Malala Yousafzai visits Fort Lee!


Mayor Sokolich, before being baited: Eventually, Mayor Sokolich was baited last night about being called “that little Serbian.” He tossed off a remark about one Christie aide who “deserves an ass-kicking.”

This gave one upright cable show the headlines it had been chasing:
Christie ex-aide “deserves an ass-kicking”
Chris Hayes interviews Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich about “Bridgegate.”
On cable, exciting times!

But before the baiting, when the mayor was good, we thought he was very good. Speaking to Chris Hayes, the mayor described his own nature:
SOKOLICH (1/8/14): Chris, if you know me for thirty seconds you know that there’s not an ounce of venom in my system. I don’t think—and I try to find the best in people.

So I automatically, my own instincts automatically just dismissed the prospect that this is political retribution because, think about it. Who would close down lanes to the busiest bridge in the world to get to me?

First of all, I never viewed myself as being that important. The governor himself said that I’m not on his radar nor am I in his rolodex. So I’m thinking to myself, “How could this possibly be. How could it possibly be?”

But now reading the emails and the text that we see today, it certainly is the case. And I’m embarrassed for those people.
Good for the mayor! Later, Sokolich said that he isn’t rooting for Christie to be destroyed:
SOKOLICH: I’m not here to speculate nor will I speculate. I will tell you though it’s gotten closer and closer as time transpires. I’m not rooting for an email to surface that specifically and expressly has the governor expressly authorizing this retribution. I’m not! Because it’s not my nature. But I’ll tell you the credibility level is getting reduced and reduced and reduced as this story continues to move on.
Good for the mayor! Earlier, speaking with Wolf Blitzer, he had said much the same thing about the governor’s aides:
BLITZER (1/8/14): As far as you know, is there a criminal investigation under way by any local or state or federal authority?

SOKOLICH: I know that the independent investigator for the Port Authority is conducting an investigation. I know that the assembly is conducting an investigation. And I have to believe that now in light of what's transpired over the last 24 hours and now seeing these revelations in these e-mails, now that it's unconditionally confirmed that there's a level of intentionality that's involved, I've got to believe that there's going to be investigations to determine whether this rises to the level of criminality.

And I tell you, I'm not rooting for it. I'm not looking for people to suffer a demise by way of a criminal indictment. I want Fort Lee left alone. I want to guarantee this doesn't happen. You go do whatever you got to go do. And I got to tell you, reform has to be put into place to make sure that this doesn't happen to any other host community.

This is absolutely the lowest level of political venom you that could possibly even make up. It's a surreal experience at this point. I really got to tell you, I can't believe it. I still can't believe it.
Sokolich isn’t rooting for the people involved to suffer a demise.

The mayor provided us with a nice flashback last night. As we watched him with Hayes, before he was baited, we thought of Malala—Malala Yousafzai, and by extension of Dr. King, and also of Nelson Mandela.

“I’m not against anyone,” Malala very brilliantly said when she addressed the U.N. this summer. These are the people the world long remembers.

Watching cable, you will see very few people who possess that frame of mind.

Review and consider: If you still haven’t watched Malala’s United Nations address, we will once again recommend it. Just click here.

We were happy to see Malala’s outlook expressed by the Fort Lee mayor.


  1. "Can't we all just get along"?

    How funny, coming from such a cauldron of hatred.

    1. Anonymous at 3:50

      We can tell you were sweating when you wrote that.

  2. 4:04

    That may be so - but I care about the education of black kids.

  3. That Sokolich is something. I'd put him right up there with O'Reilly and Beck.

  4. I was impressed by Sokolich, too, but don't think it's fair to say he was baited into the ass-kicking remark. His (completely understandable) frustration and well-managed anger briefly came through with that remark, but in the overall interview, it was a minor moment, and Hayes did not egg him on further. Later headline-makers, well, Hayes is not responsible for them.

    1. You might call it baiting, not because of the repetition or intensity, but because he was asked a personal question when he was being interviewed as mayor of Ft. Lee. That made it baiting. Also, because the question was fishing for an emotional response.

    2. Yeah, just like Blitzer "baited" him into calling the lane closures "the lowest, most venomous form of political retaliation.”

      Nothing personal there.

    3. Right, nothing personal about that because it was the issue at hand, affecting his role as mayor. The Serbian remark is about him as a person -- it has nothing to do with lane closures or being mayor. That's why it is baiting.

    4. Can only say, this is all straining the use of the word "baiting." Hayes was very restrained and did not follow up with anything that suggests he was ever baiting. Somerby just can't acknowledge that Hayes did something decent and right as a reporter, seems to me. Has to get in the (unargued -- nice of others to try to do it for him) "baited."

    5. Well, as I noted, he's got to blame someone else for the "ass-kicking" comment now that the good Mayor is Malala, King and Mandela all rolled into one.

      Why not blame the vile, tricky MSNBC host? Loyal Bobinistas will buy it. They've been told by no less authority than Somerby himself that MSNBC hosts are always up to no good.

    6. Notice the look on Hayes face after he asks the question.

    7. I think you guys are missing some political positioning on the part of Sokolich that is brilliant and amusing.

      The mayor seems to be a real character, and I mean that in the best sense of the expression.

  5. Bob is staying to his script and playing us for rubes. Fact is the mayor starting saying as far back as Sept that the closures looked to be punitive.

    "In the mayor’s letter to Baroni, Sokolich wrote: 'Try as we may to understand the rationale without the benefit of a response from the Port Authority, we are reaching the conclusion that there are punitive overtones associated with this initiative … What other conclusions could we possibly reach?'"

    Was he a hero then? Or a scandal monger?

    1. Anonymous @4:45P,

      Does it hurt to be that ignorant?


      Too bad.

    2. Hey deadrat, what exactly in 4:45's post is ignorant? I must be as well, but fear not I''m in no pain.

      Seriously, please explain, thanks.

    3. deadrat: [crickets]

    4. Wait a little longer. Maybe deadrat has a life.

    5. It must be obvious by now to the most casual reader of TDH that I don't have a life. Sorry for the delay. I dozed off for a while.

      OK. TDH likes the mayor of Fort Lee because he's not screaming for heads to roll, because he doesn't want to see people's careers ended by criminal proceedings, and because he refuses to conclude without evidence that Christie was involved. This is more than (or at least different from) that which can be said for Christie's opponent in the last election. So I guess we can say that this makes the mayor a "hero" and not a "scandal monger." At least by TDH's lights.

      This dual status is not endangered, as Anonymous @4:45 seems to think, by the report of a letter the mayor wrote on September 12 after four days of being stonewalled by the Port Authority about the lane closings, a letter in which the mayor says that the closings seem punitive, a letter quoted by The Star-Ledger two months after it was written and from a source apparently not the mayor.

      To think otherwise is ignorance. And I think the world would be a better place if ignorance were painful. If it were, people would tend to avoid the pain by informing themselves. I say this knowing that would condemn Anonymous @4:45P to agony. Does this make me a bad person? Does it make a difference if I knowi I'd suffer my own share?

      Does that clear things up?

    6. dead rat, hmm, is that what he meant? I thought he was stressing the fact that the mayor didn't think it was punitive until he saw the e-mails yesterday. Which was why Bob highlighted this.

      "But now reading the emails and the text that we see today, it certainly is the case. And I’m embarrassed for those people."

      But maybe not, reading Bob is sometimes like reading the Torah or prose poetry, not always easy to decipher.

      I find it odd that Bob at once (apparently) doesn't think heads should roll over this, but he felt (apparently) that heads should roll when Christie held a perfectly legal separate election (which he incorrectly deemed "a theft.").

      As for the Mayor being like Dr King, i don't know if Dr King was known for hyperbole such as this: "This is absolutely the lowest level of political venom you that could possibly even make up."

      So, in response to your question, no you did not clear anything up. But thanks for trying.

    7. hankest,

      Well, now I feel bad. Everyone one of my comments comes with a money-back guarantee. Let me try again:

      The mayor suspected that the lane closings were punitive back in September. That's when the mayor sent a letter to the Port Authority saying just that. Now that the emails between Christie aides has been released, the mayor's suspicion has been confirmed, and he says so. But the mayor doesn't want to see a metaphorical blood bath with criminal charges and ruined careers. He just wants a kiester kicked. Which is what TDH is praising him for.

      Anonymous @4:45 thinks that the mayor's forbearance is undercut by voicing his suspicions in September and saying now that those suspicions have been confirmed. But that's just ignorant. There's nothing wrong with figuring out the lane closings were punitive. They were. The mayor's "sainthood" is in not demanding draconian consequences.

      MLK said of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in which four children died that is was "… one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity." And yet he called not for vengeance but for the tragedy to engage the conscience of the south. It's not necessary to deny wrongdoing; it's "heroic" not to return evil for evil. Bridgegate may pale in comparison to a lethal bombing, but it's still the lowest level of political venom to punish a city's residents for their mayor's politics.

      No pilpul is required to interpret TDH if you keep in mind that TDH generally comments on people's reactions to stories, including journalists' coverage of those stories. His own opinions, if he voices them, are asides. So does TDH think that heads should roll over Bridgegate? Maybe not, but his main point is that the "good" mayor refused to indulge in vengeful politics. Does TDH think that heads should roll for the separate election? Maybe, but likewise his main point is that a waste of $12 in hard times elicited not much more than passing journalistic eye-rolling, while a juicy scandal over a bad traffic jam is a feast for journalists who love sensationalism.

      I hope that helps. Or at least doesn't hurt

    8. It doesn't bother anyone that from FNC to the Washington Post it is now a foregone conclusion that three people are guilty of what is likely to be a crime, on the basis of their emails exulting in the problems of Fort Lee?

    9. Deadrat, I guess the issue is I and many others were hoping that TDH would discuss his bizarre overreaction to Maddow's coverage and in turn the WSJ's reporting on this story. Like how he said this story was"bullshit," when, even back then it was clearly more than "bullshit."

      Instead we get a story about how a noble mayor reacting too this story... Fine, but it seems to me TDH is avoiding his own nonsense or maybe not, maybe he and we (his readers) should just move on... You know like how Bob has moved on from the 2000 election.

      But ultimately, you show my main beef with Bob's take on this with your statement (which i too believe is part of Bob's - if may use his term of art - "script.")

      ",,,his main point is that a waste of $12 in hard times elicited not much more than passing journalistic eye-rolling, while a juicy scandal over a bad traffic jam is a feast for journalists who love sensationalism."

      If someone feels that way still, I guess there's nothing more to say. Clearly, the mayor (Dr King) doesn't as he thought the "bad traffic jam" was the lowest level of political venom ever...

      Anyway, thanks again for your fine interpretation (do you wear tefilliin when you read TDH?). Ater reading Bob for 15 years, I still hope he comes back to us someday.

    10. ",,his main point is that a waste of $12 [million] in hard times elicited not much more than passing journalistic eye-rolling,"

      Well, there's a couple of things wrong with that.

      The most obvious is that it elecited FAR MORE than "journalistic eye-rolling". In fact, it was covered and discussed in depth, and widely, includling by every one of those vile MSNBC hosts from the day that Christie called the election up until the day the election was held."

      Second, if he called it a "waste" at all, he also, repeatedly, proclaimed Christie guilty of "theft" which, I believe, is a felony when it involves $12 million.

      And he did this in one breath while accusing Maddow of speculating beyond the law and evidence before her. And accusing her in the most vile, personally and professionally insulting language he could muster.

    11. Anonymous @10:49A

      FAR MORE? Maybe just far more. Using the google on the site turns up four stories about the $12M special election. Perhaps that doesn't reflect the number of times the story was covered on air. I wouldn't know, partly because I don't own a TV.

      I think TDH underestimated both the size and the importance of Bridgegate. But that doesn't mean he was wrong about much of Maddow's coverage. She did hype the story back when she had no real information to impart, thus TDH's tut-tutting about a favorite topic, journalists attracted to the sensational at the expense of the important. I also think it's unfair to make a comparison to the $12M special election. It wasn't illegal, it was no secret. What was there to cover beyond Christie's ego?

      New Jersey doesn't classify its crimes as misdemeanors or felonies. It has minor offenses and four "degrees" of larger crimes. All four degrees have possible jail time of a year or more, so they are all what other states call felonies. A theft of $200 or more triggers theft in the fourth degree.

      But really? You're complaining because you think TDH meant "theft" literally as a crime of the first degree under New Jersey law? Are you going to take Maddow to task for saying that Bridgegate "destroyed" Fort Lee or that had Christie retaliated in the same way against every town in New Jersey run by a Democrat, then the whole state would have been a "smoking ruin"?

      And, for God's sake, get up off the fainting couch. Nothing TDH said about Maddow can reasonably be called "vile" or personal. He called her a partisan hack for her work. I could conjure more insulting language in my sleep. And have.

  6. Remember, the central point was nothing there, no story. Anything but "my bad."

    1. Yes, Urban Legend, it was the central point that there was nothing here ever in a million years to be found in this story.

      That ijust has to be the gist of any argument that failed to fully ascribe to the fact that, based upon the info at the time, this was one of the most fascinating stories imaginable.

      Any delving into what would constitute a traffic-jam into Fort Lee or cautions of the tribe being hyped to something above the facts at the time are not acceptable and relevant discourse, but the intemperate rumination of a stealth troll blogger, bent on peeing into Maddow's Cheerios.

      Christie is in trouble and that can only mean that you' re the thoughtful critic of the national scene, not Somerby.

      You are what now constitutes the soul of reason and political discourse..

    2. Cecelia's take: "Yes, Urban Legend, it was the central point that there was nothing here ever in a million years to be found in this story."

      Somerby's own words:

      "She could have been discussing something that actually matters . . ."

      "she keeps playing you with this stupid shazam, which comes from the world of Fox."

      "the massively ginned-up controversy about lane closings at the George Washington Bridge"

      "the biggest little traffic jam"

      "She’s been playing us rubes every step of the way, turning her program into pure propaganda."

      "Maddow is playing her viewers for fools. How many viewers can’t see that?"

      Dear Cecelia? The next time you try to sell your bullroar, at least be a bit more clever.

    3. I guess this is Cecelia's way of saying that "this is no big deal and Maddow should be spending time on low-income kids" is "no longer operative."

      So down the memory hole it goes. That whole Etch-A-Sketch thing.

    4. Anon5:51pm, it's significant that you only see those excerpts and are utterly oblivious to the content and context around them.

    5. Well, she couldn't tdo both now could she, Anonymous5:58pm?

      She couldn't have called low income kids the most interesting and intriguing story that gets bigger and bigger, and discussed the one on Christie in a measured manner rather than chum.

      You sharks aren't interested in that.

    6. It is also significant that you can only regurgitate Somerby and haven't even bothered to see what Maddow actually reported. In real time.

      And while you are at it, go look at the names your hero has called Maddow just over the last month or so.

      Now match that up with his latest lecture of how we should all be more like King and Malala. Just like Sokolich, who wants a guy's ass kicked..

    7. Actually, Cecelia, she has discussed poverty quite a bit this week on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of LBJ declaring the "War on Poverty."

      In the same programs she has also discussed Christie.

      But I'm not surprised you remain willfully ignorant about that. After all, Somerby hasn't told you what to think about those reports, so how could you possibly know what to say?

    8. It seems a shame that the Democrats are now discussing poverty largely because Ted Cruz and the Republicans have decided to propose alternative anti-poverty measures, not because poverty is a strong issue for liberals. We are once again being reactive instead of asserting the liberal agenda. When will we stop doing that?

    9. Actually, Anon 6:13pm, it's fine of Maddow to discuss poverty on the Anniversary of our nation declaring a war on it.

      Do you think it's possible the point made by Somerby about our media and culture...the point you find so that she wouldn't promo poor people every commercial break as though there was new info on their condition.

      Could the point be that we're being taught to hate more than to heal, by people who profit from it like any military-industrial complex?

      That we're being taught that it's tribally treasonous to hold stories about political opponents in the same light of skepticism that we would for car commercials?

      I'm sorry you find this sort discourse to be objectionable bullroar. However, I do wish you'd go please yourself on a blog devoted to war.

    10. Oh, good GAWD Cecelia.

      Read what the man wrote. It's right in front of you. He was talking about MADDOW wasting time on this petty little bridge story when she should be discussing low-income kids. Not "our media and culture" in general.

      I guess it's impossible to have an honest discussion with a person who can't even admit the truth when it's staring here in the face.

      And now you are confronted with the TRUTH that Somerby has lied to you and played you for a fool by telling you that Maddow doesn't care about an issue she has also been reporting on all week.

      So the question remains: Are you always going to play the fool for Somerby? Or will you finally wake up to his little game?

    11. "It is also significant that you can only regurgitate Somerby and haven't even bothered to see what Maddow actually reported. In real time." Anonymous at 6:11 PM

      Yes, she reflexively agreed with everything Bob wrote and then when I challenged her to show me one thing Maddow reported that was wrong or one thing she did that was journalistically unprofessional, she asked me to tell her what happened on the show. Unbelievable.

    12., mm.

      You disputed a statement I made that Maddow had aired unproven charges in this matter.

      You'd said that this was categorically untrue.

      When I then asked if Maddow had never aired charges of Chrisie's involvement AND said I would apologize if that was the case, you accused me of NEVER watching her show, but still have yet to say whether or not she aired such a charge from anyone about Christie.

    13. Yeah, that's what I said CeceliaMc.

      Why should I look for proof of your unfounded charges?

    14. You categorically denied that she had made charges, but have yet to say whether she aired one from anyone else.

      If you are watching her show and hanging on her every word (in the way you say I am not...), shouldn't you be as categorical about what her guests have done, as you were about Maddow's actions?

    15. CeceliaMc, when I told you that Maddow had not done what you claimed she did, you then changed your attack and claimed one of her guests must have. Then you asked me to verify if that was true or not. I have no obligation to research and disprove your unsupported and unproven guesses. For the record, no, it never happened. I await your apology.

    16. Cecelia, let me tell you how adults discuss things.

      You make the charge, you have the backbone to support it. Even a semi-bright sixth grader looks like an ass by saying, "Since you can't prove me wrong, that means I am right. So nanny-nanny boo-boo on you!"

      And you have sunk even lower than that now in your flailing desperation to deny that Somerby is playing you for a fool.

      You are now demanding proof that Maddow NEVER SAID what Somerby claims she said. And you've even expanded your reach. You are even demanding proof that no guest of Rachel Maddow ever said what Somerby charges MADDOW with saying!

      Two things are very obvious, Cecelia:

      1 You never watch Maddow, so you just take Somerby's word on what she reports and how she reports it.

      2. You do watch Maddow, but lack the critical thinking skills to realize that Somerby is lying to you.

      Which is it?

    17. I said that Maddow had "aired charges".

      How am I guilty of moving the goalpost simply because you inexplicably think that "aired charges" could only mean accusations coming solely from Maddow herself?

      I didn't ask you to do when research. I didn't ask you for any proof at all!

      When I asked if Maddow had aired the charge of anyone else, I expressly asked you only to say yea or nay as definitively as you had about Maddow, based upon your implication that you assiduously follow this issue on her show.

    18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    19. I don't see your apology, CeceliaMc.

    20. So yea or nay, mm? No "references" required. (You can't prove a negative, anyway...). Just your verdict based upon your intimate knowledge of the Maddow segments on Bridgegate.

    21. "I don't see your apology, CeceliaMc."

      You have yet to expressly aver that Maddow never aired charges on her show.

      Could this be because you haven't been watching?

    22. No matter how many times it's been told to you, you will never believe that Maddow's reporting on this issue has been extremely careful not to air "charges" that go beyond the evidence at hand.

      Yet here you continue in your intransigence, insisting that others prove what she DID NOT do, while not demanding the same level of proof from your hero of what she (allegedgly) DID do.

      And speaking of unfounded charges, Somerby himself has falsely accused Christie of the very specific felony of the "theft" of $12 million from the taxpayers of New Jersey, the cost of the special Senate election.

      But hey, let's not get upset that Somerby had no basis in law for making that charge. And of course, let's not hold him to anywhere near the standard of literal meaning that he holds others to.

      Instead, let's harp on something Maddow did NOT do, and claim we are "right" because others can "prove" to your satisfaction that she DID NOT do it.

      Utterly dishonest.

    23. "How am I guilty of moving the goalpost simply because you inexplicably think that "aired charges" could only mean accusations coming solely from Maddow herself?"

      Oh, I don't know. Perhaps because even you realize you can't defend Somerby's assertion that Maddow herself went beyond the evidence at hand, and now must broaden the scope to every guest she has ever had on?

      Dodge, deflect, try to change the debate into one you think you can win, and you still fail miserably. And still without producing even a shred of the evidence you demand of Maddow.


    24. Again, I asked for NO "proof " whatsoever that Maddow never aired charges against Christie. NO references that she would have to look up. I'm being accused of asking mm to prove a negative when I did not do that.

      I only asked mm to aver that Maddow's guests had not made charges as categorically as she claims Maddow has not.

      I was then accused of moving the goalpost because mm thinks that "aired charges" can only mean charges made by the host.

      I was accused of never watching the show, because if I did, I would know the answer.

      So,, tell this non-watcher the answer? Has she or hasn't she?

      Yes, it matters. Because giving an audience the impression that a story is getting bigger based not upon more evidence, but louder speculation, is a favorite self-serving carnival barking act by cable news. It's unfair to the people who are at the center of such controversies, and yes, it plays their audience.

      THAT was my point at the time when I was told " aired charges" never happened.

      Which by the way, is an exchange that *mm brought up today in order to again castigate me.

    25. Anon 10:24am, I suggest that if you think that airing charges via the airwaves pertains solely to those made by announcers and news hosts, that the p-word is more applicable to you.

    26. CeceliaMc,

      I really don't think you understand how this works. In your mind, unless I categorically state that what you suspect or speculate might have happened didn't in fact happen, then you're free to conclude it did happen. That's laughable.

      And I answered your question already at 9:17 am this morning.

      I await your apology.

    27. And your evidence that she "aired charges" is exactly what? Or are you going to continually redefine what "aired charges" mean?

      Cecelia, this is you MO. You say something stupid and you wind up looking like a fool. So you say something even dumber, and you wind up looking even more foolish.

      Then lacking the backbone and honesty to support your own idiotic arguments, you demand others prove a negative, then bask in your smug, self-righteousness when they can't possibly prove that Maddow did NOT say what you accuse her (and now every guest she has had) of saying.

      But keep flailing away, Cecelia. It's kind of fun to watch.

    28. Mm, you had no trouble categorically doing just that when you thought that "airing charges" only mean that Maddow had accused Christie of something.

      But now you can't or won't take such a stand when you discover that "airing charges" means airing charges...

      I'm starting to think that your Maddow viewing habits are hit or miss.

    29. Here's how a "discussion" with Cecelia works:

      SOMERBY: Maddow was overhead in a Starbuck's in San Francisco on Tuesday saying Christie is guilty as sin.

      CECELIA: How dastardly!

      SANE PERSON: Ummm, Maddow did her show Tuesday from New York.

      CECELIA: That doesn't mean she couldn't grab a flight to Frisco for a cup of coffee.

      SANE PERSON: Cecelia? It's a 10 hour round trip, not counting the time waiting to board and for the flight to take off.

      CECELIA: Well, it could have been one of her guests.

      SANE PERSON: Who?

      CECELIA: You prove to me that no guest Maddow has ever had on has ever been to that Starbuck's in San Francisco.

      SANE PERSON: Somerby said it was Maddow.

      CECELIA: So you can't prove that none of her guests were ever in that Starbuck's. That means I'm right, and so is Somerby.

      Unfortunately, I need to exaggerate to make my point only a little.

    30. Anon 11:02am, if you had the sense of a gnat you'd ascertain which contention on the airing of charges is "stupid".

    31. What's unfortunate, Anon 11:16am, is that you had to resort to a parody that misrepresents anything said by Somerby or me.

    32. "that 'airing charges' means airing charges..."

      I actually don't know what "airing charges" means. What do you mean by that?

    33. CeceliaMc,

      What the hell is wrong with you?

      Now you keep making these snide comments about my "viewing habits".

      "I'm starting to think that your Maddow viewing habits are hit or miss."CeceliaMc

      "Could this be because you haven't been watching?"CeceliaMc

      "...your implication that you assiduously follow this issue on her show."CeceliaMc

      "Just your verdict based upon your intimate knowledge of the Maddow segments on Bridgegate."CeceliaMc

      "...and hanging on her every word..."CeceliaMc

      I don't appreciate your snide tone and accusations that I ever claimed I had an encyclopedic knowledge and recall of everything ever "aired" on the Rachel Maddow show related to this topic.

      You're the one making the claim. Either put up or shut up.

    34. Well, I'd call "Christie committed the theft of $12 million" is "airing charges."

      But I'm going to guess that Cecelia doesn't see it that way.

    35. mm, isn't that the expectation you had from me back when this exchange (which YOU referenced first today) happened?

      Didn't you extrapolate my asking you if Maddow has never aired charges via guests, as soley being an admission that I don't watch?

    36. Anon 1146am, no, I see it as an apple and oranges device that has no understanding of the context in which I bemoaned the airing of charges.

    37. CeceliaMc,

      This is pointless to go any further with you on this subject.

      Show me where I ever accused you of admitting you don't watch the show.

    38. mm, you extrapolated as a tacit admission. That why today you reverenced the exchange in order to say that I just "reflexively" agree with Bob.

    39. CeceliaMc,

      I "extrapolated as a tacit admission"?!?

      Did I say it or not? I'm not interested in what you imagined I implied. Just stick to the facts.

      Understand, I am not attacking you personally. I just enjoy a good debate and would prefer to stick to the facts.

      Your criticism of Maddow seems to be reduced to the fact that you just don't like the way she teased the segments on this subject with too much enthusiasm. I'm sure that if she had just introduced the segments in a soft expressionless monotone you would have no problems, eh?

  7. Your on your own with the comparison of Sokolitch to King and Malala, but I love the guy!

    1. Let me guess. Did you actually see any of these interviews? Or are you merely going on Somerby's take before you decided that you "love the guy"?

    2. You are aware that a link was included in the blog, or have you not bothered to read it?

    3. You can't answer a direct question, can you?

      Yes, I read the Blitzer transcript, and I actually saw the Hayes interview in real time. So once again, you look like a fool.

      And Cecelia? You don't even bother to say whether your read the transcripts, only that there was a link to them.

      Geez Louise! You're only reading Somerby's take on it before you decided you "love the guy." And please, do not claim now that you read them. Too late.

      Here's my take that you will no doubt ignore: Based on the interview I saw and the one I read, the guy said a lot of good things. He at times was conciliatory, and at times was combative. A reasonable person can conclude he was either or both.

      But a reasonable person would also need more than two interviews and Somerby's take before deciding they "love the guy."

      He could be a total asshole for all I know. Or the nicest guy walking the planet.

    4. Actually, Anon 1152am, what you did was to read the exchange above and then use my statement about Sokolich to further the argument that I just parrot Somerby.

      I said Somerby was on his own in his comparison of Sokolich to King and Malala.

      Though I know Bob means that Sokolich refused a very convenient opportunity to strike back, the comparison is too trivializing of the physical and mental suffering of King and Malala.

      That said, "characters" are often assholes. They're often consummate politicians who have sense enough to claim that their's was not the knife that intended to kill Caesar.

      I can't help loving the mayor.

    5. Cecelia, this is also proof that you neither saw the interview or bothered to read the transcripts.

      Because if you had, you would have seen that Sokolich did not "refuse" the opportunity to "strike back." He struck back. Hard. In very strong language. In BOTH interviews.

      Oh, I forgot. He was "baited" by the cunning Chris Hayes. Those weren't really his words. Let's not believe our lyin' eyes and ears. Let's wait until Somerby says it's OK before we decide to "love" the next Malala, the next King.

      Yep, pleasing tale. Sweet hay for the cattle.

    6. And you still avoid the direct question of whether you read the transcripts, or saw the interviews, or just read Somerby's take on it.

      I should be happy that there is at least something you won't lie about.

    7. Anon1:01pm, it's difficult to claim that someone parrots someone they don't read, but that hasn't stopped you.

    8. Anon 1:03, and that's no way to treat a truth-seeker like you, is it?

  8. i disagreed with the blogger a good number of weeks ago about the practicality of malala yousafzai's stated position of not being against anyone when there is a group (the taliban) whose very identity is dedicated to the antithesis of your (malala's) ideals.

    same principle applies here in modern day usa. the gop wants to destroy the dems or at least the true democrats. somerby wants the dems, apparently, to continue their rightward drift by not realizing that they are dealing with an intractable foe.

    1. You don't fight an enemy by becoming just like them. One of the main differences between Dems & Repubs is an emphasis on fairness and justice among liberals. That translate to an unwillingness to use the same underhanded methods as the conservatives. Some of us see it as drifting rightward to do as the Republicans do, in the name of combatting them. Turning media into organs of partisan propaganda whose intent is to tribalize liberals is a tactic originated by the right (witness Fox). Some of us would rather see the liberal media set an example of proper journalism, not emulate the propaganda that comes from the right. I'm not sure how to reconcile this difference of opinion over tactics, but a start would be to stop mischaracterizing the goals of this blogger. It also seems a bit ridiculous to asser that if someone doesn't say what you what him to, he must be a conservative or belong with the "enemy."

    2. "somerby wants the dems, apparently, to continue their rightward drift by not realizing that they are dealing with an intractable foe."

      Good grief, how in Hell did you arrive at that twisted conclusion? Please don't eat the daisies, or whatever it is causes such distorted perception in you.

    3. @6:18,

      "You don't fight an enemy by becoming just like them."

      >>> you also dont let their lies go unanswered.

      "It also seems a bit ridiculous to asser[t] that if someone doesn't say what you what him to, he must be a conservative or belong with the "enemy."

      >>> he has a long pattern of concern trolling the left.

    4. above to *anon* 6:18, not horace pleigh 6:18

    5. horace pleigh said,

      "Good grief, how in Hell did you arrive at that twisted conclusion?"

      >>> dan d. lyons don't tell no lies. dan d. lyons will make you wise.

    6. One of the main differences between Dems & Repubs is an emphasis on fairness and justice among liberals. That translate to an unwillingness to use the same underhanded methods as the conservatives.

      That used to be a comfortable conceit. It has been proven entirely false. The character of a "progressive" is in no way superior to that of a conservative. MSNBC is as bad as or worse than FOX and the tribal left is every bit as hateful, bigoted, dishonest, and vindictive as the right. It probably edges the right on self-righteous hypocrisy.

  9. I'm from the Texas-influenced part of Oklahoma, but isn't "Somebody Deserves an Ass-Kicking" the Jersey state song?

    1. Nah, nobody from Jersey would ever say such a mean thing, unless, of course, they were "baited" by the vile, cunning Chris Hayes.

      Incidentally, if you really want to rile a Croatian, call him a "little Serbian."

    2. It was the equivalent of interviewing Jennifer Anniston about her latest movie and in the middle asking her how she feels about Brad and Anjelina's marriage. It was irrelevant, personal and aimed at generating good theater by evoking an emotional response. That is baiting, even when Chris Hayes does it.

    3. Well, if an e-mail had just surfaced in which Anjelina had just called Jennifer "a little Serbian", I would think a reporter might ask for a reaction.

      By the way, if you would care to watch Sokolich's interviews with both Blitzer and Hayes, you might have a different take than the pleasing tale Somerby is now selling.

      To me, this is one pissed off mayor.

    4. So the Bob Fan Club is now reduced to analogies between the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. and Jennifer Anniston.

      How droll.

    5. Why are reporters entitled to reactions about personal things like that? How would you expect him to feel about it? They are fishing for something to feature in a sound bite and that makes it baiting.

      You seem to have the idea that Bob is lauding the mayor for not being angry. He has every right to be angry. Bob is lauding him for being restrained in his response despite his anger, for behaving like a civilized representative of the people of Ft. Lee. The guy is showing class. So does Jennifer Anniston, by the way.

    6. Reporters have no right to reactions. They do, however, have every right to ask questions.

      But you go ahead and believe that he was "restrained." To me, this was a guy who was trying hard to give Christie and his crew every benefit of every doubt, but now the gloves are off.

    7. When they ask a personal question to which the answer is obvious, they are trying to evoke an emotional reaction. It is not good journalism although it might be good for ratings.

      Public figures with less self-control have ruined their careers over emotional reactions from reporters. Contrast his reaction under strong provocation to Christies finger-shaking and shouting, when a teacher dared to ask him a legitimate question. That is the difference. When reporters ask people these sorts of questions, they aren't hoping for information. They are at best hoping for good footage or a quote, and at worst they are hoping someone will self-destruct, have a macaca-moment for example. Some of us remember the days when that was considered out-of-bounds for journalists. Now everyone trash talks and tweets garbage hoping for attention, even if it means apologizing later for their response. It has become very ugly out there.

    8. "When they ask a personal question to which the answer is obvious, they are trying to evoke an emotional reaction. It is not good journalism . . ."

      Surely, you are kidding.

      But go ahead and pretend that the Mayor never would have said what he said unless the cunning Chris Hayes "baited" him.

      It's a very pleasing tale that goes right along to comparing him now with Malala, King, and even Mandela. In fact, since Malala, King nor Mandela ever said that anyone ever "deserves an ass-kicking" we've got to find a pleasing way to explain why Sokolich did.

      Of course! It was the vile, bad MSNBC host!

  10. Before Somerby re-invents an entirely new Sokolich in his own preferred image and fashion, perhaps his readers would be advised to make note of this Politico piece, where the guy right now is ready to go to war:

    "Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich dressed down New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his embattled top aides Wednesday, calling the politically motivated logjam of the George Washington Bridge in September “the lowest, most venomous form of political retaliation.”
    “I didn’t decide to join the fray of this until today, when these emails surfaced. I’m not a retribution kind of a guy, but the folks that are responsible for this can no longer be in positions that they can actually cause this type of damage to other unsuspecting communities,” Sokolich told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

    Read more:

    1. This is exactly what Somerby quoted above, except you characterize the guy as "ready to go to war" whereas Somerby characterizes him as restrained in his response.

    2. “deserves an ass-kicking.”

      “the lowest, most venomous form of political retaliation.”

      "But now reading the emails and the text that we see today, it certainly is the case."

      "But I’ll tell you the credibility level is getting reduced and reduced and reduced as this story continues to move on."

      "I want Fort Lee left alone. I want to guarantee this doesn't happen. You go do whatever you got to go do. And I got to tell you, reform has to be put into place to make sure that this doesn't happen to any other host community."

      You go on and believe what Bob tells you to believe.

      Excuse me if I choose to think for myself and conclude that the mayor is very much ready to go to war over this.

    3. You don't know what "war" is, obviously.

  11. The brain dead commentary on CNN after Christie's appearance went something like, "He did well and apparently didn't know about this but the problem with this story is it does fit into a pattern some people say of bullying."

    To paraphrase, "Maybe he didn't do what he was accused of doing but it would fit into the pattern of bullying if he did."

  12. I also don't know how lane closures work in Jersey, but there in Missouri, the Department of Transportation notifies everyone, well in advance, including the media who can then alert drivers.

    To this day, the Jersey officials still haven't come up with any sort of explanation as to why those lanes were close, and, equally as important, why nobody at all was notified.

    1. Of course there is due notice in NJ/NY (this is a two-state, "Port Authority of NY and NJ" thing) as well. That's one of the MANY reasons the "traffic study" bit is so lame.Yet Christie sticks to its possibility....
      Not to mention that "traffic studies" of this kind are now usually done by computer-simulation and the like, long before any "real-time" study is undertaken. Not that the governor would have worried himself about such details -- really and truly -- until questions were raised. But they were being raised in NJ from the first day of the four in September. (FOUR days of traffic jams, btw, not just one -- and those four included 9/11.)
      At best, Christie didn't notice what might have been a minor fracas because he was too preoccupied with running for president. Then he has to explain why his staff, left to their own devices, were accustomed to operating this way....
      I am a proud NJ native, accustomed to "good clean graft." This is out of bounds.

  13. Well it's all over for Christie. ABC has exclusively reported this incriminating nail in the coffin - a photo of Christie with a group of other no-names at one of only 10,000 such events he's likely attended. Obviously proving he COULD pick out the Mayor in a lineup.

    1. Ummm, I count six mayors in the photo, which, according to my math, is somewhat short of 10,000.

      Now one would think that a governor of a state, particularly one that just went through Superstorm Sandy, would be pretty well acquainted with the mayors in his state.

      For instance, I would lay odds that Barack Obama could pick out each of the 50 state governors, and lots of mayors out of a lineup.

      But OK, let's say that Christie doesn't know his mayors. What does that make him? Lazy? Arrogant? Or both?

    2. That too.

      Don't forget that a full month after vowing to get to the bottom of this, he just learned through the press yesterday that some of his senior officials are involved.

    3. Well, you wouldn't expect his aides to tell him about it, assuming he didn't already know.

    4. Joe Scarborough said it best this morning, and I'll try to paraphrase as best as I can: "If this happened in my office, or in the office of any one elected to serve with me, I'd have burned down the office until I found the cockroaches."

      Chris Christie vowed a month ago that he would get to the bottom of this, identify the culprits, and heads would roll.

      And a month later, here we go again.

    5. Choose a minor point in the argument, treat it as central, demolish it (maybe), and run. Too often, the Somerby approach. Bravo!

    6. To which I would add: this is the reason officers of the court, whether defenders or prosecutors, are obligated first of all to the truth. The truth is a wholeness (famously embodied in that oath taken by witnesses), arrived at through struggle.

    7. But OK, let's say that Christie doesn't know his mayors. What does that make him? Lazy? Arrogant? Or both?

      It makes him "normal."

      It's likely Christie knows state legislators, and every governor of every other state. There's no reason he should be able to pick a particular mayor out of a lineup.

      The effort invested in the tribe holding on to stupid is impressive.

  14. You know, no matter how much Bob dodges, ducks, deflects and sprays with perfume, the stink of what he has written still lingers.

  15. And I want to throw in here, as a molotov cocktail. NJ was a strong slave-holding state in the colonial era. In fact, 16 or 18 (accounts vary) NJ slaves were not freed until the 14th Amendment. It's a very and wonderfully complicated place (as is every state!). When I was growing up in NJ, I (a blissfully unaware WASP little girl) always assumed that the black children among us (yes, there were quite a few) were from the south or something. But no, their ancestors may have been "here" as long or longer than my Scotch-English (and Dutch and French Huguenot) ancestors.

    I'm thinking of my mother's years of working with black children in Jersey City, and Bob's (what I take to be sincere and serious) commitments to black children (as much as to any children) in his education blogs. NJ is a wonderful place to examine our whole nation's story. Christie has (at the very least) disappointed. It is as simple as that.

  16. I've found that sometimes people with elite Ivy educations can overthink or overcomplicate things. It may be a Harvard or Yale curse. Those of us with mediocre intellects and less subtle minds sometimes, lacking imagination or nuance to be sure, see things for what they are.

    1. And we're not shy, no!

      Neither about our charming humbleness nor our impressive powers of discernment...

  17. Why would Christie have expected a Democrat to endorse him? The mayor is a Dem.

    1. Better question: Why did Christies deputy chief of staff think it was "Time for traffic problems in Fort Lee"? And why did his handpicked guy on the Port Authority know exactly what she was talking about and exactly what to do?

    2. Better question, when the WSJ reported what Foye had said about Wildstien's actions, Chrisite openly mocked it and dissembled about the nonexistent traffic study, which he continued to do today.

      Question, if there was a study, why can't the governor see some documentation on it? Maybe if he said please.

    3. Anonymous @8:57P,

      Christie got over 50 Democrats to endorse his re-election. It is part of his strategy to portray himself as someone who can work across party lines and even attract support from the other party. He made it a part of his propaganda. Go here:

    4. The answer, 11:46: Because Christie is now the unwitting victim of a staff to whom he delegated much authority but never has any idea of what they are up to. Doggone it, he's asked for that traffic study for weeks now, and they just won't give it to him no matter how nice he asks.

    5. You don't close lanes to do a traffic study. That's ridiculous and Christie has to be the biggest horses ass that ever sat in the Governor's chair to still think there might have been one. It is totally illogical given that he's fired 2 people and 2 others resigned. Is he that stupid?

  18. You know, if Somerby lacks the common decency to admit that Maddow's journalistic instincts were spot-on and that his were completely wrong, then apologize for all the name-calling he did, the very least he should do is stop writing about this subject and hope the few loyal readers he has will forget.

    Honest to God, comparing Sokolich to a girl who got her face shot for the express purpose of once again lecturing "liberals" on how to act is one of the dumbest thing he's written.

    1. Two weeks ago liberals here couldn't state strongly enough how inconsequential and irrelavant Maddow was/is in the world of liberal discourse. Now, it's downright indecent to not marvel at her remarkable "instincts". Bullshit. She had no idea that those emails existed, and yes she did get way out in front of the facts as they were known. And yes she did tease the story like a partisan hack. BTW, the last time I was told to be in awe of someone's "instincts" GW Bush was making a case for invading Iraq.

  19. 10:39

    His last shred of gravitas gone, if he doesn't quit blogging, Business As Usual would only be self-parody.

    He might also double down - skating closer to the edge of neo-confederate positions in a "rebranding" effort.

    1. I wonder what his audience is down to. A few like hankest and myself who stick around hoping he returns to his senses. Those who left long ago but still check in occasionally then leave again when they learn he hasn't returned to his senses. Hard-core groupies like CeceliaMc who thinks there were five evangelists -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Bob.

    2. You two sound unhinged.

    3. You want unhinged? Take a gander at Somerby's latest "CNN-Sole Survivor-March of the Penguins-Diana Ravitch-MSNBC-NYT-Chris Christie screed.

  20. Jeeves

    "Texas-influenced part of Oklahoma"

    It is true that any change to Oklahoma is an improvement, but Texas?