Tag Archive: youtube

Why is Tough Guy @GovChristie Afraid of This Blogger?

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past six years, you know that Governor Christie has mastered the use of social media for his self-promotion. New Jersey taxpayers are funding a platoon of Facebook writers, YouTube videographers, and Twitter posters – not just to provide basic information to our citizens, but to act as an adjunct to Christie’s political handlers.

As a blogger who is partisan, but who tries to understand where the opposite side is coming from, I follow many right-wing politicians and organizations on social media. So I was a bit surprised when I went to Christie’s twitter page and got this message:

You are blocked from following @GovChristie and viewing @GovChristie's Tweets.

It seems odd that Christie doesn’t want me, a New Jersey taxpayer, to see his official state Twitter feed.  (I’m in good company here. Marie Corfield, a persistent thorn in Christie’s side, is also blocked.)

I wanted to find out more, so I submitted a request under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) to the Governor’s office to find out more about how taxpayers are denied access to a Twitter feed that they are paying for.

Think Chris Christie is trying too hard? Gov releases YouTube version of his presser

Gov. Chris Christi’s official website released one of the taxpayer-funded spin videos his staff calls his “YouTube moments”. It captures a only a little slice of what was in fact a long press conference today, the first since a tense day of testimony Monday before the Assembly Transportation Committee, with Port Authority officials on the hotseat for sudden lane closures off the GWB and days-long traffic snarls in Fort Lee just two weeks after its Democratic mayor refused a request to endorse Christie for re-election.

Since then dubious explanations about a “Traffic study” claimed by top political appointee Bill Baroni, followed today by his “resignation,” effective immediately and following David Wildstein’s, the former “Wally Edge” who founded PolitickerNJ then chronicled Christie’s rise without disclosure of a years-long friendship dating back to school days.

Not included in the agitprop below, repeated questions about the apparent contradictions between Baroni’s account of events and those of PA ED Patrick Foye, and the “traffic study” Baroni claims went on, for which no documentation has surfaced.

Behold Gov. Christie’s noble claim that the buck stops with him. We’ll see. There are still more questions than answers.

Christie’s Latest YouTube Video Relegates Thousands of New Jerseyans to Second Class Citizenship

Governor Christie’s latest publicly-funded campaign video is entitled “The Greatest Social Program in the World is A Job.” This video is mind-boggling on so many levels.

As he is wont to do, Christie starts out the video with a lie. Well, not technically a lie, but an extremely misleading twist of words that conveys false information.

He says that under his administration, state taxes have not gone up. What he fails to mention is that due to his policies, property taxes have exploded. While these are strictly not state taxes, the rise in property taxes is inexorably linked to Christie’s policies, and under his rule, fees and tolls have gone up also. There’s no question that the tax burden on the middle class is directly attributable to Christie’s right-wing agenda.

But that’s not the worst aspect of this campaign commercial. By saying that “the greatest social program in the world is a job”, Christie relegates thousands of New Jerseyans who receive some sort of assistance to second class citizenship.

Take, for example, my friends Mike and Kathy Pollock. Mike wrote about his wife’s illness, his battles with the medical-industrial complex, and how Christie’s policies have made their already difficult lives even more difficult. Mike is the embodiment of the American Dream – the owner of a mom and pop hardware store in rural New Jersey. But that dream took a terrible turn when Kathy developed a debilitating illness and was written off by her doctors. Through Mike’s tenacious efforts, Kathy is alive today. Christie has severely cut the social programs that help Kathy, and those programs are denigrated by Christie by this video.

And if jobs are the greatest social program as Christie espouses, then why has he cut jobs across the state throughout his reign? He’s cut teachers’ jobs. He’s cut tens of thousands of construction jobs with his cancellation of a much-needed tunnel which would facilitate New Jerseyans to get to well-paying jobs. He’s cut thousands of green jobs with his Koch Brothers anti-environmental policy.

If jobs are his priority, why did he veto the minimum wage? Does he endorse the fact that families on the minimum wage are still living in poverty? Again, his “Jobs are the Greatest Social Program” mantra is insulting and mean-spirited.

There are thousands of New Jersey citizens like Mike and Kathy. Working hard to survive, but either fully or partially reliant on a social safety net. The vast majority would like to work, but for one reason or another, either can’t or still need assistance. None of them are second-class citizens.

Christie’s mentor, George W Bush, proved conclusively that “trickle-down” economics do not create jobs – quite the opposite. But Christie never learned that lesson and that’s hurting all of us. Yet he continues to espouse these lies on the public dime. There hasn’t been a more insidious institutional propaganda machine since the KGB.

Chris Christie’s New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time of year when people make New Year’s resolutions. The easy ones are kept. Most of the hard ones are not.

What should Governor Christie resolve to do differently and better in the New Year?

It’s probably too much to ask him to focus on the poor, the middle class, the public school teachers and kids, the uninsured, or the environment. After all, they are not his benefactors. His agenda will focus on the wants and needs of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and the medical-educational-insurance-industrial complex – the folks who provide him the funds for his state and national political ambitions. But this year, he can make one small resolution to the people of New Jersey. One that he’s started to follow post-Sandy, but one that he’s likely to ignore as the 2013 election heats up.

If Jon Stewart Can Talk to Bill O’Reilly…

Who woulda thunk? The GOP is imploding on both the national and state level.

There’s been a lot of press about the comments that Mitt Romney made indicating his disdain for half the population of the nation he wants to lead. And Governor Christie’s bubble is starting to burst with the revelation that not only Blue Jersey, but Standard and Poors has pointed out that his Jersey Comeback is a sham.

Of course, Christie and his handlers will try to control the message.  The New Jersey taxpayer will continue to pay for the governor’s political spin machine – his YouTube videographers, his sloganeers, and his banner makers. This will work to some extent, just like the KGB propaganda machine did during the Cold War. But just like the Soviet populace saw through the KGB, the average New Jerseyan is smart enough to realize what he or she is being fed.

If the governor really wants to gain credibility, he needs to find a different outlet. Not Fox “News” (although it may be on his list of future employers), but a place where he gets a chance to really show his stuff to a skeptical audience. Perhaps he should book himself for an interview with Rachel Maddow. But appearing on that program might taint his conservative creds. So, how about agreeing to an interview with Blue Jersey? We promise to be civil and are looking forward to a productive discussion. You know how to reach us, Governor.

Christie’s Communication Department

According to the Sunday Asbury Park Press dated September 8, 2012, the Governor’s Communication staff grew to 14 people. That doesn’t sound like much. As a taxpayer, there is one thing that bothers me. The Governor hired people to post videos to Youtube, 600 videos according to the article.

I download, share and like videos for fun and there is someone getting a lucrative salary for that. There are many 16 year olds looking for a first job that would love that.  

The classic pseudo-event updated for the YouTube age

promoted by Rosi

Your tax dollars at work from John McAlpin:

Some have noticed that when we talk of Governor Christie’s events like the one planned for East Hanover today, we call them “town-hall style events.” The reason why is best shown by what happened in Garfield, when Christie visited there May 2. Many residents expected to ask questions – or at least hear something about the issues confronting the town… They had no chance.

But I don’t understand, if it’s a Town Hall how did they have no chance? McAlpin continued:

These events are highly choreographed, from the stage props to the opening video to highlight clips offered by his office, ready and waiting  almost as soon as the SUVs roll the governor out of town. They are designed to give Christie a platform for his message, to say what he wants to say and have it spread across all the platforms new media allows. And they have helped Christie build and maintain his brand as a straight-talker who takes no nonsense. But they aren’t true town halls, free flowing events where people gather to ask questions and be heard. In one sense, they are the  classic pseudo-event updated for the YouTube age. Even when somebody gets called an “idiot.”

If only more of the media coverage focused on the truth behind these “town hall style” events, which are much more style than town hall, even though they are completely on the taxpayer dime.

“Nice to see you working again, Ms. Riefenstahl”

We’ve talked here before about the Governor’s use of new media. As concept, I have little problem with it, if it engages people who communicate that way (in fact, it’s a good idea). The problem has always been how Christie uses it: not to inform citizens, but to propagandize himself. Like a brand.

But even I’m amazed by this video posted both at the Christie administration’s official YouTube page and at Christie’s facebook fan site, which reads like campaign literature (“BRINGING FISCAL SANITY TO TRENTON”). We’ve seen Christie use YouTube to confront people who dared to disagree with him, or to try to humiliate teachers.

But this is different. Grander. Sweeping, even. For one thing, the militaristic music crescendoing behind  Christie’s firm and certain voice. The scope, underscored by the phraseology: “The Big Things”. Gigantic national flag behind him. Glimpses of a large crowd applauding him. Word jumble at the :58 second mark: “Leaders. Growth. Health Compromise”. By the :51 mark, the voices singing behind his sound like the music of angels. It’s all too … much.

I wanted to post this for a few reasons:

1. Your tax dollars are paying for this.

2. This video is a departure, and uptick, in Christie persuasive material.

3. The first YouTube comment past the featured one, made today by user justinalpertesq , is jaw-dropping:

Sorry, folks. This isht is just effin scary. Ms. Riefenstahl, nice to see you working again.

                                   (screen capture, below)

Ah, I can hear it now, the clamor of objection that Blue Jersey played the Nazi card. Let me be very clear. Chris Shelton’s Trenton rally speech invoking Hitler was undisciplined, but it was not without some truth. Weakening unions was among Hitler’s first steps to power. But this isn’t about that. Not about whether Christie’s a Nazi (he’s not). It’s about the methods employed to create Christie aura, even the whiff of destiny this skillful clip – produced on your tax dime-  suggests. This what you want done with your money? Christie’s sense of himself as the kind of larger-than-life figure so effectively driven home here strikes me as seriously over-inflated. It’s just … wow.

Screen shot of the YouTube comment, after the jump

Happy Tax Day

As the income tax season wraps up, if you are a New Jersey taxpayer, congratulations! You just contributed to Republican Governor Chris Christie’s political coffers.

“Wait!” you say. “I never checked the box on my tax form to do that. Besides, I would rather suck on a lemon than contribute to His Arrogance.” Too bad.

Much has been written about how the governor is using taxpayer funds for his political rallies ostensibly labelled as “town hall meetings.” Assemblyman Paul Moriarty has asked the governor to reimburse the public for the expense of these rallies. These meetings are held during the day, when most middle class people work, and are filled with Christie acolytes. Once in a while, when a person with a dissenting opinion manages to ask a question, that person is ruthlessly lambasted by the governor – hardly an environment conducive to civil policy discussion.

Yet, the governor relishes these confrontations. He calls them “YouTube moments.” Now, he’s taken this illegal use of taxpayer funds to a new level. His New Jersey GOP is using these videos to raise funds. Its web site features a survey, “Vote for your favorite Chris Christie Moment,” featuring five videos from which to choose. In order to vote, of course, you have to donate to the Republican party. Interestingly, none of these videos has anything to do with policy. Four of them denigrate Christie’s opponents (teachers, unions, the media, and a critic of another Republican candidate) and one is the woman claiming Christie is “hot and sexy.”

Christie has opted for style over substance. Maybe that’s because the substance of his policies, when critically examined, only supports his cronies – the “haves” and his buddies. And while his style is childish and bullying, his use of my tax dollars to promote his image is apparently more effective than the lack of substance in his policies.