Jewish World Review Jan 13, 2014/ 12 Shevat, 5774
When Is a Traffic Jam A Greater Threat to Democracy Than an IRS Scandal?
By Bernard Goldberg
"In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups."
This makes sense, right? All the IRS did was target political opponents of President Obama. A top aide to Governor Christie, on the other hand, caused a traffic jam. Sure it was a massive traffic jam. And sure the aide was both petty and stupid. She put the evidence in emails. But as the Wall Street Journal put it, " … compared to using the IRS against political opponents during an election campaign, closing traffic lanes for four days is jaywalking."
This hasn't stopped an epidemic of supposed "analysis" speculating about whether Chris Christie is a dead man walking, with some on the left suggesting that no matter what he knew or didn't know, he was the one who created a culture of corruption which gave his aides the green light to pull their stupid stunt.
The Times concluded its post-news conference editorial with this: "At this point, the governor has zero credibility. His office has abused its power, and only a full and conclusive investigation can restore public trust in his administration." Zero credibility? Wow, that would be good news for Hillary Clinton who might have to run against Christie. But I'm sure that's not what the Times meant. Right?
Anyway, it sounds like a federal investigation is in order. And it may be. It took about 10 seconds for Team Obama to leak a tidbit to the media that the United States attorney is investigating the traffic jam as a criminal matter. Good to know that Eric Holder would never do anything political. He's the Attorney General, after all.
A college pal who lives in New Jersey kept it pithy and got it right. He emailed me this:
"The contrast with Obama is striking. Christie fired the senior person on his staff this morning. Has Obama fired anyone? Has he accepted responsibility for anything at all? Of course not. Everything, everything is someone else's fault. We are continuously told that 'we're looking into it' on any issue. Nothing happens on Benghazi, on the IRS scandal, on Obamacare, etc., etc., ad infinitum."
As President Obama might say: Period!
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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.
© 2013, Bernard Goldberg