Christie's Traffic Jam Scandal = Another Watergate; Where Was the Grueling "Vetting" for Candidate Obama?

Vol. 27, No. 2

Like the Grueling “Vetting” Candidate Obama Endured?


“This is, you know, welcome to the NFL. You know, this is — he [Chris Christie] 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. 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.”
— NBC political director Chuck Todd on NBC’s Today, January 9. 


Let’s Ignore Obama Scandals and Stick to Christie’s “Bridgegate”


“That’s, I think, a terrible parallel. This is Chris Christie’s problem, and there is no parallel to President Obama here...Christie is the Governor of New Jersey, and President Obama — to bring up Benghazi and the IRS is like flailing for some sort of distraction. I mean, c’mon.  It’s Chris Christie, it’s New Jersey. Stick to that story, which is fascinating!”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 13.


A New Jersey Traffic Jam = Another Watergate?


“A mean-spirited political trickster trying to run up the score in an easy reelection. Sound familiar? Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon.”
— MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, January 15, teasing a nearly 12-minute segment comparing Christie to Nixon.


But Brokaw Scolds the Press: The Country’s Saying, “You’ve Got to Move On, Guys”


“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.’ 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.”
— Ex-NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, January 15.


Robert Gates “Dishonorable” for Daring to Criticize Obama


“At a time when some 40,000 U.S. troops are in harm’s way, do you think that by calling him into question at this stage it is either dangerous or dishonorable?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Today, January 13.

“Do you think in any way, shape or form that this was the wrong thing to do? It was just bad form?”
— Ex-NBC and CBS anchor Katie Couric to Gates on Yahoo! Screen, January 13.

“You’re not at all worried, though, about affecting the morale of the troops with a book like this that questions the commander in chief’s commitment to the war?”
— Anchor Judy Woodruff to Gates on PBS’s NewsHour, January 14.

“In your book, you say that one of your favorite adages is, ‘Never miss a good chance to shut up.’ And I wonder if you think, maybe, you violated your own advice here — and do you regret anything that you’ve written?”
— Correspondent Rita Braver interviewing Gates on CBS Sunday Morning, January 12.


Unflattering Portrait of Obama = “Act of Betrayal”


Anchor Wolf Blitzer: “Were you surprised that Gates wrote this book, and — attacked a sitting President, a sitting Vice President?”
CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger: “Yeah, I think I was. I was surprised that he did it while the President was still in office. The President did award him the Medal of Freedom, after all....I believe he should have waited until the President was out of office.”
— Exchange on CNN Newsroom, January 8.

“It’s an old Washington cliché: work in government, write a juicy memoir filled with backbiting and infighting, and then cash in....Considering Gates’s place in history, sitting in the White House Situation Room with Mr. Obama, Biden and Clinton during the killing of Osama bin Laden, the memoir is seen by some critics as an act of betrayal.”
— Correspondent Jim Acosta on CNN’s New Day, January 8.


I’m Candy Crowley, and CNN Paid for This Democratic Ad


“If I am an unemployed American and I hear from Republicans that, ‘Yeah, you know, we should go ahead and do that provided we do the following three things,’ and it’s a caveated approval of extending those [unemployment] benefits, or if I am a minimum wage worker and I find, I see Republicans who say, ‘You know what? It’s artificial, it messes with the marketplace, it might mean some teens can’t get into the job market,’ why would I become a Republican?”
— Host Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union, January 5.


Dastardly Republicans Just “Holding People Hostage”


“What’s your take on this, John? Fair criticism that these needy individuals and families, which is pretty inarguable, are being somewhat held hostage by what we’re calling a debate, because extending the [unemployment] benefits seems like somewhat of a no-brainer given the absence of job market or any better prospects....And the Republicans are saying, ‘Well, we’re against it because this will freeze job growth.’ Are they holding these people hostage? I mean, shouldn’t these be extended and then have a legitimate jobs policy discussion?”
— Co-host Chris Cuomo to correspondent John King on CNN’s New Day, January 7.


It’s “Heartless and Cruel” to Want to Pay for More Spending


“This is where it is cruel. No one can control the weather. You know what? Not everybody can control their employment situation. Not only can’t we stop the wind from blowing, we can’t stop the Republicans from being heartless and cruel.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, January 6, talking about Republican opponents of an extension of unemployment benefits without matching spending cuts.


Hearings on Constitutionality = “Revenge Killing”


“I think what this represents is not a serious effort to remove the President. But it’s a certain frustration, and they said as much in that hearing having lost these elections: What do you do to counter this President? I think that’s in a way what politics has become now. It’s not just about defeating your opponent, it’s about taking him out. And I think that’s sort of this revenge killing almost that’s become part of our tribal politics right now. And I think that’s what we’re feeling.”
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, January 7, talking about House hearings into whether Obama’s unilateral moves have violated the Constitution.


NBC’s Activist Anchor Casts Obama as Savior of American Women


NBC “special anchor” Maria Shriver: “As the son of a single mother, President Obama said he is very sympathetic to these issues that one in three women is living on the brink of poverty in the United States of America. And one of the main reasons is the persistent wage gap that exists between men and women....”
Clip of Barack Obama: “It’s time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women will have more tools to fight pay discrimination.”
Shriver: “While President Obama has pledged to fix the problem, Congress has been slow to respond....”
NBC Nightly News, January 14.


Matthews: If Republicans Win, It’s a “Return to Jim Crow”


“If only the people who voted in 2010 show up this November, you can kiss all this goodbye. You’ll see the beginning of the end to what could have been — what many of us believe should have been — an historic turn toward full democratic government in this country....It will be a double downing of efforts to suppress the votes of those who voted for him in historic numbers, the return to something like Jim Crow days, relevant of all the old anti-black gimmickry of that time — literacy tests and poll taxes and all the rest. The goal will be to erase not just Obama from the history books, but any evidence that someone of his background should ever think of being President. It will mean victory for the haters.”
— Chris Matthews, opening the January 7 Hardball on MSNBC.


Appalled by CIA Lawyer: “How Can You Live With Yourself?”


Correspondent Andrea Mitchell: “He [John Rizzo] is the ultimate company man: A lead CIA lawyer during decades occasionally marred by scandal, intelligence failures, and post-9/11 interrogation practices later outlawed.”
Author John Rizzo: “Extraordinary measures had to be taken.”
Mitchell: “Extraordinary measures? You mean what was later decided to be torture?”
Rizzo: “No. If it had been torture, we wouldn’t have done it....”
Mitchell: “How can you live with yourself knowing that what you did and what you got approved by the Justice Department was to many people, not only morally repugnant, but illegal?”
Rizzo: “Looking back on the times and what I had to do, my conscience is clear.”
— Story on NBC’s Today, January 10.


Diane Sawyer: Not Even My Hubby Knows My Politics


Q: “Do you let your own politics be known when you’re behind closed doors?”
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer: “My husband has said even he doesn’t know my politics. In the nonromantic-compliment category, that’s a good one.”
— From an interview with Sawyer conducted by Lee Woodruff, wife of ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff, for the February 2014 edition of Ladies’ Home Journal.


Abortion No More “Violent” Than Childbirth

“The murder conviction of quack abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell for scissoring viable fetuses to death propelled a new effort to demonize abortion generally. Even moderates like the Times’s Ross Douthat used the event to remind people how violent and gruesome late-term abortions are when performed by competent doctors, failing to note that childbirth itself is a violent and gruesome event, too.”
— Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh writing about “The Year in Sexism” in The New York Observer, December 31.


Touting Britain’s “Amazing” and “Free” Health Care


“Then I got food poisoning the next day....The hospitals are amazing there. I went to the hospital: Free health care! Incredible....They don’t even ask you for your I.D. You give your name, you give your symptoms, they hook you up to a bunch of fluids. They say just leave when you feel like it. You pay nothing! I paid nothing. They treated me for hours, I paid nothing. Amazing...It was amazing.”
— Emmy Rossum, star of Showtime’s Shameless, on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, January 8, recounting what happened when she became ill during a visit to Britain.


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