Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is currently on a media rehabilitation tour as possible preparation for a second failed presidential run. CNN's Dana Bash mostly treated him with kid gloves, but he wasn't so lucky when he appeared on MSNBC's "Deadline White House" Tuesday. Host Nicolle Wallace curb stomped Christie without breaking a nail. It was Must-See TV.

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Christie started the interview with his self-serving stump speech about restoring the party to the quiet, polite racism of William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan. Wallace just sort of nodded and occasionally said "uh huh" with this unwavering "You ain't shit" expression on her face.


He tried to “both sides" the growing threat from white supremacists, which Donald Trump enabled, and Wallace wouldn't have it.

WALLACE: [FBI Director] Christopher Wray's testimony though ... is that [domestic terrorism] is the greatest threat to the homeland, and within that bucket, by far the largest group is white supremacy, so white supremacists didn't threaten Portland and New York. What are you saying?

Christie mentioned “extremist groups on the Right and the Left," and like an actual journalist, Wallace asked him to name the so-called extremist groups on the Left. When he said “antifa," Wallace laughed in his face ... well, it was more a restrained chuckle, but still she clearly thought he was full of shit. She countered that FBI Director Christopher Wray had testified that antifa isn't an actual organization, even if Republicans want to label every violent goofball in ninja gear “antifa."

What's silly about Christie's demand that any serious political candidate reject support from extremist groups from either the Right or Left is that “antifa" will never endorse President Joe Biden or show up at the Capitol waving Biden flags.

Christie's pushing his new book, Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden. Wallace didn't hesitate to point out that Christie, a noted coward, is very selective in which "truth deniers and conspiracy theorists" he targets.

WALLACE: The book is about conspiracy and lies and you really don't take on Fox News, why not?

Oh, she knows why not, Chris. It's a trap! He tried to stumble his way through an answer and she slams him with: “Have you seen the Tucker Carlson program?"

CHRISTIE: No, I don't watch it, but the book ...

WALLACE: Are you aware of what he does?

CHRISTIE: Not really. I don't pay a lot of attention to it.

Christie wants us to believe he's unaware of the most-watched show on cable news, as if it's some low-rated prestige series no one's actually seen except the Emmy Award judges. If that's true, Christie's book is doo doo that's not worth anyone's time. Wallace expertly worked Christie into a corner where he further reveals his moral cowardice. Then she put on her “I'm gonna fuck you up" glasses and just started whaling on him.

WALLACE: It's a book with "truth deniers, conspiracy theorists" on the cover and you attack CNN, the New York Times, and MSNBC but not Fox?

CHRISTIE: I don't attack them as being conspiracy theorists or truth deniers. I talk about bias.

WALLACE: Is bias more dangerous to the country than conspiracy theorists?

Christie sheepishly admitted that it's not. She asked him point blank if he believes “Fox News in prime time is good for the country or not." He said there are shows that he likes and shows that he doesn't like, which presumably are hosted by white supremacists whose name he's afraid to say out loud.

CHRISTIE: I don't consider Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham purveyors of ...

WALLACE: I didn't say either of their names. I said Tucker Carlson.

CHRISTIE: You said the evening news programs on Fox News.

WALLACE: The 8 p.m. hour ...

CHRISTIE: I don't watch the show. I don't know what Tucker does from night to night. If I'm watching anything at night in news ... most of the time I'm watching sports ... I'm usually watching Sean and Laura.

I'm not sure why Christie believes Laura Ingraham is significantly less of a racist conspiracy theorist than Tucker Carlson, but that's what he's going with, we guess.

Christie thought he could rebrand himself as Trump without the insurrectionist baggage, but Wallace revealed the pathetic sycophant behind the curtain. He even refused to say he wouldn't support Trump in 2024, because we all know he will.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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