If Chris Wallace’s commentary immediately after Gov. Chris Christie’s news conference was any guide, he is not out of the doghouse with the GOP or Fox News just yet.
The first indication of Fox’s disenchantment with Christie was the fact that the network cut away from the news conference before it ended. The second was Wallace’s less-than-complimentary remarks. Wallace told host Shepard Smith:
What this was about was trying to turn the corner. Governor Christie was saying, “Hey, look, there was this exhaustive investigation. Months by former federal prosecutors. Tens of thousands of documents. Endless interviews. They looked at our government email accounts, our private email accounts, and they cleared me.”
…And he acted as if they had cleared him. And so what we got was the full Christie. At various points he was earnest, he was regretful, he was thoughtful, he was very (Wallace’s emphasis) combative with reporters. I stopped counting at about a half dozen times that he told reporters that their questions were editorializing – full of assumptions, riddled with inaccuracies. One poor fellow at the end, he said, “Either you can’t take notes or you weren’t listening” and called his question, “awful.”
I got a couple of questions about this effort to say that he turned the corner. One is, that that kind of confrontation which used to seem so charming – now that we know about what happened in Fort Lee and the closing down of the bridge lanes to the George Washington Bridge, I’m not sure people are gonna be quite so charmed by that kind of hardball attitude.
And in addition, he can say all he wants about how this was an exhaustive investigation, Shep, it was an internal investigation. It was his lawyers… They were hired by his office and while he may say that this clears him, the fact is that, as he pointed out several times, the state legislature is investigating it, the federal prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney, is investigating it and I think a lot of people are gonna say, “Hey, until we hear what these independent investigations have to find – and especially until we find out what the two key figures in this, that you mentioned haven’t talked… the two people most involved in this, and until they say whether they talked to Christie or not, whether he had told them or not, I think a lot of people are gonna say, “I’m not convinced yet.”
Smith said that Christie “needed a happy stack of black and white to take to (major GOP donor) Sheldon Adelson.” But even there, Wallace pricked holes in Christie’s balloon:
But I still think that a lot of people – both regular voters and viewers and also the smart money in the Republican party is still gonna say, “Well, look, I’m glad that Randy Mastro, the guy you hired, found you a clean bill of health and sometimes Randy Mastro at his news conference yesterday acted more like a defense attorney than an independent investigator, but until we get the clean bill of health from the General Assembly and the federal prosecutor, you know, you’re still hanging out there.”
Now, it could be that Wallace was just offering his own thoughts, but Fox employees tend to repeat the same talking points. Christie is scheduled to appear on The Kelly File tonight. Megyn Kelly's treatment of him will reveal more. She went pretty easy on Kelly's investigator, Mastro, last night.
For others on the right, like Hannity, Christie has been completely exonerated. I think my comment on this morning’s thread bears repeating here:
The right wing theme for the next month or so:
Christie has been found innocent!! Can we now get back to investigating Benghazi!!!
“Innocent” is what Slanthead declared on the radio yesterday (Thurs). And he said he even had “problems” once with Christie, for “what he did to Romney” (the buddy stroll on the NJ beach with Obama, that surely made Hannity’s skin crawl).
Anyone with half a brain (that excludes Hannocchio and almost all the rest at FNC) can see that this “report” will set the new standard as the epitome of a whitewash. Political textbooks in future years will point to this report as a watershed.
Dawn Zimmer, the brave mayor of Hoboken — who was a target of Christie’s slimy shenanigans — wrote in an e-mail: “Randy Mastro could have written his report the day he was hired and saved the taxpayers the million dollars in fees he billed in generating this one-sided whitewash of serious misconduct by the Christie Administration,”
When the REAL investigators give immunity to Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein, the truth will spill out, like a burst dam. It’s only a matter a time.
And I’ve been saying the bridge closing is only the tip of the iceberg.
Already today, great news as Christie buddy David Samson has up and quit as head of the Port Authority. There are numerous charges of dirty dealing hovering over Samson, for the way he funnel contracts to his own law firm, among other things
This whole thing is like one of those rocks in a wet forest; turn it over and look at all the maggots!