Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
What appears to be important is that a Republican is involved in a scandal. No. Two scandals!
The Media Research Center reported late last week just after the news broke that aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a presumptive front-runner for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, apparently were involved in a traffic scandal, there had been 17 times more coverage on that issue than in the last half year over the IRS misbehavior.
The organization reported that the story broke Wednesday and accused the governor’s aides of punishing a mayor with a huge traffic jam after he refused to endorse Christie.
Within 24 hours, ABC, CBS and NBC flooded the airwaves with 34 minutes and 28 seconds on the topic.
MRC reported that since July 1, the networks allowed 2:08, that’s two minutes and eight seconds, coverage of the IRS scandal.
Now comes a report that Christie also is facing questions over the use of relief funds following Superstorm Sandy, when tourism ads were produced to help rebuild that industry in the region, and Christie and his family appeared in them.
Monday’s headlines blasted the issue on television, radio and in America’s newspapers.
But the MRC said there have been plenty of story opportunities on the IRS scandal, for example, including reports that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., confirmed the FBI and IRS were stonewalling his investigation.
And then emails revealed that Lois Lerner, who was at the center of the IRS fiasco, gave tea-party tax information to the Federal Election Commission – apparently in violation of the law. And the IRS apparently may have given confidential details to the White House.
The newest target of the media reporting was the apparent investigation of Christie regarding the ads.
“The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the embattled Republican, who is facing two probes in New Jersey of whether his staff orchestrated traffic gridlock near the country’s busiest bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his re-election,” the report said.
The report noted that Christie’s actions after the storm have been “widely praised” and illustrated his “straight-shooting political brand.”
But it also said the investigation could tarnish his chances for a GOP nomination in 2016.
The newest investigation will look at New Jersey’s use of about $25 million in relief funds for marketing campaigns to encourage tourists to return to the Jersey Shore.
The latest investigation was triggered by Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who wanted Christie’s actions examined.
Christie’s office has pointed out that the campaign was among the components of an “action plan” that the Obama administration reviewed and approved – in an effort to re-establish business for the stricken region.
The statement said, “Federal agency reviews are routine and standard operating procedure with all federally allocated resources to ensure that funds are distributed fairly. We’re confident that any review will show that the ads were a key part in helping New Jersey get back on its feet after being struck by the worst storm in state history.”
The earlier scandal erupted when emails from among Christie’s aides revealed they apparently were behind an order to close certain traffic lanes accessing the George Washington Bridge.
The result of was traffic nightmare.
Christie immediately dismissed a senior staffer and an appointee to the Port Authority, and the U.S. attorney is reviewing the situation.
Christie said he was humiliated by the developments.
“All the IRS did was target political opponents of President Obama. A top aide to Gov. 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,’” Goldberg wrote.
He pointed out the New York Times’ conclusion about Christie, when it said, “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?” asked Goldberg. “Wow, that would be good news for Hillary Clinton, who might have to run against Christie.”
One of Goldberg’s correspondents, he said, got it right, stating, “Christie fired the senior person on his staff. … 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.”
Investor’s Business Daily noted while misbehavior in Christie’s office should be investigated, the scandals among Democrats shouldn’t be ignored.
“The mainstream media that jumped all over Republican Christie have virtually ignored the Democrats’ IRS trouble,” the site said.
Floyd Brown, of the Western Journalism Center, in fact, wrote, “Christie did exactly what should be done when a scandal erupts. He’s disclosed all that he knows, apologized and fired the offending aides for lying to him.”
He continued, “In fact, in dealing with his own scandals, Obama has done the complete opposite of Christie at every juncture. And the president has a list of scandals that are much more serious than Bridge-gate.
“Sadly, the media has continually whitewashed and pooh-poohed Obama’s crimes.”
Even the left-leaning Mediaite noted MSNBC and CNN each had 142 minutes of coverage of the bridge issue over several days.
“The media have been raising the question whether Christie can be believed when he claims he knew nothing about it. Yet they are unsurprisingly reticent when it comes to Obama’s inexorable ‘I didn’t know about it until I read it in the paper,’ soliloquies he employs to excuse his and his administration’s irresponsibility,” he wrote.
“In fact the mainstream media have been AWOL in reporting just the few foibles and lies listed here: ‘I will have the most transparent administration in history;’ ‘The stimulus will fund shovel-ready jobs;’ ‘I am focused like a laser on creating jobs;’ ‘The IRS is not targeting anyone;’ ‘It was a spontaneous riot about a movie;’ ‘The public will have five days to look at every bill that lands on my desk;’ ‘It’s the previous president’s fault;’ ‘Whistle blowers will be protected in my administration;’ ‘I am not spying on American citizens;’ ‘It’s just like shopping at Amazon;’ ‘I knew nothing about ‘Fast and Furious”; ‘I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi;’ and perhaps the best of all, ‘I will restore trust in government.’ If any of these claims had been uttered by our previous president, the press would still be harping on them,” he wrote.