On the front page of Thursday's New York Times, reporter Richard Perez-Pena again goes after Republican Gov. Chris Christie, making waves for his town hall appearances going after teachers unions and public pension plans, “Christie’s Talk Is Blunt, but Not Always Straight.”
The Times has escalated its anti-Christie sniping, and some of Perez-Pena’s “inaccuracies” are pretty pro forma and nit-picky for a front-page story and would probably have been passed over without comment by the Times if rendered by Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, judging by the many Obama flubs the paper dismissed.
New Jersey’s public-sector unions routinely pressure the State Legislature to give them what they fail to win in contract talks. Most government workers pay nothing for health insurance. Concessions by school employees would have prevented any cuts in school programs last year.
Statements like those are at the core of Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign to cut state spending by getting tougher on unions. They are not, however, accurate.
Battles over state policies concerning public employee unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, and elsewhere have focused some attention on a question some conservatives have been asking for years: should collective bargaining be legal in the public sector?
CBS’s Bob Schieffer hit Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from the left on Sunday’s Face the Nation, claiming he has “demonized” teachers and urging him to give some “straight talk” about the necessity to raise taxes.
After asking if he thinks “Governor Walker out there in Wisconsin has gone too far?” in trying to end collective bargaining, Schieffer ludicrously asserted “everybody in this country on all sides of this thinks we need education reform,” but he wanted to know if Christie realized his stance has “demonized teachers and will raise questions in young people's minds as to whether they want to go into the profession?”
“Banal Bob” soon implored Christie with his standard plea: “You have a reputation as a straight talker, I think. Do you believe that the budgetary problems across this country can be resolved without raising taxes?”
Matt Bai’s upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine cover profile of Chris Christie, New Jersey's attention-getting Republican governor, has its questionable moments, but the overall tone was far more temperate than a teaser the Times used to promote it, featured on the front page of nytimes.com Thursday evening.
The segment of Bai's long story the Times chose to highlight is one that just happens to feed into the liberal complaint that President Ronald Reagan stigmatized welfare recipients as "welfare queens." (Bai's reference to "welfare queens" in the text is milder in context.)
The teaser reads: "The governor of New Jersey became the most celebrated Republican in America by tagging public-sector workers -- especially teachers -- as 21st-century welfare queens."
Only last week Halbfinger penned a favorable profile of Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who devoted half the interview to running down, in Halbfinger’s words, the “blustery and bellicose” Christie, whose clips of his back-and-forth engagement with union members have won him a conservative fan club.
Halbfinger’s treatment of Christie was far less friendly than the tone he took toward Gov. Malloy:
At the risk of giddy over-optimism, I have the hunch that the American voting public is beginning to demand legislating that actually deals with the nation's problems. There is creeping — still ambiguous — evidence of this, starting with the national polling data.
I argued last December that President Barack Obama's support for the extension of the Bush tax cuts would not end up helping him once the 2011 legislating season started picking up steam, because by principle the president was toward the left side of the political spectrum — and the public was toward the right — particularly on the matter of public debt and deficit.
New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie stopped by the Today show, on Wednesday morning, to educate viewers and NBC's Ann Curry about the problems of public employee unions and explained that when it comes to getting government costs under control sometimes you just have to say no. Curry mostly questioned Christie from the left, as she asked if there was "a coordinated" GOP agenda to make unions "scapegoats" for a problem "created by Wall Street" and the "banks" and suggested that "in some ways it doesn't sort of make sense...that the unions really are to blame."
For his part, Christie responded: "It's an issue of wanting to say yes all the time as a public official. You know you never want to say no to anybody because 'Oh you're much more popular if you say yes.' Well you know what? It's time we have to start saying no to certain things to be able to say yes to the things that will help to grow our economy and create a more prosperous future."
Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday made a prediction that most who hadn't heard of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker until a week ago might find astonishing.
On MSNBC's "The Last Word," the host told his perilously liberal guest Ezra Klein that if Walker's budget repair plan goes through, "He would instantaneously become the greatest hero in the Republican Party nationwide, I think would go to the top of Republicans' lists for possible presidential nominees in the upcoming election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker said Friday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won't run for president next year because "he realizes there’s still a crazy tax that a Republican nominee has to pay at this point."
This in Tucker's view stated on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" includes cozying up to the birthers, coddling Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, and denying manmade global warming (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative author Ann Coulter returned to MSNBC Thursday to spar with admittedly socialist commentator Lawrence O'Donnell.
At the end of a highly-entertaining segment dealing with Coulter's previously expressed support for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ann marvelously told her host after he besmirched Fox News's Sean Hannity, "He knows more than you - you’re a Democrat" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Something rather shocking happened on MSNBC Wednesday.
Not only was a compliment given to a Republican, but on the "Dylan Ratigan Show," it was said by a Washington Post columnist about a GOPer that is actually admired by conservatives (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reporter Halbfinger let Malloy hypocritically pat himself on the back for civility while taking pot shots at Christie. Halbfinger played along, portraying Christie as “blustery and bellicose” compared to the “polite” Democrat Malloy, flatteringly portrayed as closing a deficit while spending “much of his energy finding ways to spare the most vulnerable" and considering tax increases.
New York Magazine's John Heilemann on Friday said the Republican presidential field is the weakest anybody has seen in our lifetime.
This absurd statement was made on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" in a segment about which GOPers will be throwing their name into the ring in the coming months before next year's elections (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has "a man-crush" on New Jersey's Chris Christie. The GMA host interviewed the governor on Thursday and hit the Republican on not cutting unemployment fast enough and on his handling of December's blizzard.
Regarding the state of New Jersey's turnaround, Stephanopoulos touted the talking points of the state's Democrats: "But some of your critics, some of the top Democrats in the state, say that your priorities are misplaced. One counted the number of the times you used jobs in the speech. Said it was four."
After being told by Christie that the level had come down almost a full point (from ten to 9.2) since taking office, the former Democratic operative turned journalist reminded, "Still above nine percent." The host followed-up with his remark about Rush Limbaugh.
During Monday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough blamed lack of leadership during natural disasters on partisan voters. Quoting a veteran of his congressional staff, the former Republican congressman remarked that failures of leadership happen "when we elect leaders by checking boxes."
"Are they pro-choice? Are they pro-life? Where are they on gay rights?" Scarborough summarized the minds of partisan voters. "We have forgotten to elect people based on...governing."
"And services," Mike Barnicle chimed in. The "Morning Joe" panel was discussing the recent blizzard in the northeast United States, and the uproar that ensued from poor public services in New York City and the governor of New Jersey being on vacation during the blizzard.
Of the three morning shows, only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday singled out New Jersey governor Chris Christie, chiding the "rising star of the Republican Party" for being out of the state when a blizzard hit. At the same time, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi praised Newark's Democratic Mayor Cory Booker for helping with the clean-up. She enthused, "Wow! A mayor with a shovel."
Regarding Christie, Alfonsi critiqued, "Meantime, anger also boiled over into New Jersey, where Chris Christie, the state's brash and often outspoken governor,...was nowhere to be found." To underline the segment's sarcasm, Alfonsi played a clip of the governor asserting, "Accountability is important now more now than ever."
For good measure, she added, "Christie, a rising star of the Republican Party, was at Disney World." In contrast, Alfonsi highlighted Booker, alerting, "In fact, about the only politician to weather the blizzard may be Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who spent the day responding to tweets from stranded residents, Personally helping shovel sidewalks and dig out cars."
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews took some cheap shots at New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight while speaking at a radio event last Thursday.
Displeased with the immature condescension aimed at his state's chief executive, Fox News's Neil Cavuto went after the "Hardball" host's lack of decorum on Monday's "Your World" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears Republicans need to be read their conservative Miranda rights: anything negative you say about Sarah Palin can and will be used against her by the liberal media.
Such was made infinitely clear on Monday's "Hardball" when the host first teased, "Has someone sounded the dog whistle," and later opened a segment, "Are Republicans putting out the word that it's time to stop Sarah Palin?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Which is bigger news for the mainstream media: accusations of impropriety against a Republican rising star, or politically-motivated accusations of impropriety against a Republican rising star? We're about to find out.
Plenty of reporters were certainly eager to inform their readers and viewers about allegations against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that claimed he had spent about $2,000 more than was allocated on travel expenses during his time as a U.S. attorney.
But it turns out that the author of the Justice Department report that made those allegations is an uber-partisan who has previously used her position in the Inspector General's office to advance a leftist agenda. Will the media report these facts, and their implications for the report on Christie's alleged improprieties?
Is Chris Matthews taking lessons from Ed Schultz on keeping it classy?
In August and September, Schultz got off a series of fat jokes aimed at NJ Gov. Chris Christie. After Schultz eventually stooped to calling Christie a "fat slob," he was reportedly reprimanded by MSNBC president Phil Griffin.
On this evening's Hardball, Matthews got off a fat joke of his own at Christie's expense. Matthews suggested that someone inform Christie that the tunnel he vetoed is going to be "a wide tunnel; it'll be very useful to certain people." The irony? Matthews' gibe came in a segment about Daniel Patrick Moynihan in which Matthews made a point of praising the late senator from New York . . . for avoiding personal attacks. Video after the jump.
"Leading hip-hop generation intellectual" and frequent pundit show talking head Marc Lamont Hill -- who's always on the lookout for instances of "intolerance" and "hate," and has never let even non-existent instances of "racism" slip by his view -- says he knows the reason why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won't run for president: He's too fat.
“He can’t win, let’s be honest ... I’m going to say this and don’t get mad – he’s fat.He’s fat for a politician. He doesn’t have the body type to win. There are other issues – look at that!!" (as he looked at a screen image of Christie.)
To emphasize his (supposed) point about "image over substance," Hill exclaimed, “Look at Sarah Palin!”
Brian Williams touted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a “star” on “the rise” in the Republican Party before adding a “however” and haranguing him from left over his opposition to massive spending for a new tunnel from his state to New York, reciting as an oracle the criticism from far-left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman without ever identifying the source of the supposed wisdom beyond “the op-ed page of the New York Times.”
For Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, Williams traveled to the Garden State to sit down with Christie. Williams contended Christie “took a big hit for saying no to New Jersey's share of a new tunnel beneath the Hudson River, a huge public works project designed to ease congestion. His decision exploded on the op-ed page of the New York Times which called it ‘a blow to national hopes of a recovery.’” That was Krugman’s characterization in an October 8 op-ed, The End of the Tunnel.
When Christie explained how his deep in debt state can’t afford the billions more now demanded for the project, Williams pleaded: “But couldn't you find the money? Isn't there a way if you really wanted it, if you really wanted it for long-term investment?” The anchor continued to display his reverence for the New York Times as he, once again, quoted Krugman:
The Times goes on. Here's how you should think about the decision to kill the tunnel: “It's a terrible thing in itself, but, beyond that, it's a perfect symbol of how America has lost its way.” You're being tied to the nation losing its way by dint of this decision.
As the Democrat-loving media pile on California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman over the illegal alien status of her former housekeeper, a strange thing happened at the New York Times Friday: columnist David Brooks published a positive piece about the former eBay CEO.
In fact, "The Austerity Caucus" never mentioned this new scandal that has most mainstream media members doing backflips.
Instead, Brooks presented a surprisingly even portrait of an extremely intelligent woman always ready to spout off facts about an issue with lightning speed:
This column has twice—here and here—taken the un-svelte Schultz to task for his hypocrisy in making repeated fat jokes at the expense of Chris Christie, culminating in calling the NJ guv a "fat slob." Media Bistro has reported[h/t Clerical Gal] that MSNBC prez Phil Griffin reprimanded Schutltz for his crude comment.
Apparently by way of non-apology apology, on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed admitted that he too was fat and would understand if others also considered him a "fat slob." Media Bistro has reported
I began to suspect something was afoot early in the show. On the one hand, Schultz launched into yet another long diatribe against Christie. After taking numerous solo shots at the NJ guv, Schultz brought in a NJ teacher of the year, who was happy to be described as "strongly against Gov. Christie." The pair proceeded to rake Christie over the coals, paying scant attention to the brutal budgetary problems facing the Garden State that have forced Christie to make reforms.
But—in stark contrast with previous shows—the fat jokes had demonstrably disappeared. And sure enough, in the tease for a subsequent segment, Schultz said "I admit that I'm fat." Then came this show-closer . . .
What a concept. The New Jersey Governor offered that and other bits of advice to the President over the weekend:
In other news, Christie is busy lining up an endorsement tour. Thoughts on his more moderated approach here (take note that he stopped short of condemning Obama's policies as vehemently as some high-profile Republicans)?
Rachel Maddow on Wednesday mocked the math skills of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie only seconds before she made the exact same arithmetic mistake she bashed him for.
In a short segment about the state of New Jersey losing some education funding as a result of errors made during the application process, the MSNBC host placed all the blame on the new Republican governor.
To put a fine point on what Maddow claimed was Christie's incompetence, she played a video of the Governor on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier in the day misstating the number of points Ohio edged out New Jersey for this award.
Hysterically, when the clip ended, Maddow made the very same subtraction error (video follows with transcript and commentary):