Waiting for a Correction

Looks like we’re all weighing in on the Christie scandal, and why not? Things don’t get this good very often. I’m sure that rumors of his death are a bit premature. For example, I wouldn’t be surprised if he still tries to run in the Republican primary, since punishing dirty liberals by creating a traffic jam probably is something the 27 percenters think is the way God’s only son likes it. That said, he’s dead in a general election if he makes it that far, especially since the Fort Lee traffic jam is probably just the tip of a dirty iceberg.

So, I wonder if Bob Somerby, who expects perfect accuracy from everyone in the media, will walk back his many posts criticizing Rachel Maddow for pushing this story. My guess is “no”, but I still think it’s an important question. I’m not one who thinks that liberal media should make shit up like Fox News, but when there’s a little smoke around an elected Republican, there’s nothing wrong with looking hard for some fire. That’s all that Maddow did. And, in the end, her instincts were right, while Somerby’s were dead wrong.

214 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think I must be missing the point about this. I really don’t see why it’s going to cost Christie all that much, in a primary or a general. Heck, it might help him in a primary.

  2. 2
    Big R says:

    STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP.

    But in all seriousness: I hope this brings Christie down in disgrace, but I am skeptical that it will. But if there’s any one group that can bring down a New Jersey governor who plays dirty, it’s the New Jersey legislature, and not Republican presidential primary voters. The Lege at least understands that politics ain’t beanbag.

    The primary voters think that politics is the fine art of rejecting your reality and substituting their own.

  3. 3
    Eric U. says:

    I know those of us out in the heartland are a little naive, but we don’t expect government to work this way. Even the republicans.

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    I see it made the top of News Max.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    @Belafon: Just saw that.

    Of course Somerby won’t apologize. Real pundits never do.

  6. 6
    Mark S. says:

    Daily Howler guy is still around? And he’s discovered blogspot? Holy shit.

  7. 7
    jharp says:

    Am I wrong thinking somebody should go to fucking jail for this? Endangering the public for no fucking reason?

  8. 8
    coin operated says:

    Had to go back and read his column…what an ass.

    I do like it, though, when Maddow is vindicated. The woman does her homework, and it shows.

  9. 9
    japa21 says:

    @jharp: I read earlier today that it is very likely some criminal charges will be filed. Not knowing against whom, but whomever it is, it will undoubtedly be interesting.

  10. 10
    libarbarian says:

    Hell, this might even improve Christie’s standing within the Tea Party bloc. He isn’t one of them, but they do hate East Coast Liberals and are rather petty themselves so maybe they will respond positively to this.

  11. 11
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Comrade Jake: Something about exacting political revenge by fucking with or even endangering the lives of tens of thousands of people two days in a row because the mayor of the town didn’t endorse the candidacy of the governor from the opposition party.

    Also I’m pretty sure that a crime was committed here, a major one in fact, and I think the majority leader of the New Jersey Senate does too. In short the Governor stands a very real chance of being impeached and imprisoned. Kind of a big deal, No?

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Belafon: I guess it’s officially News then. There’s also this:”Limbaugh Thinks Christie’s Bridge Scandal Is Obviously A Distraction From Robert Gates’ Memoir”.

    Apparently some Nefarious Liberal (probably Obama, of course) Jedi-mind-tricked Christie and his aides into closing the bridge access lanes a few months ago, certain in the knowledge that their involvement would become public exactly today.

  13. 13
    👾 Martin says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I think I must be missing the point about this. I really don’t see why it’s going to cost Christie all that much, in a primary or a general. Heck, it might help him in a primary.

    This wasn’t about fucking with brown people or poor people or gays. It was about fucking over people that merely happened to live in Fort Lee. What happens when President Christie decides after the election that because Iowa didn’t go red, that they should lose a bunch of federal funding? There’s no ‘other’ to blame here for deserving this treatment. Lots of voters live in cities and states with leaders elected by the other party, and nobody wants to be punished for that. Plus it reflects a behavior that nobody in this country will defend – politically motivated attacks against the voters by elected officials are quite taboo. There’s an enormous amount of legislation in this country to prevent it.

    But the bigger problem is that Christie said he had nothing to do with it, dismissed and called idiots anyone who raised the issue. Those people are going to drill into Christie like you won’t believe. He’ll be called a liar and corrupt all through the campaign and there’s not much he can do to defend against it.

  14. 14
    NCSteve says:

    Somersby, especially when he’s of on one of his Maddow things, has always reminded me of a letter Franklin wrote to George Mason in which, with a single sentence, he undercut a series of letters from Adams to Congress excoriating Franklin (among others):

    I am persuaded, however, that he means well for his Country, is always an honest Man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses.

  15. 15
    karen says:

    If quid pro quo is illegal, no-quid no-pro -no-quo should be illegal too right?

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Same. But I’ve been wrong before.

  17. 17
    Haydnseek says:

    @Eric U.: You don’t? I don’t know where you live, but almost every state considered part of the “heartland” is deep, blood red. Take a look around. It’s exactly how extreme conservatives operate. The style and accent changes, but the hate fueled tactics are exactly the same.

  18. 18
    👾 Martin says:

    @libarbarian: Nope. They hate east coast everything, including Republicans.

  19. 19
    jharp says:

    @japa21:

    “I read earlier today that it is very likely some criminal charges will be filed.”

    Good. This could get really juicy. Going to jail to protect one’s boss after being fired sometimes gets a little dicey for said boss.

    I sense that Governor Christie is plenty pissed off. I can almost feel the rage from 700 miles away.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev: I was just going to post that Limbaugh bit. Hilarious. The Bob Gates thing is off the radar for sure. Not even on the Google News list. Woodward is probably furious.

  21. 21
    Ahh says fywp says:

    Of course there was fire, dozens of D pols dont just wake up one day and endorse a Gop 4 gov unless oppnt actually is David Duke. Only question is hoe high up the chain gets burned.

    Dems could be implicated in some shit too, open question if gop has the power or guts to investigate, only happens if Christie goes down, I think.

  22. 22
    Belafon says:

    @NCSteve: One of my kids had to do a report on Mason. We declared him the most important founding father no one knows about.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois are bright red?

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    Unless the Polar Vortex froze hell over, Somerby won’t apologize. As far as I know, he’s never apologized for carrying water for George Zimmerman.

  25. 25
    Haydnseek says:

    @Belafon: I wholeheartedly agree. I find his wonderful jars indispensable when canning my excess peaches and cucumbers.

  26. 26
    slippytoad says:

    So, I wonder if Bob Somerby, who expects perfect accuracy from everyone in the media, will walk back his many posts criticizing Rachel Maddow for pushing this story.

    LOL. Does he expect the same accuracy for Fox News, or just liberal outlets?

    I mean, we are talking about a pundit here. Consistency is the first thing to go with those bastards.

  27. 27
    kc says:

    So, I wonder if Bob Somerby, who expects perfect accuracy from everyone in the media, will walk back his many posts criticizing Rachel Maddow for pushing this story

    No, he’ll double down.

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NCSteve: Somerby was one of the first bloggers I read regularly. I was a huge fan. I weathered his weirdness about the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson story. I put up with how his Rosetta Stone-slash-white whale is the snark of the punditocracy in 1999 against Al Gore, and how it’s never right to mention something other than that in any discussion about, like, politics, or media, or, I dunno, music. I finally gave up after one too many “liberal pundits say everything is about racism” jags. Every once in a while I check back in, and it’s always something about how MSNBC got Trayvon Martin wrong, or the like. What a waste of tenacity.

  29. 29
    Trollhattan says:

    @libarbarian:

    Considering he was notoriously “Touched by a blah man” it wasn’t his fault. Crafty Obama made him do it, “Chicago-style.”

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    dpm:

    So, I wonder if Bob Somerby, who expects perfect accuracy from everyone in the media, will walk back his many posts criticizing Rachel Maddow for pushing this story.

    Can you be more specific? Which of his claims do you think he should retract?

  31. 31
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: he doesn’t apologize for anything ever. He has all the zeal of Greenwald with none of the actual stakes. He has the hallmarks of a man on a mission, only with no evident mission. Weird dude he’s become. Maybe always was.

  32. 32
    Comrade Jake says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    Also I’m pretty sure that a crime was committed here, a major one in fact, and I think the majority leader of the New Jersey Senate does too. In short the Governor stands a very real chance of being impeached and imprisoned. Kind of a big deal, No?

    Certainly if he’s found guilty of a crime then his political career is over. I just doubt it will ever come to that.

  33. 33
    Trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But, but, Zimmerman was found innocent! And he got his magic gunz back after non-threatening his girlfirend So he was right, right?

    Swear, Zimmerman is the Joe the Plumber who won’t go away. Wait, what were we talking about?

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:

    All Christie has to do is play the Victim in this and the Beltway media will shit themselves to help him get through it.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  35. 35
    kc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Somerby was one of the first bloggers I read regularly. I was a huge fan. I weathered his weirdness about the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson story

    Yep, same here. I started having doubts about some of Somerby’s work, though, and then he finally really lost me with his awful posts about Prof. Gates’s being arrested on his own front porch (guess who he blamed).

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @Belafon: Wasn’t there also a banker who financed the Army?

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    As for Christie, I haven’t gotten past the point that this was revenge on a Democrat for not endorsing him. I mean, WTF, seriously. It’s like there aren’t enough Republicans in New Jersey for Christie to bully, so he’ll bully a Democrat, if he can think of an excuse. We’re talking behavioral repertoire here– bullying is what Christie does as a matter of course, and if there aren’t a lot more stories like this just sitting around waiting for a reporter to dig up, I’ll eat my chapeau.

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kc: oh, yeah, I forgot that! Yeah, he has a strange take on race for a guy whose other whole shtick is that would-be liberals don’t care about black children enough, or properly, or something.

  39. 39
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Belafon: One of the most tragic figures in American history. Bankrolled the American Revolution, died a pauper, then had a wingnut university named after him.

  40. 40
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I read him because I like his writing, but his Zimmerman obsession was a mess. I felt as if he misunderstood the essential nature of a trial. Both the prosecution and the defense are advocates. They’re not standing up there reciting a list of events. It’s adversarial. They’re not “neutral”. No one thinks they’re neutral. No one even thinks they’re supposed to be. They’re not hoodwinking people by vigorous or “slanted” advocacy. It’s what they do. What’s more, everyone knows that. It’s not a secret.

    I think he has to wrestle with this at some point, make some decision regarding what is advocacy and what is “truth” and decide how much shading is allowable, where there’s a grey area, particularly because he also goes after tv liberals for being lousy advocates.

  41. 41
    taylormattd says:

    Bob Sumersby was right about the media smearing the shit out of his former roommate Al Gore. But he’s a little nuts (imo); spends too much time looking for errors in minutia when we are surrounded on a daily basis by republican media intrasigence; and is also a terrible writer

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    And there it is:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....ent-bridge

    I had a feeling…. Now let’s see who steps up to rub his back and tell him it will all be OK.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    What seems worse than Chris Christie and his people behaving like hoodlums (as awful as that is) is that, even though they seem to know how bad such behaviour looks, they aren’t very good at hiding it, or even really keen to try.

    The last Republican POTUS was, among his other faults, a lazy goof-off. If the next one is vicious and clumsy like Christie, we’ll all have a hell of a time in the next few decades dealing with the blowback from his actions. Especially since the whole world will know, from the off, who fucked the shit up.

  44. 44
    jharp says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    “Certainly if he’s found guilty of a crime then his political career is over. I just doubt it will ever come to that.”

    What would make you say that? I can’t see anyone ordering the closings without the Governor’s blessing.

    Thus the question becomes is the person who ordered the closing willing to go to prison to protect the boss.

    I doubt it.

  45. 45
    Lee says:

    I used to read The Daily Howler years ago. It got a bit too ‘inside baseball’ for me and he obviously started having issues with reality at times so I stopped.

    It seems he has not gotten any treatment as of yet.

  46. 46
    MattR says:

    @MattF: It makes perfect sense when you consider that Christie’s presidential aspirations are directly tied to his reputation for working across the aisle and finding bipartisan solutions. Combined with the fact that he was going to cruise to re-election and you end up in a situation where endorsements from Democratic politicians were actually more valuable to Christie than those by members of his own party.

  47. 47
    EconWatcher says:

    I assume Christie and his team spent today making absolutely sure he could not be tied to this by documentation, before he announced that he’s shocked, shocked by the whole thing. But you know, it’s really hard to be absolutely sure of that unless you’re stone-cold innocent, which I doubt he is.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @BGinCHI:

    It’s tough, though, because there’s a back and forth in the emails regarding the testimony of his friend. The friend asks how he did, and then asks how “Trenton” thought he did and the answer is “good”.
    They could just be talking about “how” he did (did he make a fool of himself testifying) but it sure looks like someone in “Trenton” approved his performance.

  49. 49
    slippytoad says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Wow, I already want to punch his stupid face, and I’ve read just two lines, and one of those is the headline.

    Do not fucking bullshit us, Governor. Man up or shut up and get out.

  50. 50
    BGinCHI says:

    @EconWatcher: The distance from bully to victim is no distance at all.

  51. 51
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: Does Christie even have a “Victim” setting? All I’ve ever seen is “Loudmouthed bully” and “Sleeping” and I’m taking the Sleep setting as a matter of faith becuase I’ve never actually witnessed it.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @kc: OK, I’m interested. Can you cite some of Somerby’s “awful posts about Prof. Gates’s being arrested on his own front porch (guess who he blamed)”? Thanks in advance.

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @BGinCHI: Ok, well if he’s running from his actual administrations actual actions and his subordinates then he can’t use the “I’m an asshole and I want to be your asshole” as his main selling point in the election campaign. The thing is–as everyone has noted–there are people who love, love, love the idea of an asshole and a jerk running things. The early commentary on the bridge closing contained tons of people (not here, on the regular news sites) positively gloating over the idea of Christie as a strong man, brutal, mean, aggressive–specifically not like Obama. But those people won’t vote for a guy who disavows his asshole behavior, and the rest of the right wing won’t vote for a guy who won’t show them that he will hurt and anger liberals every chance he gets. Woosh! Thats the sound of the end of Christie’s political career. Not.Mean.Enough or just another liar.

  54. 54
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Comrade Jake: I agree that it probably won’t but damage will be done to his career anyway. I just don’t understand why people think he will basically come out clean on this.He takes revenge on his opponents. That may appeal to some, but it turns off way more. And his political opponents will use this.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the show!

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    @Kay: I’m not sure I care what his involvement was, in terms of directness.

    This is the kind of case where “guilt by association” is really guilt, since the man in power sets the tone and terms of the political agenda. You can’t run a shop like that and then pretend you don’t when it’s inconvenient. Look at how much cred he gets for being “tough” and all that shit. Here is the downside.

    Still, watch the media strangle this in its cradle. They wants them some Daddy.

  56. 56
    lamh36 says:

    I say we give Christie the same courtesy the GOP gave Obama during the IRS “scandal”…NONE!!!

  57. 57
    jl says:

    Riffing off the TPM headline on Christie’s response, somebody is sure going under the scandal bus. Time will tell who it is, or whether it will be all of them.

  58. 58
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: Stay tuned and you are going to see it. It’s already started.

  59. 59
    IowaOldLady says:

    Christie’s cover up attempt suggests he’s not ready for national press coverage.

  60. 60
    AnotherBruce says:

    @BGinCHI:

    You know, I can’t because

    A. The beltway media has no sense of humor and so wouldn’t laugh at his face if he attempted to play the victim. and

    B.Has no sense of shame.

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    @MattR: I can see the positive side of that argument, that endorsements from Democrats were valuable to Christie. But the problem is the negative side– how Christie acts when he doesn’t get what he wants. There should be some understanding that trying to punish Democrats for opposing him is a teensy bit… Well, let’s say it lacks civility.

  62. 62
    LanceThruster says:

    Being a Gopper means never having to say you’re sorry.

  63. 63
    BGinCHI says:

    @aimai: I don’t disagree. I just want us to watch how some of the media will work hard to give him cover for this. Too many people are wired for the Bully/Daddy thing. It’s disgusting.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    I’m shocked by these developments. It’s really out of character for Christie to be held to account for his abuse of power.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @lamh36:

    I say we give Christie the same courtesy the GOP gave Obama during the IRS “scandal”…NONE!!!

    I was just thinking of the parallels, with the main difference of course being that Christie’s scandal is a real one.

  66. 66
    srv says:

    To ACA hating democrats to spend more time with their families:

    WASHINGTON — Two House Democrats, Carolyn McCarthy of New York, and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, on Wednesday announced plans to retire.

    While Mrs. McCarthy’s seat is likely to stay in Democratic hands, Mr. McIntyre’s district, which includes Wilmington and other parts of eastern North Carolina, is an almost certain pickup for Republicans. After 18 years in Congress, Mr. McIntyre said in a news release, he is ready for a “new chapter” in his life.

    Republicans saw evidence of Democrats’ vulnerability over the health care law in Mr. McIntyre’s announcement, which comes on the heels of a decision by Representative Jim Matheson, Democrat of Utah, to retire from the House. Yet Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Matheson both voted against the Affordable Care Act.

    “This retirement announcement also proves that Obamacare and its negative impact continues to burden Democrats in 2014 — even for Democrats who voted against the law like McIntyre and Matheson,” said Representative Greg Walden, chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. “When these two throw in the towel, you have to wonder who is next, especially among those Democrats in similar districts who backed Obamacare and other reckless policies.”

  67. 67
    dmsilev says:

    So, now taking bets as to when documentation and/or witnesses will emerge to show that Christie was indeed in the loop.

    I’ll take ‘Friday news dump’.

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    My reaction to Christie’s “I was duped” claim: given his previous behaviour, it’s not a plausible denial.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    Weren’t some of the emails that were disclosed redacted to shield the name of some recipients?

    Anyone want to wager whether it was Christie’s name that was redacted?

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Swear, Zimmerman is the Joe the Plumber who won’t go away.

    Not going away in no way distinguishes him from not-Joe the not-Plumber.

  71. 71
    EconWatcher says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I agree that this taints him, whether he directly knew it or not. The casual and flip tone of the emails shows this was likely a routine act in the culture he created.

    But I disagree that the press will drop this. It’s easy to understand, it’s tawdry, and it’s the kind of story joe and mary sixpack will likely find interesting. This is going to have some hangtime.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    But the documents released Wednesday further the perception of what Republicans as well as Democrats in New Jersey have long said about the governor: that he wields fear and favor to get what he wants, and lashes out at even the smallest perceived slights.

    And that’s why Maddow pursued it, and it’s reasonable to do that. I think Somerby’s Fairness Rule is just dumb.
    She’s allowed to put actions into context, based on past (and known) behavior. “Fair” doesn’t mean “ignore everything that has happened before with this person”. That’s too rigid.

  73. 73
    MattR says:

    @MattF: Like the scorpion stinging the frog, he can’t control himself. It is just his nature to be a petty, bullying dick

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But I disagree that the press will drop this. It’s easy to understand, it’s tawdry, and it’s the kind of story joe and mary sixpack will likely find interesting. This is going to have some hangtime.

    And New York/New Jersey is a big media market.

  75. 75
    AnotherBruce says:

    @BGinCHI: Did I miss the part where he names the members of his staff that mislead him?

  76. 76
    AnotherBruce says:

    @BGinCHI: Did I miss the part where he names the members of his staff that mislead him?

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Now let’s see who steps up to rub his back and tell him it will all be OK

    And who leaves a knife as a going away present.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    OT:

    Control of the Virginia Senate hung by the narrowest of threads Tuesday night as a Democrat led by just 22 votes in a special election to fill the Hampton Roads seat of Lt. Gov.-elect Ralph S. Northam.

  79. 79
    beltane says:

    @AnotherBruce: He doesn’t just take revenge on his opponents but on the innocent bystanders living under his opponents jurisdiction. This is not about settling a score with an enemy, but about inflicting collective punishment on human being who have done him no injury and who are unable to defend themselves.

  80. 80
    normal liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I’m in unequivocally heartland Illinois, which is a lovely shade of twilit blue, and where we routinely have ex-governors in jail for stuff like this. Naive we ain’t.

    What’s great about the Fort Lee nonsense is how incredibly pointless it was. Illinois governors misbehave when there’s graft to be had, not merely for the fun of it. Christie’s a bit of an amateur.

  81. 81
    MattR says:

    @srv: I always thought Carolyn McCarthy supported the ACA. I can’t find any links that indicate otherwise.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    Christie is shocked, shocked! that his unqualified incompetent hack political hatchet man appointee acted like an unqualified incompetent hack political hatchet man!

    I feel is his feign, er… I mean, pain.

    I think a more truthful response would have been Christie saying that he is shocked his ward heeler thug did the payback so damn stupid.

    Edit: Jeez, I thought I hired a guy what knew you kneecap punks in the back alleys, not down in the damn town square in front of the courthouse! (I would have believed Christie if he’d said that)

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @BGinCHI:

    They wants them some Daddy.

    I agree. I’ve said before I think this comes out of 30 years of CEO worship, this Strong Leader thing they have. I don’t even think it’s based on an idea of government. I think it’s gubmint run like how they think a bidness is run. It’s twice removed from anything real :)

  84. 84
    srv says:

    @MattR: Two of the three mentioned in that blurb.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: @normal liberal: Yeah, the logic behind this as a way punishing the Fort Lee mayor is about as good as the logic of invading Iraq in response to 9/11.

  86. 86
    Marc says:

    @srv:

    Two ACA hating democrats to spend more time with their families

    Yeah, but at least one of them is likely to get replaced by an ACA hating Republican. Not an improvement.

  87. 87
    dmsilev says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    @BGinCHI: Did I miss the part where he names the members of his staff that mislead him?

    Nope. Via TPM, Christie said

    “What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”

    Wonder which of the various staff members will be the first designated scapegoat?

  88. 88
    Anoniminous says:

    @Kay:

    Are we talking 50 Shades of Republicans?

  89. 89
    srv says:

    @jl: It’s not going to work until the fat guy cries.

  90. 90
    AnotherBruce says:

    @beltane: Well said.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dmsilev: And how quickly will that scapegoat roll over and starting talking?

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @dmsilev: Maybe it’s talking a while to line up some acceptable situation later on that will keep the the fall guy (or girl) quiet for now.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    “Fair” doesn’t mean “ignore everything that has happened before with this person”.

    Now if only we can convince the rest of the press to adopt that attitude when it comes to lying.

  94. 94
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’ll be the fun part, especially if criminal charges really do end up being filed.

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I think it’s funny, too his statement, because I knew he would set this up as The People and Chris Christie versus The Government and that’s what he did. “I am outraged they treated you like this!”

    If he gets away with that bullshit, he deserves the GOP nomination.

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    They’re still negotiating pardons. Give them time.

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @BGinCHI:

    All Christie has to do is play the Victim in this and the Beltway media will shit themselves to help him get through it.

    He’s doing exactly that….

    “What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” said Christie. “I am outraged and deeply saddened … this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.

    Christie is also doubling down. After saying that, if he is shown to have been in the loop he is completely fucked.

  98. 98
    kindness says:

    I used to read The Daily Howler every day but stopped a while back. Not sure why I stopped. Don’t really care to go back to reading it again.

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I knew he would set this up as The People and Chris Christie versus The Government and that’s what he did. “I am outraged they treated you like this!”

    I don’t think it’s going to work because The Government here wasn’t some low-level bureaucrat but senior people in his administration.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: A pardon would go a long way toward obviating any Fifth Amendment barriers to taking the testimony of any underlings.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Except I suspect if they are cutting that deal, the pardon won’t issue for several years (a la Scooter Libby).

  102. 102
    aimai says:

    @srv: The article you quote specifically refers to them as ACA supporting.

  103. 103
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I know what Somerby is worried about. He’s worried about creating a narrative, because of what happened to Gore. I get that. At the same time, Maddow doesn’t have to wake up every day and pretend she knows nothing about anyone or anything and just recite transcripts or release documents or something. That’s just dumb. She’s allowed to apply actual thought, past history, what she’s heard or knows to be true, etc.

    He can’t even follow his own rule. He didn’t in his coverage of Zimmerman. It’s a dumb and impossible rule.

  104. 104
    the Conster says:

    @beltane:

    Who doesn’t fondly remember the teacher whose favorite tactic was to punish the whole class because one kid didnt control themselves? Especially when the whole class knows that kid didn’t do it?

  105. 105
    jl says:

    @kindness:

    I used to read the The Daily Howler too, from time to time. But the guy started getting so nit-picky and fastidious about a bazziollonteen rules rattling around his head about what was the proper thing, and getting into so many of what seemed to me to be confusing interior monologues, and insedery squabbles about nothing with other bloggers, that I could not follow some of his posts at all. So I gradually quit reading.

    The ratio of ‘arbitrary attitude’ to ‘reporting facts about real world things’ got too high for me.

  106. 106
    srv says:

    @aimai:

    Yet Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Matheson both voted against the Affordable Care Act.

    Nope.

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    @jharp: I used to watch Law & Order, which was set in new york, I think. They used prosecute people for “depraved indifference”.

    TV is just like the internet, right? Everything is always true and accurate?

  108. 108
    Trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    While Joe’s struggling mightily to extend his fifteen minutes, he really is “gone” so far as the public is concerned. It will take death or prison to do that for Zimms.

  109. 109
    MattR says:

    @srv: Very confusing when your comment that two ACA hating democrats are retiring is followed by an article that leads with “Two House Democrats, Carolyn McCarthy of New York, and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, on Wednesday announced plans to retire.”

    @Marc: Both Matheson and McIntyre are gonna be replaced by ACA hating Republcans.

  110. 110
    Mike in NC says:

    @srv: Well, good riddance to McIntyre. He was gerrymandered to the point of wasting money for another run.

  111. 111
    Yatsuno says:

    @kindness:

    I used to read The Daily Howler every day but stopped a while back.

    You got over your masochism streak?

  112. 112
    jharp says:

    Christie is fucked. The GOP is fucked in 2016.

    Christie will be lucky to avoid criminal charges.

  113. 113
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Poor Somerby is crazier than a shithouse rat so it doesn’t really matter what he does.

  114. 114
    Gex says:

    @BGinCHI: So an admission that he is easily duped by staffers with an agenda is his defense in order to continue to have a shot at POTUS? How is that better than being behind this in the first place? At least he was making the calls in the latter scenario.

    Uh, no thanks.

  115. 115
    MattR says:

    Let us take Christie’s statement today at face value. What does that say about his initial reaction that this was all hyper partisan speculation? Not only was he misled by his staffers, but he was unwilling to examine their actions to see if they had done anything wrong. Interestingly, the video on the NJ state website of Christie speaking about this a month ago has the headline “Governor Christie: I Take Responsibility For Things That Happen On My Watch”

  116. 116
    AnotherBruce says:

    As others have observed, Governor Christie didn’t exactly aggressively pursue an investigation into the traffic disruptions, in fact he ridiculed the idea.

    Until today, for some reason he is promising that “people will be held responsible for their actions.”

    What possibly could have changed his mind so dramatically?

  117. 117
    aimai says:

    @srv:

    Nope:


    The Affordable Care Act (ACA). Until the ACA became law, 45,000 Americans died every year because they did not have insurance. Carolyn was proud to vote for “Obamacare” and extend health care to 2.5 million uninsured New Yorkers in desperate need. The ACA means that young New Yorkers can stay on their parents insurance until they turn 26. It means women can no longer be charged more than men for the exact same health care plans. And it means no one will be denied medical care for a pre-existing condition they are not responsible for. So Carolyn wholeheartedly supported the ACA, which provides high quality, affordable health-care for America while extending insurance to the most vulnerable in our nation.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @jharp:

    I think they have a lineup of governors who believe they should be president or believe they will get elected as president. Kasich, Walker, Christie.

    I think Kasich is definitely running if he’s re-elected (I’m not as convinced as national pundits are that Kasich will get re-elected, I think he’s weaker than he polls, and he doesn’t poll all that well). Republicans here were talking about Kasich as Prez a month after he was elected governor.

    I think Walker will be a terrible national candidate, so he doesn’t worry me. There’s something zombie-like about him, dead-eyed and almost listless. I don’t get any energy off or around him.

  119. 119
    Comrade Jake says:

    @jharp:

    Thus the question becomes is the person who ordered the closing willing to go to prison to protect the boss.

    I doubt it.

    Scooter Libby says hello.

  120. 120
    AnotherBruce says:

    @MattR: Ok, Matt, get out of my brain, it’s too weird even for me.

  121. 121
    MattR says:

    @aimai: That quote is from McCarthy, right? She voted for and supports the ACA. The other two mentioned in the article srv linkled to (McIntyre, who just announced his retirement, and Matheson, who announced his decision a few weeks ago) were anti-ACA.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: I noticed that he said: A member of my staff, as if there’s only one. Surely that won’t hold up. It can’t be just one person did this and no one else knew about it. That’s absurd.

  123. 123
    StringOnAStick says:

    Christie is now claiming that he’s shocked, shocked I tell you, that such a thing occurred under his administration and that he had no, none, zero, zip knowledge of it. This is the statement that ends his career when some piece of electronic evidence his minions failed to destroy today surfaces and bites him in the ass. Given how stupid his minions were with their trail of emails that we’ve seen today, the chances that they deleted every incriminating one is next to zero.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving vindictive bastard.

  124. 124
  125. 125
    RaflW says:

    Ron Fournier just brought up Whitewater on twitter in some sort of addled response to the bridge.

    The wingnuts really are nuts. And old.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: You are dead on with your description of Walker. He has zero charisma. Santorum has more personality.

  127. 127
    beltane says:

    @AnotherBruce: Does this mean that Christie will throw himself under the bus when his fingerprints are found over this?

  128. 128
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Baud: I doubt it. It would be foolish if he was redacted and then claimed that he didn’t know what was going on. How long does he think his redacted name would remain anonymous? He was a government prosecutor at one point. He would know that he would not be able to simply erase his name from an e-mail and no one would ever be the wiser.

  129. 129

    Ailes excerpt is up from NY Mag. Not really new territory but way more in depth.

  130. 130
    MattR says:

    @WaterGirl: He was only misled by one member of his staff because he never bothered to bring it up with anyone else.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    MattF says:

    @Gex: Also, the whole concept of blaming staff is just crazy-wazy. If you break the connection between politicians and staff, 90% of what politicians do becomes impossible. Who do you negotiate with? What’s your source of information about positions and policy? Politics is, among other things, a job and a profession. If you double-cross your own staff, you may as well just give it up.

  133. 133
    jharp says:

    @Kay:

    I think Kasich will win re election and don’t give him much of a chance to win the nomination.

    The GOP truly is fucked. They’ve got nobody. And with 24 Senate seats to defend with Hillary at the top of ticket they are even more fucked.

  134. 134
    Mandalay says:

    @Gex:

    So an admission that he is easily duped by staffers with an agenda is his defense in order to continue to have a shot at POTUS? How is that better than being behind this in the first place?

    Christie was cornered into taking a position today, and essentially had to admit to being either a crook or a fool. He chose the lesser of the two evils (for now at least).

  135. 135
    jharp says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Did Scooter go to jail? I thought he did not. I thought he was pardoned.

    Can’t see that happening here.

  136. 136
    rikyrah says:

    @EricBoehlert
    Ft. Lee mayor on @CNN: city called Port Authority 40-50 times begging lanes be reopened. called it public safety threat.

    @Gus_802
    @EricBoehlert @GN192 @CNN If a cyber-hacker pulled this stunt he would have been charged with cyber-terrorism.

  137. 137
    beltane says:

    @rikyrah: I guess we should be grateful that Chris Christie didn’t think to poison Ft. Lee’s water supply. That really would have shown them who was the boss.

  138. 138
    rikyrah says:

    @keithboykin

    Report: 91-year-old New Jersey woman died after emergency crews were delayed by Christie aides’ bridge closure.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    When Somerby attacked Joe Wilson (the career diplomat) when Wilson blew the whistle on the deserting coward assministration’s lies about yellowcake, Somerby became an unreadable jackass. He still is. Fuck him.

  140. 140
    joel hanes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Somerby is at his best when critiquing what passes for “economic and business reporting” in print “journalism”, although even there he’s often too focussed on getting a perfect edge on the axe he’s grinding, and not focussed enough on the bigger picture.

  141. 141
    maya says:

    Christie’s defense: “I did not have a Smorgasbord with that bridge.”

  142. 142
    Culture of Truth says:

    Of course this hurts Christie (and I’ve been aruging he could be the the GOP nominee). Probably wrecks his White House chances.

    Look at these e-mails — laughing at children being unable to get to school, emergency vehicles unable to move — all for the most ludicrous and petty of reasons. No, I don’t think even tea partiers will like this; they’re very puritannical, believing themselves to above mere dirty compromises of normal politics, let alone something as conniving as this.

  143. 143
    Culture of Truth says:

    Also, will anyone with knowledge of politics believe his top aides all did this on their own?

  144. 144
    Mandalay says:

    @lamh36:

    GWB lane closures delayed EMS response to 4 calls in Fort Lee

    That will haunt Christie whatever else may or may not transpire, because he repeatedly tried to laugh off the lane closures as a nothingburger.

    Opponents can run ads on Christie’s conduct and character that will eviscerate him.

  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: I can only imagine my rage if I found out that my 91-year-old mother died because someone in the governor’s office wanted to stick it to a mayor. It breaks my heart to think there is someone (or someones) going through that today.

    Christie needs to burn for this.

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    duplicate deleted. can’t wait for the cold snap & snow to stop so I can take my laptop in to have the trackpad repaired.

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Isn’t it weird? There’s a dead zone around him. An energy sink. His face is always so slack, like he’s missing essential, expressive facial muscles and the dead eyes!

    No. I don’t think so.

  148. 148
    Suffern ACE says:

    It probably would have been better for all concerned if Christie would have just said “yeah, we messed with the residents of Fort Lee, Palisades Park and Edgewater, but wouldn’t you?” from the beginning.

  149. 149
    jharp says:

    @rikyrah:

    “If a cyber-hacker pulled this stunt he would have been charged with cyber-terrorism.”

    Agreed. Let the waterboarding begin!

  150. 150
    Corner Stone says:

    Ah, Christie can just go on Late Night again, eat a donut and play with a toy Godzilla destroying a bridge. Everyone will eat it up!

  151. 151
    srv says:

    @aimai: Matt can do the ELI5 for you.

    There’s no ‘them’ there voting for ACA.

  152. 152
    chopper says:

    @👾 Martin:

    politically motivated attacks against the voters by elected officials are quite taboo

    exactly. politics ends at the ward’s edge, if you will. an alderman, mayor, attorney general, etc getting fucked over for stepping over or not toeing the line is one thing. that’s politics and it happens.

    but deliberately fucking over regular people is a whole other kettle of fish. i dunno how much this’ll hurt christie but the kind of spiteful politics that’s going to shock a lot of people.

  153. 153
    Trollhattan says:

    @maya:

    We have a deep-frozen internets we’d like to deliver to you. Address, please?

  154. 154
    Shortstop says:

    @Kay: For the first few years, I thought his perpetual expression was a combination of arrogance and bovine stupidity. Only later did I notice the chilling lack of engagement and energy. Perhaps he really is a zombie. In any case, he’s certainly not going to be a viable presidential candidate.

  155. 155
    Trollhattan says:

    @jharp:

    IIRC Scooter’s sentence was commuted by Dubya and the pardon that Cheney wanted did not happen, which means Dubya can never go hunting with Cheney. Somehow I can envision mom telling Dubya, “You tell that nasty man, fuck no!”

  156. 156
    kc says:

    @Cervantes:

    You can Google his work yourself. Heck, you may find it all entirely defensible.

    I should not have implied that Somerby “blamed” Gates. Rather, I should have said that my recollection of those posts was that Somerby went on and on, for days, about the snooty Harvard professor and that disgraceful interview he did with his own daughter after the incident and all his fancy influential friends, such as Eugene Robinson, who said something unfair about Al Gore back when and caused Bush to be President, and Gates’s ties to the WaPo. And I should have mentioned that I do not recall, not one single time, reading anything by Somerby that indicated that he had any notion at all of how fucking traumatic it must have been for a man who was just minding his own goddamn business in his own goddamn house to be confronted by a cop at said house, arrested, and hauled off to jail ON A TOTALLY BULLSHIT CHARGE.

    I remember being disgusted by the tone of all those posts, and the relentlessness and pettiness of them. Like I said, it was the last straw as far as I’m concerned.

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    Christie Pal Files Last-Minute Lawsuit To Avoid Testifying In Bridge Scandal

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....-testimony

  158. 158
    Cervantes says:

    @kc:

    You can Google his work yourself.

    Of course. Or I could ignore claims made about his work.

    I should not have implied that Somerby “blamed” Gates.

    Right. Thanks for clarifying.

  159. 159
    Gravenstone says:

    @Kay:

    I think Walker will be a terrible national candidate, so he doesn’t worry me. There’s something zombie-like about him, dead-eyed and almost listless. I don’t get any energy off or around him.

    Walker has been ticking off a lot of the boxes one needs in order to push for a national office. I think he’s seriously pondering a run in 2016, at a minimum. For that matter, I think Ryan is trying to a run at President in 2016 as well. He’s doing all sorts of things to try and repair his image I will of course point and laugh at them both, but we do need to remain mindful of them.

  160. 160
    kc says:

    @Cervantes:

    Or I could ignore claims made about his work.

    Why, you certainly could do that.

  161. 161
    Gravenstone says:

    @jharp: His sentence was commuted. Brightest thing W did (and best option for Darth Cheney, his blustering notwithstanding). A pardon would have removed Libby’s Fifth Amendment protections against self recrimination, so nothing to really prevent him from testifying against those above him since he would no longer hold a sword upon which to cast himself.

  162. 162
    kc says:

    Was Professor Gates uppity to that working-class cop? We don’t know, and neither do you. Did Professor Gates say something rude to that cop? WE JUST DON’T KNOW. We weren’t there. Did Gates insult the cop? It could have happened. Who can know? Was Prof. Gates all like, “I teach at HARVARD you cretin!” It’s entirely possible. Rich and powerful people do behave that way from time to time. But we don’t know.

    Our analysts know that no matter how many times we talk about Gates’s hoity-toity friends, including that one who wrote something unfair about Al Gore, and however many times we mention that we have no way of knowing just how snooty Gates was, we must not discuss the fact that the arrest was totally fucking bogus.

    [/emitting low, mordant chuckles]

  163. 163
    Kay says:

    @Gravenstone:

    I think Ryan is trying to a run at President in 2016 as well.

    Oh, I hope so. We didn’t see enough of him in the Romney run. Remember that? He disappeared from view. I couldn’t figure out if they disappeared him or he figured out it was better to just lay low, if he wasn’t “unskewing” the polls, so he knew this was not happening.

    I like how he widens his eyes when he’s lying. Kids do that.

  164. 164
    brent says:

    @Cervantes:

    If you are actually interested, you can read one of Somerby’s articles on Gates here.

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh072909.shtml

    Of course there are others that go on at length in his typically obsessive way. But the upshot is that Robinson, in defending Gates and Gates, in defending himself is not critical enough of Gates’ behavior. He argues that we weren’t there so we don’t know for sure whether the officer was right to arrest Gates and contrarary to Robinson’s insinuations maybe it wasn’t about race at all.

    Now, I read Somerby all the time. I still do pretty regularly despite the fact that I find a decent portions of his arguments to be quite tedious and poorly argued. He still does good work on education and a host of other issues. But this, as with his non-stop attack on Rachel Maddow over the Christie matter, is complete bullshit.

  165. 165
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: I could see both Walker and Ryan taking a shot at the nomination in ’16, but I think both would be early casualties. Walker certainly needs to win reelection this year to have a chance, and I think he will be in for a tough race.

  166. 166
    Renie says:

    @srv: mccarthy did vote for ACA she has lung cancer that is why she is retiring

  167. 167
    Cervantes says:

    @brent:

    If you are actually interested, you can read one of Somerby’s articles on Gates here.

    Thanks. I had read that before commenting.

    But this, as with his non-stop attack on Rachel Maddow over the Christie matter, is complete bullshit.

    Not sure I’d agree.

    And his criticism of Maddow re the bridge is that she went further than the evidence available to her at the time.

    I understand that some people don’t like his tone or his “obsessions.” I don’t feel any need to comment on this.

  168. 168
    LanceThruster says:

    Heckuva job, Beefy!

  169. 169
    brent says:

    @Cervantes:

    And his criticism of Maddow re the bridge is that she went further than the evidence available to her at the time.

    What he accused her of was nothing nearly so mild as you phrase it. He accused her of running a con game and playing us all for rubes. I am willing to bet he has used those exact words with respect to Maddow’s commentary at least a few dozen times. Deliberately misleading us so that we could engage in an unfounded tribally based hatred of the other side.

    Certainly tone is problematic, whether you wish to comment on it or not, but that sort of thing is not about tone. And it was never even remotely justified by the facts or the way Maddow chose to pursue them.

    Somerby is a smart guy who brings a lot to our discourse but his argument with respect to Gates is, in my opinion, completely reprehensible and entirely indefensible.

  170. 170
    gussie says:

    @Cervantes: “… his criticism of Maddow re the bridge is that she went further than the evidence available to her at the time.”

    I don’t know who this guy is, but I checked the first link I googled:

    “Rachel Maddow doesn’t care about the interests of low-income kids! Instead, she keeps playing you with this stupid shazam, which comes from the world of Fox.”

    “Finally, she got to the “issue” at hand—the massively ginned-up controversy about lane closings at the George Washington Bridge …”

    “… she spent the past week trying to slime onto Christie …”

    “Searching Maddow’s previous reports on this currently worthless topic …”

    “Being a hack, Maddow lovingly seized on this shaky claim, as other hacks around the liberal world were doing.”

    “Maddow’s Fox-like program.”

    “Rachel Maddow is a nightmare. Rachel Maddow is Fox.”

    “Rachel thinks you’re very dumb.”

  171. 171
  172. 172
    Cervantes says:

    @brent: Thanks for the response.

    Re what I think about the saga of Somerby v. Maddow, you can refer to the article dpm links to above (where you’ll find a number of relevant statements in the comments and my responses to some of them).

    Re the Gates incident, when you say that Somerby’s argument is “completely reprehensible and entirely indefensible,” what, really, are you saying? It seems to me that Somerby argues (in real time) that we have not enough information to properly criticize the principals (Gates and Crowley); whereas criticizing media (particularly Eugene Robinson’s) reaction to the incident is what he can — and would rather — do. Do you read him the same way and disagree with his critique of Robinson?

  173. 173
    Cervantes says:

    @gussie: Thanks.

    Here’s something I said previously:

    Bob Somerby is angry, in much the way that Villago Delenda Est is angry: tumbrels for everyone. Maddow may not be the most deeply entrenched Villager, but she’s no Amy Goodman, either: some of her guests, and the way she lavishes praise on them, make me cringe.

    Somerby is a harsh — even intemperate — critic but Maddow is smart enough to see where he is right. When he tries to tell her what to cover, e.g., the abuse of public schools, I think he’s wasting his time. (Similarly, I know people who have tried to get her to cover disability issues and apparently so far she has refused — it is her show, not theirs.) But when he criticizes her journalism on technical grounds, well, I think it bears taking seriously, at least.

  174. 174

    I recall Somerby from way back ten years ago. He made some good points about the 2000 election, about the way the press more or less made their minds up that they didn’t like Gore, so they’d screw with him. But even then, there was something weird about the guy. I mean, I understand that politics is a big deal and affects all of us, but he seemed to take everything so personally. It was like he felt like the press was screwing with Gore so that they could make his, Somersby’s, life hell.

    After a while, it became obsessive, and I just stopped reading him. Nice to see that it’s now become some kind of fucked up shithole where racist assholes go to cheer George Zimmerman and call Trayvon Martin a thug. And that’s on Somerby. He runs the show; when people turn the place into no quarter and he lets them do it, then he’s shown us all who he is.

  175. 175
    Rick Taylor says:

    “What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”

    So he’s going to try to let his subordinate’s head roll for this? What a slime. Was even Nixon this contemptible?

  176. 176
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Cervantes: Funny how you never have time to research any criticism of Somersby’s articles (WMD, Zimmerman) but have all the time in the world to defend this hack against mean ol’ Rachel Maddow’s friends.

  177. 177
    Brian R. says:

    @MattR:

    Yes, Carolyn McCarthy voted for the ACA.

  178. 178
    brent says:

    @Cervantes:

    It seems to me that Somerby argues (in real time) that we have not enough information to properly criticize the principals (Gates and Crowley); whereas criticizing media (particularly Eugene Robinson’s) reaction to the incident is what he can — and would rather — do. Do you read him the same way and disagree with his critique of Robinson?

    That isn’t exactly the way I read his argument but its close enough for now and I would say that what I find reprehensible is both his attempt to deflect blame from Crowley with the pretense that “we don’t know enough” which is complete and utter nonsense, and his incredibly snide attempt to pretend that Robinson’s attempt to shed some light on the racial context of the incident is somehow contemptible and intellectually dishonest.

  179. 179
    Brian R. says:

    FORT LEE – Emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations – including one in which a 91-year-old woman lay unconscious – due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, according to the head of the borough’s EMS department.

    The woman later died, borough records show.

    In at least two of those instances, response time doubled, noted EMS coordinator Paul Favia, who documented those cases in a Sept. 10 letter to Mayor Mark Sokolich, which The Record obtained.

    On Sept. 9, the first day of the traffic paralysis, EMS crews took seven to nine minutes to arrive at the scene of a vehicle accident where four people were injured, when the response time should have been less than four minutes, he wrote.

    It also took EMS seven minutes to reach an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died of cardiac arrest at a hospital. Although he did not say her death was directly caused by the delays, Favia noted that “paramedics were delayed due to heavy traffic on Fort Lee Road and had to meet the ambulance en-route to the hospital instead of on the scene.”

  180. 180
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    Oh, I don’t believe in tumbrels for everyone. Just sociopath assholes who have got gigantic shitpiles of money and it’s not enough for them. Just Villager scum who push their “narratives” in the face of fact. Just supreme court justices who violate their oath of office to install a deserting coward in the White House. Not everyone. Only those who have proven, though their deeds, that they are worthy of a tumbrel ride.

  181. 181
    karen says:

    Can you imagine Christie as President?

    “No FEMA relief for New York, they voted for Hilary.”

  182. 182
    Cervantes says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Funny how you never have time to research any criticism of Somersby’s articles (WMD, Zimmerman) but have all the time in the world to defend this hack against mean ol’ Rachel Maddow’s friends.

    When did I say anything about not having enough time?

    If you want to argue something, please do so.

  183. 183
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, when I characterized your view as “tumbrels for everyone,” that was hyperbole. Sorry for the imprecision.

    (You are obviously aware that tumbrels were originally used for carrying horse manure.)

  184. 184
    Ricky says:

    Perhaps the funniest line from Somerby in his attack on Maddow’s coverage of Christie and the GW Bridge was
    when he quoted Maddow noting the GW Bridge’s traffic volume. He directed this to her viewers.

    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.

    This time-killing, exciting diversion tells you nothing about the substance of this currently pointless story.

  185. 185
    Ricky says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    In recent months the Zimmerman fan club has drifted away from Somerby. His comment section is mostly dominated by critics, one in particular, who seem pretty adept at proving Somerby does exactly the same things he decries.

  186. 186
    deadrat says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well, I don’t suppose you’re going to apologize for mischaracterizing Somerby’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial either. So I guess you’re even. Somerby didn’t “carry water for George Zimmerman.” He was, in his relentless way, a critic of the coverage of the trial by people who couldn’t seem to get their facts straight.

    You know. People like you.

  187. 187
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Gex: “he was easily duped by staffers with an agenda…”
    The same defense used successfully by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush…

  188. 188
    Cervantes says:

    @deadrat:

    Somerby didn’t “carry water for George Zimmerman.” He was, in his relentless way, a critic of the coverage of the trial by people who couldn’t seem to get their facts straight.

    I did not follow the trial coverage or Somerby’s coverage thereof — but your description sounds like the Somerby I’d recognize (from when I used to read his work regularly, more than a decade ago).

    Getting one’s facts straight is difficult. It’s often more work than people care to do.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @Ricky:

    Somerby does exactly the same things he decries.

    This is proven, you say? Can you show where or how? Thanks.

  190. 190
    Cervantes says:

    @brent:

    @Cervantes: It seems to me that Somerby argues (in real time) that we have not enough information to properly criticize the principals (Gates and Crowley); whereas criticizing media (particularly Eugene Robinson’s) reaction to the incident is what he can — and would rather — do. Do you read him the same way and disagree with his critique of Robinson?

    That isn’t exactly the way I read his argument but its close enough for now and I would say that what I find reprehensible is both his attempt to deflect blame from Crowley with the pretense that “we don’t know enough” which is complete and utter nonsense, and his incredibly snide attempt to pretend that Robinson’s attempt to shed some light on the racial context of the incident is somehow contemptible and intellectually dishonest.

    OK, thanks for the reply.

    Accounts of the incident provided at the time by Gates and Crowley differed. Other accounts emerged as well. If you were not happy with Somerby’s real-time “we don’t know enough” should I assume you thought Crowley’s account of the incident had no merit? If so, why? Or did you simply give Gates the benefit of the doubt? After all, as Somerby wrote in the article you cited:

    Our history is built around centuries of vicious, unspeakable injustice aimed directly at blacks. At one point, the form of this socially-sanctioned injustice moved from lifetime bondage and/or open murder to a version in which blacks are unjustly stopped or arrested — sometimes getting killed in the process, or even hauled to jail.

    As for what you see as Somerby’s “incredibly snide attempt to pretend that Robinson’s attempt to shed some light on the racial context of the incident is somehow contemptible and intellectually dishonest,” we can deal with that, too, if you like. At the moment I have not thought about it enough.

  191. 191
    deadrat says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Yeah, there’s no doubt Somerby is obsessive on his favorite topics. The treatment of Al Gore in the 2000 election and the interpretation of educational test scores are two. And there’s no doubt that assholes post comments in his blog, particularly in the commentary about the Zimmerman trial.

    But Somerby doesn’t censor the blog comments. For anything. Not for racism, not for trolling, and not even for commercial spam. I’m guessing that’s a matter of principle for him, although he doesn’t say. Could you explain to me why Somerby is responsible for speech you find objectionable.

  192. 192
    Irishguy says:

    Unfortunately, “we don’t know enough yet” is Somerby’s classic response to any of his favorite targets who dares to ask questions then pursue the answers. And he got burned by it this time around.

    As for Somerby not censoring the blog comments, he doesn’t read them. What on earth would be the “principle” behind not removing at least “commercial spam”?

    Finally, Somerby’s once-pioneering blog has become minor league not just because of his obsessiveness on his favorite topics.

    It’s worse than that. He’s become boring. Painfully boring. And I challenge anyone who doubts that to read his painfully dull screeds about Amanda Ripley’s book in which he took months to say the same thing over and over and over and over again.

  193. 193
    Cervantes says:

    @Irishguy:

    Unfortunately, “we don’t know enough yet” is Somerby’s classic response to any of his favorite targets who dares to ask questions then pursue the answers. And he got burned by it this time around.

    I don’t know enough about Somerby to say what his “classic response” to anything is.

    But forget Somerby for a minute, and also forget propagandists and cheer-leaders for a minute. Even forget the market imperative many journalists enjoy, accept, or have to contend with. Would you agree that journalists should not jump to conclusions, not make assertions or insinuations that go beyond the data? If this is a mistake, it’s a mistake that one could make in good faith. If a journalist makes this mistake, adding two and two to get five and then proclaiming this result, would you agree it’s a mistake even if later we discover that one of those twos was a three?

    If you agree then I have no idea (1) who you think “got burned … this time around” and (2) what it is about saying “we don’t know enough yet” that bothers you (or anyone else) so much.

    As for Somerby not censoring the blog comments, he doesn’t read them. What on earth would be the “principle” behind not removing at least “commercial spam”?

    How he treats comments qua comments does not interest me.

    Finally, Somerby’s once-pioneering blog has become minor league not just because of his obsessiveness on his favorite topics. It’s worse than that. He’s become boring. Painfully boring. And I challenge anyone who doubts that to read his painfully dull screeds about Amanda Ripley’s book in which he took months to say the same thing over and over and over and over again.

    Again, I see no need to state any disagreement.

    Thanks for your comments.

  194. 194
    kc says:

    @Cervantes:

    I don’t know enough about Somerby to say what his “classic response” to anything is.

    LOL!

  195. 195
    Betty Cracker says:

    @deadrat: Bullshit. He made ridiculous mountains out of molehills (how could the 911 operator have told Zimmy to stay in the car when he was already pursuing Martin — huh? huh?) to discredit theories about Zimmerman being an unhinged, trigger-happy bully and treated completely unfounded speculation about Martin being some kind of threatening thug as reasonable suppositions.

    Subsequent events have proven Zimmerman’s critics as dead right and Zimmerman apologists as dead wrong. Sort of like how the “non-story” about the bridge Somerby excoriated Maddow for reporting on has again made Somerby look like a crank and a fool. Which he is.

  196. 196
    Irishguy says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yep “reporters jumping to conclusions” is certainly Somerby’s script.

    But if you are going to charge Maddow with jumping to conclusions beyond the known facts, then you are under the obligation to produce the evidence, otherwise people might think you are jumping to conclusions and reaching beyond the known facts.

    If you would take the time to review her reporting on this subject, you’d be shocked to learn (obviously for the first time) how wrong Somerby was about that.

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @Irishguy:

    Yep “reporters jumping to conclusions” is certainly Somerby’s script.

    OK, we agree about this. That’s something.

    But if you are going to charge Maddow with jumping to conclusions beyond the known facts, then you are under the obligation to produce the evidence, otherwise people might think you are jumping to conclusions and reaching beyond the known facts. If you would take the time to review her reporting on this subject, you’d be shocked to learn (obviously for the first time) how wrong Somerby was about that.

    Remind me again which subject you’re talking about here — Skip Gates or Chris Christie or something else?

  198. 198
    Cervantes says:

    @Irishguy:

    But if you are going to charge Maddow with jumping to conclusions beyond the known facts, then you are under the obligation to produce the evidence, otherwise people might think you are jumping to conclusions and reaching beyond the known facts. If you would take the time to review her reporting on this subject, you’d be shocked to learn (obviously for the first time) how wrong Somerby was about that.

    If you’re talking about Christie and the bridge, well, apparently there was some revelation yesterday about the direct involvement of his staffers. Yes? Are you saying that Maddow did not blame Christie (or his staffers) for the mess, or insinuate that he was (or they were) to blame, before yesterday’s revelation (or proof) of his staffers’ involvement?

  199. 199
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Subsequent events have proven […]

    And before those “subsequent events” occurred, what was proven?

  200. 200
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: That their lines of inquiry, which Somerby had denounced as illegitimate, were entirely justified and worth pursuing, contra Somerby’s “counsel” to abandon such squalid and unfair speculation.

  201. 201
    Irishguy says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yes, I am saying EXACTLY that. Maddow has been very careful to her reporting and her conclusions only to the evidence she has, and even last night, expressly stated that there is still no direct evidence to say that the decision came from Christie himself.

    Apparently, it now seems you are unaware of her reporting on this subject (the bridge, so you can’t feign ignorance again. But yet you can still claim that she jumped to conclusions beyond the evidence.

    How droll.

  202. 202
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That their lines of inquiry, which Somerby had denounced as illegitimate, were entirely justified and worth pursuing, contra Somerby’s “counsel” to abandon such squalid and unfair speculation.

    Is asking someone — a journalist, mind you — to stop publishing speculation the same as asking them to stop pursuing a line of inquiry?

  203. 203
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: He didn’t just ask her not to speculate; he said repeatedly that the bridge story was a nothingburger and a waste of time, and he hammered Maddow for days as a hack for pursuing the story. He was wrong, and he is too much of a coward and a blowhard to offer a retraction.

  204. 204
    Irishguy says:

    @Cervantes:

    Please stop with the insinuation that Maddow was only reporting “speculation.”

    Again, if you were even casually familiar with her reporting on this issue, you’d know how false that is.

  205. 205
    deadrat says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve often characterized Somerby’s stance as “Don’t make up shit. Especially if you’re a reporter.” Much was made of Zimmerman’s alleged disregard of police orders to stay in his car. I know you think this is a trivial matter, but if it had been true, it would have made a “stand your ground” defense impossible for Zimmerman. But it turns out he wasn’t in his car when he was talking to police dispatch, and dispatchers can’t and don’t give orders to citizens. So Somerby’s point is that you shouldn’t make up a tale about Zimmerman jumping out of his car to “pursue” Martin in violation of police orders.

    Did you actually read Somerby’s blog entries on the Zimmerman case? I did at the time, and I did a quick review of those. Nowhere does Somerby credit as reasonable any speculation about Martin as a thug. Plenty of his commenters indulged themselves in this bit of fiction, but you’re hardly in a position to criticize them for making things up, now are you?

    It’s true that Somerby neither countered nor censored commenters’ more racist claims, and I’ll take your point that he was negligent in failing to do so. But that’s a far cry from your accusation.

  206. 206
    Ricky says:

    @Cervantes:

    Since you seem to know a bit about Somerby’s blog you know that is hard to do without excess replication of his arcane repetitions. But Somerby’s internal critics have caught him fudging data on test scores to support his narrative that education reporters fudge test score data because of their narratives.

    Perhaps the best example, however, is in his coverage of the Maddow coverage of Christie which is the subject of this post. He critcized her for her too lengthy coverage of this “pointless story” but he himself devoted three lengthy posts to that coverage. Today his critics are howling over the fact that, in addressing this issue again, instead of recounting or at least admitting his errors in how he attacked Maddow in multiple posts, he chose to devote another post to the scandal, this time attacking Gail Collins. And of course while doing so he brought up how bad Collins treated Gore back in 1999.

  207. 207
    Irishguy says:

    @Ricky:

    Yep, in true Capt. Queeg fashion, we get the Christie scandal neatly tied into the “War on Gore.”

  208. 208
    Irishguy says:

    @deadrat:

    Gee, deadrat. That’s only about the 843,659th time I’ve heard that. And you know what? It’s still bullshit.

  209. 209
    deadrat says:

    @Ricky: @Ricky:Let’s be more precise One of Somerby’s commenters claims to have outed Somerby’s fudging of test statistics. If you can follow the argument (or any of the commenter’s arguments for that matter), then you’re a better man than I am.

    Somerby is so relentlessly repetitive (or perhaps repetitively relentless) in pursuing his pet topic that one might think it impossible for anyone to mistake what he’s doing. Apparently, one would be wrong. Somerby is fixated on journalistic malfeasance (particularly but not exclusively about educational testing scores and Al Gore in the 2000 election, and particularly but not exclusively of liberals). There’s no irony in his noting three times that Rachel Maddow wasted her air time in December on a story about which she had no information. The story for Somerby is Maddow’s wasting time. He doesn’t report on the GW story; he reports on the reporting o the GW story.

  210. 210
    deadrat says:

    @Irishguy: Gee, Irishguy. So little accuracy and so much precision. Are you sure it’s not the 843,660th time? It would help if you’d tell me specifically what you’ve heard that you’ve misunderstood as bullshit.

  211. 211
    Irishguy says:

    @deadrat:

    Deadrat, this is why you got your ass kicked on Somerby’s blog and you’re getting your ass kicked here.

    First off, the commenter you alude to (KZ) very specifically cited not only the correct numbers that Somerby tried to fudge, but links to the data that Somerby himself cited as he deliberately fudged them so that thinking people could look it up for themselves.

    But you don’t need to bother yourself with such trivialities as truth and evidence and fact. After all, Somerby has handed you your script and you will dutifully recite it.

    As for Zimmerman, nice try at deflecting and changing the subject. But your leader once again made an ass out of himself when he tried to claim that “we don’t need you to do that” must have meant something else besides don’t follow the kid.

    It’s difficult explaining these things to the willfully ignorant and dishonest, which is why the only people buying your bullshit these days are those like you who think what Somerby says is inscribed on stone tablets that came down from Mt. Sinai.

    But here is the real sad part. You have no idea how stupid and foolish you are trying to defend the indefensible, do you?

  212. 212
    deadrat says:

    @Irishguy: Here’s a hint: Just because you don’t understand the thread of an argument doesn’t mean that the person you think you disagree with is getting “his ass kicked.” KZ is occasionally amusing in his obsession with Somerby’s obsessions, but his rants don’t make that much sense. Yeah, he claims that Somerby is a hypocrite; he just has trouble demonstrating that.

    For someone quick to accuse me of following a script, you’re pretty much got one of your own. Let me try explaining this to you. I’ll even type slowly so you can follow. Yes, “We don’t need you do that” means exactly “don’t follow the kid.” We know this because the dispatcher has just asked Zimmerman “Are you following him?” and Zimmerman has said “Yeah.”

    OK, let’s pause. Nobody claims the dispatcher is telling Zimmerman anything other than not to follow Martin. Not Somerby. Not me. Probably not even Zimmerman. Clear so far?

    Somerby’s objection is to those who claim that the dispatcher issued an order to Zimmerman to remain in his car, an order that Zimmerman disobeyed. But Zimmerman was already out of his car and trying to determine Martin’s location. He assents to the dispatcher’s request and then arranges to meet the police by some nearby mailboxes. Of course, we don’t know whether Zimmerman stopped trying to follow Martin. We only have his word, and he’s not the most credible person.

    Next: the dispatcher did not issue an order, and in fact, legally cannot issue orders to people. This per testimony from the police at trial. I know your friend Betty thinks this matter is a triviality, but had Zimmerman actually disobeyed a legal order, then he would have been barred from using a “stand your ground” defense. I know he ended up not using the defense at trial, but his lawyer got SYG into the jury instructions anyway. The law turns on such distinctions.

    Now, how do I know these things? Because I’ve taken the trouble to evaluate “evidence and fact” by reading the transcripts of the 911 calls, the trial transcripts, and Florida law on justifiable homicide. That’s how I know that Somerby’s arguments are valid: I checked them. It is difficult to explain things to the willfully ignorant and the dishonest, but I’m not going to accuse you of either. Instead, I’ll just ask you to do the same checking that I did.

    In criticizing the press coverage of Martin’s killing, Somerby doesn’t defend Zimmerman’s actions. If it matters to you, I’ll state that I’m not either.

    So let’s see. You’ve accused me of not bothering with the truth, of being willfully ignorant and dishonest, of buying Somerby’s version of things without checking, of being stupid, ignorant, and defending the indefensible.

    What’s the title of this blog entry? Ah, yes. “Waiting for a Correction.”

    If you don’t mind, I’m not gonna spend any time waiting for yours. I figure it would be a long wait.

  213. 213
    Cervantes says:

    @deadrat:

    Instead, I’ll just ask you to do the same checking that I did.

    And to return to the beginning: Getting one’s facts straight is difficult. It’s often more work than people care to do.

  214. 214
    Cervantes says:

    @Irishguy:

    this is why you got your ass kicked on Somerby’s blog and you’re getting your ass kicked here. […] But you don’t need to bother yourself with such trivialities as truth and evidence and fact. After all, Somerby has handed you your script and you will dutifully recite it. […] nice try at deflecting and changing the subject. But your leader once again made an ass out of himself […] It’s difficult explaining these things to the willfully ignorant and dishonest, which is why the only people buying your bullshit these days are those like you who think what Somerby says is inscribed on stone tablets that came down from Mt. Sinai. […] But here is the real sad part. You have no idea how stupid and foolish you are trying to defend the indefensible, do you?

    You do know, right, that it is possible to disagree without being abusive?

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