For seven straight days, Chris Matthews and his Hardball guests have hyperbolically compared Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey to the constitutional crisis that ended Richard Nixon's presidency. On every single program since January 8, Matthews and guests have linked last fall's traffic jam to Watergate. On Thursday, GOP strategist John Feehery reminded, "They're completely different...There were high crimes and misdemeanor with President Nixon." The MSNBC journalist responded, "Wait, a break-in was worse than this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On January 8, the day the scandal erupted, Matthews immediately jumped to the comparison, muttering, "Nixonian. It's so Nixonian." On January 9, while talking about Christie's innocence or guilt, the host connected, "...When people say they feel sorry for the Watergate people....Their lives were ruined. I always say I got a worse one for you -- they got away with it."
TIME Magazine managing editor Nancy Gibbs is a well-established fan of Hillary Clinton, and on Thursday she brought her cheerleading act to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. Gibbs was there to discuss this week’s cover of TIME, which asks, “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?”
Mitchell asked Gibbs how long Hillary can postpone making a decision about whether to run for president in 2016. Gibbs responded, “I think she can postpone it almost longer than anyone we have seen. It allows her to not have to answer every controversy that comes up, the latest obviously being the Benghazi report today.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC continued hitting the Christie scandal on Thursday evening while the CBS and ABC evening news casts have not reported it since Tuesday.
The NBC Nightly News has already given the story a good chunk more coverage than the other network evening news shows, and while it devoted a short segment to the bridge scandal it didn't even have time to report the Senate passing a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that would avert a government shutdown – something both CBS and ABC reported on Thursday night.
NBC was the only network to cover the Christie bridge scandal on Wednesday evening, as CBS and ABC did not deem it newsworthy. In fact, the NBC Nightly News gave far more coverage to the Republican scandal than did the CBS Evening News or the ABC World News.
The Nightly News has devoted almost 27 minutes of coverage to the story in eight days, in nine full segments as NewsBusters' Kyle Drennen reported earlier today. Ironically, the show's former anchor Tom Brokaw remarked on Thursday that Americans are ready for the media to "move on" from the story.
Chris Matthews, always eager for hyperbolic predictions of Republican doom, on Wednesday insisted that Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey is pretty much like Richard Nixon's Watergate. Comparing a severe traffic jam to a scandal that paralyzed the United States government and brought down a President, Matthews suggested, "Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To make the comparison simple, Matthews played a clip of the New Jersey Republican claiming he wasn't "a bully" and then showed a clip of Nixon famously defending, "I am not a crook." Matthews offered, "Not a crook, not a bully." The host allowed that there is "no direct evidence that ties Christie directly," but added that "the entire scandal has an eerily familiar ring, doesn't it?" The graphic for the story wondered, "Tricky Christie?"
I agree with MSNBC. I find it hard to believe that Gov. Chris Christie knew nothing about his staff's plotting a massive traffic jam on the ramp to the George Washington Bridge for political retribution.
On the other hand, I also find it hard to believe that Obama didn't know his own IRS was auditing his political enemies. And I find it hard to believe that Obama didn't know you wouldn't be able to keep your doctor under Obamacare. But most of all, I find it hard to believe that MSNBC host Al Sharpton didn't know Tawana Brawley was lying when she claimed to have been gang-raped by rogue cops on the Wappingers Falls, N.Y., police force.
Spinning liberal-friendly stories as the end of the world is a popular thing at ABC. Good Morning America's Jim Avila on Wednesday hyped the scandal involving Chris Christie as "traffic armageddon," a hyperbolic term the network loves. On Saturday, Avila mentioned the "four-day traffic armageddon." [See video of both below. MP3 audio here.]
As the sequester set in on April 22, 2013, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos freaked out: "Breaking this morning: Airport armageddon. Almost seven thousand flights could be delayed." On March 1, 2013, a GMA graphic warned of "budget armageddon." On April 23 reporter Matt Gutman predicted an "airline apocalypse."
Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing on Wednesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw warned his media colleagues about their excessive coverage of the Chris Christie bridge controversy: "I do think, across the country, however, when they're looking at long-term unemployment, and they're looking at the uncertainty of the ObamaCare, they're saying, 'You've got to move on, guys.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brokaw continued: "You can only close those lanes for so long if you're in the national media. I do wonder if this had happened in Nevada, whether it would have gotten much attention."
Chris Christie watchers know that the Governor of New Jersey is a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan.
It therefore makes one wonder how the embattled governor felt about his hero doing a version of the legendary “Born to Run” with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon Tuesday evening wherein the couple lampooned the current Bridgegate scandal with one verse accusing him of "killing the working man” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the 2012 presidential campaign, somehow each and every Republican presidential contender had a sink thrown at him (or her) via what reporters call “investigative journalism.” Every time a Republican rose in the polls, the media tried to knock him or her down, like a game of Whack-a-Mole.
The very last man standing was Mitt Romney, who didn’t receive the official “Gotcha!” from The Washington Post until May, with a 5,000-word opus on “Teenage Haircutgate.” That’s why it’s so strange that the national media would decide so early it was time for journalistic carpet bombing of the Great Squishy Northeastern Hope of 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Select the scandal(s) that affects the most people and has long-term implications for the country in a time of war, a country with a struggling economy that last month produced the weakest job growth in decades. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 92 million Americans are no longer in the labor force.)
A gloating Chris Matthews on Tuesday appeared on The View and labeled the wounded Chris Christie as the "only" candidate who could have beaten Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Hardball anchor sneered, "That's why you're left with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. They're not going to be elected president of the United States." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Speaking of Christie, Matthews pronounced, "When you make a list, one guy can really go on national TV against Hillary Clinton as a sort of the middle of the road Republican. The rest are far to the right. The. Republican Party, no matter what you think of it, rarely runs a right-winger." The journalist also implored a fired Christie aide to take the New Jersey governor down.
Two months ago, MSNBC's Chris Matthews called Sen. Rand Paul a "pissant" for ranting about what Matthews is now hyping as yet another problem for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
In November, Sen. Paul called "offensive" Christie's appearance in a federally-funded tourism video for New Jersey during an election year. Matthews, sticking up for the governor, branded Paul a "pissant" and said his rant "makes him smaller." Yet on Monday's Hardball, Matthews reported a federal investigation into the video as another headache for Christie: "When it rains, it pours." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
We at NewsBusters have demonstrated over the years that the liberal media are all too eager to flog Republican scandals to death while ignoring or downplaying Democratic scandals. MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter provided a case study of that bias during an appearance on Sunday’s episode of Disrupt with Karen Finney.
While discussing Chris Christie’s bridge controversy, Alter brought up the Obama administration’s IRS scandal. Said Alter to the host, a former Democratic National Committee communications director: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Between Monday's Nightly News and Tuesday's Today, NBC devoted ten minutes and forty-four seconds to coverage of the now six-day-old controversy surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Meanwhile, poor ObamaCare enrollment numbers just released Monday afternoon garnered only forty-one seconds of air time on Today and were completely ignored on Nightly News.
On Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams touted investigations into Christie's "bridge traffic scandal" and hyped "an investigation into how some of the emergency relief money was spent after Hurricane Sandy." Williams announced: "It is quite clear that for Christie's political rivals it has now become something of an open season."
With a "personal friend" like Mika Brzezinski, Chris Christie doesn't need enemies. Yesterday and again today, the Morning Joe co-host insisted that the media's focus needed to be exclusively on Christie and the bridge matter, and that any discussion of President Obama's involvement with the IRS, Benghazi and other scandals was a "distraction."
Today, relying on her personal relationship with Christie, Mika took things a giant step further, declaring "we know Chris Christie and we know he would have known." Mika was in effect claiming that Christie lied when he said at his marathon press conference that he had only very recently learned that his aides had ordered the bridge closures. View the video after the jump.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Hillary Clinton-loving media are doing almost back-breaking contortions to make the recent Bridgegate scandal completely destroy Governor Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) presidential ambitions.
Obviously doing his part Monday was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who selectively edited comments George Will made on Fox News Sunday to make it appear that the syndicated columnist was actually comparing Bridgegate to Watergate (multipart video follows with transcripts and commentary):
We got ourselves a good Republican scandal here, and we're sticking with it. No distractions about President Obama and his culpability in the IRS and Benghazi matters. Capiche?
That was Mika Brezinski's message on Morning Joe today. When Mark Halperin mentioned that President Obama has never subjected himself to the kind of intense media grilling on Benghazi and the IRS that Chris Christie underwent on the bridge scandal during his 109-minute press conference, Mika laid down the law. Bringing up Benghazi and the IRS is "flailing for some sort of distraction. It's Chris Christie. It's New Jersey. Stick to that story," she ordered. The MSM at large will be only to happy to comply. View the video after the jump.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Hillary Clinton-loving media have been having a field day this week hyping the so-called scandal involving Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and the George Washington Bridge.
Although CBS's Face the Nation did cover the matter Sunday, host Bob Schieffer seemed rather amused by the whole thing and even offered a commentary wherein he read a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post mocking the affair for even being "newsworthy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The people at NBC News and Meet the Press should be ashamed of themselves.
With all that happened last week - a bombshell new book released by a former Defense Secretary as well as the worst jobs report in years - David Gregory and Company decided to devote more than half of their show Sunday to the truly earth-shattering Bridgegate scandal that directly impacted a small percentage of the nation.
"Republican lawmakers Thursday blamed the Obama administration for the stunning resurgence of Iraq’s al-Qaeda franchise and called on the White House to take assertive steps to help Baghdad beat back militant uprisings in the country’s west." That's how Ernesto Londono opened his January 10 story "Republicans blame Obama administration for al-Qaeda resurgence in Iraq," a front-page-worthy story which Washington Post editors buried on page A10.
By contrast, the Post ran not one but two Chris Christie bridge-scandal stories on the Friday edition's front page. The other stories rounding out the front page centered on efforts to hash out a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan, the Washington Redskins announcing their new head coach, and privacy/data-collection concerns from dashboard computers in new cars.
A frontrunner for the award going to the most obvious media double standard of the week certainly has to be NBC reporter and Meet the Press host David Gregory.
Asking a question virtually no one in the press has asked about President Barack Obama in matters far weightier than Chris Christie's "Bridgegate," Gregory addressed the following tweet to New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker (HT Twitchy):
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto to slam the "obnoxious" double standard in how journalists have covered Chris Christie's traffic scandal in two days, versus the scant number of stories on the Obama IRS controversy over six months.
According to Bozell, "It really goes to show you how out of control this left wing so-called news press is." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Cavuto explained, "The big three networks alone devoted 17 times more coverage to this story in one day, one day, than they devoted to the IRS scandal in six months." An updated analysis my the MRC finds the disparity is now up to 44-to-one.
ABC's Nightline let New Jersey Democrats pile on the Chris Christie controversy and take shots at the Republican governor, on Friday's show. Anchor Dan Harris hyped the nasty gossip and asked if Christie's political future was over.
"Democrats in Trenton, the state capitol, clearly see an opening," Harris touted. He added that "Democrats, including Christie's former opponent, Senator Barbara Buono regaled us with stories about the governor's alleged abusive behavior." [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
On Friday CNBC correspondent John Harwood tweeted that Chris Christie’s traffic scandal was “durably damaging” because it was a “direct govt-on-citizen crime - not indirect like graft, not personal (sex). Extremely rare.”
But when Harwood was accused by Twitter user Eric Swanson that he and others in media were being tougher on Christie’s traffic jam controversy than Barack Obama’s scandals, Harwood responded that “On Obama/IRS, no one’s found anything close to ‘time for traffic problems/got it’ connecting the WH.”
Perhaps Harwood just hasn’t been looking hard enough on the “durably damaging” IRS-Tea Party scandal, because there have been e-mails that have tied-in White House officials.
Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
In less than 48 hours, ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with coverage of Chris Christie's traffic jam scandal, devoting a staggering 88 minutes to the story. In comparison, these same news outlets over the last six months have allowed a scant two minutes for the latest on Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service scandal. The disparity in less than two days is 44-to-one. [See a chart below.]
From Wednesday through Friday morning, the latest on Christie's Traffic-Gate led 11 out of 13 news programs. NBC produced the heaviest coverage, over 34 minutes. CBS followed close behind with more than 30 minutes. ABC came in third with just under 23 minutes.