Top pundits just wanna have fun: Last night, Andrew Sullivan was peeved, almost peckish.
The peevish fellow was guest-starring on Anderson Cooper Later. It’s the late-night version of Cooper’s tabloid-driven show, the one where the pundits just sit around exploring how dumb and dishonest they are.
Kate Zernike was on the show, guaranteeing a shipload of total confusion. At one point, the pundits were trying to figure out what Christie has said in the past.
That’s when Sully got a bit peckish about his responsibilities. He expressed his mighty pique with a bit of help from Charles Blow:
SULLIVAN (2/3/14, peevishly): We have to parse this guy in a Clinton—Blow’s memory skills weren’t strong last night. But we got the general idea!
BLOW: Yes, what is the meaning of is?
The children tend to get very upset when they’re asked to be 1) fair to one of their group targets, or 2) professional in their conduct. In this case, the boys got upset about the idea that they had to try to determine what Christie has actually said.
Why couldn’t they simply make it up, the way they usually do? You would probably feel peeved too, if you were hit with such silly demands.
These horrible children just wanna have fun! At the present time, they’re on a chase, and they very much want to enjoy it. To Sully, the need to determine what Christie has said reminded him of the bad old days, when people bugged him with complaints about fairness to President Clinton.
Blow was peeved too. He tried to remember when Clinton said, “It all depends of what the meaning of is is.”
We do remember when Clinton said that. We also remember when Blow invented all those bogus facts about a murder case in 2012. He wanted the freedom to make up those facts. It’s hard to get lower than that.
How stupid are people like these? After whining about the burden of parsing, Sully proceeded like this.
Avert the children’s eyes:
SULLIVAN (continuing directly): To me, it's just obvious that several facts present themselves. One, Chris Christie is a hands-on, detail-oriented governor. The people know that he is behind them.Good God! After all the grumbling, Sullivan just wanted to talk a bit more about Governor Christie’s treatment of his best buddy, the childhood friend!
Two, that there is a pattern of this kind of thing in his administration. And three, his best buddy—he is spending time now trashing his childhood [indecipherable]. At what point does a sitting governor stoop to that kind of stuff, unless he is in fury, in rage or terrified of what this guy has?
What an embarrassment these pre-humans are! What kind of nation is willing to tolerate public figures like these?
Hoover intervenes: Six-year-old children love their toys. So does the peevish Sully.
After he brought out the childhood friend, Margaret Hoover pushed back.
It wasn’t that easy to get Zernike to admit that Christie and Wildstein hadn’t been childhood friends. Note the way this “reporter” played two different versions of “Yes, but” as she was forced to admit:
HOOVER: I think the reason that happened though is because this other narrative surfaced that was like, “They are very good friends from growing up.”That wasn’t easy! It isn’t easy getting this horrible person to state even the most basic facts.
The truth is, as I understand it from talking to several people in New Jersey, they were in the same high school from the same town. They were in totally different classes. It was the big public school in the town. They were not actually friends.
COOPER: But you're saying a job was created for him.
HOOVER: But not because he knew him personally. Do you know how many political appointees are in the state of New Jersey?
ZERNIKE: Well, no.
HOOVER: Thousands. There are a lot of political appointees.
HOOVER: This is not like, “I know him personally and I'm putting him there.” Yes, everybody is appointed by the governor in the state of New Jersey. That's how it works.
ZERNIKE: You're right. On the other hand, when Governor Christie was U.S. attorney, David Wildstein was running a political blog. Several reporters from that blog have talked about what a good source Governor Christie's office was. Clearly, Governor Christie knew who David Wildstein was.
Governor Christie has said they met on a political campaign when they were teenagers. They are certainly— You see the pictures on September 11 and on the anniversary and they're together and they're laughing. I don't think we can say—
HOOVER: But it's not like they were best friends and now he is trashing his best friend from childhood.
ZERNIKE: No, no, I agree.
As a reporter, Zernike makes a good attack dog. As recently as Friday afternoon, she was describing Wildstein as a “high school friend of” Christie’s.
Of course, she knew that wasn’t the truth. But, if we might borrow from Chekhov, she wanted to say it so badly!
(By Saturday morning, the Times had bumped the phrase back to "high school classmates." That’s inaccurate too!)
As a reporter, Zernike is as incompetent as anyone we’ve ever seen. She’s also a poorly disguised partisan, a fact which becomes embarrassingly clear when she goes on TV.
Two bits of background:
Steve Kornacki has said, again and again, that it was actually Bill Baroni who wanted Wildstein hired. That said, everyone knows the current rules:
You praise Kornacki for his knowledge. After that, you simply ignore the buzz-kill things he says.
In that passage, you see the way a partisan acts when forced to abandon a point. Forced to admit that Christie and Wildstein actually weren’t high school friends, Zernike ends up saying that, “on the other hand, when Governor Christie was U.S. Attorney, David Wildstein was running a political blog...Clearly, Governor Christie knew who David Wildstein was.”
Christie knew who Wildstein was! And not only that! There’s a photograph where they’re laughing!
(In what universe do actual humans ever behave like that?)
Kornacki constantly notes that Wildstein sold that political blog to a political enemy of Christie’s. But so what? These horrible people want to talk about the childhood friends!
These horrible people hate their lives, as Dylan once explained. When you ask them to do their jobs, they complain that you’re making them parse.
Final note: Today, they’re doing this to Christie. Next year, they’ll be doing it to someone you support, as they’ve done many times in the past.
We liberals will sit there and shut our traps, the same way we’ve always done. The way we did in 2012 when they did this to Susan Rice.