Why did they shut down the access lanes?

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2014

Goofus and Gallant debate: Ideally, people should try to avoid premature judgments when scandal culture breaks out.

With that in mind, let’s examine an ongoing question: why were those access lanes in Fort Lee shut down last September?

At present, that question hasn’t been answered. We’ll have to hope that ongoing investigations will be able to nail that point down.

Some journalists don’t want to wait; they want their conclusions right now. Let’s compare two journalistic treatments from the past few days.

On Thursday night’s All In, Chris Hayes and a guest examined a possible motivefor the access lane closing. As they did, they made it clear that they don’t yet know what the motive was.

Hayes introduced a reporter who had examined some documents:
HAYES (2/6/14): Joining me now is the Talking Points Memo reporter who uncovered this new detail, Hunter Walker. Hunter, while you go for this record, what are you trying to find out here?

WALKER: Well, you know, as you said before, we really don’t know what was at the root of these lanes being shut down. And, you know, Brian Murphy and Steve Kornacki both on this network and our Web site put forth this theory that, you know, if you follow the money, the biggest most expensive thing at the end of this bridge is this billion-dollar development.
Before he discussed one possible explanation, Walker established the fact that we don’t yet know what the motive was. He then discussed documents he had examined as he explored the possibility of a link to the billion-dollar development in Fort Lee:
WALKER: One thing we definitely saw in these documents is that, you know, the question of bridge access and traffic was absolutely central to whether or not this development would be approved and whether it would be successful for the residents. You know, one of the planning board members referred to as, quote/unquote, "dumping traffic right on to the bridge." And these three lanes that were shut down were the subject of a study conducted by the developers...

So, you know, as you said before, we don’t know, you know, who would have been the target of an attempt to sort of hijack this development. You know, was it an attempt to shake down the developers? There’s two developers involved in this 15-acre parcel. There`s multiple financiers. There`s the mayor. So again, we still don’t know—but, you know, this development could have been put at risk by traffic.

HAYES: One of the things I think that’s underappreciated here is that the so-called traffic study that was only shut down because the head of the Port Authority appointed by Andrew Cuomo on the New York side, Patrick Foye, shut it down once he heard about it and sent an angry e-mail. And, in fact, in the e-mail traffic what you get from Wildstein, I believe Baroni, definitely Wildstein, is, “We’re trying to reverse it, trying to keep it shut down.”

Meaning, it is unclear how long they intended this to go. It`s possible they were going put the thumb on the scale and keep it there as long as they could.


WALKER: And the reason Steve Kornacki and Brian Murphy first started pointing at this was the financing for the development. It was actually approved in 2012, the preliminary plan. But the financing was being locked up right as these closures were happening. So, it seems a very sensitive moment in the project.
Several parts of that sounded very familiar. That said, we agree with Hayes on the weirdness of Team Wildstein’s reactions to Foye's order to stop the lane closings.

How long did they intend for this lunacy to continue? We find their roid-rage-like reactions to Foye to be rather strange. (That said, we know nothing about ongoing relations between the New York and New Jersey contingents within the Port Authority. Sometimes, crazy reactions reflect preexisting conflicts.)

That said, Hayes and Walker constantly noted that they don’t know what the motive was—that they were exploring possibilities. That makes them the “Gallants” of this morning’s post.

As always, the New York Times and Kate Zernike cast themselves in the role of Goofus the very next day.

On Friday morning, Zernike published a 1600-word front-page report about Wildstein’s background. Early on, she reinstated a factual assertion—the now-famous lane closings were an act of revenge:
ZERNIKE (2/7/14): Mr. Wildstein, the former director of interstate projects for the Port Authority, is now the wild card in the scandal surrounding Gov. Chris Christie and the revenge-fueled closings of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge in September. Last week, his lawyer released a letter saying that ''evidence exists'' to show that the governor knew about the closings while they happened, contrary to what he had said at a marathon news conference. The lawyer also wrote that Mr. Wildstein himself had evidence to show that the governor spoke inaccurately about Mr. Wildstein, whose hiring he had authorized at the agency that runs the bridge.
Were the lane closings really “revenge-fueled?” In our hard-copy New York Times, Zernike’s statement was even more colorful. In that same early part of her front-page report, she referred to “the revenge-closings of” the access lanes, using a colorful phrase she has invented as part of her endlessly bungled reporting. (She has used the phrase before.)

Starting on January 9, Zernike has repeatedly stated, as a matter of fact, that the lane closings were an act of revenge. We don’t know why she keeps making that claim. Plainly, that motive has not been established as a matter of fact. The night before her recent report, Hayes and Walker were discussing a possible motive which would involve a financial shakedown, not an act of revenge.

Like Walker and Hayes, we don’t know what the motive for the lane closings was. We have to hope that ongoing probes will uncover the motive.

That will take time. In the meantime, some journalists will play Goofus. They will claim that the motive has been established. They will generate new, exciting scandal claims on a regular basis, often out of thin air.

On Thursday, Hayes and Walker played the Gallant part. They acknowledged what they didn’t yet know. Having done so, they described some real attempts to further our actual knowledge.

Intellectual standards at the Times are extremely low. It’s hard to believe that the paper’s work is this soft. But be forewarned:

It is.

90 comments:

  1. Bridget Kelly: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

    David Wildstein: "Got it."

    ----

    David Wildstein: "The New York side gave Fort Lee back all three lanes this morning. We are appropriately going nuts. Samson is helping us retaliate."

    Bridget Kelly: "What?"

    David Wildstein: "Yes unreal. Fixed now."



    ReplyDelete
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    1. This does kind of imply a New York side vs New Jersey side rivalry within the Port Authority, since they have a vocabulary for talking about it. And it sounds like they didn't expect any interference in their activities. It isn't clear whether Foye is a Democrat or a Republican but he was appointed by Cuomo and he was the person who Sokolich (a Democrat) called to complain to. If this is politically motivated, then both parties have been involved and are still participating in trying to leverage the situation to their advantage.

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    2. WTF???? This "kind of implies"??????

      If you don't see that it demonstrates their motive was not doing a study but in fact taking lanes away from Ft. Lee, you are as screw loosened as the blogger and many of his fans.

      Does it also imply Wildstein tells the woman who wrote "time for traffic problems" he is secretly going "nuts" because their study was interrupted before all the necessary data was collected?

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  2. Another oddness in this situation. Sokolich is now claiming that Christie's people at the Port Authority were courting his endorsement by giving him "gifts." The gifts consist of doing things in response to his various complaints, and they sound suspiciously like someone trying to do their job effectively. For example, sending shuttle buses when he complained about traffic backups and giving someone a 20-minute tour of the 9/11 site, again at Sokolich's request. These so-called gifts were not swag, like the Governor of Virginia received.

    What I find odd is that you would think Sokolich would be in favor of this development project and would support a theory that claims Christie and his staff were trying to derail it or extort developers. Instead it seems like Sokolich is trying to enhance an alternative explanation about retribution for his failure to endorse, that would direct attention away from this other theory. I don't see why that would be happening.

    Unlike Christie, who has stayed relatively consistent in his statements, Sokolich has now revised his statement yet again, adding considerable more detail and backtracking on his original claim that his endorsement had not been sought. He is also claiming that actions he thought were business as usual were actually favors (gifts) given to induce him to endorse. That is a big change to his story, in my opinion.

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    1. "Unlike Christie, who has stayed relatively consistent in his statements, "

      BWAHAHAHA!

      Just a clue, Sparky. This investigation ain't about Sokolich and what Sokolich says, as much as you want it to be. He never struck me as the sharpest tool in the shed, the brightest bulb in the box. I could be wrong, but that's my take.

      But please. You look like Sokolich when you say that Christie's story has been "relatively consistent." He's been even more all over the map than Sokolich.


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    2. This isn't about Sokolich because Sokolich is stupid and so am I? Got it.

      Delete
    3. Well, yeah.

      You gratuitously inserted Sokolich in a comment under a thread that has nothing to do with Sokolich. Pretty lame.

      And by the way, the subject of Bob's latest effort is an instruction to TV cable hosts on the proper way to speculate without evidence.

      Care to comment on that?

      Didn't think so.

      Delete
    4. The thread has to do with the bridge lane closures and why they happened. That doesn't mean one can only discuss Christie and/or Wildstein.

      I agree with use of proper tentative language when speculating. What else is there to say about that?

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    5. Oh, nothing. Except that Rachel Maddow has used the same proper tentative language when she speculated ever since she began covering this story last month. But Bob merely disappears that inconvenient truth in order to accuse her of running ahead of the evidence.

      After all, it doesn't fit the narrative he is feeding to his sheep.

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    6. Except she hasn't. You know, we have eyes and ears and know what her reports are like. What does lying here accomplish?

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    7. By all means, go to her transcripts and the downloads of her show and use those eyes and ears. Then compare it to what Bob wrote about her show. Yeah, he links to it, but he really counts on no one clicking that link. And like good tribe members, they'll just take Bob's word for it.

      Good grief, the poor man has made a total ass of himself on this issue -- and on the McDonnell issue as well, and quite a number of others because he has such a jones for Maddow he can't even reason, and he hears what he wants to hear.

      Look at what he is down to. Repeating the fable that Maddow goes off without evidence, and still trying to pretend there still could be some perfectly logical reason for "some traffic problems in Fort Lee" other than a cold, calculated act of political retribution cooked up at the highest levels of Chris Christie's office, if not by Christie himself.

      And if you buy the "traffic study gone bad" or the "stupid, crazy, drug-addled Wildstein" or "rogue staff operating solely on their own" excuses, well I hear the George Washington Bridge is for sale.

      There are now at least three investigations going on of this controversy that Somerby's keen instincts once dismissed as "massively ginned up".

      But is Bob ever going to abandon his own Maddow witch hunt? Will his few remaining fans ever see that their emperor stands before them buck naked?

      What does sticking to his script here accomplish for you?

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    8. What does Bob Somerby being buck naked watching a perspiring Maddow stroke herself to give you your Christie hard-on have to do with him sticking to his script?

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  3. Yes, 12:52, this is a big change if he indeed made "an origianl claim that his endorsement had not been sought." What leads you to believe he made this claim?

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    1. Fort Lee Mayor Now Says Team Christie Wooed Him With Favors And A Meal: "These statements represent a departure from past comments Sokolich made that he didn't 'recall a specific request to endorse.' Sokolich began backtracking from those remarks in January when he told the New York Times a staffer on Christie's campaign asked him for an endorsement."

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    2. But that merely says that Sokolich "didn't recall". It doesn't say that Sokolich said his endorsement wasn't sought.

      Words are very important to this blog. One cannot fudge them unless one is Bob.

      Delete
    3. I kind of figure you got it from Somerby. You see, not recalling a "specific request" in response to a question that is not direct is, to Somerby, a signal
      to infer you meant there was no effort to get you to endorse. You "implied" you were never asked and thus it appears you changed your story.

      Alternatively, if you are a fat guy who is being victimized by witch hunters, your new comments become "additions."

      See how Somerby misleads his readers, folks?

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    4. I got it here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/state/Fort_Lee_mayor_now_says_Christie_campaign_courted_him_for_endorsement.html

      Somerby hasn't talked about this.

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    5. And that is because Rachel Maddow hasn't talked about it.

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    6. It is more likely because the article came out on Friday and Somerby is busy with other things this weekend.

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    7. Yeah. Like trying to line up his next corporate meeting stand-up gig.

      Delete
    8. Somerby is 65+. Do you think he is still working or still caught up in making as much money as possible, all the time? You trolls invented the meme that he is jealous of Maddow's salary. He is more likely retired and going North to visit friends and family.

      Delete
  4. The streak is broken.

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    1. Yes, and far short of Joe DiMaggio's. I was sure Somerby was going to make a run at it.

      But he has, if I am not mistaken, completed a full week of nothing but this "massively ginned-up controversy" at the expense of all those low-income kids he so dearly loves.

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    2. Somerby spent 10 years teaching those low-income kids. What have you done for them?

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    3. I've spent 20 years teaching low income kids. What have you done for them?

      And now Bob has spent the last 16 years reliving his glory takes and swapping old soldier stories about the War on Gore.

      While bitching that other people don't care about low income kids.

      Delete
    4. I am a teacher too. Why is someone like you caught up in this negativity?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous 9:02 are you also 6:25? As a teacher would you suggest the first query (6:25) was positive?

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    6. low income kids = issues that really matter

      Why do trolls always take things so literally?

      Delete
    7. The STREAK is not over! You guys counting the Maddow headlines miss the critical point of the latest commenters.

      Bob's box score for low income kids is the streak.
      He is 0 for a bunch lately and mounting.

      Except you baseball fans call that a slump, not a streak, don't you?

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    8. "musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse"

      What part of that do you not understand?

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    9. Musings = thoughts, reflections (not the kind that are images in a mirror but the kind where you think about something). So, these are the blogger's thoughts on the mainstream press corps and the American discourse. Notice they are not thoughts on America but on its discourse.

      Delete
    10. "Musings" have many other possible meanings beyond mere thoughts or reflections. We have learned from Bob to be open to them all until journalistically disproved.

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    11. What are the other possible meanings? I didn't see any of them mentioned in the various dictionaries I consulted.

      Delete
    12. Somerby call many of his posts ruminations. Are those different than musings or just a more specific kind?

      Delete
  5. "Intellectual standards at the Times are extremely low."

    And Bob hates it when they throw that nonsensical, counter-intuitive math into the dang science section. You know, the intellectual stuff.
    Here at TDH, we like our intellectual standards no higher than about middle school.

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    1. Hey Fool, care to explain the ridiculous article in the science section about adding number to get - 1/2? I have found no one who understands the article, and I would bet tons I understand far more math than you do.

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    2. Go on Fool, explain the article in the NYTimes. I am waiting. Duh.

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    3. See the pellucid explanation in my comment in the "Maddow doubles down, plus the sum of all natural numbers!" blog entry.

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    4. Only a fool would expect an article that you can read while sitting on the porcelain throne to explain fully in language that any fool can understand a rather deep mathematical concept such as the ultimate value of infinity.

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    5. Anon 426,
      We have a series to infinity that is this
      S= 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1...
      We can see that we can multiply S by (-1) to get -S, and it would look like this:
      -S= -1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1...
      (each term of the series is now the opposite sign as the original S)
      then we can add 1 to each side of the new -S series and it will give us this:
      1-S= +1-1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1...

      We now see that the series for 1-S is exactly the same as for the original S. So we may say:

      1-S=S

      With simple algebra that is restated as :

      1= 2S
      and then,

      1/2=S

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandi%27s_series

      It isn't hard to grasp and certainly isn't ridiculous. The point was that Bob ridicules the NYTimes for covering a topic that he deems too intellectual...all while boohooing over their supposedly low intellectual standards.

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    6. No, he was complaining because they didn't explain it clearly.

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    7. The NYTimes said this math result was shown in a video (that has over a million hits). And they gave a link to the video. And then they gave some general background on mathematical series and the importance of this math to physics and science.

      Where is the part that not clear? You realize it's a newspaper and not a math textbook, right?

      Delete
    8. It's not hard to grasp. It's just wrong. Multiplying an infinite sum by -1 is not defined in arithmetic. The distributive law is defined only for a multiplicand that's the sum of two numbers. The other axioms of arithmetic allow us to extend this to any finite sum. "Simple algebra" doesn't suffice for your proof.

      It is possible to extend the definition of addition to handle divergent sums, and it's the math involved that makes the answer 1/2 not ridiculous. But that math isn't familiar; it's called complex analysis (which has nothing to do with either complexity or analyzing things). TDH isn't ridiculing the NYT for a topic that "too intellectual"; he's complaining that the language of the report is so opaque that he, and presumably others, can't understand it. And for good reason.

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    9. " TDH isn't ridiculing the NYT for a topic that "too intellectual"; he's complaining that the language of the report is so opaque that he, and presumably others, can't understand it. And for good reason."

      Indeed. And for such a good reason that it bears pointing out:

      The trolls here demonstrate that they themselves don't understand the math behind the NYT article which they complain Somerby disingenuously bashed as being incomprehensible!

      One might even guess that the point isn't the math, but the pathetic desire to prove Somerby not merely wrong but a bad person.

      Delete
    10. I give up.
      Bob, deadrat, and Anon 954 must be right and all the math professors in the video are just a bunch of boneheads. The explanation of the math I gave above is the same as those foolish perfesser-folks.

      Sock puppets, if you don't get the Monte Hall problem, you're not going to get this either.

      Delete
    11. Fortunately, I'm made of sterner stuff, so I won't give up.

      It's not that I must be right; it's that in this particular instance, I am right. It's not the math professors are boneheads; it's that they can't explain the reason for the answer in language comprehensible to the general public because the math behind the reason is beyond what most folks know. It's not that the explanation is counter-intuitive like the Monte Hall problem; it's that the explanation relies on advanced mathematics.

      I'll type more slowly so you can follow: your (and the professors') explanation relies on computations disallowed under the axioms of arithmetic. The rules don't allow you to make an infinite number of computations. It is, however, possible to extend the definition of the ordinary operations in such a way that they give sensible answers for some divergent series while still giving the standard answers for finite and convergent series.

      The proofs won't rely on invalid tricks, but they'll be incomprehensible to people who aren't mathematicians, or at least math majors. The proof you quoted will always seem like a confusing sleight of hand.

      Because it is.

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    12. Ok, let's say the professors are lying scoundrels selling their souls for YouTube views.

      Still, I don't see how the NYTimes is to blame for a bunch of lying professors when they run an article on how a math-oriented video has over a million hits on YouTube. Bob blames the NYTimes for being opaque and now you say the NYTimes has to be opaque on the topic. Which is it?
      Or is the topic just too intellectual to be mentioned in any newspaper at any time?










      Delete
    13. Why would we do that? The professors are trying to explain a result in advanced mathematics without using any. There really isn't a good way to do that.

      It's more than possible to cover this result as a news story by qualitatively describing the extensions of the operations of addition and multiplication that provide a rigorous basis for the hand-waving in the video. But Overbye doesn't attempt this. Instead he goes to a Berkeley math professor pimping a book, who says that the calculations involve three parts, one which goes to zero, one which goes to -1/12, and one of which goes to infinity. Which, last says the math professor, we can just throw away.

      It's bad enough that this explanation is opaque, but it's not even what the video shows. The video shows three equations, one which "goes to" 1/2, one of "goes to" 1/4, and the last of which is the series we're interested in, the sum of the natural numbers, which can be expressed in terms of the other two parts and which we can thus "solve" to get -1/12.

      Delete
  6. Trolls are disgusting, but you know that.

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    1. They ruin and destroy without blinking an eye. Right, left, and in between, we are all collateral damage to their ambition.

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  7. Walker needs to stop saying "you know." You know? Very distracting filler.

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    1. You know, Anonymous @ 6:32, I agree with you. Except Walker used his "you know's" in one case to sanwhich one of Somerby's favorites, "we don't know."
      I am just disappointed he left out "just" before "don't know." As you may know, the "just" in "we just don't know" empahisizes we really, really don't know.

      Delete
    2. You really can't spell either, you know? Maybe you just don't care.

      Delete
  8. OMB (Will it be Rice-a-Redux or Shish-Ka-BOB?)

    This is an interesting commentary thread. It nentions an event BOB has yet to weigh in on, offering scandal plagued BOBfans and BOBcritics a chance to speculate on what the OTB will do when he addresses the topic.This is a rare chance to play "What Would BOB Do?"

    The latest comments from the Little Serbian of Ft. Lee

    We will wager, and thus start with the assumption BOB shall address it, because MSNBC did Friday night.

    This opportunity started with Anon. @ 12:52's statement that "Sokolich has now revised his statement yet again, adding considerable more detail and backtracking on his original claim that his endorsement had not been sought." We like this comment for reasons we reveal later.


    WHAT WILL BOB DO?

    It will be interesting to see if BOB treats the latest Sokolich news as he has taught us a scandal hunter would treat it (or indeed as the Christie people already have) as a contradicition from Sokolich.

    Or will he treat it, as he has the answers Christie has gven to different questions from different people about his actions and timeline of knowledge, as mere additions to the same story Sokolich has always told.

    The reason we liked the first comment was it contained the paradox facing our OTB. It says Sokolich was adding more detail. Then it says he was backtracking on a previous claim.

    It goes on to define that claim, stating that Sokolich claimed his "endorsement had not been sought." We like this, because BOB has two claims, one from the commenter that Sokolich made a claim, and the other the claim of Sokolich himself. Two chances to call a claim "fuzzy," as he has other claims.

    Finally BOB might have to defend TPM. The original commenter seems to have cited TPM as the source for his claim about Sokolich's claim. TPM dropped key portions of the quote from Sokolich to CNN, just like others dropped parts of Susan Rice's statement. Then TPM had to compare this out of context quote to the NY Times interview to make the backtracking judgement. Also, TPM actually covered and mentioned the possible contradiction in real time. something that counters BOB's meme about liberal media ignoring what doesn't fit the group meme.

    Another commenter linked to actual source of the latest interview, which comes frrom the Bergen Record. They make no reference to backtracking or a specific claim Sokolich made that his endorsement had not been sought. BOB has applauded their work in the past. We wonder if he will look at their work again before he weighs in.

    You see, dear readers of either BOB tribe, you cannot take a single line from Sokolich out of a whole CNN interview without doing to the Mayor of Ft. Lee what the evil media did to the U.N. Ambassador. But if you look at the whole CNN interview, then what he said to the NY Times after that, and told the Bergen Record this week seems to merely add details, just as Christie, according to BOB, has been doing. They could all be a lie, but not a contradiciton.

    We look forward to your thoughts. We look forward to the future handiwork of the OTB.

    KZ

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    1. Yes, KZ, it would be interesting to see what details Bob adds to his continuing tale of the Mayor of Fort Lee, who began his career on this very blog as Malala and would suggest footwear on posteriors only if tricked into it by some vile MSNBC host.

      (An aside, that very same MSNBC host is now "Gallant" for the brilliant way he says, "we don't have the evidence yet," in sharp contrast to another (dare we name names?) vile MSNBC host who repeatedly says "we don't have the evidence yet" but apparently in a manner in which Bob can't hear.)

      Unfortunately, like Our Own Bob, we are getting lost in the tall weeds of our own random thoughts. Let us focus again that this blog is about the media, not about politicians, and if true to his word, Bob will say nothing about Sokolich's suddenly refreshed memory. In other words, he will take his cue from the diminishing Team Christie and offer "radio silence."

      But then nothing has been journalistically disproved so everything is still possible.

      And among the possibilities (carefully noting that we don't have the evidence yet):

      1. Bob might claim Sokolich's new details mean that the motive is still unclear, and that this could all be about a "study" done with the best of intentions, but executed poorly.

      2. It still doesn't mean (an interesting spin point already emerging among the Christie Defense Team) that Christie could pick Sokolich or any little Serbian for that matter out of a lineup. Thus it is possible that Christie was telling the truth, just like it is possible that Christie has recited Gospel ever since this whole fiasco began, merely adding new parables.

      3. Rachel Maddow will weigh in, and we will be reminded as we have since her show debuted how much money she makes compared to the Mayor of Fort Lee, the Governor of New Jersey and the former Governor of Virginia whose haul barely surpassed six figures.



      Delete
    2. >WHAT WILL BOB DO?

      I'm guessing something like "Mayor Sokolich seems to change his story!"

      Delete
    3. Yes, the post in which Sokolich was elevated to the level of "a major player" and which included this priceless and oft-repeated line:

      "For ourselves, we have no way of knowing if there was any legitimate attempt at conducting some sort of real study."

      This is in sharp contrast to the post entitled, "What has Christie actually said?" in which Bob muses that since we don't know if Wildstein's attorney has the goods, then Christie could be telling the truth.

      Besides, Christie could still be telling the truth if he learned about the lane closings on Sept. 13 -- getting up early to read the Bergen Record before Foye ordered the lanes re-opened.

      Except that date is no longer operable after Chrstie's radio interview, in which he assures caller Carol Ann that he would have been on it in a heartbeat had he known. But he didn't know until Oct. 1.

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    4. I knew trolls did not go to church.

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    5. Did you text that on your Smartphone from the front or the back pews?

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    6. Blackberry. And my megachurch has theater seating, thank you very much. I'm in the balcony. We can't afford the lower level tithe since extended unemployment ended.

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    7. While the insight of you two is helpful, have either of you heard of the separation of church and blog?

      Delete
  9. I am disgusted at you people. Nobody has discussed Zernike who is a really terrible journalist. She has misled everyone from the beginning, including TDH when he said Wildstein was Christie's childhood friend and a proven liar.

    Zernike's article is disgusting. I am sorry TDH covered only a tiny portion of it. It is all an effort to show what a good blogger Wildstein was and how he changed careers to become a blogger and then rose to real power. I can't understand why TDH left that part out of this post. It really shows her bias.

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  10. this post is just another example of how far this blog has descended into deceit and lies in order to further a twisted agenda borne out of jealousy and hatred. it has never been more obvious that inside bob’s soul is a deep hatred of successful pundits and reporters while at the same time longing to be one of them. the constant mention of salaries proves he wishes he was one of them, going to their parties, eating at their brunches, playing golf and tennis with them. but instead bob sits at home alone search nexus trying to trip them up on some little thing. as KZ repeatedly points out Maddow and company are doing top notch journalism. they called the bridge scandal from the beginning while bob got it wrong.

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    1. deceit ... lies .. twisted agenda ... jealousy ... hatred

      I'm sure this will be your last comment here. Who would want to so much as dip a toe into a cesspool like this one? Don't let the cyberdoor hit you in the metaphorical ass on the way out.

      And that will be what's called a win-win. You won't have to read such distasteful blog entries. And for others of us, the absence of your oh-so-insightful analysis into the mind and "soul" of the blogger might make room for a discussion of journalism issues.

      Here's a hint for making cogent criticisms on the next blog you read: if you think Darlin' Rachel is doing "top notch" journalism and that KZ is your gold standard, you're doing it wrong.

      Delete
    2. OMB (lower case guy guy errs)

      Please do not turn the word of Zarkon into zirconium to polish your potato laden prose.

      We almost get starch in our shorts when someone suggests we praise the perspiring pimp of piddle.

      We do not share the view of the OTB that she cometh from Salem Pond to notch nooses or dunk derelictors
      of dubious doings. We would, however, share the sentiment she is Rachel the Ratings Raiser.

      Also, we cannot with all certainty claim, fuzzily or with absolute certitude that BOB has gotten things wrong. We think BOB has covered so many bases and fannies that surely a diligent BOBfan will be able to point eventually to something he suggested or implied which may be right. We don't know. It is possible. All things are.

      KZ

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    3. Why thank you Mr. rat. On our planet gold is as common as rodent droppings. We aspire to much higher standards.

      Which is why we add, because we forgot to repeat ourselves like BOB so often does; We neither praise nor fault Maddow. We simply think BOB is often Maddowesque rather than Malalaistic in his commentary aimed at her and other journalists.
      He simply can do better. We hope he does.

      KZ

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    4. The commenters have proven the foamy-mouthed blogger wrong and disproven his general thesis. Progressive leaders in the media are doing it right. They hit the nail on the head every time - positively advancing progressive interests while dwelling on relevant topics with the high standards of journalism. Ask KZ or watch any Maddow show. Jerk.

      Delete
    5. This excellent comment seems to be the second cousin of the work of the wonderful Douchebag Troll, a wickedly funny person known for insight into all manner of topics.

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    6. Yes, trolls always aver that they have no interest in the subject of the blog, it's who is doing the discussing that concerns them.

      If it was a conservative blog, they'd troll over conservative hypocrisy, if it's a liberal, it's over his hypocrisy...

      Yes...they spend all that time and effort insulting a blog, blogger, and people who enjoy both, not out of concern for the issue, but simply because you suck worse.

      This is obviously bullshit, but there is some truth in what they're saying and it is the most salient piece of info about trolls.

      Whether it''s you or Maddow, herself, if you or if she weren't saying what they wish to hear, they will try to shut you down. (For the cause of social justice....) You're just an easier target than someone with a tv show, but make no mistake, they would launch the same sort of harassment against anyone speaking heterodoxy.

      That is who they are and it is what they are.



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    7. "That is who they are and it is what they are."


      So true.


      Just like Martin Luther King said.

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    8. Yeah, long before there was an Internet, trolls were trying to shut people up.

      Delete
    9. How long before there was an Internet were they first spotted? Did they heckle Somerby's stand up routines? It that why it took him so long to open up to commentary? I am sure the wounds heal slowly from that lne of work.

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    10. "That is who they are and it is what they are."

      Cecelia Mc we trolls devote an entire Sunday (the first of Great Lent) to what we call the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

      In the next post, I will discuss the burden of proof when it comes to determining Patristic consensus.

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    11. Now that the mainstream press in covering trolls I hope TDH muses about the topic.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/british-woman-jailed-trolling-facebook-article-1.1605696

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    12. Anon 10:16pm, certainly at the time of Job via his "friends", and doubtlessly before that.

      Delete

  11. And yes, this btw will be one of my last comments here. I have decided to stop reading this column. Next week. (end of)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why wait? Rhetorical question -- please don't answer.

      Delete
    2. Both of you please stay. TDH needs you. Commenters love your insight and intellectual
      intercourse.

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    3. While enjoying a hot dog at the Sams Wholesale Club, I was speaking with my mother about this blog, blogger and its commenters. She agreed. KZ is right. Progressive media need no criticism. And if it did - it should be done properly!!

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    4. God bless you and your mom for spending quality time together, talking about improtatn events, and helping the Walton family in their time or trouble.

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  12. So call me curious.

    Why does Bob keep the notion of a traffic study, no matter how incompetent, alive?

    Didn't Wildstein comply with the subpoena for documents? Were there any documents indicating he asked for anything in writing from anybody that would resemble the beginning, middle, and end of a real traffic study of any kind?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The evidence is ambiguous.

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    2. I suggest you appear to have implied that before.

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    3. We walk on very unstable ground indeed when we ask "Why?" According to Bob, one cannot even declare that a crime has occurred until the motive is firmly established by process of careful elimination. One must disprove, on a journalistic basis, every other possible, innocent explanation, especially "human error."

      But were one to speculate before the evidence is in, now that it is "Gallant" to speculate as long as you note that the evidence is not yet in, one might suspect that Bob's clinging to "traffic study" as surely as a baby chimp clings to his mama might be in some odd way connected to his long history of loathing Rachel Maddow.

      But of course, we don't know yet. The evidence is not yet in.



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  13. Replies
    1. Chris Christie invented the Internet.

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  14. Do you realize that Bob could single handedly provide the ballast to right the uneven weight of our whole national discourse if he took to defending Woody Allen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of folks here are always going to pretend they don't know about the 4 minutes.

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    2. Not me. That's the amount of time it takes for you to boil a 2-minute egg.

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