The tulip craze moves in reverse: On CNN, the tulip craze was still underway last night.
The various pundits still sat around, basically guessing and dreaming. By way of contrast, on The Last Word, an equal-but-opposite craze seemed to run in reverse.
To watch the whole segment, click here.
Lawrence discussed Chris Christie’s impending report about the Fort Lee lane closings. The report will be released today. We were surprised by the attitude expressed by one major New Jersey journalist.
First, a bit of background:
Last night, on a radio show, Christie made a major claim about the contents of his impending report. Lawrence played the videotape:
“I think all the important questions will be answered,” Christie said, building up his report.
That was a major claim. Of course, until we see the report, the claim can’t be evaluated. That claim could be total bunk.
That said, we were puzzled by the first Q-and-A between Lawrence and Alfred Doblin, editorial page editor for the Bergen Record. We thought Doblin’s comments were strange, perhaps a bit unsettling:
O’DONNELL (3/26/14): Joining me now, Alfred P. Doblin, editorial page editor for the Bergen Record. According to your editorial newspaper, you have your doubts about all the important questions being answered by this report.Doblin went on in that vein. We thought his remarks were odd.
DOBLIN: Yes. I mean, I think—you know, maybe it depends on how we define “important.” You know, the governor, from what we heard him say and what his office put out, is saying this is an exhaustive, comprehensive report produced by people he hired, people who have ties to him.
I mean, they’re smart attorneys. We’re not commenting that what we might read in the report is false. But it seems hard to understand how the key players, who are not interviewed, without those people being involved, how this will be comprehensive and exhaustive.
I mean, we may find out a little bit more of who ordered what at what time. But will we find out why this happened? Will we find out who actually engineered it? And the governor hasn’t said whether we will understand completely whether he knew anything about it after it was plotted and executed.
There’s a lot of time between September and January 8th, when my paper first wrote this story. So I don’t see how all questions are going to be answered.
He started by noting the fact that several major players weren’t interviewed for the report. But Lawrence had just played videotape of Christie saying this:
CHRISTIE (3/26/14): You don’t just come to conclusions from interviews. There’s lots and lots of documents that involve all those people which have been part of the public record and will be becoming a part of the public record going forward. And you can discern a lot from that. Some of those, at least three of them, have asserted their constitutional right not to speak. If they continue to do that, no one will ever speak to them.Duh. As we noted yesterday, it may be that no one will ever interview Kelly, Wildstein or Stepien.
That doesn’t mean you can’t solve a case. In many instances, documents allow you to solve a case. And Christie said against last night that new documents will be coming forward as part of this report.
Everyone knows that this report could turn out to be a dud. But it’s also possible that new emails and texts may shed light on what happened.
No one will know till they see the report! But as she spoke with Lawrence, Doblin seem flummoxed about the basic way information works.
Once again, we felt concerned about the basic coherence of our nation’s journalists.
On CNN, the nonsense about the missing plane continued apace last night. The various pundits still sat around speculating and guessing.
In an equal but opposite process, Doblin didn’t seem able to imagine a basic process—the basic process by which we gain information. The process in which we examine relevant documents and learn how and why something happened.
Will Christie’s report really show us who did what for what reason? Quoting Doblin’s questions, “Will we find out why this happened? Will we find out who actually engineered it?”
We don’t have the slightest idea. We haven’t seen it yet.
That said, we can imagine finding out who engineered the lane closings. For example, we can imagine seeing more emails from Bridget Kelly which make this transaction clear.
It all depends on what kind of documents Christie has. It all depends on what the documents say.
The report could answer those basic questions—unless you’re Alfred Doblin. Last night, Doblin couldn’t even seem to imagine the process of learning a fact.
On CNN, on further reflection, it worked in a somewhat similar way:
The experts sat around guessing and dreaming about what might have occurred. They also seemed strangely unfamiliar with the process of learning real facts.