Maddow spots Christie changing his story!


If only she’d change her approach: If it’s Monday, it must be Salem Village!

On her increasingly ridiculous TV show, Maddow had another victim to dunk in the village lake that night. For details, just click here.

Last night, she started with her endless piddle about how no one can say what Wildstein did at the Port Authority. Plus, he was paid too much—$150,000!

One hour later, a WNYC editor explained Wildstein’s job in substantial detail. And, according to TV Guide, Maddow is paid about $7 million per year. For the full skinny, click this.

This is the crap which now defines the scandal culture at Maddow’s ridiculous program. That said, let’s not forget the ridiculous premise of last night’s second segment.

(The presentation actually started during the first segment.)

Once the scandal culture takes hold, cable stars may feel they need a new scandal every night. Last night, Our Own Clownish Demagogue decided to hand us the piddle detailed below.

Note: This is a classic artifact of scandal culture. Hustlers search every comma their target has emitted, praying to God that they will be able to locate a “change of story.”

Here are the rules of this game, as dropped on many Democrats’ heads:

If the target says the exact same thing every time, he’s accused of being suspiciously scripted. If the target changes a single comma, he’s accused of changing his story.

With those childish rules in mind, gaze on the work of a pitiful cable demagogue:
MADDOW (2/5/14): Governor Christie himself, in a little noticed comment, appears to have unveiled a new explanation this week about his own role in this scandal.

The governor, of course, continues to say that he had no advance knowledge of what was going to happen on that bridge. He also says that, despite these allegations from David Wildstein to the contrary, the governor also says he had no knowledge of what was going on that bridge while it was underway, while it was happening. The governor says he only found out what was going on with the shutdown of those lanes after it was over.

But this week, this week we believe for the first time, Governor Christie has announced a new explanation for how he responded to this event. He says now that as soon as he heard about the lane closures on the bridge, after it was over—he says he read about it in the Wall Street Journal, in an article published October 1st.

He now says that as soon as he read that article on October 1, the governor says he dispatched his two most senior staffers to go to the Port Authority and figure out what was going on.

Governor Christie has not previously said that he did this, but now he says that’s what happened and that’s what he did. This is new. Watch.

(Videotape from Monday night radio show)
TELEPHONE CALLER: I do just have one question about the bridge.
CHRISTIE: Sure. Yes.
TELEPHONE CALLER: Why, when it was closed down, and your traffic was backed up in New Jersey, our state, why didn’t you call up at that time to find out what the issue was?
CHRISTIE: Well, first of all, Carol Ann, I didn’t know about traffic, as I told you. And as soon as I was aware of the fact that there was a problem, which was when Pat Foye’s e-mail came out, I had my staff say—go find out what’s going on at the Port Authority, why are they fighting with each other over this? And what happened?

So I did call, Carol Ann, and I did ask my staff to find out what was going on. So to answer Carol Ann’s question again directly is, as soon as I knew that there was some issue here, I asked my staff to get to the Port Authority and find out what was going on.

Now, when did I first know about the lane closures? You know, the fact is that the first time this really came into my consciousness as an issue was when Pat Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, his e-mail was leaked to the media and reported on. And that was the first time that I got a sense that there might be some issue here.
RADIO HOST: And who brought that to your attention? Was that your staff?
CHRISTIE: No. It was news accounts.
RADIO HOST: You read them personally or did somebody bring it to your attention?
CHRISTIE: No, I read it. I read it in the Wall Street Journal. And it was that day then, when I read that, that Pat Foye was saying, this wasn’t, I didn’t know about this, this wasn’t cleared through me, you know, whatever else he said in that e-mail, that’s when I asked my chief of staff and chief counsel, Would you look into this and see what’s going on here?
(End of videotape)

MADDOW: We are currently going through all known previous statements from Governor Christie on this matter to see if he ever before mentioned that in October, he sent his chief of staff and his chief counsel to go to the Port Authority to investigate the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. So far we have found no previous instance in which Governor Christie ever mentioned this before he said so this week.

I mean, the governor was pressed on this issue on December 2, that’s when he lashed out and said, “Yes, it was me moving the traffic cones.” He was asked about it repeatedly at his press conference on December 13. He was pressed repeatedly on when he first found out about this, and how he reacted. He never mentioned that, as soon as he found out about the lane closures, he dispatched his general counsel and his chief of staff to go to the Port Authority and investigate. At least as far as we can find.

But now, looking back on it, now he says that’s what he did. It’s odd, right? A whole new story.


Why is there now, this week, a whole new explanation from Governor Christie for how he responded to the bridge shutdown?
Except it actually isn’t odd. It also isn’t a whole new story or a whole new explanation.

For all we know, Christie may have planned the entire Fort Lee disaster. But his statement Monday night isn’t odd, and it isn’t a whole new story.

The things he’s saying may not be true. But Monday night’s presentation wasn’t especially odd, and it wasn’t suspiciously new.

Christie has repeatedly said that he inquired into the Fort Lee matter after seeing the Wall Street Journal article about Foye’s angry email. Below, you see a set of exchanges from the January 9 press conference, in which Christie is describing the same process.

Unfortunately, the questioners weren’t miked. This is from the official transcript:
QUESTION (1/9/14): Can you explain why [off mic] email was first published [off mic] first time that there was [off mic]?

CHRISTIE: No, I think it was the—it wasn’t one of Pat Foye's emails, but I think there was an earlier story than that. But—

QUESTION: (Off mic.)

CHRISTIE: I don’t remember exactly.

QUESTION: [Off mic] it was about the traffic, though.

CHRISTIE: Something about the traffic, yeah.

QUESTION: And why didn't you respond then, especially after the Foye email, around all this stuff about emergency services— [off mic]?

CHRISTIE: I—we did. No, we did. And we were told it was a traffic study.

QUESTION: Yeah, but they tell you it's a traffic study, but the mayor is saying the ambulances can't get— [off mic].

CHRISTIE: And we were told that they did a traffic study where they did not want a normal flow of traffic to be interrupted so that the traffic study would be a valid one. That's what we were told. And so we did respond. We asked them, and that's how we responded. You know, and again, I'm not somebody who's going to be, you know, getting into the details of a traffic study and whether one is done appropriately or inappropriately, certainly at that time.

And I can tell you that at that first moment, that's when I became aware that there was some issue. But I didn't even at that point delve into it. It was not something that I was personally delving into.
That may be totally bogus. It could all be untrue. But in those exchanges, Christie is describing a process in which “we” inquired about what happened after reading about the Foye email. (You’ll note he says that he didn’t personally delve into it.)

In an earlier exchange at that presser, he seemed to be describing the same process, explicitly saying that he didn’t make the inquiry himself:
QUESTION: Why didn't you check back [off mic]? You never called him to see—

CHRISTIE: I never called him personally, no. But Baroni's position continued to be that there was a traffic study, and he had a disagreement with Pat Foye about that. So, you know, they had a disagreement. That was pretty clear. And I didn't think Bill Baroni was going to change his mind, because Pat Foye had already expressed those concerns in earlier written documents that he had—not he, but that someone had put out to the press.
On Monday night, Christie described this same process, adding a bit more detail. What he’s saying may not be true. But a person isn’t “changing his story” when he simply adds additional detail to a claim he has already made.

It isn’t odd when that occurs. It isn’t a whole new story.

Maddow was playing the dumbest form of scandal culture politics. This is the oldest, best known scam in the book. Everyone knows how this bullshit works:

You wait for your target to tell a story several different times. Then, you search for minor differences in the ways the story was told. Maddow is scamming her viewers here, as she’s been doing all week.

This has been a week that was in the cable coverage of these events. Maddow has become an embarrassment in the headlong way she has pursued the thrill of scandal culture.

Christie may be guilty as sin. You can see that Maddow is.

On the brighter side, she’s being paid $7 million to entertain viewers this way.


  1. Ah, so the Maddow's big sin is landing a high-paying gig.

    That why you're so green with envy, Bob?

    1. No, her big sin is scamming the public. Can't you read?

    2. I can read in the second straight post today, Somerby brings up her salary. Can't seem to put his thoughts into one, succint, clearly focuse post.

      I am sure that Somerby and his rubes believe with every fiber of their very beings that Maddow is "scamming" the public.

      Others, of course, are never free to disagree. The Somerby Tribe has got the Truth from on high -- Mt. Baltimore, etched in stone tablets.

      And they will cling to that "belief" as surely as Ken Ham still believes the world was created in six precise days, exactly as it is today, some 6,000 years ago, no matter how carefully and gently Bill Nye explains the facts to him.

    3. So, you get confused by details and lose track of the main point? You should see someone about that.

    4. I see the main point quite differently from someone with their head up Somerby's posterior.

      Bob has been slowly losing his mind over the money Maddow makes for years.

    5. For all you trolls know, Somerby could be richer than Maddow. This is just an excuse to call Somerby names.

    6. Blogger says that during last night's show, Maddow somehow asserted that "... he [Wildstein] was paid too much - $150,000."

      It's not in the MSNBC transcript of last night's Maddow show.

      "There's no voice like this anywhere else."

    7. Maddow is the good kind of 1%er says the tribe.

    8. 1147: every time I read one of your posts, I feel sorry for Bob.

  2. What's the over/under on consecutive Maddow posts? We're now at 4 and counting....

    1. I wish there were more.

      If the news media reflected this sort of intelligence and perspective, we might have an adult culture, an intellectual national dialogue, and a moral frame-work for both.

      There's no voice like this anywhere else.

    2. Rachel Maddow has cunningly diverted the attention of the very hero of low-income kids, and got him to obsess over her paycheck.

      How dastardly of her!

    3. Anon 6:34pm, you have an troll brigade (probably three people and their twenty-five sockpuppets) who say they are not here to defend the media, but to shine a light on Bob's hypocrisy.

      (Now there's a mission that's the quintessence of troll sensibilities...and priorities...)

      Why is it out of bounds for anyone to point out what media members have at stake in rushing to judgement? Why is monetary incentive to push an agenda only significant with Wildstein? Because Maddow's agenda is also yours?

      Even if she turns out to be right about Christie, do you truly wish to argue that a it's out of bounds to question the motives and the tactics of people who have millions on the line in generating such interest?

    4. 611: especially when Bobo is beating up on "liberals."

      Were I one of you, I suppose I'd cheer him on too.

    5. Anon 6:56pm, it's particularly easy for us after we ascertain that he's right about the conservative media too.

    6. "after we ascertain that he's right about the conservative media too."

      We won't hold our breath.

  3. Little Bobby sits in front of the TV every night, watching Rachel, wishin he could tap that ... knows it aint gonna happen, you know why....

  4. The "changing the story" angle is dumb. It doesn't matter, unless she's going for some loosey-goosey 'he's broadly deceptive' characterization.

    I wish the local reporters would move the focus out a bit and ask broader, timeline questions. They're picking this apart in a way that makes it impossible to follow. Make him start at the beginning and tell the whole story. If they want to then go back and narrow down, they can do that.

    Also, why don't they ever ask for names? When he says "my senior staff , blah, blah, blah" ask him for their names.

  5. Trolls are out in force but Somerby fans are the big problem?

  6. "On Monday night, Christie described this same process, adding a bit more detail. What he’s saying may not be true. But a person isn’t “changing his story” when he simply adds additional detail to a claim he has already made."

    Sorry, Bob. This is exactly what liars do when their first lie doesn't work. They add additional detail, so many in fact, that they can't keep them straight and their whole story collapses under the weight of all the different versions they tell.

    Just last weekend, we were being told here that the assertion by Wildstein's attorney about evidence proving Christie knew while the traffic jam was happening really didn't contradict Christie because he could have learned it from the Sept. 13 Road Warrior column, like Foye did.

    Now we have returned to Oct. 1. Amazing.

    What's the bet that soon return to Sept. 13? Then back to Oct. 1?

    1. It is also what innocent people do when asked repeatedly about the same thing. The problem is, you cannot know who is a liar without also knowing what the truth of the matter is.

      People are not recording devices or court reporters or robots. Memory doesn't work that way. People do this best they can in remembering things, whether guilty or innocent. You cannot micro-analyze things like this to determine what is true. There will be too many false-positives (people identified as liars who are not). Christie could be lying, but this isn't the way to know.

    2. But, the date he said he found out about it isn't the only "detail" he has added. To wit:

      "...that’s when I asked my chief of staff and chief counsel, Would you look into this and see what’s going on here?"

      Interesting, don't you think? When Wildstein's attorney alleges he knew about it while it was happening, that's what Christie has said all along.

      When a caller to a radio show asks him why he didn't do something while it was going on, he didn't learn about it until later.

      And THEN he sent his two top staffers to find out what was going on. And they still haven't found out, to this day.

    3. If you read what was said, they reported back to him that a traffic study had been conducted and he accepted that answer.

    4. Then I can't decide who the bigger idiot is -- Christie, his chief of staff or his general counsel.

      They had Foye's e-mail ordering the lanes reopened and saying their closure was against every PA principle and procedure, and a possible violation of state and federal law.

      Did they talk to Durando, Fulton, Foye? They could have found out who ordered it. Did they talk to Wildstein? He could have told them where his orders came from.

      Did they ask any questions at all, or did they simply take the bullshit "traffic study" answer and go home? An answer that the Bergen County Record's "Road Warrior" columnist knew was bullshit when he first heard it back in September.

      As a matter of fact, we do have a spate of e-mails dashed off among various New Jersey people, right after the WSJ story about Foye's e-mail appeared, all upset that Foye was leaking to the press, and that Samson would take care of it.

      You think maybe Christie dispatched his two top staffers to the Port Authority for another reason? Because I think they could have gotten the "traffic study" answer over the phone from Trenton.

    5. As I understand it, they talked to Baroni and Wildstein and they said there was a disagreement with Foye about doing the study. He didn't go any further because he said he doesn't micro-manage traffic studies. Durando and Fulton came during the investigation, after the press report about Foye, where Christie says he first started to realize there was an issue being raised about what he thought was a study. When the emails came out, he fired people because they hadn't told him the truth about the "study."

      It is possible he never dispatched anyone. Or he could have dispatched them for any of a number of other reasons. Once you assume Christie is lying then there are any number of possible scenarios. But for all of them, we don't know what was true because we have very little actual evidence about these events.

      I think it is very silly to base a speculation about wrong doing on whether someone actually went to the Port Authority or made a phone call, especially since I doubt Christie chose his words carefully enough for that distinction to matter. I think this is reading way too much into too little facts in hand. It took years for us to get to the bottom of Watergate. It is too soon to expect closure on this, if there is something to find and not just massive incompetence.

    6. Big difference. We are living in an entirely new age of communication. There is already a pretty damning string of e-mails out there, as well as thousand of pages of other documents that weren't available to Woodward, Bernstein or Sam Ervin.

      We didn't even learn about the tapes until Butterfield told about the oval office equipment. And then there was a hell of a fight over them.

      Yes, it will take some time to get to the bottom of this. Which is why reporters should keep digging, and not accept Christie's ever changing story to fit the audience he is in front of.

      Now . . . Christie's story when he fired Bridget Kelly was that he assembled all his top staff and told them they had one hour to 'fess up to him, his chief of staff or his general counsel. And Bridget Kelly lied to him by not 'fessing up.

      Now did former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie ask Kelly what the hell was going on? Nope. Didn't matter to him. She lied. She was gone. End of story.


    7. You write this as if you were in the room -- but you weren't.

    8. I'm merely telling you what is on the record from Christie's famous, long, "sad, humiliated" presser. You remember the one. Right after the Kelly e-mail to Wildstein came to light and his previous story that this was much ado about nothing was no longer "operative."

  7. Rachel Maddow is a national treasure. Just about the only news analyst on TV worth her salary and then some. I don't know why ANYONE voted for that clown, but they did, and only now they are finding out about him?

    Disclaimer: I am a United States Army veteran (E-5, Honorable Discharge). Do not presume to lecture me on patriotism.

    1. I think you repacked yourself a little too tightly there, Rider. This isn't about that last refuge of scoundrels.

  8. Maddow is the lowest form of scum and her followers are brain damaged cultists.