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I wonder what CNN host Don Lemon thinks about the network’s inexplicable decision to schedule a Chris Christie primetime special for Monday night. Christie still holds the dishonor of being the most unpopular governor in American history while he ran New Jersey, and he famously flamed out as a presidential candidate in 2016, surviving only one primary contest where he finished in sixth place. Despite his record as an established loser who voters now have an allergic reaction to, the mainstream media continue to love Christie and hold him up as an important voice in our political conversation.
So on Monday night, Dana Bash will host “Being Chris Christie.” The promotional clip shows Bash and Christie smiling while strolling down a boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, offering a behind the scenes look at the politician. It’s astonishing the lengths the network will go to try to appeal to GOP viewers, in this case handing over an hour of programming to a has-been politician.
I wonder about Don Lemon because last year the CNN host mocked Christie for his attempted image recovering campaign, which at the time took the form of an interview with the network’s Chris Cuomo. “He’s on reputation rehab right now,” said Lemon. “That’s what he’s doing. I didn’t believe a word that he said to you.” Will Lemon believe a single word Christie tells Bash when the Monday night special airs?
When the “Being” series was first introduced this summer, CNN announced, “Throughout the series, Bash spends time with individuals affecting American policy, politics, and culture to give viewers an understanding of the human being behind the public face.” Its first installment featured Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), who’s among the most influential members of Congress. Christie though, currently has no national standing, he has no constituency, and he has no voice or vote in public policy. He does have a runaway ego, however.
“He is a person of irrepressible ambition, without limits or guard rails,” noted New Jersey political columnist Charles Stile. “And an essential component of that ambition is an obsessive quest to be relevant.” Now CNN wants to help.
Keep in mind, Christie wasn’t merely unpopular when he left office in New Jersey, he rewrote the book on being despised by local voters. Can you imagine CNN even caring about a failed Democratic governor who left office with an approval rating in the teens, let alone shining a spotlight on him or her for an hour? Traditionally, a politician who had been branded with an L like that would slink off into the shadows and be ignored by the press.
Today, Christie is promoting himself, with the help of CNN, as a brave truth-teller who’s standing up to Trump and his Big Lie about the 2020 election. CNN promo: “What’s it like being a high profile Trump supporter, turned sharp critic.”
But Christie may have had the longest delayed conversion to the anti-Trump crowd of any Republican in America. Just last year Christie helped Trump prep for a presidential debate. After watching Trump get impeached, Christie still jumped at the chance to be near the center of power to help the maniac get re-elected. Following the debate, Christie played the role of janitor, trying to clean up the mess Trump made when he famously told the white nationalist group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” Days after helping with Trump’s prep, where everyone was unvaccinated and unmasked, Christie was hospitalized with Covid.
For years, Christie’s obsequiousness around Trump, bordering on pathetic sycophancy, was well known. Trying to keep pace with Trump’s xenophobia during the 2016 campaign, Christie told a radio interviewer he’d refuse all Syrian refugees trying to enter the U.S., even a five-year-old orphan.
Christie’s position on the Coronavirus was absolutely shocking in terms of its indifference to human suffering. In May, 2020 he gave an interview with CNN in which he echoed the Trumpian position, pushing for the country to reopen despite several models forecasting that thousands of people could die daily from COVID-19.
But now, Christie’s supposedly seen the light and wants the world to know that he’s standing up to the Trump.
It’s so predictable. So is CNN stepping up to help the Republican rebrand himself, considering how the network seems intent in recent months on dinging President Joe Biden and boosting GOP talking points.
On Wednesday, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted out a picture of a Washington, D.C., gas station where customers were paying $4.29 per-gallon at the pump. That just happened to be the same line of attack Republicans are using this week against the administration — inflation! Worse, the gas station Blitzer featured is one of a few in the city that routinely sells gas at a wildly inflated rate. (The average price in D.C. today is $3.62.)
Last week, CNN embarrassed itself when it aired a breathless report on inflation that inexplicably featured a family that buys 12 gallons of milk each week.
Christie’s a failed, political has-been with no conceivable future in Trump’s GOP, and a bitter partisan who lacks the courage to stand up to the Republican Party’s authoritarian ways. CNN would do better illuminating other, more deserving players.
💉 GOOD STUFF
Here’s more evidence that the press’ constant attention to loud anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers creates a false impression of our country.
From Monmouth University’s “Steady Support for Vax Mandates”:
“The dramatic images of parents protesting at school board meetings has not shifted overall public opinion on mandates one way or the other since the beginning of the school year,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
🎸 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK
Dave Hause, “Hanalei”
I featured Hause’s “Surfboard” a few weeks ago and now I’m hooked on “Hanalei.”
Hause has been making music for 25 years, and for a long time it was more of a punk output. I just recently came across his new, acoustic and Americana album and I’m kind of blown away — the storytelling, the gritty vocals, the sing-alone vibes.
“I’m from Philadelphia and I don’t have much of a Southern take, but the roots of country are in rock’n’roll, and rock’n’roll is the closest thing to a religion that I have so I’m OK with it,” says Hause.
We could stay
We could sell anything that isn't nailed down
We could say
We could say the hell with forever and be here together right now
🎙 Click here to listen to the music that’s been featured on PRESS RUN, via a Spotify playlist.
Click here to listen via Apple Music.