Last night’s opening segment: Way back when, Chris Matthews’ appalling conduct almost got somebody killed.
For details, see our previous post.
During that era, two years of Matthews’ appalling conduct sent George W. Bush to the White House. People are dead all over the world because of the things Matthews did.
Our “press culture” being a manifest fraud, nobody cared about this. Manifestly, the children care about making big scratch and becoming big famous TV stars.
As a result, Matthews’ ridiculous conduct continues right up to the present. Consider the pitiful opening segment from last evening’s Hardball.
To watch the full segment, click this.
Matthews interviewed Mike Kelly, a columnist for the Bergen Record, and Matt Katz, a reporter with WNYC radio. This produced a 15-minute opening segment which, in typical Matthews fashion, made a joke of the most basic facts.
Let’s start with an important fact which Matthews didn’t even try to establish:
On Saturday, Kelly wrote a 1600-word column which seemed to say that Port Authority policemen told backed-up drivers that Mayor Sokolich was responsible for the traffic jams in Fort Lee. If true, this suggests weird, apparently politicized behavior on the part of these officers.
That said, how many stalled drivers were told to blame the mayor? In Kelly’s opening statement to Matthews, he made a strange-sounding statement:
KELLY (2/17/14): This has been one of the mysteries, as I said, that’s been lingering around this controversy almost since the day it broke. And that is, if this in fact is political retribution, how did the message on political retribution get delivered to the mayor of Fort Lee?Can that possibly be what Kelly meant? During the lane closings, tens of thousands of drivers were delayed in Fort Lee on each of four separate days. But in the highlighted statement, Kelly seemed to say that “dozens” of drivers were instructed to call the mayor or the Fort Lee police.
And what I was able to put together was, simply by connecting the dots and interviewing some motorists, and also talking to people in Fort Lee and what actually they heard when the calls came into the police station and into Borough Hall. And what happened here was a similar message that kept repeating itself over and over again, and that was police instructing motorists to call the borough of Fort Lee and specifically to complain to the mayor.
Now I got to tell you, Chris, we don’t know exactly how many motorists were instructed to do this. The best estimate that I could come up with is that, that dozens were instructed this way. But what’s key here, what’s absolutely key, is the similarity of the message. And that’s why, that’s why the legislative committee in Trenton that is investigating this is taking this so seriously.
That could hardly serve as evidence of an organized propaganda campaign. But Matthews didn’t ask Kelly to elaborate or explain his statement. In standard fashion, he simply powered ahead with the preapproved script.
By the way, should anyone believe the things Kelly says? We would advise you to proceed with caution, based on a remarkable trio of statements which followed.
The sequence started with Katz. In his first exchange with Matthews, he made a peculiar statement:
KATZ: Thanks to reporting from your own Steve Kornacki this weekend, we know that one of these [Port Authority] police officers was actually escorting David Wildstein, who ordered the lanes closed—actually escorting him around that first day of the lane closures. Now, we don`t know if this officer—In that passage, you see how easily journalists can start speculating, on the basis of exactly no evidence, that some low-ranking shlub may be “complicit in this whole scheme.”
MATTHEWS: Are you solid on that, Matt? Are you solid on that right now? Are we all solid on that? Do we know that for a fact?
KATZ: We know that—we know that from the e-mails that have been released, and the text messages, that this lieutenant was texting, this lieutenant in the Port Authority police was texting back and forth with David Wildstein that morning.
MATTHEWS: I saw damn good reporting, because it’s the e-mails that, I’ll be picked up at 7:28, 7:30. It’s very precise about the guy coming to get him. You’re right! So what you think it tells us?
KATZ: We know that maybe—I mean, it could tell us one of two things. It could tell us that this officer was just escorting an official around from the Port Authority because he thought there was a legitimate traffic study, which is the excuse they used after the fact for these lane closures. Or perhaps he was complicit in this whole scheme.
Katz speculates with great ease. That said, we were struck by a different statement.
Say what? The traffic study “is the excuse they used after the fact for these lane closures? (Our emphasis)
At best, that statement was highly misleading. As he continued, Katz revised and extended his peculiar remark:
MATTHEWS (continuing directly): What do you make of the fact— What do you make of the fact that the police union guy here coming up with the idea of a traffic study after they already had the traffic jams? I mean, that seems like collusion to me in, basically, mayhem and mischief.Duh! Let’s assume that the traffic study was a cover story, a hoax. Even if so, the cover story was plainly developed before the lane closings—“before this actually happened.”
Why would you want to come up with an excuse for something that’s already happening when you know it has nothing do with reality? Why would anybody want to do that? Who’s benefited or served by that?
KATZ: There were documents indicating that there was some sort of traffic study— Well, I mean, not like, you know, very limited, but I mean, there might have been a cover story being developed before this actually happened. So we don’t know the complicity of all the officers. We do know that the police union endorsed Christie, which was unusual among uniformed police and fire in this election.
Bridge director Cedrick Fulton and bridge general manager Rob Durando both testified to this chronology at some length on December 9. According to their sworn testimony, the “traffic study,” real or hoax, was being planned and discussed both before and during the lane closings.
The traffic study, real or hoax, was not devised “after the fact.” Unless you watched Hardball last night, in which case you then saw columnist Kelly go out of his way to say this:
KELLY: Just to get back to one thing. The whole traffic study explanation was developed after the fact. There was a lot of concern—if you go through those e-mails that circulated ahead of time, you don’t see references to how this was going to be a legitimate traffic study. So a major question mark has to really be placed beside anything that says traffic study at this point in time, and particularly now, because the whole idea of a traffic study has been basically discredited.Why would Kelly say that? It’s certainly true that “a major question mark has to really be placed beside anything that says traffic study.” It’s entirely possible that the alleged traffic study was always just a hoax.
That said, why would Kelly say that “the whole traffic study explanation was developed after the fact?” Plainly, that seems to be false.
Plainly, that statement seemed to be false. Matthews just blustered ahead.
Can we talk? Facts have rarely played any role in the clown show Hardball. Hardball has always been about propaganda, about preapproved standard tales.
On Hardball, preferred story lines have always run roughshod over the most basic facts. Truth to tell, Matthews rarely shows any sign of knowing any facts.
Back in the day, Matthews endlessly toyed with most basic facts to improve his ugly claims about Clinton, Clinton and Gore. Now, he’s lying on our behalf, running roughshod over the facts in pursuit of Vile Christie and Them.
That said, MSNBC viewers are routinely given the impression that the “whole traffic study explanation” was “developed after the fact.” Rachel Maddow spends endless hours on Fort Lee, but she constantly gives her viewers this false impression.
As far as we know, Maddow has never reported the basic chronology concerning the traffic study explanation. We don’t know why Maddow keeps choosing to withhold such basic facts. But the bogus chronology she keeps selling makes it easier to assert that other Christie people surely must have known that the study was just a hoax.
Back in the day, Matthews almost got somebody killed doing that. As always, we hope our dearest darling’s money is spending real good.
Back to Matthews: Why is this horrible person still on the air, assisted by devoted caregivers? Within what kind of intellectual culture can such an arrangement exist?