The New York Times promotes some fake news!


In fairness, it's for a good cause:
Kate Zernike covered "Bridgegate" for the New York Times.

Rather, she pretended to do so.

This morning, Zernike penned a report about the way Donald J. Trump has let Chris Christie twist in the wind since Election Day. She offered various theories as to why this has occurred.

Displaying the newspaper's famous Dowdism, she said Christie's leave-taking from Trump this weekend involved "a 10-second handshake that looked almost like a tug of war."

Please note. It looked almost like a tug-of-war, not exactly like one.

In this morning's report, readers got to enjoy their favorite "Oreos" jibe again. They got to hear, for the second time, that Christie "voted in the dark" on Election Day.

Right at the start of her report, Zernike suggested that Christie is being punished for having said, on Charlie Rose, that he wasn't involved in the Bridgegate misconduct. Eventually, she made the highlighted statement shown below.

We'll focus on one key word:
ZERNIKE (11/22/16): Mr. Christie publicly said he hoped to be Mr. Trump’s vice-presidential nominee. And he was said to be bitterly disappointed when Mr. Trump’s children and campaign manager prevailed on the candidate to instead choose Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

Mr. Trump made Mr. Christie chief of the transition. But the governor was still struggling with the scandal, after revelations on the stand that he had known about the lane closings even as they were happening and did nothing to reverse them.

On Election Day, Mr. Christie voted in the dark of early morning, a contrast to earlier years when he invited cameras and reporters along by indicating on his public schedule what time he would go to the polls.
Good lord! Were there really "revelations" on the stand that Christie knew about the lane closings "even as they were happening?"

Actually, no—there were not. And as Zernike knows, but assumes you don't, that isn't really the issue.

Let's start at the beginning. Were their "revelations" during the trial that Christie "had known about the lane closings even as they were happening?"

Actually, no—there were not. David Wildstein, confessed mastermind of the plot, certainly made that allegation. And as you may know, allegation counts as revelation when a targeted figure gets accused—or at least, that's the rule of thumb at the New York Times.

Wildstein testified that he told Christie about the lane closings on September 11, the third day of the closings. He said that he and Christie and Bill Baroni stood around laughing about it.

Baroni, who was on trial, testified differently. Zernike was suitably fuzzy in her own report that day. But here's the report by Paul Berger for the Bergen County Record:
BERGER (10/18/16): Baroni also contradicted a claim by Wildstein that Christie, Wildstein and Baroni had laughed about the traffic problems when they attended a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center site that was held at the time of the lane reductions.

The three discussed the closures, Baroni said, but only in relation to what Wildstein described as a traffic study.

"Was there any mention of political retribution?" asked Jennifer Mara, Baroni's defense attorney.

"No," Baroni replied.

"Was there any mention of punishment?"


"Was there any mention of political endorsements?"


Showing a photo of the three men laughing on Sept. 11, Mara asked, "Are you laughing about the Fort Lee lanes?"

"Absolutely not," Baroni replied.
Baroni said they discussed the lane closings that day. But he said there was no suggestion that the lane closings were being done for political reasons. Absent some such confession about the motive behind the closings, there would have been no reason for Christie to "reverse them."

Zernike understands that part of the story. She's assuming her readers don't.

There's no way to know who was telling the truth—Wildstein or Baroni. There's no way to know if either man was telling the truth. Each fellow had reason to lie. Either one may have been telling the truth, though even Wildstein didn't assert that he told Christie about the political motive.

(Christie says he doesn't remember the lane closings being mentioned that day.)

For that reason, there's no "revelation" here, unless you work for the Times. That said, Zernike has had her thumb on the scale for several years concerning the Bridgegate matter.

(In fairness, Zernike's work starts seeming good when Maddow starts telling the story.)

The New York Times is routinely a mess. The newspaper helped invent fake news. It plans to go down with its ship.


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  2. This post is just willful ignorance. Zernike was reporting on the shared perceptions we call reality. Everybody covered the story this way:

    Further, the NYT (and Zernike) was not driving the Bridgegate story--the leaks were apparently to the WSJ which had its biggest splash in local news in ages.

    Can anyone continued Christie craziness on this site?

    1. Can anyone explain...

    2. Yes. I'll explain. Rachel Maddow was one of the first to pursue the Bridgegate story nationally and Bob suffers from MDS. He has it as severely as anyone he claims suffers from CDS or wrote fake news during the"War on Gore" which we all know was caused either by CDS or precipitated by the Assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo depending on which crying Analyst you consult.

    3. That is a really crap explanation. A better one is that Maddow -- and the NY Times -- have covered "Bridgegate" in a biased, slipery way.

      "Regarding my law firm’s investigation of the Bridgegate controversy conducted for the State of New Jersey:

      "An Oct. 27 editorial called our findings a “whitewash,” and Jim Dwyer (About New York column, Nov. 16) chides me for tackling the “impossible” assignment of exonerating Gov. Chris Christie “of any involvement in the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal.”

      "But we simply followed the evidence, and our investigation’s findings in all material respects mirrored those of two subsequent investigations, conducted by a joint legislative committee and the United States Attorney’s Office.

      "Neither of those investigations uncovered any evidence — documentary or otherwise — that Governor Christie had any involvement in the decision to alter George Washington Bridge lanes as political retribution.

      "Indeed, the lone witness to contend that Governor Christie knew anything about the lane realignment beforehand, Bridget Anne Kelly, a former Christie aide, testifying at her criminal trial, claimed that she relayed her understanding that the Port Authority intended to conduct a legitimate traffic study.

      "The jury apparently didn’t believe her, convicting her on all counts. The Times should stop clinging to a narrative contrary to the consistent findings of three separate investigations, including ours.


      New York

    4. Hilarious! Randy Mastro as the seeker of truths!

      Too bad he didn't jot down any of his interviews:

      A law firm commissioned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to investigate the George Washington Bridge scandal engaged in “opacity and gamesmanship” in producing its report, a federal judge said.

      Is Bloomberg also slippery and biased? Along with CNN and every news outlet in New Jersey?

      Why doesn't TDH cover new developments in education--anything about DeVos or media coverage of DeVos would have to better than more tears for Christie's (fake) travails.

  3. Bob, you are wrong if you say that Wildstein was the only testimony that Christie knew beforehand. Co-defendant Bridget Kelley testified during the trial she discussed the matter with Christie in August, a month before the bridge closings. Other Christie associates, including his press secretary, testified that Christie discussed the matter with them before his press conference in which he denied knowing anything about it.

    Your criticism here is really nitpicking, BTW.

    Fun irrelevant fact: my wife was in CC's high school class. He was not fat back then.

  4. I read this again, and you are so wrong, Bob. Were there revelations that Christie knew? Yes, yes and yes. Maybe you should know something about a subject before you get so worked up.

    Even if you don't believe Wildstein, and there is a ton of evidence besides his words that back his version, plenty of other testimony backs what the story said. Baroni gave blatantly false testimony. He said he barely knew Wildstein, but prosecutors showed they called or texted each other thousands of times in 2013 and attended family events. The jury didn't believe Baroni.

    It's not just that you are wrong, you are arrogantly wrong. Stock to subjects you know something about.

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerNovember 23, 2016 at 12:59 PM

      Based on your logic, after I talk to a few people who all agree that you have been cheating on your wife, I should feel free to include that "revelation" in my next newspaper article about you. For myself, being accused of something is not the same thing as a fact and I would expect journalists especially to be careful about mixing the two.

    2. I have no idea what you mean. Bob said there was weak evidence that Christie knew about the bridges closing and implied that Wildstein was the sole source. That is very much wrong.

      Several people testified under oath that they discussed the matter with CC, and the person who Bob used to rebut Wildstein was adjudged by the jury to have lied.

      Bob jumped to conclusions about something for which he doesn't know the facts, bottom line. If you think I'm wrong, tell me how, don't just spout cliches.

  5. Other witnesses said CC knew about the plot months before and during.

  6. Fake News About the New York Times

    "The New York Times has shown even less interest in reporting the popular vote totals from this year's election....In our view, the public needs to be told that Clinton won the popular vote."

    Bob Somerby, yesterday.

    "Clinton’s popular vote lead surpasses two million.

    With new votes tallied from New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland and California, Mrs. Clinton’s popular vote lead reached 2,017,563 overnight."

    New York Times, today

    1. So time travel's a big thing for you, huh?

    2. Yes, which is why I can tell you with first hand knowledge that Somerby will have something nasty to say about Rachel Maddow in the near future.

    3. She deserves it. Have you seen that show? She's awful.

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  8. Today Kevin Drum talks about alt-right attitudes toward women, suggesting that their misogyny is something different than the traditional neo-Nazism. He is wrong about that. Nazi attitudes toward women are entirely consistent with the MRA alpha-male crap being espoused by the alt-right.

    In addition to being anti-gay (while having a closeted gay leadership), the Nazis held deeply misogynistic attitudes toward women, excluded them from politics and confined them to home and family life, believing them unfit for anything else.

    1. The comments over there are very interesting. One or two responses on topic and then they wander off talking about other stuff. Not the least bit interested in women's issues, just like Kevin Drum himself.

    2. Drum did not say anthing remotely close to what you suggest in your false comment
      @ 11:17.

      "But to the extent the alt-right is important, it's worth knowing how central this particularly toxic brand of sexism is to the whole movement—even if it doesn't often get a lot attention. This is also why it's not right to simply call them racists or neo-Nazis. A lot of them are indeed that, but they're so, so much more."

      You are getting as loose with the truth about Drum as Somerby gets about Maddow. gets a

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