You’ll have to forgive me. This is a difficult time for me. This week I have been forced to confront memories I’ve been trying to bury my whole life, but recent events have made that impossible. I…am a survivor of traffic jams.
It’s not easy to talk about. Just the sight of brake lights causes flashbacks to the horror of sitting on a freeway not going anywhere. But for you, dear reader, I will be strong and push on.
You probably know a victim of traffic jams yourself. You may well be one. Be silent no more! Thanks to the actions of a mid-level staffer working for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the sweet, nourishing mainstream media finally broke its silence on this abomination. And if the coverage this week is any indication, we’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks – heck, centuries – to come.
I don’t want your sympathy, in a few years, after some therapy, I’ll bounce back … somehow. But there are others out there who won’t be as lucky. It’s the others, the people we lost, the people who won’t bounce back, who I worry about. Those are the people who need your prayers.
As I said, I’m eternally grateful the media finally came around and started to give this inhumane, collective indignity we’ve all suffered through the level of coverage it deserves. This week New Jersey, tomorrow the world!
There are a few people and groups I want to single out for special recognition in what history books undoubtedly will call our darkest hour.
To CNN, thank you! Your wall-to-wall coverage in this time of national tragedy has been second to none. The courage you’ve shown in uncluttering your airwaves of the “phony scandals” you’ve been covering over the past five years so we could know more and more and more about this is commendable. I do fear for the health of Wolf Blitzer. Yes, there is not a more trusted voice on the scourge of traffic, but the man needs his sleep. He has been hyperventilating for what seems like 36 straight hours. Please, make sure he stays hydrated and gets some rest. We will need him if, God forbid, some other random New Jersey Democrat says something about Chris Christie.
To the rest of the mainstream media, you too have shown courage in our time of need. When the three national network newscasts spent more time on the New Jersey traffic holocaust in 24 hours than the Internal Revenue Service targeting and intimidating American citizens over their political beliefs since July 1 by a factor of 44, I knew justice finally had come to America.
To Lois Lerner, wow. The word “hero” is thrown around a lot these days, but rarely is it so fitting. The way you refused to let the nation be distracted by hearing why you ordered the IRS to target political opponents of the president of the United States … it’s like, it’s like … it’s like it was you yourself standing in front of that tank in Tiananmen Square. And when you courageously went on a four-month paid leave before retiring with full benefits and pension rather than speaking or resigning will be taught in elementary schools well into the next millennium.
To Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department, your leadership in launching a possible criminal investigation into the driving delays in New Jersey brought a tear to my eye. I only hope your efforts to uncover the cause of this brake pad genocide does not distract you from the important work of reading journalists’ emails and persecuting potential “leakers.” And I hope against hope this avalanche of idling didn’t delay delivery of any of the thousands of yet-unaccounted-for guns you forced gun stores to sell to Mexican drug cartels, then almost immediately lost track of. It’s “fast and furious,” not “traffic jam and furious,” right?
To Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ty Woods, nice try. Sure, you waited eight hours for help that didn’t come and wasn’t even sent. You begged for months for more security, but you were ignored because you weren’t causing people to move slowly across a bridge. Your continued attempts to distract attention from real issues facing Americans, such as getting home late from work, have failed as badly as your attempt to disrupt President Obama from getting sleep the night before a big fundraiser and campaign event in Las Vegas. If you wanted people to care, you shouldn’t have gotten yourselves murdered while your repeated pleas for help were ignored by President Obama and Hillary Clinton. You should have driven at a snail’s pace into New York, preferably in a Prius.
The list of people worthy of acknowledgement is endless, I can’t thank them all. But I would like to send a special bit of gratitude to CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. One of the country’s foremost legal minds in any room in which he finds himself alone, he pronounced Chris Christie’s political career dead before the governor had spoken a word.
Toobin has a history of crystal ball-esque soothsaying on political scandals. He had the courage to dismiss Benghazi as a nothingburger before any of the survivors were heard from or we know what orders, if any, the president gave during the eight-hour attack. He even went all Pauline Kael on us when he confessed the media ignored America’s most prolific serial killer Kermit Gosnell, admitting no one at cocktail parties he attends in Georgetown and on the Upper East Side cared about his murder trial. And he’s been a pioneer in the “nothing to see here, stop looking” caucus on the IRS targeting scandal. I know there aren’t any non-presidents on Mount Rushmore, but maybe we should look into making an exception, or at least a new wing in the Newseum, to honor one of the greats.
Thank you media for courageously saving yourselves from all those hours of possible news coverage of “phony scandals” so you could be ready when “the big one” came along. Congratulations for not getting sidetracked by informing your viewers of how the President did the same thing, using the power of government to inflict visible harm as possible on his constituents, on a much larger scale by using sequestration spending reductions to close the White House to tours, lengthen airport security lanes, furlough air traffic controllers and more. And he did so knowingly, not through staffers who lied to him. Your restraint left you ready to pounce when it was important. And pounce you did.
As a traffic survivor myself, I can’t thank you enough for your prioritization in this, our darkest hour. While your efforts this week were focused on New Jersey, I know it’s only a matter of time before you unleash teams of investigative journalists and traffic copters across the fruited plain to shave some time off commutes that could be slowed up to four days in a row for the people of one town in one state by a staffer who gets fired.
Just like 9/11, everyone will remember where they were when the wall of secrecy around this silent inconveniencer fell. We are all Fort Lee residents today. Stay strong, my traffic-bound brothers and sisters. Bumper-to-bumper finally met its match. Help has arrived; the media is on the case.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.