Friday, January 10, 2014

Chris Christie and the Media Double Standard

Time for some perspective on the trials and tribulations of New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Now that the first flush of excitement has passed, some journalists are comparing the coverage of the Christie bridge scandal with that of the multiple scandals that have plagued the Obama administration.

And they have found that, yet again, as the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, there is a media double standard:

Republicans operate under a double media standard that holds them to a much lower scandal threshold. In that sense the pathetic New Jersey traffic-lane scandal may be, as Mr. Obama likes to say, a teachable moment.

Teachable for the governor, that is. Whatever caused the traffic jam on the George Washington bridge, Gov. Christie had already alienated many of his fellow Republicans by his fawning attitude toward President Obama. He has been much less apt to criticize fellow Republicans than to lead the charge against the president. Lest we forget, Christie was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. His speech was tedious and boring; it failed to make the case against the Obama presidency.

All of which has made him a darling of the liberal media, the same liberal media that has been piling on him.

The Washington Examiner reports on the gross disparity between the coverage of Christie and the coverage of the Obama scandals:

The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours.

By comparison, that's 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama's IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center.

“While routinely burying new stories on the IRS scandal, the media practically fell over themselves to start taking shots at the potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee,” said the conservative media watchdog.

Will Christie learn a lesson from the scandal and take the fight to President Obama and the mainstream media? That is the real question.

The Journal also compares the Christie response to President Obama’s handling of the IRS scandal:

 We mention the IRS because Mr. Christie's contrition contrasts so sharply with President Obama's handling of the tax agency's abuse of political opponents and his reluctance to fire anyone other than a military general for anything.

Naturally, the Justice Department is at the ready to ensure that the Christie scandal is not forgotten:

Which brings us to the Obama Administration, which quickly leaked to the media that the U.S. Attorney is investigating the lane closures as a criminal matter. Well, that sure was fast, and nice of Eric Holder's Justice Department to show its typical discretion when investigating political opponents.

This is the same Administration that won't tell Congress what resources it is devoting to the IRS probe, and appears to be slow-rolling it. It has also doubled down by expanding the political vetting of 501(c)(4) groups seeking tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS tax-exempt shop and took the Fifth before Congress, was allowed to "retire," presumably with a pension. Acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller resigned under pressure but no other heads have rolled. Yet compared to using the IRS against political opponents during an election campaign, closing traffic lanes for four days is jaywalking.

Keep in mind, this same Justice Department has put a department lawyer who was an Obama donor in charge of investigating the IRS scandal. How many media outlets have even mentioned this fact?


Sam L. said...

Only some on the right, Stuart; only those on the right. The disparity is just so obvious.

Anonymous said...

More amazing is that we're talking about the porky gov'nah rather than today's horrible jobs report. It's like a litany of never ending media distractions from what's REALLY happening in real people's lives. -DG

Anonymous said...

Three things strike me about this latest media event (read: chattering class orgy):

1. Culture: The was a book excerpt in the past month about the 2012 campaign. Romney wanted to choose Christie as his running mate, but Christie couldn't pass the vetting process because of some questionable stuff with his brother, and an extensive list of demands from the Christie camp that seemed like celebrity-level perks. That kind of entitlement and those kinds of demands indicate a level of arrogance and entitlement. So Ryan ended up being the safer choice. Then Christie showed in his convention speech that he's not ready for prime time. So Peggy Noonan's comments in today's WSJ ring true: people on Christie's staff are acting like thugs in the Sopranos, and we might be wise to consider the source of that culture. It starts at the top.

2. Callousness: The entitlement of today's ruling class is truly breathtaking. Their lives are increasingly separate, and insulated from those they are elected to serve. Theirs is a career choice now (with incumbency being such an advantage with modern tactics) and they give themselves and their friends lots or status. The GWB incident shows extreme callousness toward the lives of ordinary citizens. We must demand accountability. But who gets to avoid scrutiny? ObamaCare is a disastrous fraud, and the public --the majority, which is middle class voters -- didn't ask for it, and didn't want it. Who cares... "Never let a good crisis go to waste," right? (the political operative quoted is now mayor of Chicago). No shovel-ready jobs, blaming internet videos, IRS intimidation, etc. Where are the jobs??? Christie got re-elected in a landslide because he did good work with the economy. Clearly this got to his head. Obama doesn't need to worry about stuff like this because the same rules don't apply to him...

3. Media Double-Standards: The (declining) mainstream news media is an 24-hour ideological infomercial for the Democratic Party. They act as a content filter and a cheerleading chorus for expanding Federal power centralized in Washington, D.C. (Read: Oz). Today's "yellow brick road" is the story arc of every news event according to mainstream newspeak: (a) There is a problem out there, (b) some victim class is suffering, in the form of (c) a single person on camera with a heart-wrenching story, then (d) cut to an activist or "expert" on the problem who says the effects are truly horrible and there is but one way to stop the pain, which is (e) the beneficence of the political class using (f) other people's money... and then (g) the story closes with a quote from a Republican who stands in the way of the expert's prescribed spending program or "reform" of an old one, and is therefore (h) a villain who is cold to the problems of "real working folks." Like Reagan demonstrated, the only ways through the media filter is around them or to use them, which Christie seemed to do deftly in his 107-minute news conference.

The bottom line of all of this is that today's government is a gigantic, unaccountable, groupthink-driven leviathan with enormous power. The mainstream media (embodied in the monolithic Columbia journalism school standard) acts as an enabler for the narcissists who are career politicians. Nothing will change until people start to refuse to comply with this kind of nonsense. All we have in the end is our refusal. Enough.


Anonymous said...

A parting shot about the arrogant culture of the political class, their callousness toward those they are elected to serve, and the sham Fourth Estate that enables them...

My hope is that the Catholic Church will be the first large-scale religious/social entity to stand up and be heard with a firm "NO" to the HHS mandate. It will go even better if the Church doesn't wait for a court to decide, and just says "no" unilaterally, as a statement of conscience, in the rom of civil disobedience. Go to jail. Let's watch as Eric Holder's minions haul a bunch of nuns in front of a judge and arraign them... on camera. It would be the sisters' finest hour. We'll have cloistered prisons. Revolutionary change begins with a refusal to conform to entrenched social conventions (read: what the cognoscenti determine is politically correct). "Render unto Caesar..."


sestamibi said...

Really something that the media seem less than interested in following up on two other well-known NJ scumbags, Jon Corzine and Bob Menendez.

Corzine stole millions from investors after leaving the governor's office and establishing his own investment firm, yet never did a day in jail. Menendez was fucking underage prostitutes in the Caribbean to the sound of media crickets back home. Note that his peccadilloes didn't come to light until after he was safely re-elected in 2012.

Anonymous said...


Get a grip.

Defrauded investors and alien child rape victims are collateral damage.

This is today's Democrat Party. They care about investor protections and saving the children.

How dare you question them...