Why are the media making such a big fuss about Chris Christie and the bridge?
The answers to the question in the headline above are as easy as they are varied.
The bridge scandal is a big deal because Chris Christie is himself a big deal in the world of politics. Most recent polls have shown him the leading choice among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination. And, in turn, his standing in the polls is especially remarkable because so many Tea Party types see him as a RINO (Republican In Name Only), not only because of some of his political positions but also because of his chumming with Barack Obama in the wake of Superstorm Sandy last year, just weeks before the presidential election.
If a similar bridge scandal involved the governor of, say, North Dakota (whomever that is), the story would get little play in the national media. Moreover, traffic problems on bridges in North Dakota don’t affect nearly as many people as do problems on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey with New York City.
Then, too, there’s the matter of Christie’s outsized personality. He’s widely known (and, to an extent, admired) for his no-nonsense, straight-talking style. He comes off as a tough guy, and some people like that about him. So, naturally, when something like the bridge scandal turns him into an apologetic, whimpering, self-pitying public figure, it’s big news.
Let’s also remember that the bridge matter was mostly just a local story of interest mainly to political junkies — until the release of Christie administration emails the other day made it a first-rate scandal.
So, all things considered, the story has become a national sensation mainly because suddenly it endangers the political future of one of America’s more prominent political personalities.
It’s that simple.
(NOTE: The image above was compiled by DailyKos from headlines provided by Newseum.)