Christie, Cosby, Clinton: Frank Bruni is upset today with what Chris Christie said.
More specifically, he’s upset with the failure of Republican candidates to denounce Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.
According to Bruni, “Republicans can’t summon the courage to take on the dark heroes of the party’s lunatic fringe.” Eventually, he describes Christie’s failure to challenge what Trump said:
BRUNI (7/8/15): Trump’s rant about immigrants, which he has since amplified, was another squandered moment.That was Bruni’s full account of what Christie said.
Chris Christie could have made good on his boasts about always telling it like it is and being unconstrained by politesse. Instead he made clear that he liked Trump and considered him a friend. That soft crunching sound you heard was the supposedly hard-charging New Jersey governor walking on eggshells.
Strange! As of this morning, we’d seen tape of Christie’s statements concerning Trump about a million times. For that reason, we were surprised, but not surprised, by Bruni’s peculiar account.
What sorts of things has Christie said about Candidate Trump’s remarks? He made the following statement last Thursday, in a New Hampshire town hall. The videotape was played that evening on the Sharpton program:
CHRISTIE (7/2/15): The comments were inappropriate and they have no place in the race. I think it has been well documented over time that there have been certain elements of our party that have been unfriendly to elements of our population, including the Latino community, and we need to change that. Because we need to broaden our party to create a coalition that’s going to be able to win national elections.Since that time, Christie has been quoted, in other forums, saying the remarks by Trump were “wholly inappropriate” and “highly inappropriate.” For that reason, we were surprised, though not surprised, by what Bruni wrote.
In truth, our “journalists”—especially our high-ranking stars—are relentlessly banal. Defiantly, relentlessly, they hand you the stories they like.
Their slippery dishonesty is perhaps their defining characteristic. That and their genuine lack of intellectual skill.
Bruni’s account of what Christie said is very much par for the course. Our journalists aren’t especially honest. Beyond that, they simply aren’t very sharp.
Our journalists have a very hard time performing the most basic tasks of their profession. Consider the problems they have had discerning what Bill Cosby said.
As you may have noticed, our reporters have had a hard time in the past two days figuring out what Cosby did, and didn’t, testify to back in 2005. Even as of this morning, the New York Times had its thumb on the scale a fair bit in its front-page report in the Business Day section.
On page B1, the Times describes “Mr. Cosby’s admission in a newly released court document that he had obtained quaaludes to give young women with whom he wanted to have sex.” The Times links that statement to other statements, by alleged victims, that they feel vindicated by the new court documents.
(Headline: “Bill Cosby Admission About Quaaludes Offers Accusers Vindication.”)
For ourselves, we don’t doubt that Cosby’s accusers are making accurate claims. But the Times is a journalistic organization, and this report was a news report, not an opinion column.
You had to read much further in this morning’s report to reach this amplification on page B6: “In the records, Mr. Cosby did not admit drugging witting women” (our emphasis).
That’s a very basic distinction. But given their weak intellectual skills, it has taken our press corps the past two days to sort this matter out, to the extent that they have.
Let’s be frank and refreshing! For many members of our press corps, that distinction is simply too hard to follow. That’s especially true in a matter like this, where people have largely decided what the truth surely is.
(By the way: Is that distinction too hard for you to follow? Please ask yourself that basic question before you start offering comments.)
If it’s true banality you seek, we recommend today’s Morning Joe segment concerning Candidate Clinton’s interview with CNN. To watch the discussion, click here.
We’ll discuss the segment in all its haplessness tomorrow. But we think it shows the abiding banality of the press corps’ high-profile performers.
Bless their hearts! On the videotape, the pundits take turns explaining how Candidate Clinton “looked” and “seemed” during her session with Brianna Keilar.
This is the world’s most subjective possible construct. There is no sign that this simple-minded thought ever enters their simple heads.
For the record, it isn’t just Barnacle and Capehart who play the assignment that way. After a bit of a pause, Katty Kay takes her inevitable turn, “bringing the eternal note of sadness in.”
These are defiantly banal people. If it weren’t for skills involving career, would they have any skills at all?