that, did he?

    Dispositive? Of course not. Suspicious? Of course.

    Did Mr. Somerby tell us that an official at the hearing said approximately 25% of traffic came from that Fort Lee entrance -- from other communities as well as ft. Lee -- roughly equal to the percentage of lanes dedicated to that entrance -- and thus rendering a new "study" of the "fairness" of the allocation worthless? Don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what really blows "it could have been a study" out of the water?

      Nobody does a "traffic study" by blocking perfectly good lanes with traffic cones to see what will happen.

      They use computer simulation, and the software for that was first introduced at least 20 years ago and has grown increasingly more sophisticated since.

      Our Darlin' Bob is truly preying on the ignorance of his rubes in matters of traffic engineering to sell his "it's still possible, so Rachel Maddow is an idiot and I'm much smarter" snake oil.

      Delete
  15. So you think Bridget Kelly masterminded this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. But I certainly think she relayed the order from Trenton in eight words, and Wildstein understood it quite clearly.

      Delete
    2. Yep. Which is why I've renamed her Bridge T. Kelly.

      Does anyone else think it odd that CC fired her without talking to her?

      Delete
    3. Well deadrat, since Miss Monica has reappeared in the news, we might ask who in the orbit around Planet Christie plays the Vernon Jordan role.

      Delete
    4. My apologies, deadrat, I didn't sign in. But from the orbital reference, I figured you would know it to be me.

      KZ

      Delete
  16. OMB (It's Time Alright!)

    To Put and End to BOB's NONSENSE

    It's late, but old King Z has found documents that should provide the journalistic disproof a sane person needs to end this horsehockey about the remote possibility that Wildstein and Baroni were being truthful that this toll lane closure was a good faith effort at a traffic study involving main lane traffic jams. The motive remains a mystery, but the evidence needed to nail the coffin on BOB's silly theory has been under everyone's nose all along.

    When the Bergen County Record inquired as to the purpose of the lane closures, the relevant players in this, Baroni and Wilstein were asked how to respond in e-mails from PA press staff. Baroni, in an e-mail copied to Wildstein, personally approved the following statement:

    "The Post Authority has conducted a week of study at the George Washington Bridge of traffic safety patterns. We will now review those results and determine the best traffic patterns at the George Washington Bridge."

    When the Wall Street Journal inquired later, Baroni told staff to issue the same statement. The problem was that the Wall Street Jounral reporter followed up asking for a copy of the study and all material that led up to it. By e-mail, Steve Coleman, the PA staffer handling the iquiries asked Baroni and Wildstein, "Do we have a study we can provide to Ted?"

    Did Wildstein tell Durando or Fulton this was a traffic safety pattern study? No. Did they lie to the press about it? Yes. Why? It certainly wasn't because they were bunglers, but good faith bunglers.

    Baroni told the Legislature the study was about fairness. Was it fair to give Ft. Lee 25% of the lanes when EZ Pass data showed only 4.5% of the traffic on the bridge was from Ft. Lee. Do you know when that data was developed? It was sent to David Wilstein as a result of his inquiry on September 24, after legislators were already calling for an investigation. That document was produced two weeks after the closure started. It contained the famous 4.5% used repeatedly by Baroni in his unsworn testimony as justifying the study.

    This information can be found here:

    http://www.njlegislature.org/ATRTranscripts/exhibit_a_1-200.pdf

    The false press statement should have been a signal to any good former journalist turned on-line press critic that somebody lacked good faith.

    So that leads us to conclude that a rumor around here has not been disproven by jounalistic standards. That rumor is that BOB's motivation is not about journalism, but about journalists he dislikes. We don't know. It's possible. But a good faith traffic study isn't.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genius, KZ, pure genius. You've just proved beyond a reasonable doubt what nobody disputes. And certainly not TDH, who says that whatever prep Wildstein did, it may turn out to be a hoax, nothing more than a (woefully and predictably so) pre-planned cover story.

      "Good faith" is hard to determine unless you can actually read minds the way you claim to be able to for TDH. And don't hide behind the "That rumor" bullshit. "Good sense" is easier to determine, and it's clear that whatever plan Wildstein had to collect data didn't make good sense.

      Or, as TDH, notes, any sense at all. You know. Like your commentary on the subject.

      Delete
    2. ".. it's clear that whatever plan Wildstein had to collect data didn't make good sense."

      It's not his fucking job to design studies, deadrat. What part of that do you not understand. It's not stupidity or insanity. Just good old fashioned arrogance and hubris. The cover story of a study did not pass the laugh test. Bob seems to think he has discovered penicillin by telling us about the details of the cover story. He seems to think everyone was sleeping when Baroni unloaded that pile of bullshit on the legislature. But everybody who looked at this for 2 seconds understood what a load of horse manure it was. That's why we are where we are. People losing their jobs and facing financial ruin because that fat fuck governor is hiding something really bad.

      Delete
    3. If they can't admit the obvious by now, no amount of evidence is going to lure either Somerby our our stubborn friend out of the rabbit hole they have gleefully gone down.

      Bob could right tomorrow that on a journalistic basis, it has never been disproved that the earth is flat, then go on a rant about Rachel Maddow proclaiming the world is round, and our stubborn friend would defend that.

      Our stubborn friend should go read the very first story about this mess. The "Road Warrior" column in the Bergen County Record, written while this was still happening.

      John Cichowski didn't buy the "legitimate study" line when he was fed it by a "Port Authority spokesman." Neither did the Fort Lee police chief, nor Sokolich who famously asked if he had done something wrong, if he were being sent a message.

      And Cichowski even back then quoted a "source close to the situation" who said there was "absolutely no legitimate study rationale for this change" (the lane closings).

      As for KZ's theory that this blog is about journalists Somerby dislikes rather than journalism, one might ask why he never takes on the Bergen County Record who is still on this story. Too small for his notice? How about the Wall Street Journal, which has done a lot of the heavy lifting. Or any of the other newspapers and media that have now joined the fray.

      Instead, his entire analysis of the "media" is limited to his two most disliked groups -- MSNBC hosts (Maddow in particular) and whoever is writes for the NYT.



      Delete
    4. Excuse me. In the interest of the 100 percent accuracy Bob demands of others, never himself, the quote from the Bergen County Record, in response to the PA spokesman line that they were studying traffic safety patterns, should read:
      "There is no legitimate traffic safety rationale for this change."

      Delete
    5. In his opinion.

      Delete
    6. Is that the latest defense of the indensible? It's all just a matter of opinion, and right and wrong don't exist?

      Again, I understand that no amount of evidence at this point is going to knock Bob and his groupies off their chosen narrative, no matter how stupid it makes them look.

      But you gotta do better than that.

      Delete
    7. No, the guy (or whoever) quoted directly above my statement was expressing his opinion, not gospel. There is a difference between facts and statements of opinion.

      Delete
    8. For better or worse, this blog focuses on the "liberal" media. Of which the NYT and MSNBC are two leaders. Bob repeatedly states his belief that liberal or progressive interests (however broadly defined) are not served or advanced by the "liberal" media.

      He critiques these journalists for jumping to conclusions, not reporting facts, paraphrasing badly and generally making up narratives that are more about story telling than reporting a complicated reality to readers.

      His ur text is the 1998 Gore camapign, in which so called "liberal" media and liberal journalists created out of thin air a number of narratives about Gore that ultimately led to Bush being in the White House.

      To me many folks seem lost in the weeds of who said what in what testimony or whether Bob really believes there was a real study or not. Those issues are tangential here to ways in which reporters create scripts.

      So, if you want to talk about the other stuff outside the context of Maddow or the NYT's reporting, it's really a tangent and not in actual dialogue with TDH's content or readers who appreciate the TDH lens. It really is trolling.

      On the other hand if you want to show that Maddow isn't creating a script and in fact has reported things very well, hasn't misstated facts, hasn't disappeared inconvenient facts, hasn't mis quoted people, etc that's seems like a constructive dialogue. Not that the Bergen Record reported it or the WSJ. Not what the transcripts of hearings show. But that Maddow or MSNBC or NYT have reported it well. I hope it's clear that those are two different subjects.

      To me as a long time TDH reader that would be in direct, constructive dialogue with this blog. I'd be happy to read a debate about how well Maddow is actually doing and I think it would add a lot to the site as a whole.

      Delete
    9. Your comment is thoughtful and will be treated as such. You write:

      On the other hand if you want to show that Maddow isn't creating a script and in fact has reported things very well, hasn't misstated facts, hasn't disappeared inconvenient facts, hasn't mis quoted people, etc that's seems like a constructive dialogue.

      If it is wrong for Madddow or anyone else to have a script, misstate facts, overstate facts.and disappear inconvenient facts, then it is wrong to do the same thing while charging this or that media reporter or TV host with doing so.

      Would you, or would you not agree?

      KZ

      Delete
    10. With apologies. As you know, but carelsss readers might not, your words are the second paragraph and nothing more. I left out quotations marks.

      KZ

      Delete
    11. Saw this comment after I had replied below. But it looks like we were thinking about having the same discussion anyway as I kind of answered your question.

      Delete
    12. "For better or worse, this blog focuses on the "liberal" media. Of which the NYT and MSNBC are two leaders."

      Sorry for pulling a Bob and picking at a nit, but I can't let this pass.

      By what definition besides Spriro Agnew's is the NYT a leader of liberal thought? Yes, MSNBC tends to lean left in its evening programming, but they are honest about the direction they lean. By what definition is is a network that can't pull in 1 million viewers to any of those shows considered to be a leader of liberal thought?

      Especially in the Information Age, where we have all sorts of "new media" and all sorts of new ways of obtaining information than ever before, with new ones being invented practically on a daily basis.

      This is a huge development that consistently flies over Bob's head.

      One example is the infamous "rodeo clown" episode from last summer. That was started by a non-journalist with a Smartphone and a Facebook account. It went viral from there, and with lightning speed.

      Did Bob comment on how lock on the gate to information that our "mainstream media" has been keeping has been broken?

      No, he rushed to his blog to proclaim, "There goes Maddow, throwing around the dreaded R-word again."

      Delete
  17. All of this labored argument by our trolls is to show that Maddow was correct when she kept claiming that (1) we know why this was done and (2) there was no study and (3) Baroni lied in his statement presumably about the emergency vehicles, since no other lie was cited.

    If you don't believe those blanket statements have been supported with evidence you get shouted at by trolls in all caps who keep repeating there was no study (despite testimony that study-like activities occurred) because no real study would have been done that way. You don't get the evidence Maddow believes she need not provide before making such sweeping statements. You just get more bullying and snark, much like that of Maddow herself.

    I don't understand why this is necessary here. People who come here are here because they like to keep an open mind, not be told what to think prematurely without evidence by someone who keeps getting surer the less she actually knows about something.

    Now we have an idiot (see above) who says Bob never attacks anyone except Maddow despite having several posts just today addressing other people. There is no truth to what these trolls keep saying and no interest in anything except attacking Somerby at his own blog.

    Why do that? Someone is paying them to disrupt things here. It is most likely Maddow given that she is the one most defended. If Maddow does that, all the more reason why she is not worth watching. I don't think much of someone who sends trolls to do dirtywork. At least Amanda Ripley came here and posted her own comments under her own name. Maddow hasn't the guts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "All of this labored argument by our trolls is to show that Maddow was correct when she kept claiming that (1) we know why this was done and (2) there was no study and (3) Baroni lied in his statement presumably about the emergency vehicles, since no other lie was cited."

      And once again, we have someone,..."... jumping to conclusions, not reporting facts, paraphrasing badly and generally making up narratives that are more about story telling than reporting a complicated reality to readers." in defense of TDH. How ironic.

      Show me please,
      1) specifically and with quotes and link where Maddow claimed she knew or knows why "this" was done.


      Delete
  18. OMB (Somerby is Right About Many Things)

    Let us soak in the glorious response of others for a moment, particularly the inestimable dedrat, whose work we admire, and whose persistence has we emulated whilst young might have put us in charge of a solar system or galaxy instead of a paltry planet.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go away you stupid troll.

      Delete
    2. "All of this labored argument by our trolls is to show that Maddow was correct when she kept claiming that (1) we know why this was done and (2) there was no study and (3) Baroni lied in his statement presumably about the emergency vehicles, since no other lie was cited."

      And this is what happens when a Bob groupie lacks the curiosity to look up what Maddow actually said, rather than take Somerby's account for it as the Gospel.

      After all, Bob wouldn't mislead his "rubes" would he?

      Delete
    3. Go away you stupid troll.

      Delete
    4. Anon. @ 9: 47.

      We generally take no offense at being called names,
      even by someone so sensitive they find use of case in lettering to constitute shouting, and printed comments on an internet blog to constitute bullying.

      Please, my delicate name calling flower, consider the following points directly responding to your assertions of fact.

      "Trolls" are trying to prove Maddow was correct when

      1) she kept claiming that we know why this was done.
      2) there was no study
      3) Baroni lied in his statement about emergency vehicles since no other lie was cited.

      1) Maddow has presented several theories about why this was done and stated she does not know why it was done. So she and BOB are in accord as far as
      that goes, though you would not know it from BOB. Some of his readers certainly seem to think she has "kept claiming" she has stated we know the motive, as evidenced by your comment. For that, Maddow is not to blame, and if you want to absolve BOB, then you have to look in the mirror. Some do believe they know the motive. They do not have Maddow to blame for that. There are, however, others who have gravitated to one motive theory or another. The NY Times reporter, Ms Zernike seems, based on BOB's presentation, to fall into that category. But there is little evidence of anyone defending her. There are a few who agree with her.

      We are not BOB, but let's play BOB and put forth a theory as to why someone might want to believe "trolls" are trying to prove Maddow was right to keep "claiming" something she did not claim.
      Such a person might also state as fact that anyone trying to prove Maddow was right for something she has not been saying is being paid by Maddow to prove she is correct for doing what she did not do.

      2) Is Maddow right to agree with the Director of Bridges and Tunnels, the Director of the George Washington Bridge and the Director of the Port Authority that there was no study that they were involved in or that resembled in any way a study of any kind with which they were familiar? Or should she, like BOB, keep returning to facts which indicate there was an effort to couch the closures as a study for which there was never a report and no paper trail in advance and no data collected outside of data routinely collected by machine by the Port Authority?

      3) Did Maddow claim Baroni lied presumably about the only example she provided? The only example provided by BOB was one in which to prove Maddow was misleading he had Maddow claiming Baroni was denying there were any emergency vehicle problems at all. She never made such a claim, and she did use other examples which BOB for some reason failed to provide his readers.

      Let's get something straight here. Two of the things you claim "trolls" are trying to prove Maddow told the truth about are things Maddow has not claimed or kept claiming.

      Most so called 'trolls" aren't trying to prove Maddow
      is doing anything. They are trying to suggest the claims about Maddow are acts of projection by someone who at best can be described as strictly following a script and at worst by someone in serious need of a scrip.

      KZ

      Delete


  19. OMB (BOB is RIGHT! ABOUT TRIBALISM)

    Sorry deadrat. It is early for us, and probably late for you.

    We got up with little rest in order to persevere in perusal of those dang darn documents BOB has cherry picked when they pop up in the press. He did read the two sets of transcripts. We'll see what he read from the document dump.

    As has been noted by another commenter, based on the transcripts, there is no evidence that Wildstein asked that data be collected on his "study." There is evidence that PA staff looked at data they collected in the usual course of business to determine what it showed. There is evidence Baroni used some of that in his testimony after he misled the press about the nature of the study. But the bulk of his testimony relied on data that was requested by Wildstein after the study which tells you little about peak hour usage through the Ft. Lee toll booth entrance. It was data designed intentionally to mislead one to conclude their cover story had validity.

    As for the member of BOFanonymous, thanks for sharing. We speak here only for our realm, and not others you label "trolls." We receive no compensation. We do not like Rachel Maddow. We did not like her before becoming a return reader to this blog. We do not like her now. We'Il probably not like her after BOB, like Elvis, leaves your planet. BOB is sometimes right about her errors and, in our view, very annoying style.

    We are not here to assert Rachel is right in this particular controversy.
    Careful readers will recall we suggested BOB's persistent position that
    Wildstein could possibly be a good faith actor but was an idiotic bungler could be righ. We noted if that theory was correct the Christie team was even stupider for not fessing up to it and firing him. Instead Christie further insulted people in Ft. Lee and those who use that entrance by joking, then furthering the Baroni lie by being sauced about the insouciance of those greedy Ft. Lee lane hoggers. When the evidence was there for all to see he then did his apoplectic press performace about being a betrayed family head done wrong by the liars he hired. Unfortunately as time has passed, evidence to support that theory has either disappeared or, what is worse, has been manipulated by BOB to be something other than that which BOB in his meme of the last two months purports it to be.

    My concern has always been that BOB's criticisms of others reeks in hypocrisy. He does what he accuses others of doing, often while making the accusations. Sometimes he is right about those he is accusing while he does the same damn thing he damns. Sometimes he is just plain right, like he was in his most recent post about Joan Walsh and Ron Paul, and we applauded him for it.

    And he is often right about tribal loyalty. Especially among his own hardy band.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! So we agree that we aren't big fans of Rachel. Not that I feel need the need to call her morally ill either.

      But, and I mean this in all seriousness, why is Bob's hypocrisy a problem for you? If he's wrong about how poorly Rachel, NYT, etc is doing I get why you would push back. But I don't really understand this hypocrisy thing.

      To me, Bob's a media critic, and his subject is journalism. But critics and journalists perform fundamentally different tasks. Therefore I don't ask the same things of them or hold them to the same exact standards.

      But on a more general level, I think critiques can be completely valid even if the critic doesn't always follow his own advice or uphold the standards he sets for others.

      As a parent and a teacher I routinely find myself advocating a way of doing something that I might not be able to consistently uphold. I tell people not to cut corners. But sometimes I cut corners. That's hypocrisy. But I'm not sure it's a huge deal nor invalidates my general claim that cutting corners isn't the best way to do something.

      So, I'm honestly curious, why is Bob's hypocrisy a big deal for you?

      Delete
    2. I am speaking only for myself, and I am not from another planet.

      As a parent and teacher, when you advocate, say, the dangers of smoking to children, are you lighting the next one off the butt of the last one? When you advocate the dangers of drug abuse, are you snorting a line of coke in front of them?

      If so, can you imagine any reason they would take you seriously.

      Same with Bob. He tries to claim the moral high ground with lectures how others should be more like Malala, Mandela and King -- hate no one, love everyone.

      Then he writes a post like the one above.

      Long time readers will remember the time long ago when Bob could state his case clearly, succinctly and forcefully without resorting to the very thing he finds so despicable in others.

      We also remember a time when this "media criticism" blog was about journalism, and about much more than MSNBC, Rachel Maddow in particular, and the NYT.

      These days, it reads like the ramblings of an old coot, typing up whatever thought crosses his mind, with an extreme and personal dislike of his chosen targets, Rachel Maddow in particular.

      Bob's few remaining "fans" can call that careful analysis and clear thinking if they want, but they are only fooling themselves.

      The rest of the thinking world pretty much realizes that Bob keeps getting loonier and loonier every day in his pursuit of his own Great White Whale.

      Delete
    3. So your'e honestly curious. Why is BOB's hypocrisy
      such a big deal for us? We're an old coot who likes to ramble too.

      KZ

      Delete
    4. A serious answer? The self righteous are as big a danger to liberalism as the tribal, even when leading a only a tiny tribe of their own.

      Plus we don't really care about black children.

      Delete
    5. … there is no evidence that Wildstein asked that data be collected on his "study."

      Then that would mean that the "unstudy" could have been a hoax or a ruse. Where did I read that?

      There is evidence that PA staff looked at data they collected in the usual course of business to determine what it showed.

      And there's evidence that data was being collected for an actual, unrelated study, which was disrupted by Wildstein's lane closures.

      There is evidence Baroni used some of that in his testimony after he misled the press about the nature of the study. But the bulk of his testimony relied on data that was requested by Wildstein after the study

      So much better though, than relying on data delivered to Wildstein beforehand

      which tells you little about peak hour usage through the Ft. Lee toll booth entrance.

      Their claim is that they found traffic through the main toll-booth lanes cleared earlier than usual.

      It was data designed intentionally to mislead one to conclude their cover story had validity.

      It was certainly a story designed to cover themselves when the shitstorm hit. Whatever it was, Wildstein had figures that purported to give bridge traffic by legislative district, presumably collected to show that Fort Lee was taking more its fair share of access. Now it's fair to point out that this access is driven by many people who aren't from Fort Lee, but again, no one is claiming that Wildstein knew what he was doing.

      There are themes in the commentary that I object to. The first is the conflation of the unstudy with a legitimate or "good faith" study. You'll often see this in caps: THERE WAS NO STUDY. The second is the claim that TDH is a fool holding out the possibility that a legitimate study will be presented. TDH may be a fool, but he clearly states that the unstudy may be a hoax or a ruse. The third, and the one of which you are the leading but not sole proponent is that TDH's "hypocrisy" is of great import.

      I'll confess that I've never been able to follow your detailed screeds about TDH's faults with education data, and I suppose I ought to apologize for that. Every time I've looked at the data, it comports with TDH's description. On the less data-driven side, I find a difference between hypocrisy and admiration for an ideal that few can obtain. When someone scolds tax cheats while knowingly filing false returns, that's hypocrisy. It is within the powers of most people to file correct returns. But few can aspire to the forbearance of a
      Malala or the nonviolence of a KIng. In this instance, I can't even see how TDH's abuse matters. He's either right or wrong on matters of fact, no matter his low marks for deportment.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous @2:47P, "The self righteous are as big a danger to liberalism as the tribal"?

      Lock yourself up.

      Delete
    7. I take a look at the comment board and feel very sorry for Bob.

      Delete
    8. "He's either right or wrong on matters of fact, no matter his low marks for deportment."

      This is pretty much how I see it. Except I'd add that either his critique is on the mark and exposing something useful to see or it's not.

      The question of whether he meets the standards he sets for journalists seems besides the point. His job isn't to model the standards of what journalists should be. His job, for me, is to provide insightful critiques of journalists and their coverage. He's a critic.

      Most critics of any stripe are unable to meet the standard's they themselves set. Film critics are notoriously horrible film makers (Godard and Truffaut excpeted). Being a critic doesn't mean you have to be able to do the thing you criticize. Bob might make a terrible journalist. But he's not one.

      Delete
    9. Also just to respond to this:

      "As a parent and teacher, when you advocate, say, the dangers of smoking to children, are you lighting the next one off the butt of the last one? When you advocate the dangers of drug abuse, are you snorting a line of coke in front of them?"

      What you're describing seems like Scared Straight. "I'm in jail, and you don't want to be here. So don't make the same mistake I did". In that case the assumption is that the inmate is actually the person you'd trust the most to explain why you want to stay out of jail. The same case could be made for a drug addict telling someone to avoid hard drugs.

      I don't think Bob's coming from there. But it is to say that the inability to follow one's standards or take one's own advice, doesn't mean that the advice or critique is invalidated. Otherwise there would be very little criticism in this world.

      Delete
    10. Well, your "Scared Straight" analogy would work if you were lying in a hospital bed dying of lung cancer when you warned the kids about the danger of smoking.

      But puffing away while telling kids not to smoke would make you a damned hypocrite.

      Like Somerby. Inventing rules then railing about others not following them, when he willfully refuses to follow his own damned rules.

      And yes, there is years worth of evidence to show that is exactly where Somerby is coming from if you dare click "Maddow" into his customized search engine.

      Delete
    11. The point is that Maddow is an embarrassment independent of TDH and his alleged hypocrisy. Just as cigarettes are bad for you no matter who's smoking them.

      Delete
    12. Exactly.

      Which bring me back to the point that either the criticism is correct and useful or it's not.

      I think this site would benefit from sustained debate about whether Bob's take on Maddow (or whomever) is correct and insightful. If it is, that has ramifications beyond Maddow or whatever story is in the news. To me, that seems like pretty constructive dialogue to have with TDH content.

      Bob's alleged hypocrisy or the manner in which he delivers his critiques doesn't really matter in the end.

      Smoking will still damage your lungs regardless of who tells you that or how they tell you.

      Delete
  20. Somerby:

    MADDOW: At one point, Assemblyman John Wisniewski asked Bill Baroni if the legislature could please see this traffic study that he seemed to know so much about. Bill Baroni told him no. He said the legislature couldn`t see it. He couldn`t provide data or numbers about the traffic study because the study was cut short. The traffic study was ruined.

    In fact, Wisniewski asked if there had been a “report.”

    synonyms.net:

    report, study, written report(noun)

    a written document describing the findings of some individual or group

    Synonyms:

    cogitation, account, paper, study, composition, subject, theme, discipline, story, work, news report, write up, report card, bailiwick, reputation, sketch, subject area, written report, survey, field, field of study, report, subject field.

    The War on Gore has claimed another victim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the initiative to create that comment.

      Delete
    2. Back atchya Sparky.

      Delete
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