The Media’s Cuckoo Bananas Chris Christie HysteriaPosted: January 15, 2014
How to explain the national frenzy over a New Jersey scandal?
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 weren’t there or didn’t get it.
I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.
What’s 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. He’s 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…
— Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Cliches, now on sale in paperback. You can write to him by e-mail at email@example.com, or via Twitter @JonahNRO. © 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
- Jonah Goldberg: Overboard in New Jersey? (ruthfullyyours.com)
- MSNBC to air one-hour special tonight at 11 p.m. on … Christie’s Bridgegate scandal (hotair.com)
- Blagojevich Prosecutor Sets Sights on Christie (phillymag.com)
- Media going overboard on Gov. Chris Christie scandal (jsonline.com)
- Goldberg: Why is the media overreacting to Chris Christie? (newsday.com)
- Christie And Obama’s Lame Duckism (nationalreview.com)
- How Badly Has the Traffic Lane Fiasco Hurt Chris Christie? (powerlineblog.com)
- Christie calms fellow govs on scandal (politico.com)