Bridge-gate Getting Much More Press Than Obama Scandals

Image: Bridge-gate Getting Much More Press Than Obama Scandals

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 03:52 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Just two days after news broke of politically motivated traffic jams in New Jersey, the mainstream media has already given the story far more airtime than it has given to the Obama administration's IRS scandal.

The Media Research Center has found that the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to Bridge-gate than they have allowed in the last six months for the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

"This is media bias," former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" Friday when asked about the report.

"If it's a story involving a Republican that they can in any way make negative, they exaggerate it tremendously. If it's a story involving a Democrat who they like -- of course they love President Obama -- they give it as little attention as possible. This is a perfect example of it," he said.

A prominent GOP fundraiser agreed, telling Politico that Christie is getting blasted for standard "political activities" by a partisan media. "Obama had the IRS investigate GOP-ers and media yawned. That's a crime. This is silly," he said.

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote on Friday, "Republicans operate under a double media standard that holds them to a much lower scandal threshold. In that sense, the pathetic New Jersey traffic-lane scandal may be, as Mr. Obama likes to say, a teachable moment."

Many in fact, contrasted the New Jersey governor's decisive response to the controversy to the president's failure to take action or responsibility for his administration's missteps.
"The real question is does a leader own up to it and handle it correctly," said Giuliani on Fox. "In the case of Obama, he has yet to own up to the IRS scandal. In this case, Chris Christie acted the way a leader has to act."

"He was sincere and decisive. He apologized, fired people, and promised to make changes. He said the buck stopped at his desk," Fox Business News host and analyst Charles Payne wrote in his Wall Street Commentary newsletter.

"We haven't been able to say the same thing, when it comes to President Obama, whose litany of scandals are always met with a strategy of circling the wagons, and deflecting blame; no apologies and no accountability," he said.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, "Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS tax-exempt shop and took the Fifth before Congress, was allowed to 'retire,' presumably with a pension. Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller resigned under pressure but no other heads have rolled."

Meanwhile, with Christie's political future still the subject of much debate, some Republicans say that the way he handled Bridge-gate could work to his advantage.

"This will be, at the end of the day, a political benefit to Chris Christie," GOP strategist Steve Schmidt," told The Washington Post, adding, "This sends a very clear signal: If you screw up, you violate the public trust, there's not going to be an exercise in wagon-circling — there's going to be an exercise in accountability."

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