THE PRESS CORPS [HEART] ACCUSERS: Rachel toys with her Chip Michaels doll!


Epilogue—Matthews’ spawn: In the past week, we’ve reviewed an astonishing bit of conduct by Chris Matthews, a remarkable false accusation.

For yesterday's post, click here.

Matthews’ conduct occurred in May 1999; it could have gotten somebody killed. Our review triggers a basic question:

Fifteen years later, how can an unbalanced person like Matthews possibly be on the air?

It isn’t just the false accusation, which involved heinous misconduct. We also recalled the ridiculous way Matthews proceeded from there.

He consulted by phone with Gennifer Flowers, who swore by Kathleen Willey’s greatness. He interviewed “body language expert” Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, his personal version of Sybil the Soothsayer.

She told Matthews that his favorite accuser seemed to be telling the truth!

We recalled Matthews’ half hour session with Flowers that August, during which he praised her astonishing hotness as she rattled on about the Clintons’ various murders. We recalled his lunatic session with Dimitrius that November, in which the pair tried to discern the sexual meaning of Candidate Gore’s troubling three-button suits.

We briefly recalled the endless insults he aimed at Candidate Gore for the two years of Campaign 2000. We discussed the dozens of times he called Gore “the bathtub ring.” We spared you Matthews’ repeated statement that Gore “would lick the bathroom floor” in order to reach the White House.

(By mid-September 2000, Gore had shot into a ten-point lead over Bush; official Washington largely believed that the election was over. As a result, Matthews apologized on the air for the serial “bathroom floor” insult. As it turned out, his apology was premature. Later that month, his colleagues invented two new “lies” by Gore, whose lead in the polls disappeared.)

We could have gone on and on from there. There’s really no end to the gruesome misconduct by this unbalanced man through the years.

Even by Matthews’ own standards, his false accusation in May 1999 was as astonishing act of misconduct—and it could have gotten somebody killed. But Matthews’ conduct was astonishing all through 1999 and 2000. How was it possible that any of this ludicrous was accepted? How was it even remotely possible that a man of this low caliber could have remained on the air?

More strikingly, how is it possible that you’ve never read about this misconduct in the mainstream press? In the work of your favorite career liberals?

By normal journalistic standards, Matthews’ false accusation was an astonishing act. That said, such standards were long gone by the time of his false accusation. Let’s recall one part of the lonely column by Lars-Erik Nelson in response to Matthews’ misconduct:
NELSON (5/21/99): Hank Buchanan has an excuse. He is a manic depressive. Matthews has none...

[Matthews] had never bothered to check his story before blurting it out, never bothered to call Shearer. In the new world of talk-show TV there is no need to be accurate, only to make money.

"The past year has been, I think, the worst year for American journalism since I entered the profession 44 years ago," David Halberstam writes in the preface to "Warped Speed," a Century Foundation study of current reporting standards. "The standards for verification, so critical to serious and fair reporting, have fallen dramatically."

Matthews is a central figure in this book, a screaming, manic TV opinion-monger who poses as a journalist...
Talk-show TV was still a “new world” when Nelson wrote this lonely column. That said, Matthews was already “a screaming, manic TV opinion-monger who poses as a journalist.”

Matthews is still a manic clown who poses as a journalist. But very few people other than Nelson batted an eye at his false accusation. Three months later, no press critic in the nation said a word about his ludicrous session with Flowers.

By now, “cable news” is known to be a cancer on the nation. Matthews is still a manic screamer. Rachel Maddow isn’t.

Maddow’s persona differs from that of her beloved colleague, but she plays similar games on the TV machine. Consider the slimy accusation/insinuation she floated this Wednesday, providing the latest scandal thrill to her partisan viewers.

In fairness, Wednesday’s program had it all from the scandal thrill perspective. She devoted her first two segments of the program to the Fort Lee matter. These segments totaled more than 26 minutes of broadcast time, about 60 percent of her program’s total.

Those segments had it all! We even thought we might have spotted one of Maddow’s trademark “smuggled corrections,” in which she changes her account of some matter without saying she’s done so.

Whatever! For today, let’s consider the slimy accusation she lodged. It isn’t as bad as what Matthews did in May 1999. But if you favor decent behavior and intelligent journalism, we’d have to say it came close.

For the record, Maddow’s scandal pimping is often extremely dumb. As we’ve noted, she isn’t obsessively honest. This was the latest example of these holes in her game.

Toward the end of Wednesday’s first segment, Maddow floated her latest insinuation/accusation against one of The Others. In the main, this latest pleasing insinuation was aimed at a Port Authority police officer, Chip Michaels.

All in all, Maddow’s accusation didn’t even make much sense. She pimped it all the same.

As Maddow played with her dolls that night, this is what she imagined:

On the first day of the lane closings, Michaels drove David Wildstein around to view the effects on traffic. With the use of a newly released text message, Maddow now suggested that Michaels was looking for ways to make traffic worse that morning.

“Yes, we’re going to stick it to Fort Lee. But how can we really stick it to Fort Lee?”

So said Maddow, suggesting that this may have been Michaels’ goal.

In the passage which follows, Maddow starts to outline the shape of the scheme she imagined. Michaels and Wildstein drive around together. Roughly an hour later, Michaels sends Wildstein a text:
MADDOW (2/19/14): “Yes, we’re going to stick it to Fort Lee. But how can we really stick it to Fort Lee?”

Look at the timing here...It was 7:28 AM when David Wildstein said he was going to go take a ride with Chip and see how it looks. It’s roughly 7:30 in the morning.

Now he gets in the car with the Port Authority police lieutenant to go take a look at the traffic that has ensued from what he’s done. 7:30.

A little bit more than an hour later, it appears that that police officer, that Port Authority police lieutenant and David Wildstein are no longer together...We know that because there’s no reason for two people in a car together to text each other if they’re in the car together.

So we can assume that the ride-around has ended when that Port Authority police lieutenant sends another text, a follow-up text, to David Wildstein.
Michaels and Wildstein have surveyed the state of the traffic. Now, Michaels sends Wildstein a text. Then he texts someone else.

Playing the role of Nancy Drew, Maddow laid out more facts:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Remember they went on the ride-around at 7:30. At 8:46, the Port Authority police lieutenant, Chip, says, “I may have an idea to make this better.” That’s 8:46 AM.

Well, now, as of today, we know that 45 minutes after that, the same police lieutenant who’d been riding around with David Wildstein, who had an idea “to make this better,” sends another text message to the Fort Lee police chief, and that is him making a suggestion about how to deal with these traffic problems that were so bad this morning.
Exciting! At 8:46, Michaels texted Wildstein, saying this: “I may have an idea to make this better.” Forty-five minutes later, he sent a text to the Fort Lee police chief with a suggestion for dealing with the traffic problems.

As of Wednesday, that text message to the Fort Lee police chief was new—it had just been released. Maddow’s slimy accusation would be based on its contents.

Please note—the email in question was sent by Michaels to the chief of police in Fort Lee. The fact that it went to the Fort Lee chief will help us see how unlikely Maddow’s new accusation seems to be.

As Maddow continued, she quoted Michaels’ message to the Fort Lee chief. After that, she blatantly misrepresented a news report in Wednesday’s Bergen Record.

This is unfortunate conduct by Maddow, conduct worthy of Matthews:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Quote, "Suggest we send westbound traffic from Hudson Terrace to Center Avenue entrance." So if you want to know where that is, he’s suggesting sending the traffic coming from Hudson Terrace to Center Avenue instead. Remember this whole area is gridlocked. The source of the gridlock is those access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

Well, the Bergen Record reporting on that text message today—the Bergen Record is Bergen County, which is where physically this all happened, so they can report the actual local, on-the-ground truth of this stuff. In reporting on that message today, the Bergen Record notes that what that police officer was proposing [shouting] would have made everything way worse! It would have rerouted local traffic toward the closed lanes.

Quote, “That move would have forced traffic to pass the lane closures.” So that Port Authority police lieutenant says to David Wildstein, “Hey, I have an idea of how to make this better.” They’ve been driving around looking at how bad it is, because David Wildstein wants to see how bad he’s been able to make those traffic problems for Fort Lee.

They’ve been riding around looking at it. After he drops David Wildstein off, he goes, “Hey, I got an idea to make this better.” And less than an hour later, his idea is an idea to actually make this way worse for Fort Lee.
As anyone can see, this is a nasty insinuation about Michaels’ intentions that day. But the insinuation doesn’t make much sense—and it’s based on a blatant misrepresentation of what the Bergen Record reported.

No, Virginia! In the news report in question, the Bergen Record didn’t say that Michaels’ suggestion would have made everything “way worse.”

Maddow used that thrilling phrase twice, but she herself had dreamed it up. It made her speculation more thrilling.

It just wasn’t accurate.

In the news report in question, the Bergen Record did report that the Fort Lee chief rejected Michaels' suggestion in a return text message. But the paper didn’t say that the suggestion would have made things “way worse,” or that the chief said that.

Maddow vastly embellished the Record’s report. That made her accusation sound better, but it wasn’t true.

Here’s why Maddow’s insinuation doesn’t even seem to make much sense:

Essentially, Maddow is suggesting the possibility that Michaels was proposing a Nixonian “rat fuck.” In the guise of trying to make things better, he was actually trying to make things “way worse.”

If Michaels had sent some proposal to Wildstein, you could imagine such a scheme—although you’d still be engaged in rank speculation. But if he was proposing a rat fuck, why would he send his idea to the Fort Lee chief?

According to the standard account of this matter, Team Christie was working hard that day to avoid contact with Fort Lee authorities. When Michaels texted the Fort Lee chief, he stepped outside this stream.

Question: Why would Michaels want to send an absurd idea to the Fort Lee chief? Presumably, the Fort Lee chief would simply reject such a plan.

In this case, the chief did reject Michaels’ proposal. But if the proposal was a rat fuck, why would Michaels have sent it to him?

As Maddow continued, she offered her one disclaimer concerning Michaels’ intentions. But she went on to weave a thrilling tale about what might have occurred.

Warning! It isn’t just the Bergen Record! In what follows, Maddow mischaracterized what the police chief said too:
MADDOW (continuing directly): We don’t know if that was the police lieutenant’s intention. We know from the records released today that the Fort Lee police chief responded to the Port Authority policeman by essentially saying, “Are you crazy? That cannot happen, there’s already gridlock there.” [Chuckles]

But was there an effort underway? Not just in designing the bridge shutdown ahead of time, but, once it was underway, to crank it down further and try to make it even worse for Fort Lee than it already was? When the kids weren’t getting to school, when the ambulances weren’t getting to people, when the police were not able to respond to people, when people were stuck for hours in what ought to be a minutes-long commute, was there an effort underway during the bridge shutdown to make it even worse because it wasn’t bad enough yet?

And did that effort extend beyond Chris Christie’s allies at the Port Authority, who were doing the whole thing, to also include a law enforcement agency?
When that bridge was used as a weapon to try to hurt that town for reasons that still haven’t been explained. We have that newly today because Fort Lee just released this [big stack of documents] on top of the legislative committee releasing this [other big stack of documents]. It has been a really bad day for trees, but it has been a big day for this story.

Stay with us.
Maddow offered one brief disclaimer, then wove an elaborate speculation. As always, you have to watch the tape to appreciate the effect of her histrionics.

To watch the full segment, click here.

In that passage, Maddow offered her sole disclaimer concerning Michaels’ possible motives. But uh-oh! She quickly undermined her disclaimer with another embellishment.

Sorry! The police chief didn’t say, “Are you crazy?” in response to Michaels’ text message. He didn’t say that literally, and he didn’t say it “essentially.”

Maddow invented that colorful statement. Once again, she embellished what somebody said to make her tale more thrilling.

As she closed her program's opening segment, Maddow was engaged in a long speculation. The possibility she imagined was this:

Michaels was trying to make the traffic jams even worse that day. He was trying to make the situation even more dangerous.

Toward that end, he sent a text to the Fort Lee police chief designed to make things “way worse.” To state the obvious, Maddow was imagining some very ugly behavior.

Everything is possible! Michaels may be revealed as the head of al Qaeda by the time the Fort Lee probes are done. And Rachel may be the head of the mob! That is possible too!

That said, journalists aren’t supposed to play with dolls on the air, as this extremely willful person increasingly seems to be doing. Journalists aren’t supposed to drag people’s names through the mud on the basis of very slender speculations—in this case, a speculation which is supported by embellished accounts of a news report and a police chief’s statement.

Sorry, Rachel! The Fort Lee police chief didn’t say that Michaels’ proposal was “crazy.” And the Bergen Record didn’t say that it would have made matters “way worse.” Those embellishments came from Maddow, who was playing with dolls that night, just as her beloved colleague was doing when he almost got somebody killed.

Maddow’s thrilling speculation was extremely tenuous. It advanced an ugly suggestion on the basis of doctored evidence.

That’s a very bad thing to do. But willful cable TV stars rarely care about that.

Matthews didn’t give a rat’s ass when he almost got somebody killed. Maddow didn’t give a good goddamn when she took out her Chip Michaels doll and began telling us stories.

As is often the case, Maddow’s work this night wasn’t obsessively honest. Since Michaels’ proposal went to the chief of the Fort Lee police, it also tended toward dumb.

In fairness, she gave her viewers a new scandal thrill, as she tries to do each night. As she did, she made her viewers dumber—and she dragged someone’s name through some very deep mud on a very slender basis.

Decent people don’t do things like that. Rachel Maddow does this shit all the goddamn time.

All next week, we’ll ask a question: Who is Rachel Maddow? Whoever she is, she has grown to resemble her beloved colleague.

Matthews shouts, while Maddow snarks. Otherwise, what’s the difference?


  1. Wow. That truly was unholy.

  2. Great, great commentary, Bob.

    1. No, it isn't. It's willfully obtuse. Kornacki showed on a map what would have happened, and it would have been, unquestionably, "way worse." It would have been worse than "way worse."

      Secondly, the Ft. Lee police chief's response was, indeed, the moral equivalent of "Are you crazy?" Mm has the text just below.

      Why this was sent to the Ft. Lee chief is indeed a mystery, but it's not impossible it was sent to him mistakenly instead of somebody higher up in the PA police. Ft. Lee, including the police chief, was entirely shut out of this whole operation, whatever it was intended to be. There's no reason for Michaels or anybody else to be texting or emailing the chief suggestions.

    2. Yeah, the text is right below. So why didn't you read it? Maybe Michaels' plan would have been "way worse," but that's not why the Ft. Lee police chief rejected the it. He rejected the suggestion because it was too late: the gridlock made it impossible to effect.

      Yes, we have another mystery. But that shouldn't stop anybody from drawing conclusions. How do we know things based on faith? The Catholic Church can instruct us here: we know these things because they are a mystery.

    3. "He rejected the suggestion because it was too late:"

      Just making shit up again, deadrat?

      That's so disappointing. And here you are lecturing others. Gosh, I was so impressed with your meticulous attention to the facts.

      Bob asks a stupid question.

      "But if the proposal was a rat fuck, why would Michaels have sent it to him?"

      I don't have a Harvard education but perhaps because the Fort Lee police were the only ones that had jurisdiction in the, you know, Town of Fort Lee. It would have looked kind of funny to have the PA police started policing the town of Fort Lee. Just a guess.

    4. How can people be saying that there was a communication blackout with respect to Ft Lee when this text was sent to the Ft Lee police chief? Might there be other communications that have not been released or mentioned by journalists? Is it just Sokolich's statement that there were no communications or has this been verified by anyone? Isn't this text notable because it contradicts the statement that no one communicated with Ft Lee?

    5. Yes. Despite the "radio silence" instruction, all of Sokolich's phone calls must have been returned promptly.

      How do we know this? Because a PA cop texted the Fort Lee chief.

      Such is the World of Bob.

    6. OK, what do you think "Can't" means?

      It seems slightly odd that someone would try to convince the police chief of Fort Lee to adopt a traffic plan to make Fort Lee traffic worse. Wouldn't the police chief be the hardest person to fool?

    7. Nobody knows for sure what Michaels meant except Michaels. There's another idea that maybe he wanted to make it better by having his PA police spread the rumor that the traffic jam was Sokolich's fault. It is incomprehensible why they would do that but apparently they did

  3. "Sorry! The police chief didn’t say, “Are you crazy?” in response to Michaels’ text message. He didn’t say that literally, and he didn’t say it “essentially.”"

    No, he said "Can’t center ave gridlocked. Suggestion open up 3 toll lanes"

    Now Bob, what do you suppose Michaels did with that suggestion?

    1. Michaels didn't have the authority to open up the toll lanes. What was he supposed to do?

    2. Did he have the authority to forward it to the people who could open the toll lanes?

    3. No. Notice that he sought permission before contacting the Ft Lee Police Chief in the first place with his suggestion.

    4. It doesn't appear that he needed permission to communicate with Wildstein who would have been the person to talk to.

  4. So far all comments are on track!

    2:29 - Somerby's post is "unholy."

    2:45 - Sarcastic mock praise.

    3:14 - Ignore Maddow: here's a diversion.

    Always remember people, it's not about how full of shit Rachel Maddow has been -- it's about how awful Bob Somerby is for pointing it out. We're off to a great start!!

    1. Yes, let us not entertain for one second how "full of shit" Somerby has been for going on six years with his obsession about Rachel Maddow.

      After all, the is the Great and Powerful Bob! He speaks, we worship.

    2. That's interesting. I am "diverting attention" from Somerby's criticism of Maddow's report by pointing out that Maddow's report was quite accurate.

      It's also interesting how Bob neglects to mention the numerous reports of PA police going out of their way to encourage citizens to blame the traffic jam on the Mayor of Fort Lee. Citizens, you know the people who pay these public servants their salaries.

      All these little pieces of the puzzle cannot be looked at in total isolation from all the others as Bob likes to do.

    3. What if @2:45 is not being sarcastic?

    4. No, it's just an attempt to stifle discussion via snarkish ridicule. He's projecting.

  5. 6:09 You are inattentive and rude, just like the trolls you pretend to police. The first post was mine. It was a direct reference to Bob's own words, that Maddow's accusation/inference was unholy.

    You seem to be here just to play games with other trolls like yourself instead of affirming, adding to, or disputing the post.

  6. "...we were fascinated by Al Kelly, the doubletalk comedian..." Bob, I think you'd like some of Reggie Watts' improvisational comedy. Here's an example:

  7. Head of Port Authority police union steps down from "day to day operations"

    What I'm trying to figure out is why they were so confident, why they thought they were untouchable. They were so brazen and belligerent at the outset that it really seems as if they thought none of this would ever, ever come to light.

    Which is really disturbing, if you think about it. Why would they believe that?

    1. Permit me to save Bob some trouble and point out what he would focus upon in this latest Times' report about this development.

      "Mr. Nunziato is close to David Wildstein, who was the director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority. He submitted his resignation on Dec. 6 after it was revealed he had ordered the lane closings.

      "In December, when some Port Authority officials were still maintaining that the closings were part of a traffic study, the union leader said the study had been his idea. Speaking to reporters after a Port Authority board meeting, Mr. Nunziato said he had put forward the idea at a breakfast with Mr. Wildstein."

      In the first paragraph, who exactly is the "He" that Rashbaum refers to? Nunziato or Wildstein? It isn't clear. The rubes will be confused.

      In the second paragraph, it is still possible that this may turn out to be a traffic study after all. It has never been disproved, on a journalistic basis.

      The NY Times is vile and jumping to conclusions without supporting evidence when they suggest that this wasn't a study.

      Somebody could get almost killed.

    2. If they were so brazen about all this, why is it still speculation and not proven against the folks involved?

    3. "...why is it still speculation and not proven..."

      Yeah, why hasn't Christie confessed yet? Good point.

    4. No, if these people were so brazen about their activities, there should be plenty of evidence of their wrongdoing. Where is it?

    5. Right. Absolutely no evidence of their wrongdoing here.

      Bridget Kelly: Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.

      David Wildstein: Got it.

    6. ".. there should be plenty of evidence of their wrongdoing."

      Are you saying this has all been an illusion? They didn't close the access lanes to deliberately cause traffic congestion without informing the Mayor and Emergency Services of this plan? They didn't deliberately choose to not respond to repeated questions from the Mayor as to why this was happening? PA police didn't go out of their way to mislead the public by blaming it all on the Mayor while simultaneously enforcing "radio silence" on his questions about what was happening? Kelly and Stepien weren't fired as soon as their participation in this fiasco was made public? Christie isn't mad and sad about all this?

      Justice sometimes moves slow.

    7. Don't ya wish Justice would just pull into the right lane and let us pass? Ferchrissakes, sometimes it's like sitting in the GWB traffic jam.

    8. "Don't ya wish Justice would just pull into the right lane and let us pass?"

      No, smartass, but I bet Christie does.

      I want that fat lying fuck to twist in the wind for as long as possible. I want him to hire the meanest bad assed team of defense lawyers and have them investigate the Town of Fort Lee and the New York Times and the Mayor of Hoboken and then send the bill to the citizens of his state. I want him to drag this out as long as possible. I want Kelly and Stepien and Wildstein and Baroni and Samson to stonewall this investigation right up to the Supreme Court of New Jersey if necessary. I want that fat fuck to tie the legislature up in knots wasting time money and precious resources meticulously trying to get some straight answers from their Governor. I want this thing hanging over Christie's head for at least the next two years, and I want him to have to answer questions from those persistent reporters at the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Newark Star Ledger, the Bergen County Record wherever he shows his fat fucking face.

    9. We know what happened. We know some of the people who caused it to happen. We do not know why. The last is the problem. It is not against the law to conduct an incompetent traffic study. It is against the law to misuse one's office to take political revenge against someone or to engage in extortion. So, it does matter why this happened. People who keep pointing back to the facts of what happened and who did it, as if it explains why this was done, are missing the fact that this does not provide support for any of the theories advanced about why this was done.

      So, just repeating that Bridget Kelly sent an email doesn't support anyone's personal theory about why this occurred.

      That said, there is still no evidence connecting back to Christie. Alleging that all these people (who all live in NJ and know each other) were childhood friends, doesn't mean Christie ordered the lane closures.

    10. "So, just repeating that Bridget Kelly sent an email doesn't support anyone's personal theory about why this occurred"

      No, you are correct. That's why we have 3 simultaneous investigations going on while the Governor and his multiple teams of bad assed lawyers drag this out for as long as possible. But Kelly's email does pretty much blow the phony "traffic study" cover up story out of the water forever.

    11. Right, and that's why we are eagerly awaiting the outcome of those investigations before deciding how to evaluate the events.

      We've discussed Kelly's email before. You find it damning, I find it ambiguous. You seem to think you know what it meant. I don't. Regardless of how this turns out, this blog is about not rushing to judgment. Those who care about not lynching the wrong people will want to wait. Those who shoot first and let God sort it out, will do as Matthews did and tell the world that Cody Shearer (or Chip Michaels or Bidget Kelly) were bad people, and who cares if some of them turn out later to have been innocent.

      Who cares that Spike Lee tweeted the address of an innocent elderly couple believed to be associated with Zimmerman? Who cares about that security guard who was mistakenly thought to have planted a bomb in Atlanta? Who cares about the missing kid who was tweeted as an accomplice after the Boston bombing, whose body was later discovered? If the shoe fits, all of these people should be blamed first -- Matthews and others can always apologize later if it turns out they were wrong. And who cares if Bridget Kelly ever works again or Chip Michaels. It was their fault for living in NJ, working for Christie or the PA or not being more careful about their friends. (Almost as callous as saying they're probably DeBlasio voters.)

    12. "We've discussed Kelly's email before. You find it damning, I find it ambiguous. You seem to think you know what it meant."

      Yes, you keep saying you find it ambiguous but you have never proposed an explanation consistent with there being a traffic study. She worked for the governor. She was a glorified secretary. Traffic studies don't cross her desk. I don't know how many different ways I can make this point get through your thick skull. Saying she was interested in the study is not an explanation You're just making shit up. Wildstein and Baroni thought they could get away with the traffic study ploy right up until the exact moment that Kelly's email was made public. After that not so much. Christie himself is on record saying he don't know 'nuthin 'bout no traffic studies and he wouldn't know a traffic study from a can of beans and he doesn't approve traffic studies.

      I don't say I know for certain what her email means, I say I do know the traffic study cover story is now inoperative.

    13. I have responded to this several times. You don't buy my responses. It is a waste of everyone's time to repeat them.

      "Ambiguity" means there is more than one possible meaning, or in this case explanation. I am not making stuff up, I am showing that there are multiple ways to interpret Kelly's actions. Which one is correct remains to be seen. You are assuming the traffic study was a cover story. I think that too remains to be seen.

      You can assume you know what happened or you can adopt a wait-and-see attitude. You obviously prefer to put spin on the known facts and believe you know what happened. I don't. You and I have the luxury of holding opinions. Journalists can hold private opinions too, but when they start reporting opinions as fact, they are not doing their jobs properly. That has been the point of this blog. We will probably find out what really was going on. That is when Maddow, Kornacki, and others can report that this was or was not a traffic study as opposed to a cover story. Until then, it is fiction designed to boost MSNBC ratings by getting liberals excited about taking down Christie. You can let them run you around, or you can wait until there is something real to get excited about. Your choice.

    14. "You can assume you know what happened or you can adopt a wait-and-see attitude. You obviously prefer to put spin on the known facts and believe you know what happened."

      What the hell is wrong with you? Can you not read and comprehend? No wonder you're having so much trouble and things are so ambiguous to you.

      In almost every comment I write I state quite clearly that I do not know what happened. I repeat over and over again that six months into this and we still do not have the answer to the two fundamental questions. Why was this done and who ordered it? Are you stupid?

      This all could be cleared up real simply if Kelly would comply with the subpoenas but she is obviously determined to string this out for as long as possible.

      Of course there's more than one possible meaning but legitimate traffic study is not one of them. There is no ambiguity about that.

    15. mm, It may be hard to believe, but we want the same things.

    16. I don't know where the word "legitimate" came from with respect to the traffic study. I prefer the word competent. Is an incompetent traffic study legitimate or not? It wouldn't be illegal, but a fake traffic study would be. I don't know where the word legitimate fits. So, yes, there is some ambiguity about the traffic study.

      Why do you expect anyone with half a brain to incriminate themselves by testifying instead of exercising their 5th Ammendment rights? You should be expecting that all people in jeopardy will be hiring lawyers and taking whatever protections they can to prevent themselves from being caught up in whatever happened. That is not only to be expected, but it is what I would do in their situation. So, expressing frustration that they are doing this makes little sense to me.

      By the way, calling me stupid doesn't help anything either.

    17. The word legitimate means, "not pretend". If you restrict your description to competent or incompetent, it means you have already decided that it was legitimate. Surely you understand this.

      Again, try to comprehend what I am saying. We're not talking about Kelly testifying. We're talking about turning over subpoenaed documents that do not belong to her. This is work product that is not protected under the 5th amendment.

    18. You have ruled out incompetence. We disagree that has been decided yet.

      These people are being advised by attorneys no doubt telling them to say nothing and release nothing.

    19. Decided by who? I already decided. It could have been incompetence right up until the moment Kelly's email was revealed. You don't understand that and that's fine.

      Yes, I understand Kelly has a very high powered expensive attorney. A single mother with 4 children, totally innocent, has decided it's in her best interest to run up the lawyer's fees and drag this out as long as possible. This is now going to the courts. I guess the state of New Jersey will be picking up the tab for her lawyers too.

      Nobody is asking her yet to say anything, ok? Quit twisting the facts. She has been subpoenaed. to produce work product that she has already sent to other people. There is no 5th amendment privilege here.

    20. I understand and I disagree. Why are you bickering about this? She is following attorney advice.

    21. I would call a study legitimate were it authorized through the appropriate channels, funded through the normal budgetary process, and communicated to those involved in the standard manner. I would call a study competent were it designed and reviewed by professional traffic engineers according to their profession's standards.

      It's clear to me that whatever was studied in the Fort Lee debacle couldn't be any better than illegitimate and incompetent.

      But it could be worse. The study could have been invented after the fact as a cover story to conceal the true purpose of shutting down the access lanes. That means there was nothing being studied at all, and the claim is fraudulent after the fact. The study could have been concocted as a cover story in anticipation of the uproar. In that case people might have gone through the motions of gathering data, but it would have been akin to setting up a false alibi. That's fraud before the fact.


  8. Rachel Maddow said "way worse" twice, making her report more thrilling. That's bad.

    Anyone wish to count how many times Bob Somerby said "Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed" or a close derivative thereto, making his retelling of a fifteen year old story five days in a row more thrilling.

    Rachel Maddow no doubt embellished facts. So does Somerby. Does that make Maddow any better because Somerby does it as well. No. It just makes Somerby a very unlikely source of stopping the intellectual collapse
    he and few others see.

    1. You cannot tell the difference between telling lies to make a story more thrilling and repeating a true story until the point sinks in?

    2. You cannot understand that Somerby thinks you are so dumb he has to repeat a 15-year-old story all week before it sinks in?

      But go ahead. Be enthralled by his brilliance.

    3. Sure, you and I get it, but not everyone in the class is as smart as we are. After all, Matthews is still on the air.

  9. Your argument is a Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacy (also known as the "you too" argument or the "appeal to hypocrisy"). This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that a person's claim is false because it is inconsistent with something else a person has said.

    1. Anonymous 10:43. Your argument is fallacious because it suggests my argument has anything to do with the accuracy of Somerby's analysis of Maddow. My argument is that Somerby is a very flawed messenger, something his defenders never seem to address.

      I'll translate from the Latin. You argument is foollish.

    2. The messenger is not the message. Maddow is doing a poor job no matter who says it.

    3. "The messenger is not the message."

      What an ironic thing for a Bob Fan to say. If the messenger is not the message, why the obsession with how much money Maddow makes? Why not stick to her message instead of telling us how much she perspires, and what a vile, evil clown she is?

    4. "My argument is that Somerby is a very flawed messenger"

      This is the very definition of Tu Quoque - a fallacy in which one attempts to defend against criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. This is a classic red herring since whether the accuser is guilty of the same, or a similar, wrong is irrelevant to the truth of the original charge. Granted, as a diversionary tactic, it can be very effective, since the critic is put on the defensive, and one feels compelled to defend against the accusation. However, this sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.

    5. Or who spawned this slimer.

    6. ... Somerby is a very flawed messenger, ....

      Somerby is flawed. Too funny.

      Some are students of the obvious. You, sir @11:18A, are a master. Why it's right there for anybody to read in the comments: Bob is a misogynist, a water-carrier for the right, a hypocrite. Not only that, he once held an incorrect opinion about WMDs in Iraq and he's a bust at stand-up comedy.

      It's a regular Brokebrain Mountain around here. TDH's critics know he's bad, but they just can't quit him.

      TDH never read a paragraph about science that he could understand, but it never occurs to him that the fault might lie with the reader and not the text. He seems a tad overdetermined, shall we say? about Maddow. And his implication is absurd that Chris Matthews is responsible for a mentally unstable man brandishing a gun.

      But TDH is not wrong about Darlin' Rachel's work on Bridgegate or the press' performance in reporting the Zimmerman trial or the standard commentary about about testing in public schools. You know how I know these things? Because I check. Because I assume that all messengers are flawed.

      Perhaps you can point me to an unflawed messenger. I know you're busy figuring out how few visitors come to the blog.

      I'll wait.

    7. Your point is well taken, 1:02. But you should direct it at Somerby. It is virtually the ONLY tactic he uses.

      It is never enough for him to address the arguments for which he disagrees. He is a name-caller of the first rank. And please do not pretend he doesn't do it.

      But I am highly amused that you address this fallacy in the combox, but not yet in the blog itself.

      Please be consistent, otherwise you would guilty of the even worse fallacy of selective logic.

    8. Yeah, I wish TDH would do something other than call Darlin' Rachel names. You know, like analyze test scores or quote people directly.

    9. Once again 1:02 you miss the point. Perhaps I will use a bit of Somerby lingo to see if you understand that language. I don't give a rat's ass or a rat fuck whether
      Somerby is right about one, two, or even three points in his critique of Maddow. I am not commenting in praise or defense of Maddow.

      I said Bob Somerby embellishes facts to make his story more thrilling. I said he is excessively repetitive. I said this makes him the wrong person to be trying and save anything, even if he is the only one who sees that thing as being in trouble.

      When you are ready to refute my points, do so.

    10. "He is a name-caller of the first rank."

      An ad hominem fallacy is when you reject your opponent's argument because of some characteristic of the advocate that is irrelevant to the content of the argument made. The mere presence of a personal attack does not indicate ad hominem: the attack must be used for the purpose of undermining the argument, or otherwise the logical fallacy isn't there. It is not a logical fallacy to attack someone; the fallacy comes from assuming that a personal attack is also necessarily an attack on that person's arguments. it is not an ad hominem to make a specific argument against your opponent which demonstrates the irrationalities of their statement and then to tell them they're an idiot. These words are appropriate in a debate because they are descriptive. If you explain how someone lacks common sense by making a nonsense argument, you are making a perfectly accurate description when you call them an idiot.

    11. Are you still waiting deadrat? You seem to have been striken with a bad case of Somerby/Dowd's syndrome
      up there at 1:32. It is also called the Boxcar Willies.
      You keep writing or singing the things others haved said over and over again.

    12. I see. The "mere presence of a personal attack" is fine when Bob does it. But it is a "logical fallacy" to call him on it.

      Again, don't let the "mere presence of a personal attack" bother you too much, but such "logic" ordinarily comes from oxygen deprivation caused by cranial-anal displacement.

    13. Some of the things that Somerby critics seem to think is name-calling, I find descriptive. For example, when he refers to her perspiring and shoving money in her pants, I think he is noting that she is working extra hard to put across her message, one she has been paid to serve to her audience in much the way as someone who sells herself would do. These strike me as colorful but essentially accurate terms describing her overheated presentation style (especially when discussing trivialities blown up into breaking news) and histrionics. These images convey what he finds annoying about her as a TV journalist who seems more interested in her own success than informing the public. I think those are fair descriptions, not simple name-calling. They are negative and I wouldn't want to have them applied to me. On the other hand, I would find it shameful to behave as she does on air.

    14. I am glad you made that distinction, and even corrected one of Bob's most loyal fans from just a few days ago.

      That fan dutifully told me that when Maddow does it, it's histrionics. When Somerby does it, it is merely "hyperbole" a figure of speech.

      You of course, are telling us that when Somerby accuses Maddow of selling herself, it is neither histrionics nor hyperbole. It is "accurately describing."

      Now one would think that such accuracy in description would be in the eye of the beholder. And if one beholds Bob as an arbiter of truth, justice and the American discourse, the more "accurate" the "description" becomes.

      And if one does not behold Somerby in such a way, they might conclude he is at least as full of shit as the people he accuses of being full of shit, histrionically, hyperbolically, or accurately.

    15. This is the "everything is relative so nothing is true" argument. It is full of shit. This argument also implies that all opinions are equally valid. That too, is full of shit.

    16. No, yours is the "My hero's shit doesn't stink so he can be as full of it as he wants while he accuses others of being full of shit."

    17. Using a few adjectives in a blog column is a lot different than accusing innocent people of crimes, in my opinion. Maybe the fallacy here is false equivalence.

  10. "Sorry! The police chief didn’t say, “Are you crazy?” in response to Michaels’ text message. He didn’t say that literally, and he didn’t say it “essentially.”

    Maddow invented that colorful statement. Once again, she embellished what somebody said to make her tale more thrilling."

    The "Bad" Maddow

    Essentially, Maddow is suggesting the possibility that Michaels was proposing a Nixonian “rat fuck.”

    The "Good" Somerby

    1. I too object to the term "rat fuck."

    2. Frankly my deadone, I don't give a rodent's behind.

    3. Is there sex in the rat after life?

  11. "Matthews didn’t give a rat’s ass when he almost got somebody killed."

    This is a blatant, naked, bald-faced LIE.

    When Shearer told Matthews that he (Shearer) was in California and had the receipts to prove it, Matthews immediately apologized ON THE AIR and said he regretted not checking out Willey's story before he aired it.

    Now I would say that would be at least a "rat's ass" and I regret that there are four or five people left on this blog who will naturally believe any lie Somerby wants to sell them, at face value.

    And there, in a nutshell, do you have the real reason that American discourse has tumbled so badly.

    We choose to believe what we want to believe, and who we want to believe, even if it is demonstrably false.

    And on that charge, Somerby stands as convicted of at least as serious "crimes" as he accuses his remaining handful of targets he only thinks are easy.

    1. Someone who cares checks before fingering someone on air. What good does apologizing afterwards do, especially when retractions never receive the same airspace as the original accusations.

      Anon@12:13: How do you know Matthews didn't apologize because Shearer told him he'd be sued if he didn't apologize on air? If he apologized to avoid being sued, would that constitute "giving a rat's ass"?

    2. How do you or Somerby know with absolute certainty that Matthews' apology wasn't sincere? Are you able to read minds? I have no opinion, but then I wouldn't proclaim that anyone who offered an apology had not given a rodent's hindquarters until I knew with certainty that his apology was insincere.

      After all, I have been instructed by no less authority on proper human behavior than Bob Somerby not to rush to conclusions like that.

      Speaking of which, I have no idea what his motives for offering that apology and neither do you. And I have no idea whether the conversation you described actually took place, and neither do you.

      One must not speculate beyond known evidence if one is to remain a Bobinista in good standing.

    3. It wasn't sincere because he demonstrated by his actions that he does not care enough about the people he accuses to verify his facts ahead of time. It wasn't sincere because he is still doing the same thing today.

      Even the Catholic church demands that you change your behavior in exchange for absolution.

      If you don't know why he made that apology, don't offer it as proof of his sincerity.

    4. Yes, but even the Catholic Church will absolve you of the sin, rather than say you are unrepentant and insincere because if you seek absolution, you wouldn't have sinned in the first place, and thus, no absolution would be necessary.

      Again, the point here is not to judge one way or another Matthews' sincerity when he apologized on air. I do note that he said nothing subsequently to set Hank Buchanan off on a homicidal rage.

      But if we are going to play the "It Could Happen" game, Somerby's blog is also very public, and although lightly read I do not doubt it could be read by some people whose hinges aren't exactly screwed in tightly.

      Suppose one of these savants determines its time to put an end to all of Maddow's vile, clowning nonsense.

      You think Somerby or his fans would hold him anywhere near as responsible for the actions of a nutcase than they hold Matthews reponsible for the actions of Hank Buchanan?

    5. I said he was unrepentent because he kept doing the same thing after apologizing -- to different people.

  12. "All next week, we'll be asking: Who is Rachel Maddow?"

    Thanks for the warning.

    1. "We spared you Matthews’ repeated statement that Gore “would lick the bathroom floor” in order to reach the White House."

      I wonder what we will be spared next week.

    2. Hey! Good news. You can spare yourself the entire blog next week just by not reading it.

      I thought you'd like to know.

    3. How can we know all the things TDH spares us from
      by not waiting patiently until he has told us in writing his own self?

  13. OMB
    (The Essential Serial Somerby...BOB: From Rats Ass to RatZ)

    Part 1

    Great comments on this post gang! We too find this an other worldly work. Hollyworld! Cinema BOB'rite. Can we talk? Let's do lunch!

    Rachel toys with her Chip Michaels doll!
    Epilogue—Matthews’ spawn

    BOB's work clearly implies homage to the great Don Mancini. It has the same number of sequels and is spead over many decades. Why else called them
    the Children of the One True Channel if you are not running a tribute blog to "Child's Play," dolls and all.

    Might we suggest a better title to these episodes?

    Matthew's Spawn?

    Nobody in Liberalworld knows him as Matthews, BOB. He's Tweety.

    Your effort to make him influential or forgiven works no better than if the great Mancini titled his final film after Charles Lee Ray. Heck, nobody even remembered him as the Lakeshore Strangler after his spirit entered that bug eyed evil toy. So forget the "Hardball Accuser" as well.

    This series should have had titles like Tweety's Curse, Bride of Tweety, and finally, Seed of Tweety.

    Coming in Part 2...What was BOB doing when Tweety began his ALMOST Killing Spree? Defending Hollyworld?


    1. I wish to thank you from the bottom of my human heart!

      When I first read the "play with dolls" line, my limited human brain thought only that this was more of Somerby's famed sexism. I certainly couldn't recall BOB accusing Chris Matthews of playing with dolls, no matter how many people Matthews almost killed.

      I did recall the "spanking" Maureen Dowd once took, but no male columnist. But since that conjured up so many homoerotic images in the mind of our deceased rodent friend, I hesitate to mention that I again, so like BOB, I will spare us all of that.

      But I was about to plumb the depths of 16 years of Incomparable Archives to see if I could match any male pundit with "playing with dolls." The last time I did that, I came up with a strongly recycled 14-year-old item about Stephen Hawking that the Fort Lee bridge deal somehow made relevant again.

      But all that plumbing left me smelling like Ed Norton.

      You indeed have brilliantly come upon Somerby's ultimate goal.

      Yes, this is all indeed a carefully crafted tribute to 25 years worth of "Child's Play" films, in honor not only of writer and later director Don Mancini, but of producer David Kirschner as well.

      I was disappointed, however, to learn that Tommy Lee Jones had never appeared in any of these six cinematic masterpieces. Nor apparently had Somerby's "acquaintance" (I dare not call them "friends") Ed Lauter. Nor do I see soundtracks by Pete Seeger or Bob Dylan.

      So I wonder. Did Somerby later room with Mancini and/or Kirschner?

    2. Heartwarming, a cute pet name for their elder statesman.

    3. I believe I said "sado-masochistic." Don't project your latent homoeroticism on me.

      Talk to your therapist.

    4. Well since I spared us all from bringing up an earlier example of Somerby's issues with women, there was no need for you to introduce sado-masochism into the discussion.

      Unless . . .

    5. What does sado-masochism have to do with women? Are we back to homophobia again?

    6. You'll have to ask the deceased rodent. I mentioned some time ago that Somerby never said a male columnist got spanked like he said Dowd got spanked, and he went into spasms of self-loathing homoerotic, sadomasochistic fantasies.

      Then he said I needed a therapist.

      A very sick rodent indeed.

    7. This is what's known as "projection." Very sad, as these kinds of mechanisms must be overcome before therapy can work.

      Dowd got spanked by the Public Editor of the NYT because she misbehaved. No male columnist so misbehaved, so no male columnist was so punished. There's no equal time here. Our Anonymous insisted that there must be some sexual component in TDH's choice of words. So I suggested that he talk about these fantasies about strangers with his therapist.

      I have no idea where either self-loathing or homoeroticism comes in. I certainly didn't mention either. Attaching a sexual component to spanking is part of the paraphilia known as S&M.

    8. Yes, deadrat, it certainly IS a case of projection. I hate to disappoint you, but Dowd actually received no such chastisement reserved for children because, like a child, she "misbehaved."

      The public editor at the time simply wrote a column taking strong issue with Dowd -- and others on the NY Times staff -- had written.

      Somerby alone came up with the "spanking" analogy, and you heartily and eagerly agree with it, for reasons that perhaps are best left to Bob and you to explain.

      I merely asked why Somerby has never used such an analogy when issue is taken with a male columnist or pundit. That is when you further linked it to gay sex, suggesting therapy, and of course in true deadrat fashion, you deny saying it.

      And your brilliant reason that Bob has never described such chastisement for a male columnist/pundit?

      None has ever "misbehaved."

      You are now officially the village idiot.

    9. Oh, and dear deceased re-writer of all he can't argue with honestly.

      I claimed that Somerby's language was "sexist". You can't argue with that, so you sprang off onto all sorts fantasies, projected them on me, and claimed I needed therapy.

      Yep, classic projection.

    10. Oh, dear! LIteral mindedness and denial. Not a good combination. I'm sorry that therapy doesn't seem to be working for you. You are the one linking spanking with sex, implying that TDH is using "spanking" for "sexist" reasons. If you want to know why TDH has never described "such chastisement" for a male columnist, why not ask him?

      Oh, wait. TDH isn't talking to his commentariat, and if he did, would he really choose an angry, sexually confused obsessive to start?

      Please talk with your therapist about why you think this discussion is a) serious and b) has anything to do with "gay sex." It might be enlightening.

      Good luck.

  14. Night after night Matthews made his fortune pissing on liberal interests. In response liberals not only lay there and take it, they actually go on to defend his behavior. Like whipped, neutered puppy dogs- no balls, no bite.

    1. How about the "liberals" -- however you want to define them -- who don't watch Matthews? There must be tens of millions of them staying away in droves.

      Are they also whipped, neutered puppy dogs?

    2. If they make a point of defending him and his conduct, yep.

    3. Well, thank goodness absolutely no one around here has attempted to defend Matthews and his conduct. You'd be on them like Somerby on Maddow.

    4. Who is defending Tweety?

    5. No, I'm not playing watchdog. It's just sad to see. Liberals have that well earned reputation for weak compromise and selling out as it is. When the average, basically non-partisan voter who gets most of his news from TV wants a liberal perspective, or by just switching through the channels on a nightly basis, Matthews becomes a select, primary source said to represent your interests.

      It's about more than just influencing the already true believers.

    6. "Matthews becomes a select, primary source said to represent your interests."

      Said by whom? By me? Certainly not. And I know of no one else qualified to speak on my interests.

      By the way, how many of these "average basically non-partisan" voters go channel-surfing "on a nightly basis," see Chris Matthews and stay there?

    7. Says who? MSNBC. One of the highest paid partisans in the business, mentor to greatness and elder statesman.

      To answer your last question- they probably reject him and what he has to say pretty quickly. Doing his part to make liberalism repellent.

    8. Ah, so MSNBC decides for me who represents my interests. Well, that may be the way you watch TV, but I'm a bit more discerning than that. I don't let TV networks tell me what my interests are.

      I don't watch Chris Matthews because I determined a long time ago that his voice was like fingers on a chalkboard, and I didn't want to be tuned in when he started foaming at the mouth and keeled over from a massive coronary.

      Here's another clue for you. Just because YOU think they are "liberal" -- whatever that means to you -- doesn't mean they are.

  15. OMB
    (The Essential Serial Somerby...BOB: From Rats Ass to RatZ)

    Part 2


    5/11/1999. The Tweetster committed an act described now by BOB as:

    Heinous astonishing act....well beyond almost got somebody killed.

    For the next three days BOB was on the case. Well, Maureen Dowd's case to be precise. A fortnight and a month earlier, in April, Dowd offended BOB. She had particularly miffed him by dissing both Gores and a Clinton for suggesting Hollywood do something about the culture of violence instead of pushing gun control. BOB may have taken Hollwood's side. We don't know. He retold many things Dowd said over a long time that were unkind to Gore.
    Including movies Al and Tipper liked. Three long posts worth.

    Finally, six days after the astonishing 1999 act, BOB happened on the crime scene. But on May 17, BOB seemed to miss the "astonishing act" committed on TV itself. Instead he focused on the way Matthews had presented Kathleen Willey's polygraph test results (we all know BOB can't resist bad reporting of test results.) The next day he posted again, but this time about three interviedws with Willey, of which Matthew's had been the first. The next day he returned to the crime scene, this time to clobber Howie Kurtz for failing to see the same bad things he, the OTB, had seen in the three interviews with Willey. Finally, on May 20, 1999, a full nine days after an astonishing act of misconduct has been committed on the cancer known as cable television, BOB noticed it had occurred. Possibly because Matthews had already apologized and Salon had covered the incident at Shearer's home.

    What follows is the sum total of what BOB had to say about it then:

    "And why don’t real journalists make reckless accusations? We’ve learned part of the reason in the past several days. Conason reported that Shearer has received death threats in the wake of the Matthews accusation; and this morning, a warrant has been issued for a Washington man’s arrest. Over the weekend, the man appeared at Shearer’s home, slashed his tires, and threatened guests with a shotgun."

    Let's forget BOB reported the weapon incorrectly ( mistakes happen, ie. "Two shots were fired" the NYT reported in the Trayvon homicide).
    BOB was on to a real crime committed by a person driven to his act by a cable screamer. Except BOB said no more. He went on in that post to fry other fish in the form of journalists who interviewed Willey badly on other topics. He fried them at length. The next day BOB returned to the topic, not to damn Matthews for almost killing someone, but the New York Times for the way they covered or "covered-up" the incident.

    BOB only mentioned the astonishing incident again a few more times over the ensuing decaded and a half. But each time it was an allusion to Chris Matthews almost getting somebody killed.

    One three sentence paragraph in 1999 becomes in 2014 an act worthy of as much of a takedown as a miracle Polish PISA Performance.

    For the record. In 1999, in Shearer's garage, no shots were fired. No person was injured. Shearer was not in town. Nobody knows if the mentally ill man ever watched Chris Matthews. Nobody almost got killed. And to BOB, it was not as important at the time as the unkind words Dowd had written about Al.


    1. Literal, as always.

    2. k(ray)z, you seem to devote quite a bit of time (or you can write real fast, perhaps an attribute of this unknown planet you claim you come from) to debunking THD, pointing out his inconsistencies, digging up columns from the Baltimore Sun in the 1990's, not without wit, but, unfortunatley, not without sophistry. Is your obsession helpful in any way, including to yourself? what is the point of being the constant, obsessive, ultra-snarky anti-Boswell to an obscure blogger. I happen to enjoy generally TDH and I believe in some instances, most recently the Zimmerman and Benghazi affairs, he brings to light valid points of view. which means, from the various anons (how many of them are there?) I'm guilty of being a Bobfan, Bobinistia, incapable of thinking for myself in a cult-like state of worshipful and blind believe in every THD word. Once again, I ask, because you didn't answer before, do you have a job?

    3. Actually, I find KZ's recounting of Howler History quite instructive.

      I always thought that Somerby went off the rails during the twin "Bush's 16 words" and "Vile Joe Wilson" episodes. Now I see that that was merely when my blinders came off and his "saplings instead of the forest" approach has permeated this blog long before.

      Yes, Bob does occassionally have a point. But he obscures whatever valid points he stumbles across with his consuming personal animus against his chosen targets, while it also prevents him from seeing the larger point a thinking pundit should be making.

      Case in point. Yes, Zimmerman might not have been told in so many words to get back in his vehicle and wait for the cops. But there is still a law on the books in Florida and other states that makes prosecuting the shooters of unarmed teenagers rather difficult.

    4. AC/MA

      I am Zarkon, King of Doom. Some would see that as job enough. We, however, had dreams of being an Olympic athlete. We never realized that dream, but in preparing to become one we found ourselves attracted to others devoted to a regimen of endless repetition.


    5. Anonymous @8:34,

      I'm not sure I understand your counter-point. But there's still the Florida law? Yes, there is, which by the way, makes the successful prosecution of shooters of unarmed people of all ages and races almost impossible. We just hear about the most sensational cases.

      If Zimmerman had disobeyed a legitimate police order, that law would not have shielded him, so getting that part of the story wrong is a serious error. Perhaps TDH should have devoted his blog to Florida law, but he wanted to talk about the reporting.

  16. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles.

  17. OMB
    (The Essential Serial Somerby...BOB: From Rats Ass to RatZ)

    Part 3


    In his own words:

    Recalling what Chris Matthews once did!
    He almost got somebody killed...(2/18)

    After failing to get this first person killed, Matthews worked to trigger death threats against a nuclear physicist. And over the course of two years, he worked hard to send George Bush to the White House...
    In the end, this heinous conduct led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people worldwide....(2/18)

    Way back when, Chris Matthews’ appalling conduct almost got somebody killed.

    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. (2/18)

    Chris almost got somebody killed this way! (2/20)

    Just for the record, this is exactly the way Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed. (2/20)

    Throughout the next two years, Matthews would make wild, inaccurate accusations against Candidate Gore. More strikingly, he would maintain the level of ridicule and insult which helped cue colleagues as to where the guild’s Conventional Wisdom was running. Given the narrow way the 2000 election was decided, it’s hard to doubt that Matthews’ misconduct, all by itself, sent George W. Bush to the White House. (2/21)

    (By mid-September 2000, Gore had shot into a ten-point lead over Bush; official Washington largely believed that the election was over. As a result, Matthews apologized on the air for the serial “bathroom floor” insult. As it turned out, his apology was premature. Later that month, his colleagues invented two new “lies” by Gore, whose lead in the polls disappeared.) (2/22)

    When you see Maddow clown around and mislead you each night, try to remember one basic fact—people are dead all over the world because of her beloved friend. (2/21)

    All next week, we’ll ask a question: Who is Rachel Maddow? (2/22)


    1. " . . . it’s hard to doubt that Matthews’ misconduct, all by itself, sent George W. Bush to the White House."

      But it is not hard for Bob and his fans to doubt that there must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of Floridians who said, "I was going to vote for Gore until I heard all those things Chris Mattews said about him. I have no doubt that he would indeed lick the bathroom floor, since nobody is ever allowed on TV, let alone host such an important public affairs show as Hardball, unless they speak the truth. So I will now vote for Bush, Buchanan or Nader, or I will stay home."

      One must wonder, however, if Matthews now bears sole responsibility, does not that render the role of all the other perpetrators of the vile War on Gore rather inconsequential?

      And shouldn't Bob rewrite at least the title, if not the entire book, to "How Matthews Got Him There."

    2. Did you overlook the part where Somerby says Gore was leading in polls by 10 points before Matthews broadcast two additional lies? That 10 points would have made races in several states go Gore's way and made Florida moot.

    3. The national polls to which you and Somerby refer reflect the phenomenon known as the "convention bounce." Such things never hold for very long. And it should be remembered that even though he lost the Electoral College, Gore did win the popular vote.

      We have no data state-by-state to guage the effect of Matthews' two additional lies, particularly in those states on the "battleground" short list.

      But those "battleground" states earned their title because the polls pretty much always showed a close race in those states, which is how the election turned out.

      I will note that here in Missouri, one of those key "battleground" states and even beyond that, still a "bellwether" in 2000, Al Gore was the only Democrat appearing on the statewide ballot who did not win.

      The winners included the late Mel Carnahan and the utterly uninspiring Bob Holden, who lasted one term as governor unable to survive a primary challenge from future Senator Claire McCaskill.

      Who would guess that there were so many Chris Matthews fans in Missouri? There must be, because Bob and his fans can't wrap their brains around any other possible reason that Gore couldn't carry Missouri, thus rendering Florida moot.

      And Gore worked Missouri might hard.

    4. Anon@ 8:40

      Perhaps a little more careful reading is called for.

      You wrote : Did you overlook the part where Somerby says Gore was leading in polls by 10 points before Matthews broadcast two additional lies?

      BOB didn't say that and we offerered no comment in Part 3 because we wanted BOB's words to speak for themselves.

      BOB said: "Later that month, his colleagues invented two new “lies” by Gore,whose lead in the polls disappeared.

      Interesting that it was "his colleagues" not Matthews that invented the new lies. Interesting that BOB does not attribute the new lies to the poll lead evaporating.
      Interesting that BOB does not mention that Gore's 10 point lead was a two time 2 day phenomenon in just one poll, Gallup.

      Interesting that BOB finds no connection between Gore's lead evaporating and another series of events,
      the Presidential debates.

      One man did it.


      Coming---Part 4?

    5. I stand corrected, lest Bob fans attempt to discount the entire post for an uncorrected error.

      Republican Matt Blunt, the future governor who would not dare run for a second term and the son of Roy, also prevailed in his race for Missouri Secretary of State in 2000, his springboard for the governor's mansion.

      His opponent, Steve Gaw, holds the distinction for being the Democrat on the statewide ballot that year collecting the fewest votes. Runner-up? The certain to win if not for Chris Matthews ticket of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.