January 16, 2014

Charles Blow suddenly perceives that the attack on Christie feels "unseemly and trivial and reeks of fear."

I wonder why?! Scroll forward to his 6th paragraph for the answer if it's not already obvious:
... and polling thus far shows Christie maintaining much of his home-state support.
Not just polling in New Jersey. National polling shows this too, but Blow doesn't mention that. He'd like to package this up and restore it to state-level politics, now that he sees that the national media — having gone big-time and hardcore on Christie — failed to destroy his national-level political aspirations.

Blow claims to be "bored" by Bridgegate, but I bet he wouldn't be bored if the polls showed the attack on Christie was working. If you're winning a fight, you think you look good, but if you're attacking and attacking and not getting anywhere you look bloodthirsty and desperate. Time to suddenly find this all so boring.

But I'm not going to let him get away with that. I'm going to say that the declaration that this is boring also looks desperate, and you are still bloodthirsty. You've just failed to draw blood here. You'll be looking for blood somewhere else, I'm sure, and that won't seem boring unless the polls show you losing that fight too.

Now that bullying Christie hasn't worked, it's time to get back to touching up the official media image of Christie the Bully.
To my taste, Christie’s bullying disposition is utterly inconsistent with the dignity of the presidency, but I am only one vote. Some people see charm in his crassness. That scares others who wish for a continuity election.
Wish for a continuity election? But what a hell of a refined way to say want Democrats to win in '16. You're making me "wish for" some straight talk, and I think this prissy style of locution does not absolve you of suspicions that your "disposition" is "bullying" too. Myself, I don't see "charm" in "crassness." I just want clear, direct, comprehensible speech.

If you read on, you'll see that Blow is still looking for blood. He's saying: Let's quiet down and wait for the "investigative firepower — both journalistic and legislative" to get at the truth.
If everything that Chris Christie said in his interminable news conference stands up to scrutiny, and anyone else found to be involved is fired, Christie is likely to survive this scandal....
Everything must be true. Any misstatement is death.
However, if that turns out not to be the case, his goose is cooked.

Either way, the focus on the scandal has taken too much of the focus off the meat of the matter: that for many progressives, this must be a continuity election.
Goose is cooked... meat of the matter....  The bloodlust is still there, but a new strategy is needed. Here's the full text of the paragraph — paragraph 3 — from which I took the quote in the post title:
[The point in politics where disgust becomes delight] is when political accountability veers into political blood sport, where partisans lick their chops at the idea of an opponent’s demise. It becomes unseemly and trivial and reeks of fear.
So it's all about how you look when you're bloodthirsty, and you've figured out that your partisans don't look good. You're telling them to behave more decorously, to walk away as if bored, and that there will be meat later, if not here, then somewhere else. Don't stand around slavering over this now. We're starting to look unseemly. And this appearance might be utterly inconsistent with the dignity of the media, which is, above all, dedicated to a continuity election.

Too late. You've been seen.

49 comments:

Bob said...

Tom Brokaw is telling them to cool it, also.

garage mahal said...

Do you think Christie is in cahoots with Obama, and this is just a distraction from ObamaCare and the Gates memoir?

garage mahal said...

Christie did actually touch Obama. Which makes him a RINO.

Scott M said...

Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton.

Continuity.

Carol said...

That's okay...the R's are busily trashing Hillary's reputation over Benghazi.

It'll all work out.

Henry said...

Christie’s bullying disposition is utterly inconsistent with the dignity of the presidency, but I am only one vote

Is Blow old enough to have not voted for Lyndon Johnson? Too bad. Goldwater could have used his support.

paminwi said...

I am a conspiracy theorist. I think the Feds gave Christie the OK to do the TV commercials with federal $ just so they could bash him with that fact during the Republican primaries.

Bob Boyd said...

I doubt Hillary will be framing her candidacy as a continuity of the Obama Presidency.

Michael K said...

"this prissy style of locution "

Is there anything the left says that isn't done in a "prissy style"?

Prissy is their thing. Anything else would sound Masculine ! And we can't have that.

SteveR said...

The dems don't need any help with Christie, all this attention at this point is wasted. Team Hillary is fully prepared. Cool it.

rehajm said...

...wait for the "investigative firepower — both journalistic and legislative" to get at the truth.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Bob Boyd said...

"because the political discussion about it appears to be devolving into pettiness."

In other words, even in scandal Christie compares favorably with Obama.

rehajm said...

Continuity election? Given the political incontinence of Democratic leadership...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

A continuity election would mean Republicans retain the House, Democrats the Senate and White House.

Birkel said...

garage mahal:
Nothing can distract from the Obama scandal. Real people have lost their health insurance. More people are going to lose their health insurance. Those are facts.

And despite rumors to the contrary inside your own fevered imagination, people tend to believe their own experiences over sycophantic nitwits on the internet.

Charles Blow wants continuity so more people will be thrust into the merciless grip of the federal government. He can Charles Blow me.

Nonapod said...

It certainly seems that the media is a bit obsessed with Christie, much more so than most conservatives are at any rate. I think the whole thing is boring too, but probably not for the same reasons Charles Blow does.

The phrase "Continuity election" is strange. I've never heard it before. I Googled it and didn't get the impression that it was a regularly used phrase, so I assume it's just an unusual grammatical construction.

virgil xenophon said...

"He can Charles Blow me."

I see Birkel beat me to the punch, lol.

Terry said...

Most of the elite media, including its news organizations, are based out of East Cost metropolitan areas. These organizations are staffed almost entirely by political liberals.
To these East Coast liberals, Christie was seen as a moderate Republican who might be a serious contender in the 2016 presidential election (in fact he is not and never will be).
Therefore he must be destroyed.

tim in vermont said...

"Christie did actually touch Obama. Which makes him a RINO." - Garage.


What makes him a RINO is that all of his defenders seem to come from the left.

garage mahal said...

Nothing can distract from the Obama scandal

Whatever happened to repeal/defund/delay? Haven't heard any buzz about that lately. Worse than slavery!

tim in vermont said...

Though I do get the feeling that a lot of liberals would have been OK with shutting down a bridge if it kept a duly elected legislature from convening and passing a law they didn't like, after having an election about that law that they lost, but blamed on "laundered money" going to the other side.

Just sayin....

tim in vermont said...

"Whatever happened to repeal/defund/delay?"

Uhh, they are running on it and appear to have scared the bejeesus out of the Senate Dems.

Once again, just sayin....

Matthew Sablan said...

"I am a conspiracy theorist. I think the Feds gave Christie the OK to do the TV commercials with federal $ just so they could bash him with that fact during the Republican primaries."

-- I'm just assuming incompetence on multiple ends. No need for anyone to be intentionally evil/ruthless.

garage mahal said...

Uhh, they are running on it and appear to have scared the bejeesus out of the Senate Dems.

I was reading a piece on Redstate bemoaning the fact that establishment R's are abandoning the crusade to repeal. Now it's "fix" ObamaCare. Noooo!

tim in vermont said...

I think that if you look at the new "participitory democracy" trend where you bus thugs to protest at whatever politician or businessman has been scapegoated as the latest bete noir by the Left and to attack their family... After expressions of "democracy" like that, after using the IRS to go after political opponents... Is shutting down a bridge for purposes of political payback really and abuse of power, or is it a form of "direct democracy"?

tim in vermont said...

Garage,
Remember when the House was going to run on Obamacare? How did that work out for them.

Yes it will have to be fixed. It is kind of hard to pretend that the system has not been pretty well destroyed as it was. For one thing, I am pretty sure that the final form of whatever new system emerges will be a lot less paternalistic (mandated benefits for political groups, for example), and less of a sop to the trial lawyers.

Insurance for a 55 year old is expensive enough without forcing them to subsidize the trial lawyers and "free" birth control, and pediatric dentistry, services they will likely never use.

Gahrie said...

Don't stand around slavering over this now. We're starting to look unseemly. And this appearance might be utterly inconsistent with the dignity of the media, which is, above all, dedicated to a continuity election.

The hypocrisy of savaging Christie, but giving Obama a pass on his actions during the sequester is also being noticed.

Brando said...

In the years post-Watergate, the "ju jitsu" strategy has become very effective for politicians facing scandal. They key is to sit back and let the media hound you, trying evermore to make your scandal into the next Watergate--they all want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. Don't lash out at them, don't give them more to pounce on, just make your denial/nondenial and watch them go overboard until they look like they're the ones bullying you. They will inevitably let their own momentum carry them too far, until the backlash against them rebounds to your own benefit.

This helped Clinton, when he was guilty of many wrongdoings but could count on the anti-Clinton elements in the media to accuse him of things like murder and selling secrets to the Chinese, to the point that the public didn't know what was real anymore. This helped Obama, because as long as people talk about whether he was born in this country or secretly Muslim or a Kenyan revolutionary, they were missing the damaging financial regulations and health care fiascos that might have done real damage during his first term.

Methinks Christie has learned this lesson. The public will be very sick of Bridge-gazi before long.

Shouting Thomas said...

I was reading a piece on Redstate bemoaning the fact that establishment R's are abandoning the crusade to repeal. Now it's "fix" ObamaCare. Noooo!

Since Obama has trashed the healthcare insurance system, can you suggest what other alternative is available?

You're being kinda silly. The old system is gone. Intentionally destroyed.

EMD said...

The media prematurely shot their wad and now they've got a mess on their hands.

alan markus said...

Whatever happened to repeal/defund/delay?

So far those items are being handled by the administration & Dems. Delay: website issues got that covered. Defund: real costs will overshoot projections, so Obamacare will not be adequately funded. Repeal: keep pissing people off & enough Dems will beg for repeal.

alan markus said...

Whatever happened to repeal/defund/delay?

So far those items are being handled by the administration & Dems. Delay: website issues got that covered. Defund: real costs will overshoot projections, so Obamacare will not be adequately funded. Repeal: keep pissing people off & enough Dems will beg for repeal.

Carl said...

Too late. You've been seen.

Wait...who's too late? By about two elections? In seeing the Stalinists for what they really are?

Basil said...

But is ok to lie about people getting to keep their health insurance when you know they won't be able to. Why is that lie not "disqualifying"?
Progressivism has even killed the free press. Is there nothing it can't kill or maim?

John Lynch said...

Continuity elections are the problem, not the solution. Anyone think that things are going well?

Alex said...

Was there ever a leftist so aptly named? :)))))

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you think Christie is in cahoots with Obama, and this is just a distraction from ObamaCare and the Gates memoir?"

No, the theory is that mainstream media in cahoots with Obama, and this is a distraction from ObamaCare and the Gates memoir. Not just a distraction. It is a story of some significance, but the extreme coverage, compared to the treatment of other stories, has to be considered cahoots or something of the cahoots ilk.

garage mahal said...

Study: Obama's Media Coverage More Negative Than Romney's.

The study found that Obama’s negative coverage exceeded positive coverage in 14 of 15 weeks examined, while positive coverage outweighed negative for Romney in six of the 15 weeks and was fairly evenly divided in four more.

Ann Althouse said...

(Deletion note: As stated in the comments instructions: "I delete a couple people all the time, whatever they say. These people should know who they are." If you respond to one of these commenters, I delete you too. And again: don't discuss deletions in the comments.)

garage mahal said...

If it's Sunday, it's conservative.

GOP lawmakers appeared on the Sunday shows nearly twice as often as Democratic lawmakers in 2011, a dominance far greater than the prior two years, according to a Roll Call database of Members' television appearances.

Where can I find this "liberal media"?

mccullough said...

I wonder if the opinion polls lack of movement on Christie is a testament to him, the weakness of the national media, or something else.

bbkingfish said...

Christie has blown his chance to become Hillary's VP.

Birkel said...

paraphrasing garage mahal:

How dare the guy who has shit the bed on so many things face negative reporting. It's unfair.

After all, the conservative guy with no power to negatively affect people's lives received better press than the guy with power who has overseen the worst economy since WWII.

This cannot stand!!
Stop reporting all the accurate, negative stories about just how lousy the current president is doing as president.

Waahhhhh!!!!

Poopie!

paul a'barge said...

Charles Blow should change his name to Charles Suck.

Reader John said...

Coincidentally, The Writer's Almanac had a poem, The Fight, this morning. The last 5 lines seem apt. http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2014/01/16

jr565 said...

I'm. Wondering if there is even any involvement of Christie,s underlings who were fired. Is there even a scandal here at all. Let alone one that implicates Christie.

Hyphenated American said...

Garage Propaganda:
"GOP lawmakers appeared on the Sunday shows nearly twice as often as Democratic lawmakers in 2011, a dominance far greater than the prior two years, according to a Roll Call database of Members' television appearances.

Where can I find this "liberal media"?"

Same article debunks the claim that republicans in general are invited more often than liberals:

"Sources at CNN and ABC point out that Roll Call's tally counts only Members of Congress; the shows generally achieve a partisan balance by inviting members of the Democratic administration — or President Barack Obama's campaign apparatus — to counter the appearances of Republican lawmakers who are the newsmakers in Congress."

Garage, did you miss this?

Hyphenated American said...

BTW, garage, your source did not include MSNBC in the calculation. Why is that? It also included GOP former lawmakers, and yet, ignored all DNC shills working for Obama. Why?

damikesc said...

The study found that Obama’s negative coverage exceeded positive coverage in 14 of 15 weeks examined, while positive coverage outweighed negative for Romney in six of the 15 weeks and was fairly evenly divided in four more.

You're citing an article published in April 2012...you know, well before the campaign was actually ongoing.

You also cite TV talk show appearances: Republicans appear to have owned the morning news cycle in 2011.

Can you argue anything RELEVANT?