Roger Ailes once commented that Brit Hume's Special Report was the best straight news hour in show business. It's been five years since Hume left the desk and was replaced by Brett Baier but its rating have still remained high. Fox News promotes it as a "straight" news hour, but it's anything but. After the first thirty minutes of air time, they spent a couple of segments on the All-Star panel which usually includes two conservatives and one Villager "centrist". And Wednesday's panel was no different. Conservatives George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Village faux centrist Charles Lane made up the panel on the day that Governor Chris Christie gave his 108 minute press conference on Bridgegate.
I doubted we'd get anything like a straight show about Christie's problems since Roger Ailes had openly recruited Christie to run for president in 2012.
A few months ago, Ailes called Chris Christie and encouraged him to jump into the race. Last summer, he’d invited Christie to dinner at his upstate compound along with Rush Limbaugh, and like much of the GOP Establishment, he fell hard for Christie, who nevertheless politely turned down Ailes’s calls to run. Ailes had also hoped that David Petraeus would run for president, but Petraeus too has decided to sit this election out, choosing to stay on the counterterrorism front lines as the head of Barack Obama’s CIA.
Even though Hume has been off the show for years now, Ailes dispatched Brit to lead off the broadcast to say that Governor Chrisitie handled the presser well. So it was not a surprise that Will and Krauthammer thought the New Jersey governor did nicely too unless of course they find a smoking gun or as Krauthammer observes, he's a "hostage to the truth," which means he's toast if they find anything. That is not any astute observation by any means. The always ridiculous George Will made the case that the presser actually gave the governor much needed practice in handling political crises. Krauthammer admitted that he was upset because Bridgegate knocked the Robert Gates book story off the news cycle, which he felt made Hillary Clinton look bad even though Gates praised Hillary profusely in the excerpt that was made available.
Earlier in the book, he describes Hillary Clinton in the sort of glowing terms that might be used in a political endorsement. “I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world,” he wrote.
But Krauthammer giddily said that Gates' book would still be in print and Hillary wouldn't be able to run from that. Charles Lane made some idiotic observations about Christie's politics. He actually painted the NJ governor as an old school moderate and a centrist.
Lane...a problem for CC is that his personality is not very moderate, his political positions, his policies are. He's trying to stake out this centrist posture, straddle right and left within the republican party and that means left and right are trying to take shots at him.
This is a ludicrous remark by Lane. There is no right and left buried within the Republican party, only extreme right wingers and those that want to shut down the government over the debt ceiling or the ACA. Soon after, he said that not only Democrats would be after Christie over the bridge scandal, but also Tea Party Republicans, who don't like him.
[S]ome of the toughest critiques on twitter and so forth came from tea party linked republicans who are salivating at the prospect of bringing down Chris Christie.
I don't know why, but this signaled Bret Baier to post the text of a Tea Party response to Christie's presser.
Baier: To your point, Tea Party Patriots in New Jersey had this to say, quote: abuse of power by government officials is wrong whether it's closing lanes in Ft. Lee, using the IRS to target political opponents or or waving the law regarding Obamacare. Today Governor Chris Christie held some subordinates accountable. Time will tell if whether this is enough. We're still waiting for President Obama to hold anyone accountable.
How was this statement an indictment on how hostile the Tea Party crowd is to Christie that Baier claims? They make a general statement about CC, but attack Obama vociferously. Did Brett Baier know Charles Lane was going to give this answer before the show so he could have this response on hand and ready to air? This was no coincidence so even if Lane gave an answer without mentioning the tea party, Fox News was going to show this anti-Obama screed from a conservative group that doesn't even criticize Gov. Christie at all.