FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Thug Politics of Chris Christie

by KARL GROSSMAN

I have wondered why much of the U.S. mainstream media had been promoting Chris Christie. Television stresses “likability” in on-air personalities and guests, a high “Q-score.” But there was the New Jersey governor —mean-spirited, given to vicious attacks on people—a fixture as a guest on TV, especially on NBC’s Today show. Why were big corporate media boosting, cheerleading for this neo-Nixon?

The U.S. business press can be revealing sometimes and the current issue of Fortune is about Christie with an article headed: “Chris Christie: Can Corporate America’s Candidate Get Out of This Jam?
The “Chamber of Commerce wing of the GOP had singled out Christie—a pro-business, pro-Wall Street, tough-on-unions blue-stater—as its best hope for a friend in the White House after eight years in the wilderness,” reports the piece written by Tory Newmyer.

“Until this crucible” known as “Bridgegate,” Christie “had been the beneficiary of a national press corps that celebrated his straight talk shtick…That treatment helped inflate his profile well beyond his home state…”

Will the scandal sink Christie’s pursuit of becoming president of the U.S.? Not for one Christie backer cited in the piece, Dan Lufkin, “co-founder of storied Wall Street firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette,” who praises “Christie’s response to the bridge mess.” Lufkin is quoted as saying: “He took quick drastic action…It’s another demonstration of his straightforwardness.” The piece also acknowledges: “When the fuller story of the traffic troubles is revealed, however, that Christie image could wobble badly enough to collapse; his advantage is that he may have time to repair the damage. If he can’t, conversations with party wise men and Wall Street donors suggest a troubling fact for the Garden Stater: Establishment esteem for him runs wide but not particularly deep.”

The Christie explosion isn’t unexpected. “He was a ticking time bomb as a politician. It was only a matter of time before he blew up,” wrote Michael Cohen in the British newspaper The Guardian after Bridgegate began unfolding.

In 2012 Mitt Romney realized the deep downsides of Christie when he searched for a vice presidential running mate and found Christie lacking, according to the book Double Down.  Among negative things found by the Romney camp in vetting Christie, says the book, were his free-spending habits as a U.S. attorney, problematic clients when he was a lobbyist and a lawsuit for defamation he settled with an apology. These and other matters constituted “a host of potential red flags pertaining to his record,” reported The Washington Post in an article in November headlined: “What Mitt Romney learned about Chris Christie in 2012 and why it matters for 2016.”

Of Bridgegate, “What’s so damaging to Christie about these revelations is that they expose him and his brain trust as breathtakingly venal and vindictive,” stated Joshua Green on Bloomberg Businessweek.

New Jersey native, writer and humorist Marvin Kitman, in his “The Christie Chronicles,” has been writing about “The Decline and Fall of the Christie Empire.”   In the installment “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Christie?” Kitman tells how his “progressive friends” have been watching excerpts from the marathon 108-minute Christie press conference “expecting that every time the governor denied knowing anything about the GWB [George Washington Bridge] lane closures, his nose would grow longer, the so-called Pinocchio Effect in jurisprudence.”  Those claims of no knowledge are now unraveling. Kitman predicts that: “Is the governor guilty will be a regular feature on TV news, like the weather and sports, until 2016.” Earlier, in 2011, the sage Kitman declared: “I want Governor Chris Christie to run for president. It’s the best way to get him out of the state.”

Chris Christie will hopefully go down as a hot-tempered, hyper- ambitious politician inflated in importance by a good chunk of U.S. media delighted to promote “Corporate America’s Candidate” for president.  Hopefully, the nasty, ethically-challenged Christie will fade—before doing some huge national, indeed international, damage.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail