Nunziato rejiggered again: Inexorably, your Daily Howler keeps banging out those results!
This morning, we can exclusively report that a review in Sunday’s New York Times will lodge a masterful complaint:
It will say that a new book of popular science is too hard to understand—that “a physics naïf will be totally befuddled” by its “endlessly dense sentence[s].”
Never mind how we know that! You’re going to read this exclusive report nowhere else!
We had hoped to elaborate on that review this morning. Our interest in the historical record takes us somewhere else.
This morning, we can exclusively report that Rachel Maddow has made her third attempt within the last week to describe the job status of Paul Nunziato, union head of the Port Authority police.
Direct from two prior inaccurate statements, Maddow has now offered this:
MADDOW (2/28/14): Paul Nunziato has since reduced his role as head of the Port Authority police union. He says he hasn’t stepped down fully from that job, but he’s apparently reduced his role in that job.He hasn’t stepped down fully! Rather unfairly, statements like that used to be called “Clintonesque.”
That represents Maddow’s third attempt to make an accurate statement about this matter, which no one else seems to find important. People, let’s review:
The whole thing started last Friday night, with Maddow’s appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. In the statements shown below, we see The Three Faces of Paul.
We also see someone engaged in a very strange version of journalism. First, the statement to Maher, who we hate to see disrespected in such an obvious way:
MADDOW (2/21/14): First of all, [Christie’s] appointee to the Port Authority resigns. Then another appointee of his resigns. Then his deputy chief of staff gets fired. Then his campaign manager gets fired. Today, the head of the police union got fired...It’s an ongoing story, worth covering.Except the head of the union hadn’t been fired. He hadn’t even lost his job.
Maddow’s initial statement was wrong. Six days later, she made this statement to the Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann:
MANN (2/27/14): In Baroni’s testimony, he made reference to Paul Nunziato, who is the head of the police union...That assertion was also wrong, despite Madddow’s use of “of course.”
MADDOW: And now, of course, Mr. Nunziato has stepped down from that role with the police department union.
Politely, Mann semi-conveyed that fact. That led to last night’s attempt:
MADDOW (2/28/14): Paul Nunziato has since reduced his role as head of the Port Authority police union. He says he hasn’t stepped down fully from that job, but he’s apparently reduced his role in that job.The head of the union has stepped down. He just hasn’t done so fully!
Slowly the cable host turns! Inside her rather peculiar head, this purported fact, which she seems to love, just continues to change.
This is crazy behavior. Here’s why:
Maddow is reported to get paid $7 million per year. She has a staff which surely includes some competent people.
She’s also part of NBC, which commands a full news division.
As of last night, Maddow had had an entire week to get her facts straight about Nunziato’s job status. If she thinks this topic actually matters, she could have had her staff do some reporting.
Presumably, she even could have asked Kornacki to make a few phone calls.
Sorry! As she made a heavily nuanced third statement, her source appeared on the screen behind her. As of last night, her source was still a hazy, short report in last Friday’s New York Times.
The Times report was short and hazy and very lightly sourced. The next day, the Bergen Record devoted one sentence to this topic. That said, the Record including an actual short quotation from an actual piece of correspondence.
The Bergen Record thought this matter rated one sentence. Based on that sentence, the Times had overstated this matter a tad.
Last night, Maddow was still working from the hazier, lightly-sourced piece in the Times. As she did, she plopped her obvious preference down on the scale fairly hard:
Nunziato has “stepped down” from his job, she said. He just hasn’t done so “fully!”
Might we explain this weird progression?
Maddow seems to enjoy adding names to her list of miscreants in the Fort Lee matter. To do so, she has created some slippery accusations and insinuations, sometimes out of whole cloth.
Last week, she invented statements by two different sources to support one of her otherwise unfounded claims. Elsewhere, this sort of thing is sometimes called “lying.” It’s what Joe McCarthy did.
By last night, Maddow had had an entire week to research Nunziato’s job status. But she simply walked back her previous misstatement a tad, surrendering ground grudgingly.
Did Nunziato do something wrong in the course of this rolling mess? It’s possible! But then again, everything is.
At present, there is very little hard information about Nunziato’s role in this matter. That said, Maddow wants to add his name to her list. Hence, the rolling insinuation.
No, Hilaria! The head of the union didn’t get fired, nor has he “stepped down.” Last night, Maddow clung to the latter claim. He hasn’t stepped down fully!
Might we offer an overview of this peculiar rolling behavior?
With his wonderful sense of humor, Stalin once asked how many divisions the Pope had.
Maddow has a news division, but she keeps refusing to use it. As she stages these weird displays, she keeps refusing to act like she knows what “news” actually is.
With respect to the Fort Lee mess, Maddow keeps behaving in ways which are less than obsessively honest. Next week, in an exclusive report, we plan to explain why that is.
Tears of rage, tears of grief: What kind of father would treat his daughter so? we thoughtfully asked the analysts:
UNDISCLOSED SOURCE: Father-daughter memoirs have an inherent appeal, especially when the father and daughter are on an almost preposterous quest. There’s such a quest in “Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn”: to uncover the nature of reality. It all began when Warren Gefter, a radiologist “prone to posing Zen-koan-like questions,” asked his 15-year-old daughter, Amanda, over dinner at a Chinese restaurant near their home just outside Philadelphia: “How would you define nothing?”How do we know that Gefter did that? We never reveal our sources!