Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz on Sunday devoted an entire segment to whether MSNBC had been partisan in its coverage of New Jersey Chris Christie's (R) growing scandals, while National Review Online columnist Jonah Goldberg pushed the panel to discuss Benghazi instead.
After MSNBC broke the story that Christie's administration had allegedly withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds to punish Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer because she refused to approve a real estate project, the governor's office accused MSNBC of "partisan politics."
"MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him," Christie spokesperson Colin Reed said in a statement on Saturday.
Kurtz opened his Media Buzz show on Sunday by suggesting that the governor's office had been right.
"MSNBC has been leading the charge with Rachel Maddow leading with the story every single night," Kurtz said.
"Surprise, surprise, don't we all know MSNBC is a partisan network?" Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn asked.
Goldberg said that he was outraged that there were "dozens of results" on Google if "you type in Chris Christie and Watergate."
"Which is beyond idiotic. To compare a partial lane closure on the George Washington Bridge to Watergate is ridiculous," he insisted. "The state of Illinois has seen half of its governors since 1960 go to jail. None of them have gotten this kind of coverage."
"You know who isn't running for president is President Barack Obama and he's actually the president and I've seen nothing like the kind of passion and intensity that we've seen," Goldberg added.
"About Obama? On TV?" AMERICAblog founder John Aravosis laughed.
"In terms of potential wrongdoing and investigations from any network, certainly like MSNBC, other than Fox," Goldberg asserted. "We had a report come out this week about Benghazi, right? Which was incredibly damning to the State Department? Where has been the drumbeat of reporters on Hillary Clinton's lawn saying, when are you going to comment?"
"I'm not saying it has no merit at the national level," he continued. "I'm saying that the level of scrutiny and hysteria that has been aimed at this story is so wildly disproportionate to the reality of it."
After taking a job with Fox News, Kurtz asked if there had been too much coverage of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi but avoided mentioning Fox News and did not theorize that the coverage had been partisan.