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.
In a strange way, you have to hand it to Timothy Noah. The msnbc.com contributing writer has found a way to twist the Chris Christie bridge scandal into a blanket indictment of "bipartisanship" and serve as an rally cry t to liberal MSNBC fans of the moral superiority of full-throated, left-wing Democratic partisanship. After all, the Lean Forward network is convinced it needs to energize Obama's base to limit the damage in this year's midterm elections.
As the Hillary-loving media predictably pile on embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), they’ve completely forgotten how many scandals the current White House was involved in last year that the President claimed he had no knowledge of and his always dutiful press backed his play.
With this in mind, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Thursday began his opening monologue on the growing Bridgegate joking, “Pundits are saying this could hurt [Christie’s] 2016 presidential campaign. The ironic thing is now that Christie is denying everything he sounds even more presidential (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's senior legal analyst doesn't think Benghazi is a scandal, but he is ready to dig Chris Christie's political grave over "Bridgegate."
On Wednesday's AC 360 Later, Jeff Toobin remarked, "It's all over for Chris Christie. This is it. I'm sorry, totally." He added of Christie's controversy, "I mean, this is devastating. Forget it." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd reveled in the wall-to-wall media coverage of the bridge closing controversy surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "Welcome to the NFL....he has gotten a lot of benefit by being sort of this Republican rising star in the New York City media markets, so he gets a lot of access to media attention, access to national media. And so he's had a free ride, if you will. Well now, welcome to the vetting process." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd's comments were prompted by co-host Matt Lauer declaring: "[Christie] is a political star for the Republican Party. He's now the head of the Republican Governor's Association, a lot of power there, so Democrats are gonna work this story for a long time." Todd replied: "Absolutely....Now that he's essentially shown interest in being a presidential candidate, this is what life is like. This is what happens when the bright lights start burning."
The same network evening news shows that ignored vindictiveness by the Obama administration during October's government shutdown were up in arms Wednesday over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's "Bridgegate" and the possible tarring it could give his image.
NewsBusters already counted 17 times more network coverage of Christie's controversy than of Obama's IRS scandal in the past six months. That same double standard was evident in the treatment given the Christie administration versus the non-coverage of any Obama administration wrongdoing during the shutdown.
After months of stonewalling the Justice Department finally named someone to head the investigation into the IRS-Tea Party scandal - and it's an Obama donor. So far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to mention what Darrell Issa called “a startling conflict of interest.” In fact the Big Three networks have almost completely stopped covering the IRS scandal investigation altogether.
Since July 1, ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted a total of just 2 minutes and 8 seconds to the IRS imbroglio.
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield asserted on Thursday that the threat of a felony murder charge could be used to get information on the "bridgegate" surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
"And then there can also be the very serious possibility that a death resulted from the actions of someone, right?" Banfield said of the George Washington Bridge lane closures that Christie aides were reportedly connected to. "So if that's the case, an extraordinarily serious end of this could be felony murder, because it is a felony to do this kind of thing if it can be proven to shut down those lanes for no good reason." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Could you imagine The Washington Post leaping all over a Jeremiah Wright scandal for Obama in 2005, before he even announced for president? Neither would anyone else imagine such a political crib-strangling. But the Post is aping the rest of the liberal national media on Thursday morning by leaping all over Gov. Chris Christie. “Bridge scandal engulfing Christie,” was the breathless headline. “INCIDENT THREATENS N.J. GOVERNOR’S IMAGE.”
The Post also trashed Christie on the op-ed page (by liberal Jonathan Capehart) and on the front page of the Style section, which began “Chris Christie. [Shakes head.] What a disappointment. He purports to play in big leagues.” The partisan Post is on fire today.