Video: “She’s being propped up by this network”

posted at 2:01 pm on January 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The Morning Joe crew took it to their own network this morning over MSNBC’s handling of Dawn Zimmer and her sudden reversal after months of denials of political retribution in Hurricane Sandy relief funding. Nicolle Wallace blasted MSNBC’s other shows for its complete credulity in handling the Hoboken mayor and her claims that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie threatened funding — never questioning her integrity, even though she spent months denying that Christie did any such thing. “She’s being propped up by this network,” Wallace accuses, and Joe Scarborough enthusiastically agrees (via The Corner):

At least two MSNBC personalties aren’t accepting the network’s reporting on Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations against the Chris Christie administration quite yet. “All I’m asking is for somebody out there to actually ask a tough question or two of this lady, who has gotten a free ride for days,” Joe Scarborough said on his show on Tuesday.

Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace pushed back against critics of the New Jersey governor who are taking Zimmer’s claims that Christie’s lieutenant governor threatened to withhold Sandy-relief funds at face value. While Wallace admitted that Christie’s political aspirations would be finished if Zimmer’s allegations turn out to be true, she questioned the mayor’s timing to come forward with the revelations, saying it “stinks to me” as she is “being propped up” by MSNBC.

Both Jazz and I covered the shifting tales Zimmer has offered since last May. As late as ten days ago, Zimmer was still claiming that no such intimidation had taken place, as CNN noted in its report — because Zimmer flat-out denied the allegations to CNN itself. The other party to the conversation in which this threat allegedly took place — a fellow Democrat mayor — says she never heard any threat at all.

Usually, these kinds of issues prompt reporters to ask some tough questions, especially when the only evidence offered is a private diary from the accuser herself, and the funds in question flowed as they should have. The Daily Journal notes that Hoboken got its fair share of what has been distributed, although not what Zimmer wanted:

Zimmer is specifically addressing her city’s pursuit of funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. That program is administered by FEMA and provides grants to states and local governments after a major disaster for long-term measures that reduce the loss of life and property for future disasters.

New Jersey received nearly $300 million through that program after Sandy. Towns and counties submitted more than $14 billion in requests for thousands of projects through the New Jersey State Police’s Office of Emergency Management. Hoboken — which was underwater for days after Sandy — sought more than $100 million, including money to build seawalls and pumps and to buy vacant land.

The state, with nearly 47 times more demand than money available, used its $300 million for six programs. The two biggest programs cost $100 million each. One provides grants of up to $30,000 to homeowners to help them elevate their homes. The other pays for the first installment of what will be a $300 million effort to buy out homes in oft-flooded areas, such as Sayreville and South River.

The state used $50 million to give grants to all 21 counties for local and regional projects. That money was allocated in October. Hudson County, where Hoboken is, got $1.7 million. The top awards went to Ocean County, at $10.25 million, and Monmouth County, at $7.8 million; both of those shore counties were devastated by Sandy.

Next-biggest is a $25 million “energy allocation initiative,” which provides money to 146 governmental units for pursuing alternative energy options as a backup for when the power grid fails. The state says it had 400 requests statewide seeking around $125 million. Hoboken’s share is $142,080 — which it used, rather famously after recent days of media coverage, to buy a backup generator.

With that in mind — and with $70 million going directly to Hoboken residents and businesses — Zimmer’s claims look even less credible than ever. Those who don’t even bother to address these issues while interviewing Zimmer aren’t journalists, or even intellectually-honest analysts. They’re props. Perhaps MSNBC management should take some advice from its Morning Joe hosts and kick the props out from under Zimmer and the other hosts on their cable channel.

Update: To be fair, Noah Rothman finds evidence that MSNBC does assert a skeptical eye on allegations when it appears there is an axe to grind. That is, they do when the allegations target a Democrat:

But this MSNBC panel does make a good point. There is little value in lending too much credence to the story of one aggrieved individual with a clear axe to grind who is actively seeking to diminish the stature of a potentially central national political figure. Maybe the network and their guests should keep that in mind as they lend undue credence to the claims of just such a figure, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as she lands on cable news program after cable news program insisting that her handwritten diary is evidence of a systematic intimidation campaign by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Maybe that kind of discretion is simply asking too much of this network and its contributors.

At least Morning Joe discussed it.


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LOLZ! All these fat-boy threads…

OmahaConservative on January 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The nail that sticks up gets pounded in.

Wear your hard hat, Joe.

JEM on January 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Mika would make a perfect mime in one of the Las Vegas casinos.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Mika would make a perfect mime in one of the Las Veg*s casin*s.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

So the city got its money, Zimmer changed her story, and she has no evidence except her own notes that could have been written at any time?

Sounds like a strong case there.

forest on January 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

It seems like forever since we’ve had a Palin thread. What’s she up to?

joekenha on January 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Keep pursuing this story, the free pass this harpy has gotten when her story is patently self serving and partisan is outrageous. If Republican primary voters want to reject Christie or any candidate on the merits, that is all well and good. Allowing a cabal of Democratic operatives and Leftist journalists (not to mention local hack politicians) to strangle a candidacy in the cradle should not be countenanced, as it will only embolden that same cabal to destroy conservatives and Republicans when it suits their whim, and will help them perfect the machinery to do so. Conservatives and the Republican Party should be hitting back hard even if many were genuinely and legitimately dismayed at Christie overdoing it with Sandy and marginal assistance to Romney.

ephfan on January 21, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Scarborough and Wallace are defending one of their own–a RINO. Christie can twist in the wind for all I care. It was interesting to learn from Brit Hume last night on the Meghan Kelly show that one of the first people Chistie phoned when the bridgegate scandal broke was none other than Mika Brezezenski from Morning Joe to make sure that he still had good relations with that show. The guy is virtually a democrat and is being defended by others of like kind. I hope he goes down in flames.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Kudos to joe and Nicole….. I don’t care what the outcome maybe….its the double standard that gets my blood boiling over all of this……

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Remember folks, you would never see Scarborough and Wallace defend Palin, Cruz, DeMint, or any other conservative or tea partier against any kind of accusation thrown at them.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Benefit of the doubt for dems
Liar for GOP

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

they’re just toughening up Hillary’s running mate

DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

The liberals are doing us a favor by destroying Christie that early… Let them do it… Stand on the side and watch… Christie is not one of our own and he is not worthy at all to be defended by our side…

mnjg on January 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

What’s so unusual here? Scarborough and Wallace think Ted Cruz is the Son of Sam, The Tea Party is full of racist idiots, and love them some Chris Christie like I used to “love” Howard Dean for the Democrats.

Marcus on January 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Allowing the Democratic Machine to destroy Republicans because we don’t agree with them on every policy is a huge mistake and won’t help conservative candidates or the GOP for that matter this year, in 2016 or in any subsequent election. What it will do is dramatically lower the already pathetic pretentious to objective reporting such allegedly mainstream outlets as CNN and the Big. 3 use. Like it or not , those outlets influence millions of low information voters that decide elections (and put Bambi in the White House twice). It’s a terrible idea to confirm the notion that basic fairness, standards and evidence don’t matter, just put someone on to make unsupported claims and the let the sharks swarm. That behavior should be challenged aggressively or it will be used to destroy conservatives long after Chris Christie has left the public stage. Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and the rest of the pajama brigade are wetting there pants with glee right now and it is suicidal to encourage them overtly or through sullen silence over CC’s sins.

ephfan on January 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

they’re just toughening up Hillary’s running mate

DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Or making it easier for him to denounce the “Republicans” who brought down his administration before it even started its second term. His minions will be scapegoated by the Dem legislature.

Happy Nomad on January 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Kudos to joe and Nicole….. I don’t care what the outcome maybe….its the double standard that gets my blood boiling over all of this……

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM

If it were not for double standards, MSDNC would have no standards. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing anything about the fat man and the inner workings of one of the most politically corrupt states in America.

Even this latest “scandal” boils down to Zimmer complaining that she didn’t get the money she wanted without strings. Not once from Zimmer or anybody else have I heard just how this “free” federal money floating around has done anything to assist individuals in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It was all about just how much money Zimmer was going to get so that she too could pick local winners in losers. Like vultures fighting over a dead animal.

Happy Nomad on January 21, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Scarborough and Wallace are defending one of their own–a RINO.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

To the point.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Nicolle Wallace is right about this, but I find it rich coming from her. She had no problem with different networks when they were propping up Couric and Wallace herself when they were trying to take down another prominent Republican, Governor Palin.

GOPRanknFile on January 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Sorry, cannot stand Nicole (Devenish) Wallace. Absolute
sleazoid, who’ll screw anyone over to get things to go her
way…whatever that is….Mika is just a mannequin there
to look good….you know, “optics” Same as Hassleback on
Fox and Friends….

ToddPA on January 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

ephfan on January 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Sorry, Christie deserves everything coming his way–and then some. You think we should all come to Christie’s defense because otherwise democrats will destroy conservatives in the future. The truth of the matter is that democrats have aggressively gone after tea partiers and conservatives for years now while the likes of Christie and his RINO friends have all stood on the sidelines silent. One example: Gabby Giffords. I don’t remember Scarborough, Wallace, Christie or any other RINO say a word when the media blamed Palin for that shooting.

Screw the RINOS.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Nicolle Wallace is right about this, but I find it rich coming from her. She had no problem with different networks when they were propping up Couric and Wallace herself when they were trying to take down another prominent Republican, Governor Palin.

GOPRanknFile on January 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Bingo.

Kind of surprised to see this coming from you…figured you’d
be defending Wallace VS Palin…..

ToddPA on January 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Bingo.

Kind of surprised to see this coming from you…figured you’d
be defending Wallace VS Palin…..

ToddPA on January 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Nope. I’ve always taken Palin’s side when it comes to Nicolle Wallace. What Wallace did to Palin is indefensible and reprehensible. I’m not a Palin fan as you know, but Palin has more honor in her pinky than Wallace has ever had or will ever have.

GOPRanknFile on January 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Joe and Company will be fully reined in come about June and through the remainder of the 2014 election cycle.

Off-cycle, Joe has to go off the reservation on rare occasion so that he can spout “I am a conservative”.

Carnac on January 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Yepper HN

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Nope. I’ve always taken Palin’s side when it comes to Nicolle Wallace. What Wallace did to Palin is indefensible and reprehensible. I’m not a Palin fan as you know, but Palin has more honor in her pinky than Wallace has ever had or will ever have.

GOPRanknFile on January 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Agreed.

ToddPA on January 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM

As soon as I read the words “Nicolle Wallace,” I stopped reading.

besser tot als rot on January 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Just remember that having 95% of the media being leftist democrats does NOT affect their reporting nor do they have any noticeable bias.

It’s just that the republicans are bad and democrats are good.

jukin3 on January 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

It seems like forever since we’ve had a Palin thread. What’s she up to?

joekenha on January 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Well, she did correctly pick the Seahawks to beat the Forty-niners. She also told Obama, on MLK Day, to stop playing the race card.

Mallard T. Drake on January 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I have the suspicion that msnbc helped create the changed accusation. I think Zimmer clumsily walked onto the movie set and started adding her own dialogue and it caused problems for their script. Msnbc was sent in to patch it up and write in the new character with a more believable ( or at least less accidentally subversive ) script part. Her original claim subverted the fort lee mayor’s charge just as if every Democrat mayor in NJ suddenly stood up and accused Christie of withholding something because they didn’t endorse him.

They knew the new charge was garbage and wouldn’t stick, but it effectively erased the old accusation from memory. I imagine they have a round table of film directors, psychologists, political scientists, who saw the problem right away and put Winston Wolfe into action.

Buddahpundit on January 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

TruCons, as represented by the likes of Kick&Swim, are nasty, vindictive people.

Their vitriol against Christie, the dreaded RINO’s and anyone else who dares cross them in even the tiniest way also proves their political naivete. You will never win voters to your side by being so overtly obnoxious, even if they happen to agree with many of your political positions.

No wonder it is so easy for the libs to portray conservatives as unfeeling and semi-human. Far too many of them are.

Meredith on January 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I guess that making fun of the freaks over at MSLSD is good for page views but geez it is a cable network with an audience of 12 people and a poodle. The biggest audience they will ever get is replays on this blog of the latest eye watering intellectual stupid people trick. If it keeps the page views up for HA more power to ya. I don’t suffer fools so I don’t watch them…but that’s just me apparently.

HatfieldMcCoy on January 21, 2014 at 9:01 PM

…if conservatives didn’t watch…they would have no audience at MSLSD

KOOLAID2 on January 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

With Zimmer and Wendy Davis, those know-nothing swing voters may become aware that all Democrats are liars, connivers, and thieves.

And the constant overplaying of the “victim card” by Democrats is gradually eroding its effect. Against all odds, Phil Robertson refused to budge and A&E blinked.

Robertson and Limbaugh have survived the PC attacks from the left, but they were both financially secure already. When we begin to see ordinary working people able to resist and survive, the end of PC will be in sight – and not a moment too soon.

Adjoran on January 21, 2014 at 10:47 PM