Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, leaving nothing but devastation behind in its wake and with just days until the election. So it's not that surprising that MSNBC is spinning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's gratitude to the president for, well, doing his job as some sort of campaign gold for Team Obama.
Take Tuesday night's edition of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, as guest contributors Joy-Ann Reid of The Grio and Steve Kornacki of MSNBC's The Cycle were brought on to comment on the compilation footage of a weary Christie, speaking warmly of the president. Without hesitation, they scoffed at the idea Gov. Romney could win the election now; politicizing a tragedy in the process.
In an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the network's political director John Dickerson stopped by to briefly discuss the impact Hurricane Sandy could have on the upcoming election.
The segment was primarily focused on how the candidates will try to sensitively make up for lost time on the campaign trail, but there was an underlying question. Who stands to gain the advantage as a result?
Yesterday, West New York, New Jersey Mayor Felix Roque and his son were arrested and charged with "gaining unauthorized access to computers, conspiracy and causing damage to protected computers" -- offenses which carry potential sentences of over 10 years.
At NJ.com, home of the Star-Ledger (print circulation now less than 200,000), one finds that the there is an even greater example of hackery than that involving political hacks allegedly perpetrating computer hacks. That would be hackery of the journalistic persuasion. In his coverage of the Roques' arrests, the Star-Ledger's Ted Sherman waited 19 paragraphs to directly tag Roque as a Democrat. Meanwhile, Sherman noted the mayor's support of Republican Governor Chris Christie -- twice (Paragraphs 5 and 20) -- and his short-lived endorsement of Joseph Kyrillos, the Republican challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. As will be seen, Sherman's shameful show of bias caps several months of disgraceful NJ.com coverage of Roque. First, excerpts from Sherman's coverage of the arrests, completely with shaky grammar (bolds are mine):
Has the New York Times Business section gone soft on former New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, now under the scandal spotlight for his service as chief executive of the failed financial services firm MF Global?
Saturday's Business Day story by Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess buried intriguing details that reflect suspiciously on Corzine under the bland headline, "Congressional Memo Sheds New Light on MF Global." The paper didn't even identify the scandal-plagued former governor as a Democrat.
On Saturday's World News, as he ended a report on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's dustup with a Rutgers University student who heckled him at a town hall forum, ABC correspondent Mark Greenblatt forwarded Rutgers Law student and former Navy SEAL Wiliam Brown's criticisms of Christie without noting Brown's history of activism in the Democratic party, specifically that he ran unsuccessfully for a state assembly seat.
The ABC correspondent instead forwarded Brown's complaints about Christie's temperament as if the Democratic activist were concerned about the health of the Republican party. Greenblatt:
ABC's World News this week failed to mention the development that former New Jersey Democratic Senator and former Governor Jon Corzine is mired in a scandal involving $600 million in missing funds from the financial firm MF Global which he headed until today.
The CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News so far have not mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation as they ran full reports on Tuesday, and on Friday both shows updated viewers after Corzine's resignation.
On Friday, Brian Williams related that a "prominent criminal defense lawyer" had been hired by Corzine as the NBC anchor read a brief item:
Does the New York Times fear a Chris Christie presidential run?
On Thursday reporters Michael Shear (pictured above) and Richard Perez-Pena issued the New Jersey governor a pre-emptive reality check in response to his speech at the Reagan Presidential Library: “Not All Buy Christie’s Assertions of Bipartisanship – New Jersey Governor’s Critics Say Acrimonious Dealings Accompany Accomplishments.” But the Times provided a lopsided portrait, either by leaving out the offensive things Christie’s opponents have said about him, or actually quoting Democrats insulting Christie as if that somehow proves Christie is offensive.
Something astonishing happened in New Jersey last week. A majority Democratic legislature and a Republican governor agreed on a measure that will cut benefits for the state's 750,000 employees and retirees.
Like Wisconsin and other states that are being forced to deal with large budget deficits caused mostly by sweetheart deals struck in more prosperous times between politicians who need votes and labor unions who deliver them, New Jersey couldn't afford to go on like this.
On Saturday, New York Times metro reporter Richard Perez-Pena treated as a serious breach of decorum a relatively mild metaphor New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie used in front of reporters in “This Time, Christie’s Tough Talk Draws a Wave of Criticism From Democrats.” The text box: “The governor uses violent imagery while talking to reporters about a state senator.” Yet the Times has almost completely ignored much harsher and explicit “violent imagery” used by Democratic politicians against Republicans.
Using harsh terms to attack his critics has been a regular feature of Gov. Chris Christie’s 15 months in office, and Democratic officials, wary of his and the voters’ wrath, have usually offered only a muted response.
But this week, when Mr. Christie, a Republican, used violent imagery in talking about a Democratic lawmaker -- a widowed grandmother, to boot -- Democrats saw an opening, criticizing him en masse and demanding an apology.
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."
New York Times reporter David Halbfinger filed from Trenton, N.J., Wednesday on Gov. Chris Christie’s recently unveiled budget proposal (“Christie Declares ‘New Normal’ in Proposing Tight Budget”) and again displayed a pro-Democrat double standard.
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:
David Halbfinger’s Wednesday New York Times profile of Connecticut’s newly elected Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy favorably compared him to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is winning fans for his insistence on budget discipline and his outspoken challenges to unions: “In Tackling Connecticut’s Finances, New Governor Criticizes Peer’s Approach.”
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.