Disparate coverage

The media’s obsession with Gov. Chris Christie’s scandal suggests bias.

by Derek Olson

Even after a number of recent political scandals, something feels different about the one surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. It’s because the press has never wanted a smoking gun in the hands of a politician so desperately since Watergate. In fact, some in the media quickly nicknamed this scandal “Bridgegate.”

For those unaware, emails regarding a politically motivated traffic jam in New Jersey surfaced last year, which reporters eventually linked to Christie.

Within just two days, NBC, ABC and CBS broadcast 44 times more coverage of the New Jersey traffic scandal than they did of the IRS controversy in the entirety of the previous six months, according to Media Research Center. It doesn’t seem to be curtailing much, either. Maybe a dramatic public figure like Christie draws more attention than a government bureau, but that doesn’t explain the mainstream media’s remarkable lack of curiosity over the failures and alleged perjury of Hillary Clinton, another presumed presidential hopeful.

The New York Times magazine recently published an exhaustive, 5,500-word examination of Clinton’s past and future. Not a single one of those words was Benghazi or Libya. A bipartisan Senate investigative report blamed the death of four Americans in Benghazi on failures of former leadership in the State Department when Clinton served as secretary of state. It seems as though the New York Times doesn’t think Clinton’s mistakes should affect her political future.

But the real question is this: Can you imagine a similarly lengthy profile of Christie not mentioning Bridgegate? For the record, I’d be surprised if Christie is completely innocent, but there remains no evidence of his culpability.

On the contrary, there is documentation that Clinton was at fault for not heeding security requests at the country’s embassy in Libya. The report also details confusion over the way Clinton may have misled the public on the nature of the incident in the weeks following the attack. Beyond unsupported speculation, there is more reason to doubt Clinton’s integrity than Christie’s.

I don’t have a problem with openly biased reporting. I can assume I’ll have to find the rest of the story elsewhere, but I do take issue with a mainstream media feigning objectivity.