You (don’t) have a friend: How does scandal journalism work? Simple:
Once a good story gets going, the facts may get invented or stretched to make the tale work better. Some of these facts may be trivial, but they help drive the tale.
One such widely-cited “fact” seemed to get debunked yesterday. During his lengthy press event, Chris Christie denied the claim that David Wildstein was his high school buddy or pal.
On cable, you’ve endlessly heard the claim. In response to a question on that score, this is what Christie said:
CHRISTIE (1/9/14): Well, let me just clear something up, OK, about my “childhood friend” David Wildstein.In the world of scandal journalism, no. That's not OK!
It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He’s a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school. I mean, I had a high school in Livingston, a three-year high school, that 1,800 students in a three-year high school in the late '70s, early 1980.
I knew who David Wildstein was. I met David on the Tom Kean for governor campaign in 1977. He was a youth volunteer, and so was I.
Really, after that time, I completely lost touch with David. We didn't travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don't know what David was doing during that period of time. And then we reacquainted years later in, I think, 2000 when he was helping Bob Franks with his Senate campaign against Jon Corzine.
So we went 23 years without seeing each other. And in the years we did see each other? We passed in the hallways.
So I want to clear that up. It doesn't make a difference, except that I think some of the stories that've been written impute like an emotional relationship and closeness between me and David that doesn't exist. I know David and, you know, I knew that Bill Baroni wanted to hire David to come to the Port Authority, and I gave my permission for him to do it, but that was Bill's hire. He asked for permission, I gave my permission for him to hire David. But let's be clear about the relationship, OK?
We don’t know if that account is perfectly accurate. But it doesn’t sound like Christie and Wildstein were actually “high school buddies,” the way we’ve all been told.
If you’ve watched cable in recent weeks, you’ve heard a different story. The children have been building their story about these pleasing events. They kept topping each other with references to Wildstein as Christie’s high school buddy and pal.
As students of bogus stories and tales, it seemed to us none of these people seemed to know what they were talking about. That said, they were painting a picture that strengthened the story they preferred.
Based on what Christie said, it seems that their claims weren’t true.
Last night, the cable crowd began moving away from this claim. Chris Hayes left it part-way in:
HAYES (1/9/14): Testifying before the committee today was the guy you see right there, the one and only David Wildstein. You’re hearing his name a lot because he is the guy who probably knows more about what actually happened than anyone.Hayes retained the “went to high school with Christie” part, letting you surf a small wave of insinuation. On the bright side, what he said isn’t false! That said:
Wildstein went to high school with Chris Christie and Christie signed off on Wildstein being hired to a high-ranking job at the Port Authority. The one-time Republican mayor resigned over the scandal last month...
Back in December, Hayes told viewers, on two different shows, that Wildstein was Christie’s “high school buddy.” On one of the shows, viewers were also told this:
HAYES (12/16/13): Wildstein, who is the member of the Port Authority who was the first of the two Christie appointees to resign, give us a little sense of his relationship with Chris Christie, because the plausibility of this being a Chris Christie plot increases if you recognize the fact that there is actually a very tight relationship there.Exactly! The factoid increased the plausibility! That’s why everyone kept repeating the claim!
KATZ: Sure. They went to high school together. They were different years, but they did go to high school together.
This Wednesday night, Hayes bumped the bullshit one more notch, calling the pair “childhood friends.” We’ll guess they took baths together!
As with Nixon, so with Hayes! As of last night, these claims were no longer operative. But for a few brief shining moments, these apparently bogus claims had been used to “increase the plausibility of this being a Chris Christie plot.”
Make no mistake—this is the way these people behave when they gain wealth and power. They start making their stories that much better, helping you see the story their way, tilting the story in the direction their viewers want it to tilt.
Last night, Hayes dropped the claims about Wildstein being a “childhood friend” and “high school buddy” with “a very tight relationship.” He just didn’t bother to tell you that those statements were inoperative now. And he left the high school connection in, just to sweeten the pot.
At present, Hayes is being reinvented in various ways. In our view, he’s going along with these reinventions. We think this is a bad thing.
Al Sharpton was a bit more comical as he dropped the claim about the high school friendship. Previously on The One True Channel, Sharpton had described Wildstein as a “high school friend” of Christie; last night, was ready to walk the claim back.
That said, the skillful combatant will always turn his own apparent mistakes against the other party This is what occurred:
SHARPTON (1/9/14): Here is what Governor Christie said today about reports that he and David Wildstein had been friends since high school. Listen to this.Obviously, it matters what “they did,” if “they” actually did it. But it was Sharpton and his colleagues who had been acting like the alleged high school friendship mattered.
CHRISTIE (videotape): Let me just clear something up, OK, about my “childhood friend” David Wildstein. It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He is a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school. I think some of the stories were written impute like an emotional relationship and closeness between me and David that doesn’t exist.
SHARPTON: Assemblywoman, does it matter how long he has known Wildstein? Or does it matter what they did?
Rather than cop to an apparent mistake, Sharpton found a way to make it sound like Christie was the one who was introducing irrelevant elements.
We don’t think much of these people. Over the past fifteen years, we’ve seen this bullshit again and again from overpaid rube-runners of their type, everything from “the 21-year-old intern” (who was neither 21 nor an intern) to “Al Gore said he invented the Internet.”
Once you let these people start, they’ll just keep improving the facts. This includes the little facts which make a story work better. When the other party corrects their mistakes, they act like he is being petty. This is the way the con works.
That said, last night’s most awful high school moment came from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. She spoke, and misspoke, with Big Ed:
SCHULTZ (1/9/14): Speaking to the culture of his office, he says he’s not a bully. He’s not a micro manager. And are you curious that he had no conversation with the people at the center of this? He just fired them?Wow! She bumped Wildstein up to Christie’s “best friend.” Big Ed just let it go.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Look, he was trying to say today that he came clean and stepped up to face the music as soon as he knew.
No, he didn’t. This has been going on and there’d been questions swirling around this for 120 days. I mean at one point he actually said that he wasn’t troubled by the—he wasn’t anything more than, I think, mildly troubled by the resignation of Wildstein, who was his best friend from high school.
I mean, I can tell you that the people that I consider my closest friends from high school, if they were working for me in some capacity, if they suddenly resigned, I would be slightly more than troubled. And I might actually ask them why they resigned.
How Chris Christie didn’t inquire as to the purpose of the resignation of his high school best friend, his campaign manager, I mean, the Port Authority appointees that he had is just not credible.
In our view, Hayes has been getting reinvented. So has Wasserman Schultz. You can cheer them on if you like. We think they’re a version of lost.
When you're in a hole, stop digging....ReplyDelete
Best defense is a good offense....
About time to change the subject, methinks. Zimmerman anyone?
He is trying to change the subject. Forget Fort Lee and all those e-mails.Delete
Just look at what Big Ed let Debbie Wasserman Schultz say. There's the real scandal!
Have to say, no thinking person would care much about what they did in High School anyway. The Daily Howler is pouncing on a very minor matter so we won't look at the larger story, which it appears he got very, very, very wrong.Delete
Are you saying you believe they were high school friends?Delete
Who you asking?Delete
Waylon, I will say it doesn't mean shit to me or to a tree if they were or were not high school friends.Delete
But to Somerby, it must be a VERY big deal!
I think he trying to show how fact facts get invented and take hold. Obviously, it's important to the MSNBC hosts as they mentioned it a number times.Delete
Yeah. They went to high school together. One gives the other a plum job. Invented "friends" out of whole cloth.Delete
But excuse me for thinking for myself and being more concerned about the old lady who died waiting for the ambulance than I am about whether you think this is important.
you're entitled to think that. no one is begrudging you for thinking that. (although i don't think she died waiting for the ambulance.) there is room for both viewpoints here. the scandal itself which is not something bob is directly covering and it's poor media coverage which is what he is covering. you are also entitled to think the coverage is not poor and bob is wrong. there are no bad people here.Delete
Then why did you bother to ask?Delete
"Based on what Christie said, it seems that their claims weren’t true."ReplyDelete
Based on what Christie said...
I guess that clears things up.
For Bob, yes!Delete
Well, I can think of no good reason for Christie to distance himself from Wildstein as far as possible.Delete
I guess that means it's true!
Anon3:33pm, you had no trouble with the media assumption that these men were childhood chums because they went to the same high school.Delete
Is Christie supposed to let that stand because someone might not believe him?
If Christie is lying, can't the media just relate the facts behind why they called the pair friends from youth in the first place?
Yes, Cecelia we are now down to evidence of a gross media over reach.Delete
After all, what possible basis could there be to call them "friends from high school" when all they did was go to the same high school together, one of them gets elected governor and one of them gets a plum job.
Anonymous at 4:57Delete
You left out the part where Wildstein, as an Anonymous blogger, kept getting anonymous tips from the U.S. Attorney's office headed up by his not-good-friend from high school.
Somerby, as a blogger, gets no anonymous tips from friends. Just anonymous comments he doesn't ever read.
So if Bridget Kelly had gone to Sidwell Friends and was hired by the Clinton campaign, we should assume it's because she had attended school with Chelsea Clinton?Delete
What are we to consider here?
How about the fact that such assumptions are bad journalism?
The fact that such assumptions can also be pejorative?
Is that enough?
Saying two guys who went to school together are friends is now pejorative?Delete
Yes. Bad journalism. Naughty journalism. Bad, bad, bad journalism.Delete
I guess this means there was never any traffic jams in Fort Lee. After all, we got the goods now!
Anon 5:22pm, for journalists to call them long time friends based upon their attending the same high school together is pejorative because it makes it easier to believe that Wildstein would have shared info with Christie.Delete
Anon 5:28pm, what happened in New Jersey doesn't justify poor journalism. Media members have the power to hurt people, just as pols do.Delete
Except for one thing. As Hankest noted below, it is easier to believe that Wildstein would have reported to Christie if they WEREN'T friends from high school.Delete
Think about it. If you are capable.
And please go look up "pejorative" before you abuse the word again.
5:38: Actually you have it backwards. Think Wally Edge and NJ Politicker.Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Well maybe high school buds is a bit much for info sharing. They were just Prosecutor-Blogger bro's from Christie's days as U>S> Attoerney and Wildstein's days an anonymous blogger, Wally Edge. But being appointed to a patrongage job in which he was described from day one as "Christie's hatchet man at the Port Authority" might raise some eyebrows.Delete
As for information sharing, I'm sure it just went one way.
"Two weeks ago, PolitickerNJ.com reported that NJGOP insiders started pushing Christie in 2016, saying the 2012 Romney-Ryan ticket was history. PolitickerNJ.com has a long history with Chris Christie. In 2002, Christie’s U.S. Attorney’s office gave the then PoliticsNJ.com its first big break by handing the website the scoop that it was about to arrest Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Treffinger."
"Media members have the power to hurt people, just as pols do."Delete
Yes, Cecelia. And nothing hurts worse than for the media to falsely accuse a governor and a guy he appointed to a patronage job of being "friends."
Oh, the humanity!
Anon 6:00 Christie and Wildstein could be phone chatting every night ala Doris Day and Rock Hudson for all I know.Delete
If the media believes that their relationship is more than what Christie says, then they need to tell their audience why they think this is so.
Just throwing in a the high school pals thing when they know what it might imply to people is wrong.
Anon 6:12pm, not just friends, but decades long close friends from high school.Delete
This is going tax you down to your toes, but imagine for a second that Christie might not have known about Wildstein involvement in the scandal. Deep breath!.... Wouldn't the suggestion that they were long time close buds be prejudicial against the notion that Wildstein hid things from him, or that Christie hadn't hired Wildstein to manage such tactics?
Only to those prone to prejudge on the basis of what Christie said and Somerby tells you to believe.Delete
"If the media believes that their relationship is more than what Christie says, then they need to tell their audience why they think this is so."Delete
Google "Christie Wildstein friends"
Then have a ball reading the press explaining how their relationship is much more than Christie said it was.
You make it too easy, Cecelia. Next time you're tempted to say something as false as that, please do at least some research so you don't wind up looking like a fool. Again.
Anon 7pm, in other words, the media were compelled to do what they should have from the beginning and explain why they designated Christie and Wildstein as being friends.Delete
Anon 6:46pm, or prone to think what Chris Hayes thinks, perhaps?
HAYES (12/16/13): Wildstein, who is the member of the Port Authority who was the first of the two Christie appointees to resign, give us a little sense of his relationship with Chris Christie, because the plausibility of this being a Chris Christie plot increases if you recognize the fact that there is actually a very tight relationship there.
And poor Cecelia can't quite grasp the fact that even if they weren't best buds since high school, there could still be a "very tight relationship there."Delete
Or the possibility that it is also possible to disagree with Somerby AND Hayes.
But nope. Black and white. One or the other. Somerby Tribe or Hayes Tribe. Take your pick. And if you join the "other" tribe, then you must defend every word he says over the course of five live hours on national TV a week.
How tribal of you!
Anon 8:31am, you can't seem the grasp the fact that the media shouldn't have reported things on the basis of what "could" be the case.Delete
I mentioned Hayes, to the commenter who effectually stated that this concern was just bunk coming only from a Christie and Somerby their sheep (the troll version of a rebuttal).
Well, Hayes precisely articulated the implied dynamic the media has been making.
It's fine to disagree with both Hayes and Somerby, but is Hayes a a Christie-Somerby sheep too?
You can't seem to grasp the fact that the media has been doing that since Gutenberg invented the printing press. And humanity has somehow managed to survive.Delete
Cecelia, did you really need Somerby to tell you that? If so, you truly are dumber than a fencepost.
Fenceposts serve a useful purpose. They hold the wire which defends the blog from hordes of conspiring free range trolls.Delete
I find this post quite ironic from a guy who constantly complains about too much attention paid to trivialities.ReplyDelete
Christie himself saidReplyDelete
"So I want to clear that up. It doesn't make a difference, "
blogger laid a steaming turd on the main story - but now he's got a gotcha! about something that the subject says "doesn't make a difference".
blogger - the longer you linger on this train wreck - the worse you look - why not move on to Zimmerman for a while?
You know he's praying for George to do something stupid again so he can blame it on Lawrence O'Donnell.Delete
Yeah! It's not like the blogger's main focus has ever been the way the media massages a favored narrative!Delete
OMB (Gettin Down on Doom)
Sounds like your pay-per-view bill.Delete
Yes, when it came to warning the world of media "narratives," Sprio Agnew was ahead of Somerby by at least 25 years.Delete
But let's all thank God that Somerby is around now to explain to Cecelia how it works.
Anon 4:54pm, and I suppose that Somerby can take a certain comfort in the way trolls illustrate "nattering nabobs".Delete
blogger must be sweating more than Maddow on this one:ReplyDelete
His gotcha! is hardly the smoking gun he thinks he is:
So its all boils down to the definition of "high school buddy"
OMB (Please! Do Not Unfairly Pick On BOB)Delete
You are as bad as those who say Al "invented" when he actually said he "created."
You are as bad as those who say Monica was a "21 year old intern" when she was only 21 for one month of her internship and never had a pecker in her pouty mouth once during that unpaid period.
BOB never said Maddow was "sweating." He said she was "perspiring." And he did not say she perspired while she"pleasured herself" on the air.
Mistakes these cost or almost cost men their Presidencies.
God knows what would happen if similar bad things happened to Rachel or BOB.
Give yourself some credit, KZ, we do know how it is when Bob gets misrepresented via people with personal interests in interpreting his thoughts without nuance, or context, or natural abstractions.Delete
You trolls are here.
OMB (Someone's Taken My Place)Delete
Forgive me. While washing my face I forgot something.
What was the nuance, context, or natural abstraction with which Ms Maddow was "pleasuring herself" during her broadcast. Was it something to do with Gov. Ultrasound?
Since this sounds like your fantasy, must be planetary emperors, or something.Delete
Mala-la-Mala-la. She's got diamonds on the soles of her shoes.
Anon 3:55 - I read the New Republic item, where the reporter spoke to Christie's high school baseball coach. Chrsitie was a catcher on the team. Wildstein was the (apparently self-appointed) team "statistician", and was quite brilliant using a calculator in those pre-computer days. The impression I got, and I think it's pretty clear, is that coach didn't provide any evidence contradicting Christie's claim that he wasn't a close friend, or a friend, or even would have necessarily noticed him that much.Delete
Let's not have news. Too many people getting things wrong in the rush to know something about what's going on now. Messy old journalism.ReplyDelete
Let's just wait till all the facts are in and let historians sort it out for future generations. Like the JFK assassination, let's seal the records of Bridgegate for 75 years. We might get some detail wrong or be contradicted if we rush things.Better to be completely ignorant than partly wrong. If we make a mistake they'll say we're writing novels.
Same with science. Science is just what we think we know now. There are things we just don't know about evolution and global warming and superbugs. Scientists should keep mum till all the facts are in and there's no danger of having to correct ourselves.
Tell what we think we know now and someday someone, maybe a press critic, might look back and laugh at us for our mistakes.
I am not a crook. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.....These were clear opportunities for reporters to take down the words of authoritative sources and leave it at that.
I guess if you're Richard Jewell, someone of Middle Eastern descent on a Boston street, or facing death threats and/or acourt case, things can get a little sticky in noble cable news truth-seeking.Delete
As you imply, TDH shows very little understanding that these broadcast journalists are always going to be going off what they read from actual reporters. I would venture to say that Maddow and Hayes make a lot more effort to be well-read from non-broadcast sources on current issues than, say, David Gregory, Anderson Cooper or Chuck Todd. There's 24 hours in a day.Delete
Integrity dictates they should issue corrections and admit when they get something wrong. These guys don't do that very well.Delete
And integrity dictates the same of Somerby.Delete
I'd like to ask Mayor Sokolich what he was doing to correct the 4 day traffic jam in Fort lee? After one day of the traffic tie up, I would have had the Fort Lee police department, run those cone people, out of town!ReplyDelete
Yeah, good plan. The GW is run by a bi-state authority and carries a federal highway. But let's turn out the Fort Lee police around 9/11 to clear things up.Delete
What could go wrong?
4:00, you're kidding right?Delete
deadrat. does an authority become bi-state or is it born that way. I just ask because I'm not from the tri-state area. I'm from a whole 'nother country.Delete
5:10.. read all about itDelete
I'm a bigger fan of the Tri-Borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.Delete
Anonymous @5:10, I don't think there's any controversy about the nature of the bistatutality of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, which is a interstate compact. Per the Constitution (Article I, Section 10), Congress must be present at the birth of such. And there's no reparative therapy possible.Delete
Hope that helps.
He is a vicious loser and its perfectly possible that he is waiting for some human tragedy he can lay on liberals. Especially now - what with Bridgegate making him look like a bag of pus.
Time to trot out the Internet trope - the black knight who keep fighting King Arthur after losing all his limbs.
Wow, easy there 4:09, sounds like you could use a little 4:20. It's legal now in Co, might be worth a trip.Delete
I stand corrected.
Do you know if it was an earth-shattering matter for the blogger whether Professor Henry Gates was arrested "at his home" or "on the porch of his home" ?
We don't need you to do that.Delete
No, but Dubya was still speaking the Gospel truth when he said "Africa" and the vile Valerie Plame put her vile husband on a plane to Nigeria.Delete
Niger. The Ambassador went to Niger.Delete
Following the Yellow Cake Road.
I stand corrected.Delete
Can you guys just excommunicate him from the One True Church That Is Liberaldom, and be done with it?Delete
It woud save everyone's time.
Certainly yours. Then maybe you could get a life.Delete
Yes. If only for me.Delete
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I get it. Isn't it funny how "the blogger" insists on accuracy even to the point of inanity? After all, what's the difference beside "in his home" or "on his porch"?Delete
As it turns out, plenty. The expectation of privacy is larger in one's home than on one's curtelage, the property outside but adjacent to the home. Although the Supremes haven't spoken definitively on the issue, it's likely that a warrantless arrest of Gates inside his home wouldn't have been valid on its face while an arrest on the porch would have been. On such distinctions the law turns.
The real issue, however, was not the location of the arrest but the grounds. It's almost impossible to disturb the peace on your own property. Fighting would do it; throwing bottles at passing cars from your porch would do it. Otherwise, and nothing Gates did, could qualify. Which is why the charges were dropped faster than an elevator in free fall.
Let me follow your logic here, counselor.Delete
If the cops arrest you for no reason inside your home, that's bad. But if they arrest you for no reason on your porch, that's OK.
Except it isn't.
Yeah, that clears things up.
"The real issue, however, was not the location of the arrest but the grounds."
Great! Now go tell that to Somerby, because he sure spent a lot of time on porch vs. inside.
Just as the real issue to him right now is not who ordered four days of traffic jams, but how well Christie and Wildstein knew each other in high school.
I predict another famous Somerby multi-part series until every vile person who ever said they were "friends" is exposed!
That's right, anonymous muppet @ 2:11A, that's exactly what I said: the cops can arrest you for no reason and it's absolutely hunky-dory. Do I need to mark that as sarcasm?Delete
Let me type even more slowly so you can follow: For some reason, it still hasn't occurred to you that TDH is all about reporters getting things right. "LOL" says one of our more amusing trolls, 'cause porch, home, it doesn't matter. Well, the law makes a distinction, and if that distinction didn't affect the outcome in Gates' case, TDH still thinks it's not OK to get the facts wrong.
Now, maybe TDH is misguided and maybe he should join your "no harm, no foul" school. After all, Gates was never charged, so his arrest didn't become an issue. And that's a fine position, but TDH seems unlikely to change his focus for you and spend time and words on what you think is important. In particular, he's not going to write about Bridgegate; he's going to write about the reporting on Bridgegate. Your snarky comment about the next multi-part series shows that at some level, you understand this.
So what the fuck are you doing here? I'm not saying you have to leave. I'm just stumped why you comment on a blog dedicated to something you don't think is important.
Well, I'm saying he has to leave!Delete
You know, i'd more likely believe that Wildstein (et al.) would have done this on their own, without Christie's knowledge or direction, if they were in fact long time personal friends. But either way, it's a pretty meaningless error/fabrication/lie in the scheme of things.ReplyDelete
The WSJ and the Bergen Record (and yes Maddow) were right to pursue this, the story was not "bullshit."
Anyway, wake me when he moves onto something else, this is even more painful than reading his Zimmerman dissembling.
Why is it important to you to find out what TDH thinks about Zimmerman? TDH isn't interested in Zimmerman; he's interested in the reporting about Zimmerman. TDH just isn't going to write about what interests you. HIstory says he's going to continue to write about stuff you think is "pretty meaningless."Delete
So I'll ask you the same thing I asked the anonymous muppet @2:11A: What are you doing here?
Any reed in the wind, no matter how slender. Eh, Somerby?ReplyDelete
Enough of this bullroar about a bogus story, Bob. What's that damned Amanda Ripley been saying about Finland lately?ReplyDelete
Yep. Isn't it a shame that this ginned-up, phony scandal has diverted so much of Bob's attention from low-income kids and their schools?Delete
i side with somerby on this. dont insult my intelligence. there may be very good reason to in my case, but please dont do t-h-a-t.ReplyDelete
and im not saying that as somerbys newest best friend. my instinct is that msnbc or whoever gets it wrong when they dont l-e-a-p at the chance to correct the record. the facts are on the dem side most of the time. be the bigger person on **details that are very much in dispute** and give the other sides side of the story. the enhanced credibility will more than make up for the any weakening of your argument, on average over time, if you are generally right much more than other side, as the dems are.
thats not to say you give their best argument and then argue against it. just dont commit provable dishonesty.
OMB (High School Hoodie Hoo-Hah)ReplyDelete
If anyone wants to criticize journalists over this, it should be reserved for those who push the high school buddy story at the expense of the real connection between Christie and Wildstein, which seems to have begun when the former was the US Attorney and the latter was a blogger.
This angle pursued by BOB, like the hoodie story, may be illustrative of errors in reporting, but masks the real connection that got the blogger a plum job serving Christie's interests in an agency with lots of impact on people's lives and lots of money. He was a political blogger put in charge of "capital projects" at the cash rich, bond issuing Port Authority. Anybody figure out what that means to people who want to do business with the PA under a Gov with eyes on expensive future campaigns?
If you can't figure it out you probably never guessed that the hoodie nonsense didn't play any more of a role in the actual case against Zimmerman than what degree of friendship Christie had or did not have with Wildstein in high school will have in what happened at Ft. Lee.
and any future developments in this case.
It does, however, give BOB a hook to hang his hoodie on.
Yes, it does. But if Bob had treated the Governor's statement with even the slightest bit of the skepticism it certainly deserves, he might have been surprised what he might have learned in just a few short minutes of googling "Christie Wildstein friend."Delete
The 'Net is full of stories detailing the relationship between the two. And while the "best friends since high school" might be an exaggeration, so is the distance that Christie has now put between him and Wildstein.
In fact, not only did Christie give him a plum job, he actually created the job for Wildstein, knowing he would his loyal eyes and ears on the Port Authority.
Strange to do that for a guy you barely know.
Yes, because people are certainly guilty until proven innocent, especially when they are Republicans and might run for President in 2016. Lets attribute all kinds of nasty stuff to him.Delete
So interesting the way this site has become a favorite for commenters who style themselves thoughtful, independent thinkers who just happen to fasten on any excuse Bob S. gives them for reviling liberals and "liberal" news sources.Delete
It's not hard to attribute all kinds of nasty stuff to Chris Christie. Even my NJ friends who voted for him (I love them anyway) don't deny he's pretty nasty and feel increasingly uncomfortable at just how nasty.
The recent silence from NJ Republican honchos who would be expected to be speaking out in support of Christie has been pretty remarkable. I guess he doesn't need their support when he's got true believers commenting here.
On the news analysis front, Bob is full of it here. Let's get lost in the forest as we examine this one diverting tree.
I'm beginning to think Bob treats this blog as a form of performance art. How many rubes can he dupe? As someone commented recently, he'd have derailed Woodward and Bernstein over the first imperfection in their reporting. This is all silly pseudo-intellectual crap.
mch, mind telling me how a blogger expressing his thoughts about media culture on his blog could ever derail a reporter?Delete
And while lambasting Somerby's readers as all being Christie supporters and those who wish to stick it to "liberal media", have you looked around here, Einstein?
You opine that Bob "would" derail investigative journalism...while sitting in the midst of a troll brigade who are here to derail a comment board and make it unpleasant for anyone not haranguing the blogger.
They wish to run off any bad people who have the temerity to come here read Somerby because they LIKE his work. How's that for derailing?
So while you're designating people who enjoy the blogger as being mindless rubes, why don't you look around you at the mentality of these free-thinking lovers of ideas and discussion... who you don't find objectionable.
Oh, No! Cecelia's life is unpleasant because all these meanies say bad things about her Bobby!Delete
Waaah! Waaah! WAAAAH!
And you poor little girl! You just know that the "wish" to run you off, but no (stampy foot!) You know that because you can read minds so well!
Can I offer you a piece of advice? GROW UP!
In the adult world, people hold all kinds of opinions. And sometimes, they express them. And sometimes they express them strongly. And they won't always agree with you.
Get out some time. Get away from your computer. Breathe some fresh air. Meet some real people. Make some real friends. You'll find that the world in all its diversity of people is actually quite a wonderful place, even if they have opinions that don't come from Somerby. Even if they have never even heard of Somerby.
That's rather ironic advice, Anon8:19am, seeing how you're a no-name entity sitting at a blog you have little respect for.Delete
Bob's got a point; Hayes shouldn't have talked about a "tight relationship" and whatshername shouldn't called them "best friends" unless they knew that to be a fact.ReplyDelete
OTOH, isn't it odd that Christie said "we weren't even acquaintances" and then immediately goes on to say that he met Wildstein as part of some youth campaign for Tom Kean?
Wouldn't that make them . . . acquaintances?
No, an acquaintance is someone who sits behind you in English but who you don't ever eat lunch with in the cafeteria. Someone you meet at a youth campaign is a stranger who continues to be a stranger because you don't have anything to do with him after that. See the difference?Delete
Can someone tell me the point of making life hell for Fort Lee commuters? In one of the email exchanges, someone says "I feel bad for the kids." and gets a reply "Their parents voted for Buono." Even granting the creepy assumption that inconveniencing kids is OK to punish the parents, the reply isn't even true. Christie carried Fort Lee by ten points. Statistically speaking, the lane closures bothered more Christie voters. Darlin' Rachel thinks the target was the Senate Democratic leader, with whom Christie is supposedly having a feud. But Fort Lee is only one of 13 towns in her district.ReplyDelete
And another thing, Bridge T. Kelly sends Wildstein an email, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." and Wildstein replies "Got it." Got it? Wouldn't "WTF are you talking about?" be more expected. And he's a political hack working on finance for the Authority. He's no traffic engineer. Wouldn't "How TF am I supposed to do that?" be more expected. Was it all worked out in advance?
No, I don't know that anyone can. And even if one of the people directly involved whom Christie has now thrown under the proverbial bus decides to sing like Pavarotti and John Dean rolled into one and tells us exactly what the point was, or was supposed to be, it still wouldn't make any sense to a rational human being.Delete
But "What was the point?" is exactly the question that the Bergen County Record and Wall Street Journal asked, and receiving no rational answer, kept digging until we got to where we are today.
As for your second question, yes "Darlin' Rachel" asked that question a few days ago, as did every other MSNBC host.
You know her, of course. She is the bought-and-paid-for partisan hack in cahoots with "some Republicans and conservatives" and the DNC to gin up a phony scandal to bring down Christie. When she should have been talking about low income kids and their schools.
Deadrat, i have no idea. I hope the press, and yes even Maddow, keep beating on this "bullshit" story until we get some answers.Delete
I'd like to know why the e-mails were redacting, including some of the senders' names. I'd like to know why, after he was told "it was just a study," the Gov didn't direct his staff to provide documentation? Why is he still pretending there was a study?
I manage projects in NJ, you cannot shut a sidewalk without contacting the mayor's office, the fire & police depts, even sometimes a nearby school to make sure you're not screwing up their fire drill procedures. If you close even a small street, the logistics gets even worse and the documentation even larger. I can't imagine the crazy, year plus long planning entailed in shutting down an artery to a federal highway.
After this issue was raised and the proper documentation wasn't instantly sent to the press, anyone with a brain knew there was some shenanigans going on.
I hate to say it but the explanation that makes the most sense is that there actually was a study. No one wants to admit it because it would have been so incredibly stupid to shut down those lanes for a study, especially one poorly conducted with no notice to the affected people. So maybe this is all to coverup a poorly conducted study. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.Delete
9:47, actually that may even be worse! But, no I highly doubt it. Even a kid just out of college, or anyone with even the slightest experience with traffic/construction projects, would know you cannot shut a freakin' 5 foot wide right of way without alerting at least those that will be impacted.Delete
I'd more likely believe it was closed to prevent an alien attack, and the Gov was directed by the NSA to keep the reason secret.
The fact the Gov is still hinting that there was a study (which by this point he knows is untrue), makes me worry that his spinners are seeing if there's a way to put together a paperwork trail for a study. I highly doubt they'll try it...
Oh, they ginned up a "study" but that doesn't make it any less bogus. Even Chris Christie himself finds that excuse no longer operative.Delete
Go find and read Patrick Foye's e-mail.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.Delete
Depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
I do hope that people who care about all this investigate a little the history of Fort Lee (yes, once a fort -- the beautiful bluffs of the Palisades on that mighty river, the Hudson) and the reason this magnificent bridge, which connects NJ to upper Manhattan, is named after our first president and the commander of the Continental Army. So easy to dump on NY and NJ, but none of us would be here debating these things but for what a few people did there then. Try the google and wikipedia for a start. Also part of that history: always, always, shenanigans, which are part of history's charms but also its slow progress. You have to resist the shenanigans.ReplyDelete
"So easy to dump on NY and NJ, but none of us would be here debating these things but for what a few people did there then."Delete
>>> george washington said americans should doff their hats to the irishmen they cross paths with, so important were they in the winning of the war.
" 'How Chris Christie didn’t inquire as to the purpose of the resignation of his high school best friend, his campaign manager, I mean, the Port Authority appointees that he had is just not credible.'ReplyDelete
Wow! She bumped Wildstein up to Christie’s “best friend.” Big Ed just let it go."
So says Somerby. I'll concede his point. Shulz should have corrected this guest, who is, in the pecking order of the Democratic Party, the head hack (because all partisans are hack's doncha know).
But notice how Somerby zero's in on the smaller mistake, which is part of his narrative, and ignores the larger question, which is why
Christie never got to the bottom of this major public agency screw up at an agency after two of his highest level officials at that agency resigned.
I would have gotten on "Big Ed" for not following up on that. But maybe he did. The quote stops there and Somerby doesn't tell us what was said next.
But Christie tried! He told us himself.Delete
He brought all his senior staff people together and told them they had one hour to 'fess up. And none of them did.
What's a former U.S. Attorney who made his reputation ferreting out public corruption supposed to do when suspects won't cooperate?
He said he and his staff were "like family." So why didn't he act like one of the Real Wives of New Jersey.Delete
Bob should understand that you take Chris Christie at his word at your own peril.ReplyDelete
But never mind that. He's found his new "Zimmerman." He hasn't attracted this much attention and traffic since, well, Zimmerman.
And he will be scouring MSNBC transcript for anything said that didn't turn out 100 percent accurate by his pristine standards. Then he'll run to his blog to expose the latest case of egregious journalistic malfeasance.
Meanwhile, what will become of all those poor kids and their schools while Bob allows such a trivial little story as this dominate his blog?
"But never mind that. He's found his new "Zimmerman." He hasn't attracted this much attention and traffic since, well, Zimmerman."
I'm not sure blogger relishes his transformation into a piñata over the Christie thing.
And you make a devastating point - HE IS REMISS towards black kids each post he devotes to "frivolous" topics such as librul-bashing.
I think this fiasco will bring about his retirement from blogging - I can't imagine a more thorough de-pantsing of someone who affected such arrogance towards lesser mortals for so long.
OMB (In a Magnanmous Mood)Delete
Anon @ 10:35, as an alien with some influence on Doom, I would gladly welcome BOB to my planet should he desire yet another career move.
While I prefer now to be called King Zarkon, I was once known as Emperor Daizabaal. I can assure you, on our planet, neither the Emperor or the teachers are required to wear pants.
Comics, however, must be fully clothed. And if they are not funny, they are sentenced to life in prison with mere acquaintenances from high school with whom they did not share close moments.
I think this fiasco will bring about his retirement from bloggingDelete
TDH has been obsessively blogging his complaints about reporting since 1998, but some anonymous muppet thinks he and his chorus of the clueless will "bring about his retirement."
Well, relish this, Sparky: ya lost me at "I think."
"some anonymous muppet thinks he and his chorus of the clueless will "bring about his retirement.""Delete
It is for such moments of hilarity, and only for them, that I continue to read the comments here.
I think that there is enough legitimate material here without making false claims. But then, that is today's media, as we well know.ReplyDelete
You are right. Why are we spending so much time on Christie when the REAL scandal here is that MSNBC hosts falsely said he and Wildstein were friends since high school.Delete
And we know this claim is utterly, shamefully untrue because Christie says so and Bob believes him.
You are right Mr. Snipes. False labeling of the degree of high school camraderie between Wildthing and Gov. Crispycreme is even more inaccurate that photoshopping
this elected leader of a major American state with a traffic cone on his head. This was done on the front page of a major newspaper in New Jersey. It almost reminds us of the way Al Gore's earnest assertion of his initiative to create the Internet was bastardized by jokesters into "I invented the Internet."
The latter, by the way, explains why we incarcerate comics
on my planet.
"It almost reminds us of the way Al Gore's earnest assertion of his initiative to create the Internet was bastardized by jokesters into "I invented the Internet." "Delete
True where "jokesters" = "reporters"
(But why have you climbed down from your long-running insistence on "created the internet" as Gore's claim? Are you commenting from a jail on your plant? No one wants to know.)
Why would we leave out "As a member of Congress" from the quote? Shame on us. We must never cut out a single valuable word from anything anyone ever says even when others don't want to know.Delete
That great comic from North Dakota, Dick Armey, was the first to make a joke about Al's claim. He retorted that he took the initiative to create the paper clip. It went viral from there. The internet made that possible. Thanks, Al.
What do Bob's commenters have in common with our media elites?ReplyDelete
Most of them don't dig up facts for themselves, they just argue how many political cronies can dance on the head of a pin.
I assume you mean "Bob's commenters" who don't agree with him. Or do you mean all of his commenters, including yourself?Delete
Since he himself said "it doesn't matter," why did Christie go on at such length to distance himself from Wilding? Was it because he wanted a chance to remind people he was Class President, or that the Tub of Lard standing before them was once a svelte athlete?ReplyDelete
Why did he keep mentioning his workout, his personal trainer, and his shower in the press conference? And why was Wilding an anonymous blogger who only came out of the closet when given a job approved by Christie? Inquiring minds want to know.
Why do lawyers nitpick the details of witness testimony? Because when you show a lack of accuracy in small things, it calls into question the larger things being said. If Christie shows that the press is exaggerating about his connection with Wildstein, people will ask themselves whether the press is exaggerating about larger matters too. It is a fair assumption.Delete
If there is so much condemning Christie, why is it necessary for partisans to make things up about his connections with the people involved?
Conversely, why is it necessary for Christie's supporters to thin-slice the obvious in order to create doubt about Christie's association with the people involved?Delete
That's how they roll is the answer.
Why would anyone supportive of Christie want anything sliced thin?Delete
It really reflects the truth. Every day the student come to school, he is waiting when this day is going to be over. And every year when he starts the school year he is dreaming about finishing it. However some years later nearly all of us want to come back to the classroom and write “boring” papers (eventually my dissertation help Was found here ) better than to sit in the office and solve lots of problems. I think I just have philosophic mood but realy we should enjoy every chapter of our life, instead of trying to skip it.ReplyDelete
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