Skip to comments.The Media’s Chris Christie Hysteria: How to explain the national frenzy over a traffic jam
Posted on 01/15/2014 7:24:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who werent there or didnt get it.
Im not referring to the scandal itself; thats easy enough to understand. What Christies team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.
Whats harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.
For starters, there have been countless greater outrages at the state level that have received far less national coverage. (Indeed, there have been national scandals under President Obama that have received less intense national coverage.) Since 1961, four Illinois governors have ended up in jail, and with the exception of Rod Blagojevich, few have received comparable media attention.
Meet the Press dedicated 33 minutes to the New Jersey scandal, including a grilling of Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, as if Christie were Nixon during Watergate (a comparison ostensibly serious people have made).
Many conservatives see liberal media bias in all this. But that diagnosis misses the fact that this was the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, giving producers ample opportunity to advance a liberal agenda. Moreover, Christie is actually quite popular in establishment media circles the sort of politician Sunday-show liberals insist America needs more of. Hes also quite unpopular in many quarters of the Right.
If there is a secret left-wing cabal interested solely in advancing the liberal cause through the media, the Christie auto-da-fé was a missed opportunity.
A more plausible partial explanation is partisan bias, which can be hard to distinguish from liberal bias in many outlets since it tends to favor Democrats. The key difference is that partisan bias focuses more on the political interests of specific politicians or a party generally.
Feeding-frenzy defenders insist the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge is special because innocent constituents were deliberately inconvenienced for partisan purposes. Thats surely what makes this scandalous, but it hardly makes it unique. The Obama administration employed similar tactics during the sequester and the government shutdown. Closing the open-air World War II Memorial, furloughing air-traffic controllers, and other efforts were deliberate attempts to maximize the pain of innocents for political benefit. The tactic worked, but thats not a justification for it, is it?
The allegation that the Obama administration used the IRS to target political opponents is far more explosive (similar tactics were at the core of the Nixon impeachment effort). And, unlike Christies claims of what he knew and when, similar White House denials havent held up.
And in the same week the media succumbed to St. Vituss dance over Christies alleged cover-up, it was revealed that the Department of Justice had appointed an Obama donor from the civil-rights division, instead of the public-integrity division, to investigate the IRS scandal. The department now says it would be unlawful to remove her from the assignment because of her political views. Thats untrue. No hysteria there.
Christie is widely seen as a threat to whomever the Democratic nominee will be. Unlike some recent GOP nominees, who struggled to be merely lifelike, Christie has an authenticity and charisma most national Republicans lack. As ABCs Jonathan Karl put it on This Week, Christie is the most intriguing and colorful person in American politics.
That probably explains the overkill as much as anything. Christie is new, exciting, and interesting in ways Obama once was. The difference is that when Obama was new and exciting, the media were biased in every regard and heroically skeptical of any Obama wrongdoing. We thought he was going to be . . . the next messiah, Barbara Walters recently said. The cult of personality has diminished but the partisan skepticism remains.
Christie, like most Republicans, never benefited from such skepticism, and never will.
Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback.
easy explanation . Pavlov
This is way more important than millions of Americans losing their health care due to ACA regulations.
On the left, partisan bias is the only bias that matters. The Mensheviks wanted the same thing as the Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks were exterminated anyway. Gotta maintain party purity. And the entertainment/media/propaganda complex is absolutely pure in their democrat/Bolshevik ideology. When the order comes from above, they all march in lock step to the Party line.
Christie is a Menshevik.
Could not care less about FATSO. He is Fredo Corleone to me. I don’t want to see him or hear from him.
The ‘rats are thrilled to catch a RINO targeting The People just like the ‘rats do every day in support of Bammy’s War on America.
I’m betting the media will get to the very bottom of this and expose it all.
Proof they can do it.......when they want to.
“national frenzy over a traffic jam”?? It’s NOT over a traffic jam. It’s about a lying sociopathic bully who uses his political office for payback for even the smallest slight. It is about making sure this psycho-RINO is never give the FBI, NSA, etc to use as a weapon against the American people.
What idiot wrote this article? Christie’s Mom?
RE: This is way more important than millions of Americans losing their health care due to ACA regulations.
How many people died in this traffic jam compared to Fast and Furious or Benghazi?
Only if he sits in that person's lap.
I don’t think the author is downplaying the seriousness of the conspiracy behind it, what he is doing is expressing his disgust at the RELATIVE LACK OF OUTRAGE at the other scandals perpetrated by the Obama administration.
Those were not in NYC or NJ so they are less important.
Easy. Christie became a threat to the democrats. They know he actually had a chance at being elected.
The media and the democrats act in concert to destroy anyone who is a threat. This is not the first time, and not the last.
This is the same reason why the Corporate Media was allowed to make hay about the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and he was impeached for lying during the Paula Stone sex harassment suit. It was "safe" for the Establishment. And in the end, didn't hurt Clinton one bit.
Going after Clinton for Mena drug smuggling and selling missile secrets to the Red Chinese could have endangered the entire System. As they say those went "all the way to the Top".
This why BenghaziGate, the IRSGate, NSAGate, and all the other recent scandals are going nowhere. These are vital parts of the Globalist Agenda in which Obama is only a cog. He is only the teleprompter reading spokesman.
Wow, all of that and he never names Hillary once. I guess that’s why he’s a professional.
Neither is the cause of the frenzy. If one wants to know the absolute fact of the root cause of the “ConeGate” hysteria merely look at the very last letter in Christie’s public name....
The letter “R”.
If his name ended with “D”, he could have blown up that bridge and the media would have agreed with his learned reasons.
Christy from his Speech at the RNC to Hurricane Sandy ,he is off my care list. If they impeach him I could careless because he earned maybe not on this traffic thing but he has earned it.
“Easy. Christie became a threat to the democrats. They know he actually had a chance at being elected. The media and the democrats act in concert to destroy anyone who is a threat. This is not the first time, and not the last.”
Exactly. Why is this so hard for our side to understand. One goal of the RAT/media complex is to destroy any potentially serious repub candidate before they even enter the primaries. All repub scandals are to be hyped to the max. The second goal is to protect RATS from scandal and praising them for anything they do. These simple concepts explain everything they do.
In short, they say and do whatever advances their cause TODAY, even if it is the opposite of what they said yesterday.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.