Chris almost got somebody killed this way!


Lawrence seems eager to top him: In fairness, Lawrence offered just one short segment concerning Fort Lee last night.

When he did, he made a remarkable statement about a person who’s much less important than he is. This passage defines the current drift of one of our highly amoral corporate cable “news channels:”
O’DONNELL (2/29/14): Joining me now is attorney Julian Epstein, a Democratic strategist and former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee.

Julian, there’s David Samson today, in his little apology note at that public hearing at the Port Authority, attributing what happened at the George Washington Bridge to the actions of “a few individuals.” That list of individuals is expanding every day. It may very well include David Samson himself, who is deeply entrenched in this whole story.

But now we’re finding out about Chip Michaels, this police officer who seems close to Camp Christie, who was driving David Wildstein around, is an additional e-mail communication coming out about him coming up with a better idea about how to make the traffic jam worse.

To say, at this date, to attribute this event that happened at the bridge at this date to, as Samson did, to the actions of a few individuals, that’s just patently false based on what we know on the record so far.
Will it turn out that Samson engaged in wrongdoing with respect to the bridge closings?

That’s certainly possible. It’s also possible that Lawrence himself was the mastermind of the affair!

Everything is possible! Then too, some claims are simply untrue. For one example, just consider what Lawrence said about Michaels.

(Epstein should have challenged what Lawrence said. Needless to say, he didn’t.)

As you can see from the videotape, Lawrence’s syntax broke apart as he tried to talk about Michaels.

Sentence construction is hard! That said, the drift of his statement was clear.

Question: In the real world, have we learned that Michaels “came up with a better idea about how to make the traffic jam worse?” Have we learned that Michaels is one of the individuals who engaged in misconduct during the Fort Lee lane closings?

Plainly, no, we haven’t learned that. That is just a howling misstatement—a groaner, an invention, a patently bogus claim.

At present, it’s a false accusation.

It’s also an ugly accusation, aimed at a person who is less important than Lawrence. At present, evidence for this accusation doesn’t exist, except in the bogus narratives of people like Lawrence and Rachel. (To review her more detailed inventions last night concerning Michaels, see our next post).

Just for the record, this is exactly the way Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed. Epstein should have challenged Lawrence. Being a hack, he didn’t.

Epstein and Lawrence are overpaid hacks, just as Samson is. Almost all major players in our political/journalistic worlds tilt in that direction.

Do we know that Michaels is one of the people who misbehaved in the case of the lane closings? Plainly, no—we don’t know that.

We do know that Lawrence has misbehaved. That fact is perfectly clear.

Chris almost got somebody killed this way. Lawrence seems eager to top him.


  1. Bob, last night Rachel Maddow told of a story in yesterday's Bergen Record.

    It seems that NJ Transit, the leasees of parking lots owned by the Port Authority, hired the firm of Wolff & Samson.

    Then as chairman of the Port Authority Commission, Samson voted in favor of lowering NJ Transit's annual lease payments on those parking lots from $900,000 to $1.

    This comes after the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Samson, as chair of the Port Authority Commission, approved a $256 million renovation of a PATH station very close to where a developer client of Wolff & Samson was proposing luxury apartments.

    So please, Bob. For the love of God, don't try your usual trick and turn Samson into some sort of MSNBC victim.

    1. Do we know whether Samson is active in the firm of Wolff & Samson. It is common for people who belong to law firms to stop active participation in them when they hold a public office. Hillary Clinton did that, for example, and thus was not responsible for actions of partners at the law firm she was part of. These dots do need to be connected before making accusations.

      It seems to me it would be very hard for a law firm operating in a specific locale to avoid having clients near one or another PATH stations, especially if you are nonspecific about what "near" means.

      Can you state with certainty whether Samson was an active member of his firm at the time when he voted on these decisions by the Port Authority? Have you (or the Bergen Record) verified that he did not recuse himself from those votes?

    2. Yes, please prove to me that Samson has anything to do with the firm of Wolff & Samson.


      And equally priceless? Today, after the Bergen Record reported his 2012 vote to award the 49-year lease at a $1 a year to a Wolff & Samson client, Samson said he intended to recuse himself, that his yes vote was erroneously entered (although another commissioner is duly recorded as having recused himself), and that the Port Authority lawyer has allowed him to change his vote and recuse himself.

      Two years after his vote was recorded and the sweetheart contract approved.

    3. "Have you (or the Bergen Record) verified that he did not recuse himself from those votes?

      NJ Transit can pay Wolff & Samson over $1,000,000 a year to help them maximize their profit. Then lo and behold, David Samson votes to lease their property to NJ Transit for $1 a year, instead of the nearly $1000000 a year they had been getting from NJ Transit. That Samson guy must be one scary mo-fo. Even Christie won't touch him. See how he performed that magic trick, he magically turned the PA's money into his money.

    4. Is NJ Transit a public utility or a privately held company? Is there profit involved or a public benefit to a $1 lease?

      If he changed his vote and it didn't affect the outcome, it sounds like the measure would have passed anyway. Does that imply the other board members were also bought off?

    5. "Have you (or the Bergen Record) verified that he did not recuse himself from those votes?"

      Glad you asked. Yes, the Bergen Record consulted the official minutes of that meeting in which Samson's vote is duly recorded. You know about minutes, don't you? Those are the official record of a meeting that each member gets to review and correct before they formally vote to approve them and enter them into the official record.

      And now, today, after all this comes out, we have Samson saying he "intended to recuse" himself, and the minutes of that 2012 meeting, which sat approved for two years, have been amended.

    6. 12:20, these are all questions that are easily answered.

      Try using this thing called "Google" sometime. That is, if you are truly interested in answers than posing questions you think are clever.

    7. I think those questions are necessary, not clever.

    8. I agree. Those questions aren't clever. They have been asked and answered, and all it takes is a few mouse clicks to the Bergen Record for the curious to find those answers.

      Or you could have watched Rachel Maddow last night, and you would know.

      So please, stop the charade that you have thought up "necessary" questions that the media have ignored.

    9. Since you know the answers and are commenting here anyway, why not just answer them? Why be unpleasant about it? The only people reading the Bergen Record on a regular basis live in NJ. Actually, I am increasingly wondering why I should care about any of this beyond Maddow's deficiencies. I won't be voting for Christie, I don't live in NJ or anywhere close to it, and your scandal has no effect on my life at all. Maddow's lies will at some point, however, because she will be using her same techniques in the context of national issues. If she is unreliable about this issue, she will be similarly unreliable in the future.

    10. What has Maddow lied about on this issue?

      You are now going to pretend that she is a liar on top of pretending that you just thought up some "necessary" questions that haven't been answered?

      What a good little Bobette you are!

  2. Maddow ' s ratings fell behind Fox' s Megan Kelly every day this week so far. She must come up with another "bombshell" soon.

    1. She needs to get a crazy lady from the 90's on the air to talk about Slick Willy's willie.

      Say, what is this Willey on Willy's willie doing for Somerby's hit count?

    2. I thought there was a website where you could find out such things -- but when I asked no one could point me to it.

    3. Dare we say that the War on Hillary has begun?

      That would leave poor Bob in quite a pickle.

    4. Google tvbythenumbers. The latest data they post is from Monday.

      Yes, Maddow is consistently behind Kelly in the total ratings. That's because Kelly and other Fox shows dominated in the 54+ demographic.

      In the critical 25-54 demographic, Maddow and other MSNBC hosts hold their own and frequently surpass Fox, and utterly dominate CNN.

    5. It should also be noted that even Fox is a big fish swimming in a very small pond of evening opinion shows.

      Compared to the ratings of Duck Dynasty, even the mighty Bill O'Reilly is a pipsqueak.

    6. Among 25-54 years old, Maddow ALSO trailed Megyn every day this week, so stop pretending she was behind this week only among people other than those.

    7. I said holding her own in the 25-54 demographic and frequently surpassing Kelly. Her numbers are very competitive with Kelly, and they both kill Piers Morgan on CNN.

      Of course, Kelly and the rest of Fox absolutely dominate the old goat category, which perhaps includes both you and Somerby.

      But perhaps we should play devil's advocate here. Taking your argument that Kelly is trouncing Maddow, why is Somerby so obsessed with Maddow instead of the 9 p.m. giant of evening news-talk?

    8. The thing is that all liberals know Fox sucks and distorts. But many liberals think Maddow is oh-so-awesome and accurate. We don't have to be enlightened on how dumb Megyn Kelly is.
      By the way, you responded to my post regarding this week with a discussion on how Maddow performed in weeks other than the one I was discussing.

    9. Just because Somerby ruminates frequntly doesn't make him a ruminant. You are a subhuman droog for suggesting such.

      He is old though. Too much Boomerism on these pages.

    10. By the way, A Perez, your opening statement: "Maddow ' s ratings fell behind Fox' s Megan Kelly every day this week so far" tells me that Maddow was ahead of Kelly at least last week, otherwise how could she have fallen behind?

      Which leads me to wonder how often you cherry-pick data, assuming you aren't pulling it out of your ass.

    11. Wait...didn't you say that Maddow "frequently surpasses Fox among 25-54 year old viewers? How ironic that the fact that Maddow's ratings trailed Megyn's for TWO straight weeks undermine your exaggerated "frequently" claim.

  3. Nothing the guys who shut down the access lane did "almost got somebody killed" since the lady in the ambulance died due to her advanced age and the lost child was found unharmed.

    1. And that was only by the grace of God.

      But since doubling emergency service response time causes no harm, we can save billions in this country by cutting back on police, fire and ambulance services.

      Is that your logic?

    2. Everything happens by the grace of God, including lane closures.

      Many localities live with such response times because they don't have funding to improve them. That should be a scandal but somehow isn't.

    3. Yes, it is a scandal. And it is also a scandal that response times in Fort Lee were doubled for no good reason, and without bothering to notify Fort Lee first responders.

  4. Funny, but Lawrence actually covered black children last night; 3 who were almost killed and one who actually was. No mention of it here. Guess the press didn't describe their wardrobe and turn clothing into icons.

    1. "musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse"

      Do you have a complaint about the way that event has been covered by Lawrence or the press in general?

    2. What "event" are you talking about? O'Donnell reporting on black kids while Somerby returns to that thrilling year of 1999?

    3. No. I am executing Somerby Plan B: When there is no coverage you CAN complain about, complain about what WAS NOT covered.

      By starting with the word "funny" I was "musing" myself and most intelligent obersevers who use this blog the same way some adults used the "Funny Pages" in their daily papers back in the day.

    4. I am still waiting for Bob to comment on the report Maddow did on the consequences of fracking to air pollution and specifically to the release of methane and its effect on global warming.

      Surely she must have done something to damage our national discourse while reporting that.

      But then again, he allowed Maddow to get away with vile and clownish reports on the chemical spills in West Virginia and North Carolina.

      He has indeed fallen asleep on the job.

    5. It is not Bob's job (or mission) to praise Rachel for doing her job. When she screws up, then she will get noted here, like all the other media types who screw up. Don't come here expecting Bob to start defending poor journalism just because Rachel is right most of the time.

    6. "like all the other media types who screw up."

      You mean like the way he went after Megyn Kelly for her fawning interview this week of Kathleen Willey?

    7. Megyn was nice once. And she was addressing the children when she made her odd remarks about Santa, who has never been anything but white on my Coke cans.

    8. Yes, this is true. Megyn Kelly's extreme concern for low-income black children led her to break the painful news to them that Santy is a old, fat white guy.

    9. There is also no point in this blog repeating what is already covered by Media Matters, as the Fox and conservative media are.

    10. I get it now. TDH is the right-wing companion site to the left-wing Media Matters.

      Thanks for clarifying that.

    11. No indeed, This blog needs to repeat what it covered in 1999. Heck it often needs to repeat what it said in the preceding paragraph. Well. perhaps "needs" suggests something" too strong. We don't know.

    12. This blog attempts to keep the left media honest so that it doesn't degenerate into the mess that passes for media on the right.

    13. The left media pays this blog no mind. The left blogosphere pays it no mind.

      It's just us Trolls vs you Bobkins. We outnumber you now and those of you who are left feel unclean.

      Plus we have you cat and somebody almost got killed while tensofthousands died.

      'Al Wah Saalimed

    14. Anonymous 1:28

      "led her to break the painful news to them that Santy is a old, fat white guy."

      I hope neither Santy, Missus C. or the elves were watching. It is one thing to show insensitivity to the weight challenged, but aging happens to all of us.

      There is no reason to give the elves extra ammunition when they hit on Mrs. C. during that cold winter night while the Mister labors on his rounds.

    15. @3:08 -- Many left bloggers list this on their own blogrolls. Kevin Drum occasionally responds to things said here, so he is reading it. I think there may be more diversity among the folks you call BobFans, than exists among those who are trolls. I suspect most people who read the blog skip the comments entirely. I would if I had something constructive to do with my time.




  5. Sorry, 3:24, but 3:08 is correct. Somerby has become a crank, and an utterly ignored one except for the occasional blogger with the occasional "Believe it or not, but Somerby just got loonier" post.

    And that triggers a lot of comments from people who said they once read Somerby religiously, but he got too loony and incoherent for them to bother with any more against the pantheon of bloggers available to them.

    And this has been sad to watch, somewhat like the train wreck you can't take your eyes off.

    He was truly a pioneer back in the day when AOL dial-up was the preferred way to log online. And he truly had important, original things to say.

    But his laziness caught up with him, and soon other bloggers, far more industrious than he, came onto the scene. For quite a while, he and these new kids on the block would link back and forth to each other's work, and then a strange thing happened. Their industriousness began to pay off as their blogs grew and actually became money generators.

    Bob, meanwhile, stuck to his own formula of reacting to what he saw and read off the top of his head, with no real work put into it, repeating one day what he said the day before and calling that a "series" and reliving his greatest triumphs during the War on Gore.

    As he began boring his audience, he grew envious of the bloggers who had passed him by and the readers they were siphoning from his site.

    So what did Bob do? He got personal. So personally and publicly insulting to the very people who once linked to him that his once admirers and allies slowly backed away.

    And as he became more isolated, how did he react? By doubling down and finding new targets on top of the old ones, usually younger, usually wealthier, and usually female, for his particular brand of bile. How dare these damned kids walk on his lawn? Do they not know who he is? The Great and Powerful Bob? The Pioneer of All Political Blogging?

    Yes, Kevin Drum, in gratitude for the attention Bob gave him when Drum was starting out, still throws him the occasional compliment. And that says more about the character of Drum than it does about the quality of Somerby's "work."

    And judging by Drum's Jan. 23 post headlined "No, There Was Never a Legitimate Traffic Study About the Fort Lee Lane Closures" even he may be getting fed up.

    1. Take a look at the site traffic link someone posted above. It shows anywhere from 1000 to 2500 unique visitors each day. The analysis shows 36% with advanced degrees, 56% female (attracted by that misogyny no doubt). Not bad for a vanity blog, in my opinion.

      This is so unrelentingly negative. I have to wonder what motivates someone to dump on a person like this. I can readily believe those negative personality traits help (narcissism, Machiavellianism, sociopathy, sadism), but what did Somerby ever do to you?

    2. 1,000 to 2,500 unique visitors a day? For a blog that's been around for 16 years?

      Oh, my dear naive child! That is pathetic.

    3. Let's add some more to the list:

      Bob is a crank.
      Everybody ignores Bob. Except my wife. And some of her friends.
      People used to read Bob but they don't now.
      Bob is a train wreck.
      Bob used to be a pioneer and original and important. Not anymore.
      Bob is lazy.
      Bob puts no real work into his blog.
      Bob is reliving the past.
      Bob is boring.
      Bob is envious.
      Bob's allies have abandoned him.
      Bob is isolated.
      Bob thinks he's great.
      Bob thinks he's powerful.
      Even Kevin Drum doesn't like Bob now.

  6. "This is so unrelentingly negative. I have to wonder what motivates someone to dump on a person like this. I can readily believe those negative personality traits help (narcissism, Machiavellianism, sociopathy, sadism), but what did Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Stephen Hawking ever do to Somerby?"

  7. Well, I'm willing to make a bold prediction in "Bridgegate"

    Samson will resign. Local media are not going to let up on this new story, nor should they.

    For the second time in two days, the Port Authority changed its story about a vote taken two years ago that approved leasing 13 acres to NJ Transit — a client of the agency chairman’s law firm — for $1 a year. -