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January 31, 2014

Claim: Chris Christie Knew About Lane Closings
Kate Zernike Strikes Again; Lede Changed, Claim That Wildstein Has Evidence Stealth-Deleted

Before getting to the New York Times article, we should note who this man is-- something the New York Times forgets to remind you of until the article's end.

In the beginning of the article, they tell you he's an old Christie friend and a former official at the Port Authority.

But it's only at the end of the article they remember to tell you: David Wildstein, the man making this claim, is one of the two people Christie fired in the matter. (Well, Kelley woman was fired; Wildstein was asked to resign.)

That doesn't make what he's saying untrue. It does seem to be worth a mention before reporting his allegations.

The article is here (but you'll have to google the headline to view it without a subscription).

Christie Knew About Lane Closings, Ex-Port Authority Official Says

by Kate Zernike

Does that name sound familiar? It should. She's a frequent offender as regards egregious partisan Democratic bias. For example, she made the claim that when Jason Matera spoke in his normal voice -- a voice I've heard a dozen times -- it was a racist parody of a black person or something.

In fact it's just a Queens accent, and his normal way of speaking. I've never heard him not speak with a Queens accent.* (Sorry, Jason.)

But yes, she is the New York Times' go-to gal when they want a silly attack made on conservatives or the Tea Party. So it doesn't surprise me she fails to mention Wildstein's possible emotional investment (and his possible legal investment) in this until her final sentence.

The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had the evidence to prove it.

In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.

Whatever the truth of the claim, we now know that Christie's version of events will be challenged by at least one of the other players. (And Bridget Kelley also seemed to signal her desire to fight back, as her friends told the New York Times (IIRC) that she was a "team player" and wouldn't exercise her own judgment because, you know, she's Catholic.)

Thanks to @DrewMTips.

* I'm not sure about this, because I'm not as race-obsessed as Kate Zernike or MSNBC, but I think Jason Matera is actually Puerto Rican by descent.**

Which makes White Whitey-White Kate Zernike's immediate thought -- he's not speaking with the upper-class Non-Regional Diction that all my white Manhattan friends use, and therefore, his Distastefully Ethnic accent must be a grotesque parody of minority -- sort of racist in and of itself, doesn't it?

** This is why I'm afraid of him like I'm afraid of Cheerios. But I guess that's obvious.

Ummmm... Kate Zernike strikes again.

My Own Correction: I misread the tweet and thought he said a correction had been confessed.

But this is the New York Times. They make a fetish out of "admitting" corrections on tiny things (misspelled names, transposed digits in a date) so that you think they must also correct the big things.

In fact, the bigger the mistake is, the less likely it is that the New York Times will acknowledge it.

But if they inadvertently report that David Wildstein lives in, say, Rumson, when he was actually born there but lives in Fairlawn, oh, they'll make a big deal about correcting that.

So Zernike's claim that Wildstein has, himself, "evidence" of Christie's alleged lie has been deleted, but the New York Times does not acknowelge the correction.

I also erred in originally stating the headline had been changed. It wasn't the headline that was changed, but the lede sentence.

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