A second possible explanation for Maddow’s scandal reporting!

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014

Cable star may believe her own twaddle: How crazy were the Fort Lee lane closings?

Consider a crazy idea which floated a few weeks ago.

In February, the city of Fort Lee released several thousand pages of documents, including the police chief’s daily log. On the Maddow show, the Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon described one particular document:
HADDON (2/19/14): The most interesting document for me in there was the handwritten log from the Fort Lee police chief where he’s recording his observations during the lane closures and his calls and what he knew about it at the time. And the first recording in that log, he says that Chip Michaels, the lieutenant you referred to before, had told him on the first day of the closures, that they were part of a month-long traffic study about traffic to the bridge.

So that’s the first time from our understanding that they’ve ever indicated it was going to be a month-long traffic study which is—that’s really long.
Is that even possible? On Day One of the lane closings, did David Wildstein really think his alleged traffic study was going to last a month?

That note by the Fort Lee police chief can’t answer that question. The police chief may have misunderstood something Officer Michaels said. Michaels may have misunderstood something Wildstein said.

Wildstein may have said the “study” was going last a month knowing that was BS.

On the surface, it would have been crazy to think the closings could have lasted a month. Then again, it was crazy to think that the lane closings could have lasted a week, given the results they were producing.

At the start of the fifth day of the project, Wildstein was ordered by Patrick Foye to stop. Crazily, he and several associates railed about this order in emails. They wanted the mess to continue!

The craziness of the closings should be apparent by now. Whatever the motive may have been, the craziness of the closings has cost four major Christie aides their jobs and upended Christie’s drive for national office.

On its face, it’s crazy to think that anyone could have imagined sustaining the lunacy for a month. But then, as a political matter, it seems crazy to have done the lane closings at all.

On February 19, Haddon and Maddow didn’t seem to see how crazy this “month-long” notion was. The next night, Chris Matthews went on at length about the lunacy of the idea. At any rate, it’s the lunacy of the closings that have made this a puzzling story. If we assume there was a bad motive here, what made Wildstein think he could snarl an entire region for even a week without getting in major trouble?

What was the motive for the lane closings? That still hasn’t been shown.

If we assume the closings were done for nefarious reasons, the project represents extremely reckless behavior.

That said, does this bizarre bit of conduct merit the amount of coverage seen on Maddow’s show? We would have to say it does not, especially considering the strange conduct in which Maddow herself has engaged.

On the whole, Maddow has made a mess of this topic. At times, she has behaved quite badly.

At times, she has invented fake facts, trying to suggest that various people engaged in heinous wrongdoing. In the last week, she has approached hysteria as she voices her revulsion about a new part of the case.

On Wednesday, we offered one possible explanation for this strange performance: Maddow may be running a scam, a ratings-grab, along the traditional lines sketched by Fox. Her viewers are treated to repetitious recitations about the very bad deeds of some very bad people. If she has to shade or invent some facts to create a fuller roster of “bad guys,” WWFND?

This may be Maddow’s motive. That said, we’ve been puzzled by Maddow’s scandal reporting for years—by the peculiar fervor she tends to bring to her pursuit of villains.

Here’s a second possible explanation for Maddow’s scandal reporting:

Is it possible that Maddow believes her own twaddle? This isn’t the first time she has seemed to talk herself into a state of peculiar high dudgeon about alleged bad conduct. We recall, for example, the threats she lodged against North Carolina senator Richard Burr, when it was perfectly clear why Burr had done the things which had Maddow so exercised.

Maddow went on for several nights in a state of mighty high dudgeon. She kept refusing to report the facts which underlay Burr’s behavior.

Her behavior made no apparent sense. Did she believe her own twaddle?

Maddow’s reporting on policy matters isn’t like her scandal reporting. She covers a range of important topics—abortion rights and voting rights, to cite two examples—without inventing strings of fake facts, without slipping off the edge of the earth in her overwrought emotionalism.

When it comes to scandal reporting, she follows a different path. In the matter of Fort Lee, she is now engaging in supersized emotionalism. This follows a period in which she sometimes played fast and loose with her facts.

Why has she been doing this? There’s a great deal of wrongdoing in the world, along with a great deal of scandal. The lane closings seem especially strange, but inappropriate conduct can be found all around us.

Why is Maddow urging kids to defect, and adults to retch, about this particular case?

Some time ago, we began to wonder about this. We went back and reread the Maddow profiles from 2008 forward.

We found a lot in Julia Baird’s Newsweek profile which we didn’t quite believe. (See our previous post.) We’re inclined to think that Maddow, like other ambitious people, can sometimes be an over-the-top seller of herself.

Or maybe not. We don’t know.

We also found a report about the cyclical depression which has dogged Maddow since adolescence. As we wondered about the overwrought way she sometimes pursues The Very Bad People, we found her voicing a desire which can sometimes be a bit dangerous:
BAIRD (11/21/08): While she is intensely patriotic, she is not starry-eyed about politicians. The first time she interviewed Obama, she found him "monotone, literally and figuratively," she said, but added that when you're a "policy guy, sometimes you give people more detail than they want." She "misted up" when he won, but claims she would have done the same if McCain had: "I get moved by momentous occasions." But Maddow says she has grown up in a generation that has no idols. When her mother, Elaine, was pregnant with Maddow, she whiled away hours in front of the Watergate hearings on TV. “If you're 35, you don't have heroes,” Maddow says. “Watergate and Vietnam sort of killed heroism. I’m a 30-something idealist. But...ultimately the basic idea is that you have to live a life worth living.”


So what happens when the outsider is leading the pack? When the disgruntled left becomes the sober, powerful mainstream? How disgruntled is Maddow, anyway? Does her joviality mask a deep partisan fury? Or is she motivated more by a "pure flame of public service," as Olbermann puts it? At a midnight dinner at a bar in downtown Manhattan, over a meal of fish and red wine, she admits, uncomfortably, that she is driven by fear of failure: “It's very boring and sad. I want to convince myself that my existence matters.” She says she is not an angry person—just emotional. “I get teary a lot,” she says cheerfully, pulling one of the handkerchiefs she carries with her at all times out of her pocket and pointing out the bubble pattern on it. She believes in ghosts and is “knock on wood” superstitious. She is also anxious, often lying awake worrying about America's need for improved infrastructure and national security.
Do you think Maddow believes in ghosts? Do you think she lies awake worried about infrastructure? Is she intensely patriotic? More than everyone else?

As we noted in that first post, we’re inclined to doubt those things. We’re inclined to believe that Maddow is a tireless self-promoter, a hustler of the self, a person who wears the occasional veil to keep you from seeing the truth.

That said, we might advise you to be concerned about a powerful person who wants to convince herself that her existence matters. (It does.) Beyond that, as everyone knows, people driven by fear of failure can sometimes do odd things.

Is Rachel Maddow a bit of a nut? We’d say the evidence has started leaning a bit toward yes. There’s no excuse—none—for making up facts to try to entangle people in criminal conduct. Plainly, Maddow played that game in the case of Officer Michaels. In other instances, she has come rather close.

Maddow has done too much of that. Now, she’s trying to persuade her viewers that they should join “the world” in “collectively retching” about what Bill Baroni did with respect to those 9/11 relics.

To convince you of that, she toyed this week with an extremely fuzzy report by the New York Times’ very shaky Kate Zernike. As the person who was willing to tell you that Keith Olbermann’s behavior was misogynistic, we’re suggesting that Maddow may turn out to have a screw or three loose, as may be true of us all.

Wealth and fame have harmed many people. We think Maddow’s reaction to these scandals has been increasingly strange. At times, her conduct has looked dishonest, reckless—corrupt.

Does Rachel Maddow believe her own bullshit? Many big stars end up doing peculiar things. At least since Judy Garland and Elvis, this has been the brutal down side of our nation’s relentless star system.

Maddow’s scandal reporting has been very bad, leaning toward strange. On a journalistic basis, if she had supervision—she doesn’t—they’d tell her to straighten it out.


  1. OMB (All Paralyzed Bets Are On!)

    As the person who dared to tell you Keith Olbermann's behavior was mysogenistic, as the brave man who reported six straight days that Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed fifteen years ago, as the person who has repeatedly called Rachel Maddow a clown, a witch hunter, compared her to Joe McCarthy and found Roger Ailes ogling her jib, you can rest assured when BOB tells you someobdy has a screw loose you can bet the intellectual collapse of our culture on it.


  2. You forgot to attack her for having red wine with fish.

  3. False accusation based on made up facts = red wine with fish?

    This matters. If you were the person being falsely accused on TV, you would understand why on a visceral level. How much TV access does Michaels have to refute her accusations? That power imbalance is why she needs to be more responsible about what she says.

    1. And what did she accuse him of?

    2. She accused him of colluding with Wildstein in the lane closures by calling the Ft. Lee police chief and trying to worsen the traffic tie up. I will not quibble with you over her weasel-wording.

    3. Fine. As long as you are not quibbling over weasel words, then you indict Somerby as well. Somerby and Maddow use identical weasel words to precede their accusations, often couching them in the form of questions. So we must ask, does Soemrby believe his twaddle? How many screws does he have loose?

    4. "How much TV access does Michaels have to refute her accusations?" Anonymous 10:02

      Has Michaels denied her accusations?

      Did he do so in a forum in which he addresed why, after PA managers of the bridge were told not to communicate with Ft. Lee elected and police officials, he, Michaels, did so?

      Did he do so in a forum in which he explained why he, as opposed to the people in charge of running the bridge seemed to know how long the closures would last when nobody else did, at least according to testimony of those officials and the Ft. Lee Police Chief's log?

      Did he do so in a forum in which he explained why he knew the access would be blocked before his police superiors informed him of it?

      Did he do so in a forum where someone might ask why he was at the bridge early Monday for the prupose of driving Wildstein around?

      These are facts, not accusations made by Maddow.

    5. So you don't see a difference when Maddow says

      <quote date="2/19/14" emphasis="mine">
      MADDOW: What about the fact that among the ways that Chip Michaels turns up in the documents we've seen thus far, it seems like he and several other Port Authority police officials knew about the shutdown in advance. They knew it was coming at least a day in advance.

      and when TDH says

      <quote date="3/14/14">
      This isn’t the first time she has seemed to talk herself into a state of peculiar high dudgeon about alleged bad conduct.


    6. No, I see a difference between this:

      "The day before the lane closures went into effect, Michaels emailed his supervisor, Deputy Police Inspector Darcy Licorish, the George Washington Bridge police commander at the time, asking, "Is there going to be a new traffic pattern installed for Monday the 9th?"

      To which Licorish replied, "This is to [be] compled (sic) by the maintenance personnel."

      Michael responded, "Understood. Will this affect our normal rush hour operation?"

      "Most likely. Concerns were made to no aval (sic) locally," Licorish said.

      Licorish had apparently expressed that concern in an email to Assistant Police Chief Norma Hardy, Chief of Department Louis Koumoutsos and three other assistant chiefs, the previous Friday, in which he said, "This measure could impact the volume of traffic from the local streets. I was informed that Mr. Wildstein is scheduled to visit the facility on the initiating date 9/9/13."


      and the weak ass shit thrown about by TDH and his defenders such as yourself making the ludicrous accusation that it is Maddow who is making accusations.

      Maddow also on 2/19 said this abou "Chip" and his traffic mucking the first day of trhelane closure.

      "They`ve been riding around looking at it after he drops David Wildstein off, he goes, hey, I got an idea to make this better, and less than an hour later his idea is an idea to actually make this way worse for Fort Lee.

      We don`t know if that was the police lieutenant`s intention."

      She went on to badly inflate the response of the Ft. Lee Police chief to Matthews as Somerby has correctly noted.
      Maddow may have erred by saying the Chief essentially said "that's crazy." But Somerby has thrown "crazy" into this post many times himself.

      What neither Somerby or Maddow have brought to anyone's attention is this:

      "I had an unpleasant interaction with the Ft. Lee Police Chief and Asst. Chief about congesting the Borough,...Their characterization was that the "test" was a monumental failure. Ft. Lee is not happy. Our PD (meaning the Port Authority Police) pent an extended period working the intersections and implemented diversions that further congested the borough.

      That was written about two hours after the poor Maddow maligned "Chip" was suggesting to the Police Chief that he take steps which would have further congested the bureau.

      I would "suggest" Maddow was milder on "Chip" than she should have been based on existing evidence that "suggests" having failed to get the Ft. Lee police to muck things up worse, it is possible Lt. Chip may have ordered his underlings in the PA PD to do it themselves. Because, according to this statement, they did exactly that.

      I don't know what is more pathetic, Somerby's obsession with Maddow or your obsession with defending him when, time after time, he is wrong as he can be.

    7. Sorry for the typos and the fact there are too many people
      whose name begins with M to keep them straight. And congestion in the Borough doesn't happen in anyone's bureau.

    8. Your response is practically incoherent. Perhaps it's the late hour, perhaps it's your poor typing, and perhaps it's your mindset that Chip Michaels and the rest are guilty, so fuck 'em. I have no idea why you think the passage you placed in bold is so dispositive. The PA Police apparently "worked the intersections" and "implemented diversions." I don't know which intersections they're talking about. Those shouldn't have been Fort Lee street intersections since this is PA police talking. And whatever they did to try to divert traffic from the congestion near the access lanes might well have made things worse in Fort Lee. Nothing in what you quote means they deliberately tried to do so.

      There's no evidence that "suggests" that Michaels tried to get the Fort Lee police to make things worse except to people like you and Maddow who are already convinced they know the truth. And although it's possible that Michaels ordered his "underlings" to do so, it's possible only in the Howlerian sense that anything is possible absent evidence.

      I don't what's more pathetic. Somerby's obsession with Maddow or your obsession with Somerby's obsession with Maddow.

    9. On the pathetic scale, I would vote for your obsession with other people's obsession with Somerby's obsession with Maddow.

      Oh, and I just love the Somberbyesque way you called the guy's "practically incoherent" right off the bat. Then you spend quite a few words trying to rebut it, which "suggests" to me that you understood it perfectly.

      Then, realizing you are over your head, you result to Somerbyesque name-calling.


    10. What is incoherent, deadrat? You asked me a question. You tried to compare a selection you made from Maddow's show using the word "seems" to one you made from Somerby using the word "seemed." I provided you an alterantive answer.

      Your selection was from Maddow stating Lt. Chip and other PA police "seemed" to know about the closures a day in advance. The first part of the response was documentation from a New Jersey newspaper that Lt. Chip did know about it in advance, and that he initiated contact with his superior the day before about it, not the other way around. This indicates Chip did not get the information from the normal "chain of command." So Maddow had no need to use the word "seems."

      There is no indication Captain Licorish told Chip to be at the bridge bright and early Monday morning to escort any Port Authority executives like Wildstein around the area.

      You have no idea why the next passage I quoted is "so dispositive?" It is not "dispositive." It is descriptive of actual events in real time the morning and afternoon of the first day. It was part of a memo written by Robert Durando, the General Manager of the Bridge at 12:30 p.m.

      If you have followed this story in any other forum than TDH you would know the Port Authority police regularly work traffic duty inside Ft. Lee directing traffic to the bridge at intersections inside the city. According to the General Manager of the Bridge, their efforts that morning made things worse.

      It is also on record that Lt. Chip, after escorting Wildstein around, told Wildstein he had an idea to "make things better." Shortly after that he communicated his idea to the Ft. Lee Chief of Police, which is not exactly following the chain of command at the bridge or within his own police department. It was rejected. All this preceded Durando's memo by a few hours.

      Did Lt. Chip order those ranking below him to take steps which made the traffic tie up worse without informing his superiors? He wouldn't have been the first Port Authority
      employee to do so regarding matters relating to the closure now, would he?

      By the way, Durando's memo can be found on page 14 of Exhibit C, his response to the subpoena from the New Jersey Assembly investigation. Somerby and Maddow
      have both made major points refering to the documents from
      those subpoenas so they know where to find them. I will guide you.


    11. Anonymous @11:39,

      You did provide an alternative answer. From the alternative universe called the Galaxy Suspicion. I think this is just a few parsecs from KZ's home, the Galaxy Schizophrenia. The part I find incoherent is the underlying innuendo about the actions of people like Chip Michaels. I'll be the first to admit that maybe the confusion is mine. For instance, I thought you were presenting dispositive evidence of misdeeds, but I was wrong. You're only presenting things that are "descriptive of actual events in real time." And you're doing this why? To provide local color? Are these events actually reported in "real time"? "I had an unpleasant interaction with the Ft. Lee Police Chief" sounds like a report after the fact. Does that matter? If it doesn't, why did you mention it?

      I often follow TDH's links to sources and I've read transcripts of testimony, but I'm not obsessed with the story, so, no, I was unaware of the PA police duties in Fort Lee. Thanks for the information, which doesn't clear things up for me. Are you telling me that the PA police fanned out over Fort Lee and under the guise of trying to improve the traffic flow, deliberately made it worse? Or did their efforts, presumably made nearest to the bridge and with an eye to clearing up traffic on the bridge, coincidentally make things worse in the rest of Fort Lee?

      Michaels apparently had a brainstorm about making the traffic jam better. The Fort Lee Chief of Police was unimpressed with it. Am I supposed to believe that Michaels proposed his plan in bad faith to try to make the traffic worse? Why would I believe that? Because the Chief didn't think the plan would work? You mention that Michaels worked outside the chain of command. Is that significant? Wildstein was certainly working outside the chain of command. He was nominally in charge of capital projects but felt free to tell the traffic engineers what to do. The PA chain of command seems to follow the path of political clout. This seems like a bad thing, but why is Michaels' relationship to the chain of command so significant?

      You ask me whether Michaels ordered those under his command to make the traffic jam worse. I don't know, and if I knew, I likely wouldn't know whether he did so knowingly. Do you know? It seems to me that you do, but then you deny that you're presenting anything probative and claim it's all "descriptive."

      You may well be right. As TDH points out, in the absence of evidence, everything is possible.

      As I say, maybe it's me. I read your comments, and I think I know the conclusions you want me to draw, but I just don't see how they follow. I see how they could follow. But that's different.

    12. Somerby is right about two things. The event itself, for whatever reason it was brought to be, was crazy. And we the people are dumb.

  4. I am bringing to think The Daily Howler does not like Rachel Maddow.

    1. I believe the correct term is "he does not care for the cut of her jib."

  5. "That said, does this bizarre bit of conduct merit the amount of coverage seen on Maddow’s show? We would have to say it does not,..."

    The fact is, it is the Governor himself and the people that worked for him who have elevated this scandal to the point where it is extremely important that it be pursued relentlessly until there is a resolution. If you can't see that then there's no point discussing this anymore. It is a simple question. Why? There's a reason the Governor is fighting so hard to prevent the answer from coming out. Don't you even care, Bob?

    I remember living through Watergate, and the question kept coming up, why is Nixon fighting so hard. It wasn't the break-in that he couldn't have exposed, it was the cascade of other things that he was fighting to protect.

    1. Exactly. It is Christie and his team that drive the coverage, not Rachel Maddow.

      But if we do some research on Howler history, we will quickly find that Somerby really doesn't give much of a damn about anything, other than finding another club to beat Maddow with.

      And that has blinded him to the obvious, simple question that you asked.

      Having lived through Watergate myself, it is amazing how this scandal seems to be broadening as well into Samson's alleged conflicts of interest (plural), the charges of using Hurricane Sandy money to punish and reward mayors, and even the practice of doling out 9/11 debris as if they were souvenirs.

      And all involving the people who are closely aligned with a guy who was a leading contender for his party's nomination as President of the United States.

      Bob only pretends that his is nothing more than a four-day traffic jam cooked up and caused by a couple of low-rung staffers because that is the only way he can use it in an increasingly silly attempt to discredit Maddow -- which again, is the only extent of his concern.

    2. But...but... 7 million dollars...

    3. 7 million stuffed in pants of perspiring pimp of piddle.
      Don't let me get started on the "t" words.

    4. mm,

      I know you're talking to TDH, but he's the absent father-figure: he never answers. So I will. I want Bridgegate pursued relentlessly. I want to see Chris Christie's political career ruined. I hope he's reduced to handling divorce and personal injury cases from a storefront law office in Paramus. I want to see every one of his political hacks driven from their plum jobs and humiliated for their arrogance and malfeasance. If that means fines and jail time, then so be it. I hope the spotlight sweeps over every one of Christie's politically-motivated deals.

      And I'm impatient. Why haven't Christie's people been held in contempt for not answering the subpoena's? Why weren't their appeals to the 5th Amendment laughed out of court. People may argue that being forced to turn over incriminating documents is tantamount to self-incrimination, but it's settled law that the 5th applies only to testimony.

      But just because I want it, doesn't mean that's what is.

    5. deadrat,

      I appreciate what you're saying. It would be nice if the judge at the hearing understood settled law instead of intruding herself into the prosecution strategy regarding questions of immunity.

  6. OMB ( A Second Possible Explanation for BOB's Maddow Reporting!)

    Part 1....December...The Analysts Plant an Idea

    Blogger may believe his own twaddle: How crazy is BOB's Maddow coverage?

    Consider many crazy ideas which have been floated since December.

    Maddow Proves It All Night Long

    Back in September, a minor New Jersey official had closed three lanes of traffic from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge....The minor official was a high school friend of Christie’s.

    Was Christie involved in this stupid conduct? Everything is possible! For ourselves, we’d be inclined to call it unlikely....But so what?... On Monday night, she devoted the first 19 minutes of her program to this remarkably minor affair, skipping the three million serious topics she could have discussed at that time."

    Rachel Maddow is a Nightmare!

    Good God! Once again, Maddow opened her show with a 17-minute segment about Chris Christie and the traffic lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge....Finally, she got to the “issue” at hand—the massively ginned-up controversy about lane closings at the George Washington Bridge and Christie’s so far non-existent role in same.

    How dumb does Rachel think you are?

    She thinks you’re very dumb:

    Losers, guess what? The volume of traffic on the bridge has nothing to do with this story. Traffic across the bridge was not affected, only access to the bridge from the town of Fort Lee."

    Breaking: Rachel has a bridge to sell you!

    "Remember when Camus wrote..“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.”

    The teeny, teeny, tiny, tiniest little story had gotten enormous!....After a commercial break, she then devoted two full segments to the Christie Bridgegate story, which had somehow “just gotten enormous.”
    ...she has been pimping piddle in the past week which helps define who she is. In what way has this story “just gotten enormous?”

    Previously enormous story gets bigger!

    Every minute she has burned on this bullshit could have gone to a real news topic....There wasn’t much news value to this tale. Once again, the analysts said that Rachel was simply projecting.

    “It’s her way of exploring her own disorders,” one of the analysts said."


  7. OMB ( A Second Possible Explanation for BOB's Maddow Reporting!)

    Part 2 Judy and Elvis Appear, with guest lyrics by Willie Nelson.

    It’s time for someone to take Rachel Maddow...!

    What does Maddow mean when she tells viewers that the study “did not exist?” We still have no clear idea. Meanwhile, she ought to be fired for saying those things....Maddow should report the basic facts to her viewers. Better yet, the task should fall to the person who take her place as she tries to recover her health.

    ...If only Judy and Elvis had taken a little time off!

    A second possible explanation for Maddow’s scandal reporting!

    "How crazy were the Fort Lee lane closings? Consider a crazy idea...On the surface, it would have been crazy to think the closings could have lasted a month. Then again, it was crazy to think that the lane closings could have lasted a week...Wildstein was ordered by Patrick Foye to stop. Crazily, he and several associates railed about this order...

    The craziness of the closings should be apparent by now. Whatever the motive may have been, the craziness of the closings has cost four major Christie aides their jobs and upended Christie’s drive for national office.

    On its face, it’s crazy to think that anyone could have imagined sustaining the lunacy for a month. But then, as a political matter, it seems crazy to have done the lane closings at all....

    Maddow may turn out to have a screw or three loose....

    Wealth and fame have harmed many people....

    Does Rachel Maddow believe her own bullshit? Many big stars end up doing peculiar things. At least since Judy Garland and Elvis...."



    1. It certainly does appear that our One True Blogger has far more nuts than bolts, and the few bolts he has left could use some tightening.

      Three months of utter rantings on Rachel, Chris and the Bridge that "seem" to get more unhinged every day.

  8. Oh god, he won't stop. Maddow saw a story and kept at it. Turned out she was right. Bob's obsession with Maddow reminds me of his writings on Dowd's obsession with Gore.

    Anyway, i'll check back in a month or so, hopefully Bob will move off this topic, ideally with a "i was wrong, Maddow as right."

    1. Maddow touches herself and perspires, but Bob hasn't had her talking to her bald spots yet.

      On the other hand he has dumped two major posts on Dowd into the Maddow mix already the past four weeks so you may want to chage your timetable to something more realistic. Perhaps a Friedman unit.

  9. This is all so weird to me. I mean, as an aging Jersey girl (absence from youth and NJ, whence my parents departed this life some 10 years ago this year -- makes the heart grown only fonder), and as a very left (but anti-Mao) type who puts up with Dems as the only branch to cling to, I follow bridge-gate avidly. But Rachel Maddow -- well, from 9-10 I am busy with other things. There's something strange about collapsing Maddow (and the occasional NYT or WSJ reporter) with events themselves. Does Bob cater only to those for whom the three cable networks, Fox, CNN and MSNBC, and a few national newspapers are their (imagined) news sources? (Funny, he never mentions sources like HuffPo or Breitbart. Whatever.)

    Just to say: read the Bergen Record, the Star-Ledger, and other NJ reporters. They are all available online. (If Bob really cared about good reporting, he'd be cheering these sources.) Rachel may or may not be above reproach. I don't care. She's not at all awful, if you pay attention to all the reporting (which I don't expect most people to do). It's as if Bob is using his version of Rachel as a way to divert attention from the very plain fact -- plain from unimpeachable reporting: NJ politics are corrupt. Chris Christie is corrupt beyond what is normal in NJ and imaginable for a president. That's kind of important.

    But Bob would not have us think about that. Instead we're supposed to obsess with him about Rachel Maddow (only coincidentally a female, a lesbian). mch

  10. And, don't forget, coincidentally making 7 millions dollars a year.

  11. Fish and red wine? Now THAT'S nutty!

    1. She was raised on black and white TV. What do you expect?

  12. Is it just me, or can anybody else remember the bad old days of the Clinton scandals. Here, so really significant bad behavior was being demonstrated by the Press Corp. Here, the consequences would prove to be really terrible.
    During that time, however, you had a very different Daily Howler. During that time, the very idea of ascribing MOTIVE was viewed as suspect or irrelevant. And when the circumstances became so bad that Bob was pushed into venturing an opinion, you could see quite clearly where the line was drawn. Personal attacks were to be avoided. Bob was even going to go on O'Reilly! He later seemed to forget how terrible Bill was to Gore! ( he led a long, long campaign demanding that Gore be indicted).
    Maybe the more egregious the bad behavior the more one can afford to be "socratic" (remember that?). And the more piddling and insignificant the matters are at hand, the more you have to dig through old personality profiles to prove the reporter is a bad person.