You have to feel for Christie, who as a Republican moderate can literally find no news media organization that isn’t determined to destroy him, facts or fairness be damned. As a Republican, he is assured of being treated like the Devil incarnate by MSNBC no matter what he does or says. As a proven leader of talent and charisma who poses a threat to the media’s relentless anointment of Hillary Clinton (a WOMAN!!!)—who has displayed neither— as the next President,Christie has a giant target on his back that the mainstream media cannot resist. As non-hateful Republican who is capable of bi-partisan conduct, will shake the President’s hand and has social positions to the left of Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum, Christie is also persona non grata at Fox News.
Thus it was that a completely self-serving, borderline unethical letter seeking financial benefits for his client sent by the lawyer of the former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge was turned into a “bombshell” yesterday and this morning, with headlines and breathless talking head claims that are completely, utterly, irresponsible, dishonest, misleading, unfair and wrong. Here’s a sample:
- “Christie Linked to Knowledge of Shut Lanes” (NY Times) Untrue. He has not been linked. A lawyer hinted that some evidence suggesting he might be linked exists, or is said to exist, somewhere. That is not being “linked.”
- “Chris Christie should resign if bombshell proves true” (Star-Ledger) And if it’s proven that I am a cucumber, I should jump in a salad.
- “Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions.” CBS’s Scott Pelley. By the press, perhaps.
- “Explosive new allegations about Chris Christie. Tonight, the man at the center of the bridge shutdown scandal says the governor isn’t telling the whole truth. He says there’s evidence to prove it.” NBC’s Brian Williams. “Lawyer of accused official facing charges says it’s someone else’s fault!” This is headline news?
- “This is a hugely significant development in the investigation! It’s a direct challenge to the credibility of Governor Christie.” NBC reporter Michael Isakoff Wrong. It’s significant if it’s true. There is no more reason to believe it is true than to believe it isn’t.
No, Michael, what this is is a journalistic disgrace and an example of intentionally misleading, partisan and biased reporting. The context of the statement being pumped up into a crisis for Governor Christie was omitted in every one of the hysterical “We got him now! media reports until deep into the published or broadcast account, if it was mentioned at all….in other words, well after the point where the average member of the public stops reading or listening. This is unconscionable. It’s disgusting. It is gutter reporting, and rotten journalism. What if each report, as it should have, framed the story this way:
“In today’s new, the lawyer for David Wildstein, the ex-Port Authority official facing indictment in the bridge-closing scandal that has rocked the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is using the threat of his client revealing undisclosed evidence indicating knowledge and involvement by the Governor as leverage to have Wildstein’s criminal defense, including the lawyer’s own fee, paid for by the state.”
Because that’s what the story really is.
Take the time to read the entire letter in question, not just the sections I have bolded. Naturally, most of the news reports referenced the letter without actually allowing us to read the letter. The New York Times made it damned difficult to read the letter online, but at least it was there. Here is the whole thing. I’m sorry, but the issue can’t be understood without reading all of it. The letter is from Wildstein’s lawyer, Alen Zegas, to Darrell Butchbinder, who is the General Counsel for the Port Authority: Continue reading