Epilogue—Our very own Salem witch trial: Did you think that was all she did on last Thursday night’s program?
Yesterday, we listed some of Rachel Maddow’s errors on last Thursday night’s show, the program of March 27. To read that report, click here.
The Mastro report appeared on Thursday morning, March 27. That evening, Maddow did this:
*At length, she ranted about the way Team Mastro had failed to release any supporting documents. (“They released none of the documentation they said they looked at,” she complained. “They released none of these text messages, none of the e-mails they said they saw, no documents of any kind.”)
Oops! In fact, more than 4000 pages of emails, text messages and other documents had been released along with the report.
*In an extended rant, she gave the impression that the Mastro report mentions the relationship between Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien three times in just the first 17 pages. (“They keep bringing it up over and over and over again,” she complained.)
In fact, the relationship is mentioned three times in the entire report; those three citations are spread out over more than a hundred pages. Maddow made at least two misstatements of fact, thus creating a vastly different impression.
*She insisted that the Mastro report never even tried to explain the relevance of the relationship. (“The relevance of this is never explained,” she complained. “It’s just supposed to be self-evident, I guess, and they keep bringing it up over and over and over again.”)
In fact, the report offers two explanations for the relevance of the relationship. (At one point, Maddow dropped the second part of a sentence she was quoting, the part of the sentence which explains the relevance.)
It’s hard to look at work like this without wondering about Maddow’s basic honesty. In our view, the cable star offers work like this on a fairly regular basis.
That said, did you really think that was all she did wrong as she ranted, and misled viewers, on last Thursday’s program?
Sorry! Before her opening segment was done, Maddow did something even worse. In a slippery and dishonest way, she added two more names to her long list of the names of the guilty of the earth.
To watch that first segment, click this.
Maddow has played the role of hanging judge ever since this story broke. Her desire to charge and convict The Others seems to know few bounds.
How many people have been falsely convicted? Let’s recall some cases:
Chip Michaels: On one occasion, Maddow misrepresented statements by two different sources to make it seem like Officer Chip Michaels tried to make the traffic jams worse on the first day of the lane closings. In a more serious world, she would have been removed from the air right then.
Paul Nunziato: On another occasion, Maddow told the world that Paul Nunziato, the head of the Port Authority police union, had been fired, apparently because of misconduct related to the lane closings.
Oops! That simply wasn’t true; Nunziato hadn’t been fired. One week later, Maddow revised her claim, saying that Nunziato had stepped down from his post. That wasn’t true either.
Somebody named Nicole: On February 12, Maddow set her sights on the woman named “Nicole” who was mentioned in a text message from David Wildstein. Here’s how that hanging occurred:
Last November, Bill Baroni testified to the New Jersey legislature about the lane closings. In a text message, Wildstein told Baroni that he had “texted Bridget and Nicole, and they were very happy” with the way his testimony went.
Maddow told us all about “Nicole,” including her maiden name and the full name of her husband. Maddow assumed that Baroni was lying that day. Off and on in her presentation, Maddow seemed to assume, then not to assume, that this “Nicole” must have known it.
Uh-oh! As it turned out, Maddow didn’t know, and still doesn’t know, if she had the right “Nicole!” As it turned out, the person Maddow mugged that night probably isn’t the Nicole to whom Wildstein referred in that text.
Four weeks later, Maddow mentioned this minor problem in passing.
Let’s not try to list all the people Maddow has maligned in such ways. If we did, attorney Philip Kwon would be another example.
Maddow has made a pile of embarrassing errors as she has conducted her witch trials. That said, her greatest scam involves something she hasn’t told viewers.
This problem—the problem of what she’s withholding—came back into play last Thursday, March 27.
What has Maddow withheld from her viewers? She has never told her viewers about the way Wildstein went through the motions of conducting a traffic study or test last August and September.
Was the whole traffic study a hoax? On a journalistic basis, we don’t think that has been proven yet. (Maddow read a new email on Monday night which may create additional doubt, although of course she didn’t say so.)
Was the whole traffic study a hoax? We don’t think that has been proven. But if we assume the whole thing was a hoax, it remains true that Wildstein went through the motions of conducting a study both before and during the lane closings.
Speaking under oath in December, two bridge officials testified that they had believed that he was conducting some sort of traffic study. People in the Christie administration may have believed that too.
What follows is amazing: Despite the many hours Maddow has devoted to this topic, she has never explained these basic facts to her badly misused viewers.
This omission has freed her to say and suggest that Baroni was lying in his testimony, and to say and suggest that everyone in the Christie administration surely must have known that.
This brings us back to last Thursday night’s show, when Maddow added several names to her list of the guilty of the earth. You can see her doing this in the excerpt we’ve posted below.
Regina Egea and Nicole Crifo: In this part of her opening segment, Maddow was listing new information from the Mastro report. She names the people who edited Baroni’s opening statement when he testified about the lane closings.
Note this skillful Torquemada’s use of the word “admit:”
MADDOW (3/27/14): Also, new information, we also know whose handwriting this is.Those five paragraphs help us see the way propagandists work. Also, Torquemadas.
This is a draft of that cover-up testimony that was delivered to the legislature back in November. We had previously seen this draft and could tell that it was all marked up by someone. But we didn’t know whose handwritten notations these were, editing that testimony, obviously trying to shine it up a little bit.
We now know whose handwriting that is. We know that is the handwriting of the governor’s current chief of staff, Regina Egea, and also a staffer named Nicole Crifo. She was also another senior staffer in the governor’s office at the time.
In today’s report from the governor’s lawyers, footnote 549 helpfully notes that those two staffers are the two senior Chris Christie staffers who admit that those are their handwritten comments on the testimony about the cover story. So they helped edit it. We now know that.
We also learned that the governor’s chief counsel, Charlie McKenna, also advised Bill Baroni on that cover-up testimony. And we also learned it was Governor Christie’s personal direction that Bill Baroni should give that testimony, that he should appear before the legislature and give that testimony which, again, was a fake cover story.
With great regularity, Maddow has always referred to Baroni’s testimony as “cover-up testimony,” “a fake cover story.” These descriptions imply that Baroni knew he was saying things which were false or misleading, a proposition Maddow hasn’t demonstrated.
Did Baroni know or believe that Wildstein’s “traffic study” was a hoax? Did he believe he was testifying falsely? That’s possible, but it hasn’t been proven.
That said, there’s absolutely zero evidence that Egea and Crifo knew or believed that Baroni’s opening statement was false. There is no evidence that they believed that Wildstein conducted a hoax.
Despite this minor problem, Maddow told the world that Egea and Crifo have now “admitted” that they helped edit the “fake cover story.” In this way, Maddow added their names, and that of McKenna, to her very long list of the guilty of the earth.
We’ve rarely seen anyone work so hard, or so dishonestly, to convict so many people of so many unproven crimes.
Maddow should have been sent for counseling long ago. She should have received journalistic counseling, and counseling for her soul.
There is no evidence—none at all—showing that Michaels tried to make the Fort Lee traffic jams worse.
Nunziato didn’t get fired. He didn’t step down from his post.
Maddow still doesn’t know which “Nicole” Wildstein was citing in that text message. But so what? Three months ago, she found a staffer named Nicole and spread her vitals around.
There is no evidence that attorney Philip Kwon knew or believed that Wildstein conducted a hoax.
Last Thursday, Maddow added new names to her list. There is no evidence that Egea and Crifo believed they were editing false testimony. But Maddow announced, last Thursday night, that they have “admitted” their crime.
We still haven’t listed all the garbage Maddow spewed about last Thursday. On Monday, we’ll do one more post on this subject.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s say this:
Rachel Maddow should have been pulled off the air a long time ago. Her work on the Fort Lee matter has been astounding, horrendous.
In American celebrity culture, major wealth and massive fame have ruined a great many people. In our view, Maddow has been working hard to add her own name to that list.
Coming: More “errors” on the March 27 show