In late November, The NEWS JOURNAL carried a page-one story about the possibility of two University of Delaware grads (and football fans) facing off in 2016 for the Oval Office: "University of Delaware grads Joe Biden, Chris Christie, could duke it out in 2016". (Picked up by other Gannett newspapers in December)
The article was fun to read, but even then, the prospects of Joe Biden and Chris Christie winning their parties' respective Presidential nominations were rather slim. Not impossible, but it would require an extraordinary alignment of the stars.
It would seem the chances of such a match-up just got dimmer.
Pretty incredible: The released excerpts from the new book from former Secretary of State Bob Gates - that Joe Biden "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy & national security issue over the past four decades" - led some morning newscasts, at least on CBS Radio. (Although Gates' characterization of Biden was so broad, so overreaching, that even some normal critics of Biden rushed to the Vice President's defense. Was this political payback for Gates' failed confirmation - the first time - as C.I.A. director under President George H.W. Bush, and Senate Dems at the time blocked it because of Iran--Contra?)
And then during CBS's afternoon drivetime newscasts, the Chris Christie story either led, or posted high.
In case you've been in a cave, here's the Christie story in a nutshell: Newly released e-mails showed the traffic nightmare created on the George Washington bridge had been engineered by some of Governor Christie's closest staffers -- political retribution for the failure of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich to endorse Christie as he steamrolled his way to re-election.
On first consideration, shifting or closing a couple of lanes may not seem like very much. But the maneuver created massive traffic gridlock throughout Fort Lee, where motorists enter the bridge to Manhattan, New York, each day.
An "outraged and deeply saddened" Christie denied any direct involvement, insisting an aide had misled him. Indeed, the e-mail exchanges do not personally implicate the governor. But they surely fly in the face of the governor's assertions that his staff was not involved, and that the closings were not punitive.
Sometimes scandals don't bring down politicians. For example, as here in Delaware over political contributors. Or complicated, arcane land-use cases.
But this one is incredibly simple, and that's why this is so politically corrosive for the governor. No one likes traffic gridlock. To think that nightmarish traffic gridlock was related to political retribution... Well, this could permanently damage the Christie brand. Suddenly, his no-nonsense pugnacious "bull-in-a-china-shop" demeanor - which he managed to turn into a political asset - becomes a political noose. A headline from The ASBURY PARK PRESS: "Is Chris Christie the 'Thuginator'?"
Plus, the lane closures reportedly delayed emergency responders dealing with at least four calls in Fort Lee, including a call about a 91-year-old woman who lay unconscious, suffering cardiac arrest, who later died.
From New Jersey.com: "As closure-related traffic clogged the borough, response times doubled for at least two medical calls, according to a letter from the coordinator, Paul Favia, to Mayor Mark Sokolich. The letter was dated September 10, the second day of the closures, which were lifted on September 13.
The call involving the elderly woman, who was in cardiac arrest, came in at 8:43 a.m. on Monday, Favia wrote. While she was later pronounced dead at Englewood Hospital, Favia did not attribute her death to the closure-related traffic. However, he did write that, 'I would also like it to be noted that paramedics were delayed due to heavy traffic on Fort Lee Road'..."
Christie has cast himself as a pragmatic executive, running an airtight office in which hardly anything happens without careful vetting first. So suddenly a rogue staffer unleashed this gridlock? Will people buy it?
This story appears to have "legs", none good for the governor. Even before the latest bombshell revelations, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee was seeking answers from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey about why a major access point to the George Washington Bridge had been unexpectedly closed.
The fallout: Few people in either political party are rising to defend Christie; surely some think the governor is getting his comeuppance.
So, who would you rather be right now? Vice President Biden, relentlessly skewered by a former Defense Secretary (of the other party) in a new book, or Governor Christie? I submit the answer is simple: Joe Biden.
Late from The Associated Press:
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Governor Christie says he is responsible for the actions of his aides, who engineered traffic jams as political payback to a town mayor.
Christie spoke at a news conference Thursday. He also announced the firing of a close aide at the heart of the scandal.
Deputy Chief of Staff Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. E-mails and texts show that she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election.
The governor announced her firing Thursday, saying she lied to him. The governor has denied knowing about the lane closings.
The governor also went to Fort Lee on Thursday to apologize.
From POLITICO, an analysis of Governor Christie's marathon news conference...
It is becoming obvious that no one should believe anything CBS says about anything...
Lara Logan on Benghazi.
John Miller's free PR for the NSA (then takes a paid PR job with the NYPD).
Anderson Cooper discussing his mother's oral sex preferences on air.
And the guy behind Rather-gate is in charge of it all.
Not that the other networks are much better. ABC is fronted by a former beauty contest winner who worked for Tricky Dick. NBC is fronted by a former broadcast industry lobbyist.
Biden for president? Still beating that tired old drum? Besides being a crook and an idiot, he would take office at age 74 and if re-elected and able to stay alive that long, would be in office until age 82 - four years older than Ronnie, the Alzheimer president, at those points.
If Obama were smart (a big IF), he'd push Biden out after the mid-term elections and appoint an heir-apparent.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 8:30am
Allan: I agree. Sure, Biden being condemned by the other party isn't news; I'd have been shocked if former Secretary of State Bob Gates had praised Biden. Now THAT would have been news.
As far as neither party coming to Christie's rescue, the DEMS don't want him as a candidate in 2016; he'd take too many votes away from Hillary or whomever their candidate is [they want someone like Rand Paul or some other TEA party type]. The G.O.P./TEA, on the other hand has two points-of-view, in my opinion. First the TEA side of the G.O.P. doesn't like Christie as they consider him to be DEM lite and not a true Republican [RINO like Mike Castle]. The second side of the G.O.P., the few moderates left in the G.O.P. who might normally support Governor Christie, aren't coming to his rescue either, because do they want to be seen as defending such an abuse of power?
As with the President, the Buck Stops at the Governor's Desk. In your story, you mentioned that EMT vehicles couldn't get through to help seriously ill folks and one, the 91-year-old died. What a campaign slogan for the DEMS if Christie runs for Prez probably airing during CBS Radio News: Do you want your next President to be a man who's henchmen deliberately tied-up traffic in political payback which caused an elderly woman to die, because the paramedics couldn't get to her in time? Do you want those same henchmen running Washington D.C.??? Vote Hillary, she'd never do that. Paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
I like Governor Christie, and believe he could be a great Prez, but unfortunately, I believe he just "screwed the pooch". The TEA folks in the G.O.P. are probably high-fiving it with each other, as their biggest competition to getting control of the G.O.P. for the 2016 election, just seriously shot himself in the foot.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 10:22am
MikeFromDelaware is once again going out of his way to sound like an idiot. He says "The DEMS" (thinking this makes him sound cool) don't want Chris as a candidate. Then he goes on to point out how vulnerable Chris is now because of the Ft. Lee traffic jam and how "The DEMS" would exploit it. He claims Chris would make a "great president" even though he either deliberately used his office to cause traffic jams in Ft. Lee or allowed them to happen. As a fundamentalist, he is also gullible enough to believe politicians who say they didn't know what the staff was doing (although it is their job to know).
A recent study shows a correlation between religion and brain damage. MikeFromDelaware is a perfect example.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 11:37am
Bill, how does a personal attack on Mike add anything positive to this conversation?
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 12:11pm
I'm surprised the negative stories have already begun against Christie... I thought he had one more year of "protection" from the "media".
Gates' comments about Biden's foreign-policy failures seem to be grabbing the headlines over his (Gates') comments on Hillary/0bama "playing politics" in Iraq and Afghanistan decisions... neither of the two supported the war effort or the troops (according to Gates and Petraeus). Hillary is being protected by the media (as seen in the recent NYT story attempting to re-write Hillary/Benghazi)...
Christie can survive this story if the press lets it drop, and Hillary/0bama would be toast if the media ever pursued them for the same types of stories.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 12:47pm
Well, Christie has thrown the aide in question under the bus. Once more, somebody takes one for the team.
Let's face it, political aides spend their entire waking lives trying to please their boss. They make it their mission in life to know what their boss wants from them. If this aide deliberately closed GW bridge-ramps and snarled traffic in Ft. Lee to screw the mayor, a political opponent of Christie's, she must have had good reason to believe this is how Christie wanted opponents dealt with. She probably also knew if - in Stephen Sondheim's words - the spit hit the fan, she'd take the fall for Ol' Chris. And then quietly get rewarded for her loyalty with another job.
The suckers among us want to believe, as "people of faith," that this politician who says things they want to hear will be different from all the other politicians who have let them down and screwed them over in the past. This comes very close to the classic definition of "insanity."
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 1:19pm
Another Star Trek device is here: The medical tricorder.
On Christie, I predict that the scandal will grow. Already there is leverage within his statement that he was lied to by a "member" of his Staff, yet there are three people in the e-mails who pop out as guilty, not just one...
That statement may come back to haunt him....
Other than that, he is still the only real candidate that Republicans have who can even think of winning the Blue states necessary to achieve office, so, he will probably be quickly forgiven, except by those in Fort Lee, New Jersey...
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 2:08pm
Ok... the official, David Wildstein, called before the NJ Legislature, just pleaded the Fifth to all questions...
Yep... It is still growing... as I just heard here...
Good thing Christie barely knows this high school classmate he put in charge of Port Authority who’s now pleading 5th, or this would look bad....
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 3:33pm
Kavips: I too heard that on WDEL, David Wildstein taking the Fifth on the advice of counsel. Governor Christie gave a two-hour press conference. I can't help but wonder about the ole plausible deniability thing. But yet on the other hand, I can't believe - as smart as Christie is - that he'd risk his shot at the White House in 2016 just to deliver payback to some mayor who didn't endorse him.
A question comes to mind that I've not heard the media ask: Fort Lee is in NJ, not NY. The traffic tie-ups involved getting to and from the G W Bridge into and out of NYC. Wouldn't Fort Lee be serviced by paramedics and hospitals in NJ rather than NY? So why did the bridge tie-up affect the paramedics in NJ from getting to that 91-year-old woman? If what I just asked is correct [don't know a thing about the Fort Lee area, thus the question], then that might imply that the media are looking to make this into a bigger issue than it might have been. Why didn't the local NJ paramedics get to that 91-year-old woman and take her to a NJ hospital? That part of this story doesn't make sense to me.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 3:38pm
I just Google-Mapped hospitals near Fort Lee, NJ, and there are 8 nearby hospitals on the Jersey side of the river.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 5:27pm
kavips: I thought you blogged over on TheKos that you liked Rand.
Personally, I hope Scott Walker (not to be confused with Walker Texas Ranger) is the Republican candidate for prez in 2016. Walker talks like a Wisconsin hockey player (i.e. blue collar/no-nonsense) and connects great with people who are sick of Washington insiders.
Too bad this scandal will probably stick to Christie like super-glue... unlike the many scandals tied to Hillary and "the bestest president ever ever"
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 5:42pm
This is not Christie's first statement.
First he joked about it and claimed it was not important.
Then he said he knew nothing about it.
Then he started blaming staff.
Then he said staff lied to him
Then he fired somebody.
Just another weasel.
More misinformation and non-information from MikeFromDelaware. When traffic backs up at the bridge ramps, it backs up into the streets near the bridge and backs up everything. The downtown area of Ft. Lee has heavy traffic under the best of circumstances. It doesn't take much to bring it to a halt. Once again, MikeFromUnaware doesn't let the fact that he doesn't know what he's talking about stop him from voicing an opinion. He's ignorant on this subject yet arrogant and unashamed.
Jim: Discrediting this font of misinformation and religious proselytizing would forward any conversation.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 6:45pm
This may be good news for Ted Cruz and the TEA party, therefore resulting in good news for America.
Perhaps I won't be voting communist after all.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 10:12pm
In response to Mike's original analysis, once again the double standard against Republicans comes into play here. So far, Obama has gotten away with Benghazigate (which also includes Hillary), IRSgate, Healthcaregate, and who knows what other gates we haven't opened yet.
Personally, I think Obama, Christie, Hillary and Bill along with all their henchpeople should do hard time working highway construction on a chain gang. I'm sure we could find plenty of "shovel-ready" jobs for them.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 5:28am
Oh by the way, I forgot about spygate, and while we're at it, let's throw in EPAgate and FDAgate.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 7:02am
Mrpizza: I agree that there does seem to be a double-standard, but that still doesn't make Christie's people doing such a thing, right or ethical.
But because of that double-standard, I later asked the question: Why that traffic problem to & from the bridge caused the NJ paramedics from getting to that 91-year-old woman when there are 8 nearby hospitals on the NJ side of the river? That implies to me the media bias against Christie.
Note given the general bias here too by most here; no comments on this blog on that question by anyone.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 7:30am
MikeFromDelaware: Are you illiterate as well as ignorant? I explained to you, making it as simple as I could, that when traffic to the local bridge approaches backs up in Ft. Lee is backed up, it causes gridlock in Ft. Lee. This was not about cross the bridge. This was about getting through downtown Ft. Lee. What part of that can't you understand?
"A question comes to mind that I've not heard the media ask..."
They didn't ask it because it's an incredibly stupid question. Even for the media. Or did you just listen to CBS, which is going to boil this down to a few sensational seconds for out-of-town listeners?
Write on the blackboard 100 times: IT WASN'T ABOUT CROSSING THE RIVER. IT WAS ABOUT GRIDLOCK IN FT. LEE.
It's one thing for you to not know and to act like you do, passing guesses off as fact. It's another for you to have the facts and to ignore them in favor of your own supposition.
Here's something else the media aren't asking. The George Washington Bridge is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Christie appoints half the board. New York Governor Andy Cuomo appoints half. How could Christie's appointees close approaches for a fake "traffic study" without Cuomo's people knowing it (and going along)? Dirty politics and denying responsibility is nothing new to the Cuomos. His daddy, New York Governor Mario Cuomo, campaigning against Mayor Ed Koch, used the famous slogan "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo" and then blamed that on staff, too. But Italians have a tradition of dirty politics going back to the Mafia, the Borgia, and DiMedici popes, and the Roman Empire and before.
EXCLUSIVE: Top lawmaker leading 'Bridgegate' probe blasts Christie's claims that he knew nothing of the scandal as 'not believable' and says the public has seen 'just the tip of the cover-up'
* NJ Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski said Christie is either 'a governor who can’t manage his staff or one who isn’t telling the truth'
* He trashed the governor's presumed presidential aspirations, saying he can't even be trusted to run the George Washington Bridge
* It's inconceivable, he insisted, that a 'hands-on' leader like Christie might 'suddenly have a senior member of his administration go rogue'
* A long-time NJ political operative said Thursday that Christie political aide Bill Stepien was likely the shot-caller behind the bridge scandal
* The insider added that Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, was loyal to Stepien and may have taken orders from him
* Kelly's childhood friend told MailOnline that she was 'scapegoated' and called it 'a disgrace ... that she's the only one with egg on her face'
* Port Authority appointee David Wildstein refused to answer questions during a state assembly hearing, exercising his Fifth Amendment right
* Wisniewski described Wildstein's silence as 'the tip of the cover-up'
* A US Attorney has opened a criminal investigation after the punitive traffic snarl-ups caused by the bridge plot led to emergency vehicle delays
Kavips: Thanks for that additional info [the EMT letter above]. I hadn't seen or heard anything about that in the news stories I'd heard on the radio [CBS or NPR] saying anything about the reason the traffic pattern was a problem for those EMTs [I'm listening while at work and just may not have heard every single detail, thus the reason for my question]. That info answers my question as to why it caused that 91-year-old to not get timely EMT service.
Thanks for the info; now I know the rest of the story. This isn't over for Christie. This isn't just a matter of moving a couple of orange traffic cones onto a lane to jam-up a lane of traffic as an irritant [which would still be wrong]; this sounds like they essentially crippled a major part of that town with this so-called political payback... that may have cost a woman her life. I think the portly New Jersey governor's problems are just beginning.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 11:48am
I'm not Christie's biggest fan but if he's telling the truth about "Bridge-gate", his out-in-front approach to addressing the accusations against him are a breath of fresh political air and make him look pretty good; however, he's toast if any e-mails connect him to political bullying of a non-supporter.
Too bad (as both Mike and mrpizza point out) there is such a double standard in reporting...if "Benghazi-gate", "NSA-gate" or "IRS-gate" received the same attention as "bridge-gate", then Hillary would disappear from the 2016 presidential top contenders and "best prez ever" might be facing impeachment charges...
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 1:23pm
EarlGrey: I agree with both sentences.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 1:53pm
Earl: I guess you missed Christie's earlier statements in which he tried to brush off the whole thing and joked about it, then when he tried to deny it, then when he claimed staff lied to him, then when he threw one of his people under the bus... he's been doing the side-step on this for weeks.
MikeFromDelaware: Nobody cares what you agree with. You don't know what you're talking about.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 5:16pm
Bill: As I've said many times on this blog, I'm not a Christie supporter... if he's guilty, I have no doubt it will be found out by the media and feds. His story should change (even if innocent) as he learns, along with the rest of us, the details involved in "bridge-gate".
And Mike: I actually do happen to care what you think/believe...thanks for helping to keep this blog a good place to discuss our different opinions peacefully and with civility/respect.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 6:23pm
EarlGrey: Thanks !
I gather that Billsmith is still bashing me given your comment & one JimH made yesterday. What Bill hasn't picked up on is that when I said the other day that I wasn't going to read his posts, I wasn't kidding. Since I said that a couple of days ago I just scroll by his posts like I do annoying ads on web pages.
I've found the only way to deal with a cyber-bully like Billsmith is to not give him an audience with my eyes by reading his rants. For whatever reason Bill doesn't want to have a civilized, peaceful discussion, unless I & the rest of us agree with him. That's not a discussion; that's him telling us what to think. So rather than put up with THAT I now just skip his posts.
Something of interest for the Christians here, today I found a great Praise & Worship station online @ I heart radio.com. It is one of their own created online station's with a great selection of Praise & Worship (not CCM). What a blessing that was today.
Al Mascitti lost me as a listener yesterday when he used the Lord's name in vain more than one time, so it was no slip. I called Chris Carl left a message with my work number; never heard back from him so I'll assume he blew off my concern. So now I don't listen to Al at all, that's when I found that Praise & Worship station today. I'm 62, WDEL's advertisers don't care if I listen anyhow (past the age they want to reach with their ads), so it's not a big deal to WDEL that I tune somewhere else. I'm just shocked the station would allow Al to use the Lord's name in vain, whether or not the FCC allows it or not. I might be the only Christian who listened to Al's show, so being the only one to call in to complain, again no big deal for the station.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 7:11pm
Earl: Why would you value the opinion of a suck-up, who mouths off without bothering to inform himself and then persists in clinging to invalid opinions and false statements? Not reading what I post is no excuse for this pathetic troll. What I posted was commonly available to anyone who had gone to the trouble to read it. If he does not read me, I'm in good company - with the New York Times, the Daily News and NPR, which all had posted details as this story developed - details contrary to what this little pest posts. He has been cluttering up message boards (this isn't the only one) with dumb comments and uninformed statements, showing no shame or remorse when he is called on it.
I am convinced from this, though, that maybe there is a god who answers prayers - the prayers of the people in all the churches MikeFromDelaware has left.
Hey, DummyFromDummerware: It's MASCITTI! And I'm sure they're all broken up about losing you as one of their listeners. You say you're 62 but you sound like you're six. "Ooooh, Mommie, the man on the radio said a bad word."
All sorts or religious stations in the area... how come up have to go online to find one? You have written off all those churches you used to attend. Have you written off religious stations (in addition to this station), too?
I know you read my posts. You can't help yourself. Just like you kept saying you wouldn't reply any more and keep replying. You even promised a few times to go away and never come back and you broke that promise, too. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that.
And remember: "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 8:28pm
Mike from Delaware: Just to clarify, I agree with you that the double-standard doesn't make it right for Christie's people to commit crimes or ethics violations. That's why I went on to say that Christie and his dorks should be on the same chain gang with Obama and Hillary.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 8:32pm
Mascitti lost me years ago and I rarely listen to Jensen (only on Thirsty Thursdays)...the only time I regularly listen to WDEL is at noon (Loudell).
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 11:36pm
Mrpizza: I agree. No double-standard.
EarlGrey: I only now listen to WDEL for news/traffic/weather, Allan's midday interviews & Dave Ross from CBS Radio, also Sports (Eagles, Phillies, Westwood One football , playoff games ).
I'll sometimes also listen to the podcasts on WDEL.com of Face the Nation & CBS Radio's "Week in Review" newsmagazine.
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 5:22am
Now the wing-nuts are backing down. Look further back and they were going to give the fat Jersey bully a free pass. Now it's "no double-standard." Right!
Their description of their media consumption makes it clear why these two are so ignorant and misinformed. Also sounds like they don't read.
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 9:50am
No Bill, we're not backing down. We're doubling down, and we're going to defeat left-wing nuts like you and your buddy Kavips and your lover Mark Rice.
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 1:06pm
MikeFromDelaware is such a wimp. No brain. No backbone. No ballz at all. He's got his knickers twisted because Mascitti said a "bad word." He calls to complain. They don't call back. He comes here to cry and say he's never going to listen again. Of course, nobody here can do anything about his complaint. He's just blowing smoke out his ass.
He says the station and its advertisers don't care about him because he's 62 (boo-hoo, everybody feel sorry). Once again, he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Right-wing talk radio has an average audience of 65. It might be higher but that's the highest Nielsen records. Lots of advertisers don't care about geezers like him but they don't advertise on right-wing talk radio. So if he weren't just a wimp windbagging on a message board, here is what he would do: He would listen (one more time) and make a list of Mascitti's local advertisers. Then he'd print up a petition and take it to church tomorrow and tell everybody about what Mascitti said (oh no!) and get them to sign his petition. Then he'd take it to each of those local advertisers. But he won't do that. It's more fun just to bitch, whine, and complain.
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 7:00pm
Well Bill, isn't whine and complain what you do about Christians or anybody who disagrees with you? "Be not deceived, for God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." - Galatians 6:7
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 8:46pm
Billsmith: As I started to read Mrpizza's comment my eye caught the bottom of your comment above. I read your post. Unlike you I won't try to force someone to do it my way. I'll gladly discuss it with whomever, in this case WDEL's Chris Carl. He didn't even bother to return my call. No problem. I just won't listen to Al's show anymore. Not the end of the world.
It's not that Al said a bad word, but that he used God's name in vain as a cuss word. To you that's no big deal, but to someone who worships The Risen Lord Jesus Christ that is very offensive, enough so that since WDEL doesn't have a problem with Al's lack of respect for anything Christian, including his Son's name then I don't need to listen to Al's show.
So Al may have lost me as a listener, now he'll probably gain you as a listener. You could have a lot of fun calling in to Al's show, together you guys could have a real laugh fest bashing the church, Christians, & you both could use the Lord's name in vain. You sound like the audience Al & apparently now WDEL wants to attract.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 2:43am
MikeFromDelaware: You offered a reasonable response, so I will make one in turn. You have your reaction to Mascitti's use of words, as does everyone else. Other words he might use would set off the PC types. Given things you've said in the past, I doubt you would have much sympathy if Kavips came here and said he was offended by some non-PC term.
I don't know exactly what he said but such expressions have become a common part of every day speech. Do you cut yourself off from anyone you know who has employed them in your presence in real life?
Your reaction to Mascitti's phrasing is not exactly consistent with the standards of not judging and forgiveness you have advocated here in the past. Is cussing really worse than hate speech, for example?
I doubt that Mascitti actually did "take the Lord's name in vain." The lord's name starts with Y (in English). Speaking that word is what the commandment prohibits.
If and when an all-powerful deity is somehow offended, why do believers so often feel that they have to take care of it for him/her/it? If god has a problem with Mascitti, why can't god handle it?
Do you really think I'd listen to a talk show host because he swore on the air? I don't worry about it but I don't seek it out either.
As I have said, I don't listen to talk shows. I used to read Mascitti's newspaper column and I did like it. As a former newspaperman, he is the only true journalist at the station surrounded by radio weenies. You have said in the past you liked Mascitti's program. But when you had an issue with something he said, you complained to his boss. If your complaint had been effective, you could have gotten the guy fired. Talk-show hosts are fired all the time because somebody takes offense to some comment they make. Is getting somebody fired really what you consider a Christian act?
For the record, in moments of stress, excitement or upset, I do not resort to blasphemy. I prefer sexual or scatological expressions.
I don't agree with those who get upset by words. I see a former political operative (who claims to be a free speech advocate), who now runs a public radio station in Albany, NY, has refused to carry a Metropolitan Opera broadcast because the libretto includes one scatological word. The Met caved in and has since agreed to change the word. And there's that religious zealot lawyer who used to listen to Howard Stern every day for the sole purpose of finding "bad words" and complaining to the FCC. Some people need better things to worry about.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 6:44am
Q: What do Christie and Sharon have in common?
A: Both are lying in state.
Q: What do Bush and Sharon have in common?
A: Both were brain dead for eight years.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 6:54am
MFD: I believe the person at WDEL you need to file the complaint with is Rick Jensen. Jensen is the program director so he in effect would be Mascitti's "immediate supervisor". In fact, I even heard Jensen say once that he was the one who hired ole Big Al. Another suggestion I can offer you would be to put a call in to Pete Booker. He's the CEO over the whole shabang and has been with WDEL since 1967 so his standards may be less permissive than say Chris Carl who was probably just being born around that time.
I know you disagree with right-wing talk radio, but I would argue that Rush, Hannity, Jensen, and most others are biased in favor of God and Christianity and family values and have standards supportive of same. As alternatives to Mascitti, Glenn Beck and Dom Giordano are in the same time slot. Take your pick.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 7:31am
Billsmith: Thank you for your reasonable reply. One correction to what you wrote . I've not called the station prior to complain about Al's anti-Christian remarks, I've just turned the dial to another station.
I agree that God doesn't need me to take care of him, after all he is God. When out in public I generally do not hear JC used as a cuss word, when I do I cringe. For my ears that is far more offensive than hearing the four letter words that someone may yell in a moment of anger. If someone were to be in my home I would nicely ask them to please refrain from using The Lord's name in vain. I view a radio or TV host as being a guest in my home. So I called Chris Carl to make sure he knew of the issue. It wasn't my intent to get Al fired, but for him to stop using that expression, just as someone else would call if he used the "F" word that rhymes with duck.
So I won't call their advertisers, that's not my style. I simply made it known of this offensive occurance & since Mr. Carl didn't reply at all the matter is finished, I'll just tune in somewhere else.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 9:07am
Mrpizza: Rick Jensen used to be the PD of the station a number of years ago, I'm not sure he still is, but in any case as I explained to Billsmith above, I called someone in charge at WDEL [Chris Carl]. He could have at least called me back, so we could have furthered discussed it. He might have passed on my concern to whomever Al's immediate supervisor was [in fairness to Mr. Carl, maybe he did that and that person blew off the issue]. In any case I didn't hear back from anyone in charge at WDEL, so that apparently is their answer.
No I'm not going to call the president of Delmarva Broadcasting to complain. Again, that's not my style, neither is calling their advertisers. I'll just take my ears somewhere else. They have the right to do whatever the law [FCC] allows, even if I don't like it and, so if they offend me sufficiently and I can't get a reasonable resolution as it appears to be the case, I'll just listen to one of their competitors [1290 WWTX, 1450 WILM, 1210 WPHT, 90.9 WHYY-FM, 97.5 WPEN, 94.1 WIP-FM, or 610 WIP-AM]. It's not like WDEL is the only talk formated radio station in the area. I've got choices, so I choose to listen elsewhere weekdays from 9am-noon rather than hear Al Mascitti use the Lord's name, that is a deal breaker for me.
Billsmith: as far as the turn the other cheek thing goes, Yes that's why I'm not calling WDEL's sponsors, Mr. Booker, or the News Journal and using "Al Sharpton" tactics to force them to do my bidding. But turning the other cheek also doesn't mean I've got to keep going back to get my cheek whacked. So I've asked WDEL to stop allowing Al Mascitti to say JC, oh for C sake, G Damn [that is not God's last name], they've refused by their lack of response to me.
Apparently those words are allowed by the FCC, and WDEL doesn't have a problem with their talk show hosts using them [cutting edge AM Talk Radio trying to lure in the under 55 crowd I guess]. So I made my issue known and now will simply not listen since its not going to be fixed. They've got their rights, but so do I. I choose to not listen to shows that use my Lord's name in a derogatory way.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 9:12am
Earl/MFD: It is my understanding that Mr. Carl is now program director, having replaced Mr. Jensen in that role.
And, yes, I read that MFD e-mailed Mr. Carl.
As you may know, Salem is a religious broadcaster that also operates a "kinder, gentler" conservative talk network. It is heard locally on 990 AM (the former Wibbage) and online. Also the former Rush Limbaugh station on 106.9 is now a Christian music station carrying the K-Love network (also available online).
And I wouldn't give up on a reply just yet. It often takes people several days to go through and answer all their e-mail, especially when answering e-mail is not their primary job function. And I imagine a radio station can get a volume of listener emails. On top of that, Mr. Carl may want to listen to a recording of the program and talk with Mr. Mascitti before he responds. If the show you heard was on Thursday and you wrote - when? - Thursday afternoon or Friday, that's only one or one-and-a-half business days (and who knows what else he had going on at the time).
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 3:00pm
Billsmith: Good point, Chris Carl may call me on Monday.
I had phoned and left my work number, yes on Thursday. I was in the middle of something at work when this happened and didn't have time to stop what I was doing to call to get his email address and then go and write an email, so I just called the 478-2700 number, the receptionist connected me to Chris Carl's voice mail and I left a short message on his voice mail.
I had indeed forgotten about WNTP 990 Salem Talk [Dennis Prager isn't too bad - never have been a Mike Gallagher fan even when he was on WILM]. Yes the new KLove 106.9 [WKVP] is a great improvement over Family Radio [WKDN] and its short lived Rush/Hannity/Beck life as WWIQ. I tuned in for the first time Friday afternoon and liked much of what I heard.
For my ear K-Love 106.9 plays a better mix of CCM than WXHL Reach FM [Faith City's station], at least during the time I listened. K-Love didn't just play the CCM Top 40, but also some older CCM. There's a lot of great CCM/Praise music out there and it seems short sighted to only play the Top 40 CCM songs, but that's just me.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 4:18pm
MFD: Family Radio is back on 950 AM (the former "station of the stars"), despite the fact that the world hasn't ended.
Since I got a new car radio almost two years ago, which lets me listen to Internet Radio audio streams, Pandora (and others) and podcasts, I have listened to regular radio hardly at all. However, before that I did listen to Salem Talk Radio in the car some. I did not agree much of the time (but I did sometimes) but I always liked their approach, their presentation, and thought they made their case in a well reasoned and thought-out way. That is until they started airing Mike Gallagher, who used to be heard locally and whom I always considered an obnoxious, hateful jerk trying to out-Rush Rush.
I'm not clear now on whether you e-mailed or phoned about Mascitti but doesn't matter much. Me, I'd give the guy a week before I considered myself blown off. Unfortunately, business etiquette seems to have reached the point where it's become OK not to respond to customer communications. I've e-mailed NPR a few times and they send out an automated robo-email, which isn't much better than no response at all.
It may surprise you to know that from time to time I watch Joyce Mayer's program. With or without scriptural backing, she says a lot of stuff that makes good sense.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 5:44pm
Billsmith: I've watched a couple of her shows, some time ago. I'd agree she does make sense in her approach, the times I've watched.
I totally agree about Gallagher, he tries to be Rush. I've listened to Bill Bennett in the Morning on 990 & he's OK. Michael Medved & Prager are my two favorites on WNTP. Problem I have is at work I can't get their station there. I've tried their online stream. The network feed plays fine, but anything local (spots, traffic, weather, etc, BOOMS so I have to stop working walk across my repair shop/ lab to where my desk & computer are to lower the volume. Then when the spot break ends go back & turn it back up so I can hear the program. So I don't listen to 990 at work. It's been a while though since I've tried their stream at work. I'll have to give it a try.
I too hate the auto reply an organization & politicians send. However my guess is if I don't hear from Chris Carl on Monday then I probably won't hear from him. From other e-mail conversations on that old radio chat blog & one time I talked on the phone with him about something else (don't remember what that was ) Mr. Carl strikes me as a guy who does not milk a situation. Kind of a get 'er done kind of manager.
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 6:18pm
MFD: Sounds really annoying. WNTP's audio stream is available on their website and also on TuneIn, Streema and IHeartRadio. You might see if the same thing happens on the other streams. If it does, you might try listening on another Salem station. Or you could e-mail them and see how they do at responding.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 12, 2014 6:28pm
Billsmith: Good ideas. Thanks!
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 1:18am
N.J. lawmaker: Christie impeachment a possibility
Head of panel investigating bridge lane closures said it's "not credible" that Gov. Chris Christie was unaware of plot.
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claims no involvement in "Bridgegate" despite spending hours with his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, on the day Kelly was receiving messages related to the shutdown of George Washington Bridge lanes.
The head of the New Jersey Assembly panel investigating the politically motivated lane closures said that's a reason Christie's claim to have been unaware of the plot is "not credible." ...
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 4:14am
In light of the above post regarding Christie and Bridgegate, I'm hereby declaring 2014 the "Year of the Tea-Bigot".
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 6:38am
This is amazing. Innocent until proven guilty, but it's looking more & more like Christie knew about the bridge lane closures. I'm assuming New Jersey state legislators, similar to members of the U.S. Congress, would be the ones to start formal hearings that could lead up to impeachment.
Hard to believe someone like Christie could be that stupid. This certainly will change G.O.P. fortunes for 2016. If Christie is impeached, that pretty much leaves only the TEA folks in the G.O.P., as the DEMS' path to keeping the White House would be far easier. This would remind voters of the Watergate mess with Tricky Dick Nixon. G.O.P. dirty tricks. Not a good thing for the G.O.P.
If Christie were found guilty of knowing, and ends up impeached sometime this year, that could even impact the 2014 elections, thus giving the DEMS an advantage in preventing G.O.P. advances in either house of Congress.
Of course, this is wild speculation. It doesn't look good, but Christie is still innocent until proven guilty. However voters may not care. Any taint of such political bullying just might be all that's needed.
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 9:15am
MFD: Innocent until proven guilty if Chris goes on trial. In the court of politics it may be more like the old Nixon standard: Would you buy a used car from Chris? And maybe the high school class election standard: Would you want to be seen having lunch at the same table as Chris? Is Chris cool? Do you like Chris?
After the Superstorm with Obama and when he went on Letterman and joked about his weight, I liked Chris and Chris was cool. Now, not really. Now he's Tony Soprano.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 10:21am
Bill: Excellent point. Perception is everything in politics. Even IF he's totally innocent, the perception is getting stronger that he did know something.
Sadly for Christie, as he's not well liked by many within his party [the TEA folks who are the most vocal within the GOP] he doesn't even have the GOP running interference for him as Hillary or Obama would have with the DEMS. Christie is out there by his lonesome.
Yea, no longer Chris the cool NJ Gov, but Tony Soprano, not a good perception for the public to have.
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 10:38am
MFD: Agreed. And even if he didn't "know," he sets the tone. He hires (and fires) staff. The governor's office revolves around him in what the Soviets used to call a "cult of personality." His people are driven to please him, to do what he wants, to advance his interests. Now this isn't just Christie. It seems to happen in any high political office, in non-profits and corporations, too. But it does seem to be ingrained in the "culture" of Christie's governor's office. And that says something about him. Do we really want that mentality in the White House (again)?
Seems Chris and Tricky Dick aren't the only ones with "enemies lists." Turns out Hillary had one, too. Kerry and Teddy Kennedy were at the top of it.
Wait, there's more. The feds are investigating Chris, too. Seems they think maybe federal disaster relief money was used to buy TV spots telling everybody what a great job Chris did with disaster relief after Superstorm Sandy. Your tax dollars at work.
Now Chris Christie faces Democrat-led federal investigation over the use of Superstorm Sandy relief funds for an ad featuring . . . Chris Christie
* $4.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development paid for a post-Sandy ad campaign touting New Jersey's recovery
* Gov. Chris Christie and his family appeared in the spots, and his administration awarded the contract to a politically connected firm
* Now HUD, prompted by a Democratic Christie rival in Congress, is probing the transaction
* Another bid, $2.2 million cheaper, would have produced the commercials without the Christies' cameos – just weeks before Election Day
* Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone have both gone after Christie over the ads
* The latest Christie flap comes as he's battling back from 'Bridgegate,' a scandal involving the use of traffic patterns to punish a NJ mayor
Isn't that fraud? If they can prove Christie misused that money, he might be serving a different type of term than that of a political term. He might get an all-expense-paid trip to Leavenworth.
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 1:30pm
If we did it, we might. But there's a real double-standard for the high and mighty and well-connected. Chris probably wouldn't even get Club Fed. Besides, think how much it would cost the taxpayers to feed the guy.
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