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Why didn’t press apply ‘Dershowitz standard’ to Barack Obama?

Gov. Chris Christie is in the hot seat today, but why doesn't the press apply the same scrutiny to Barack Obama?
Gov. Chris Christie is in the hot seat today, but why doesn't the press apply the same scrutiny to Barack Obama?
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

As the George Washington Bridge scandal continues to unfold, threatening the political future of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – whose state concealed carry law may be facing a Supreme Court challenge thanks to yesterday’s Second Amendment Foundation petition – one might wonder why the press has not applied the same level of scrutiny to Barack Obama according to a principle expressed yesterday by Prof. Alan Dershowitz.

Newsmax, reporting about Dershowitz’ appearance on CNN Thursday, noted that the professor “singled out the case of the 91-year-old woman who died after emergency personnel were slowed in reaching her because of the September lane closures.”

“If it is shown the woman would have lived if help had arrived sooner, Christie could be charged because of ‘willful negligence’,” Dershowitz said, according to the Newsmax report.

While many gun owners are suspicious of Christie, who governs a state with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, many also suspect he is getting far different treatment than the press has given President Obama over the deadly Fast and Furious scandal. Highlighting the problem gun owners have with Garden State gun laws was yesterday’s filing by SAF, along with the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and four private citizens in a case known as Drake v. Jerejian. They are asking the Supreme Court to hear arguments challenging New Jersey’s restrictive concealed carry law.

Dershowitz is the Harvard Law School professor whose views on the Second Amendment and gun ownership at times seem all over the map. He has stated that liberals are “foolish” for “trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution,” yet he also pushed credulity in an appearance on the Piers Morgan program talking about firearms and self-defense, and suggesting that somehow private citizens might somehow use weapons of mass destruction.

Christie is being publicly pilloried over the bridge scandal, with insinuations that he knows more than he has let on about the case, in which lanes of the famous bridge between New Jersey and New York were blocked. Yesterday, Christie fired a top aide, and other heads may roll.

The press is on this story like maggots on an elk carcass, and this morning on Fox & Friends, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani asserted the press is biased. Giuliani noted that Christie has done something “the Obama administration finds impossible to do.”

“He held people accountable for it,” Giuliani said. “He actually fired them.”

Quoted yesterday by Newsmax, Prof. Dershowitz asserted, “Clearly the people who originated the traffic jams and approved them are guilty and probably guilty of crimes. Their actions led directly to very significant harms, particularly if they can demonstrate that the woman died as a result of the traffic jam.”

Giuliani noted, about Christie’s political future – he was being touted as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 – that “the Democrats are going to use it but every time they use it all you have to do is contrast it with Benghazi, the IRS scandal; the way they obfuscate, the way they hide, the way they never have press conferences. I have yet to see the president or Hillary Clinton have a press conference explaining what happened about Benghazi. People died and they don’t answer any questions about it.”

And what about Operation Fast and Furious? Border Patrol agent Brian Terry died because of that operation. People are still dying because of it, as this column noted last week. If the Dershowitz principle applied here, could it be argued that President Obama was also “willfully negligent?”

This column, and National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea, covered Fast and Furious extensively for more than two years. Codrea, along with independent blogger Mike Vanderboegh, broke that story weeks before the mainstream press – CBS News and Fox News primarily – began covering it. The odds are good that people will continue dying because of all the guns that were allowed into the hands of criminal suspects by officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Gov. Christie apologized several times during a 107-minute press conference yesterday about the bridge scandal. He publicly fired someone. He took responsibility because it happened on his watch.

President Obama has publicly fired nobody over Fast and Furious or the other deadly scandal, Benghazi. Former Secretary of State Hillary “What-difference-does-it-make?” Clinton appears to be the favorite for the Democrats as a presidential nominee. Christie might have been her toughest challenger, perhaps, until the bridge scandal broke.

Attorney General Eric Holder, held in contempt of Congress over refusing to provide subpoenaed Fast and Furious documents, still has his job. The documents are tied up in a court battle over the president’s extension of executive privilege two years ago. Why didn’t the mainstream press wonder what he is hiding? There are long-simmering beliefs that reporters would be hounding the White House over Fast and Furious if a Republican were in the Oval Office, rather than a glib, popular-with-the-press liberal Democrat.

Meanwhile, SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb chatted yesterday with this column, noting that the Drake case in New Jersey may yet be the strongest case and best opportunity yet to get a right-to-carry case before the high court. The court has earlier declined to hear such cases from Maryland and New York, and Gottlieb believes the issue must be settled.

The irony is that this challenge comes in a state and at a time when that state’s governor may be the most promising roadblock to a Hillary Clinton presidency in three years.


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