For fawning press, Gov. Christie's $400 million blunder gets flushed down the memory hole

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

It sure is nice how the Beltway press corps, while fawning over New Jersey's Republican governor, conveniently forgets about Chris Christie's most embarrassing and controversial moment in office. It's awfully friendly the way reporters look away from a telling example of how Christie actually governs and instead focuses its attention on the YouTube clips Christie's flacks post online showing the governor yelling at people at town hall forums.

Nothing like style over substance, right?

If you live in New Jersey, you might recall that in August the state was shocked to discover it had narrowly missed out on $400 million worth of desperately needed education aid from the federal government because New Jersey's application for the grant was flawed. In other words, a clerical error cost state schools $400 million dollars. (Christie initially tried to blame the Obama administration, before his claims were proven false.)

But that's not all. Christie own Education Commissioner, whom the governor fired over the incident, publicly blamed Christie for the failure to land the money, insisting the governor, who famously feuds with the state's teacher unions, put that political battle ahead of securing the federal funds, costing the state crucial points in the grant application. It was all kind of a big deal.

But if you live outside the New Jersey area, that's probably news to most people. Why? Because as the national press continues its voluntary/obedient role in hyping Republican Christie (apparently any governor now with a 51 percent approval rating is to be hailed as being "popular), the press has flushed the embarrassing $400 million episode down the memory hole.

In fact, in the last week, both New York and Newsweek printed up obligatory Christie's-a-star profiles and both managed to avoid mentioning how the governor's blunder cost the cash-strapped state $400 million in education aid.

What a coincidence.

And oh yeah, guess what else the press, led by New York and Newsweek, flushes down the Christie memory hole? A) While serving as a U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christie often overspent on his travel expenses (i.e. fancy hotels) and left the DOJ holding the tab. B) The self-styled, small-government conservative earlier this year announced a massive state-run take-over plan that would have the New Jersey government virtually running Atlantic City, in charge of everything from the casinos to the police and garbage pickup. C) Christie's New Jersey still hasn't paid back the federal government the nearly $300 million it owes after the governor pulled the plug on building a new rail tunnel to New York City.

Christie as a free-spender? Christie as big government proponent? Christie as a deadbeat? Those pieces don't fit the media puzzle, so they're simply set aside for the rising Republican.

Behold your liberal media.

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