WATCH: Rachel Maddow Defends Christie Coverage

By Ran Aubrey Frazier

Originally published on Advocate.com February 13 2014 9:21 PM ET

In the latest coverage of New Jersey governor Chris Christie's BridgeGate scandal, Rachel Maddow devoted a significant portion of her show Wednesday night to breaking news about 18 subpoenas authorized by the New Jersey legislative commission Monday. Among those on the list of new subpoenas are the governor’s reelection campaign office, staff members, and several employees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

But Maddow's coverage took an unexpected turn when she defended herself and other news organizations for reporting on the story in the first place. "The New Jersey State Republican Party is now trying to raise money on the bridge scandal," she declared. "Specifically, they are trying to raise money by saying that news organizations should not be covering the scandal, and that's the real problem here."

Maddow told viewers that the party wanted "the people of New Jersey to stand up, not against this type of corrupt and abusive outrage by their government — they want the people of New Jersey to stand up against [MSNBC] covering" the story. 

Maddow's remarks appeared in part to be a response to Wednesday's episode of Morning Joe, also on MSNBC, in which former George W. Bush aide Nicolle Wallace railed at the network for "covering every teeny, minuscule, breaking non-news event" about last September's lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, apparently in retribution by Christie's administration against political opponents.

On Morning Joe, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was asked whether Christie had a "pretty good day" Tuesday, referring to the governor's appearances in Chicago to raise funds for the Republican Governors Association. Todd responded, "I guess it's a good day that what? That he didn't get, that more indictments didn't come in."

Wallace, who regularly appears on Morning Joe, barked at Todd, "Rachel's not on till 9," before chastising MSNBC for devoting the past four weeks to covering new developments in BridgeGate.

Wednesday night Maddow fired back, defending the interests of "the hundreds of thousands of people who were hurt here on purpose."  She asserted that "the New Jersey Republican Party would like you to know that the real outrage here is that this TV network is reporting on what happened and trying to figure out the answers that the Christie administration still won't provide."

Watch Maddow below, and then the Morning Joe segment.

Contributor: 
Ran Aubrey Frazier