Everyone has something to say about the revelation that Chris Christie’s office was intimately involved in the closing of the George Washington Bridge despite their prior denials. This includes Rush Limbaugh who made what might be the understatement of the decade:
“The media, with the exception of Fox, which is probably – it is safe to say – in the Christie camp, the media is salivating now at the prospect that Christie’s career is over.”
Never mind Limbaugh’s ridiculous notion that the media that created Christie and made him a household name is suddenly anxious for him to fade into oblivion. If there is one thing we know about the media it’s that they crave the sort of ratings-rich melodrama that would almost certainly envelope a Christie vs. Clinton campaign in 2016. So no knowledgeable person would accuse the media of yearning for an election season without Christie [Note: No knowledgeable person – so that rules Limbaugh out].
However, Limbaugh’s observation that Fox News is “in the Christie camp” is as startling as the discovery of Mexican Viagra in Limbaugh’s medicine cabinet. And it isn’t just because Fox News is the cable subsidiary of the Republican Party (or is the GOP a subsidiary of Fox?), there is also the fact that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes had actively solicited Christie to run for president in 2012. What’s more, the relationship between the two went even deeper than that as Gabriel Sherman reported two years ago:
“Chris Christie had dinner with Fox News chief Roger Ailes last summer, and the two had a phone conversation a few months ago in which Ailes encouraged Christie to run for president. When Gawker requested access to any official records of such interactions under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, they were blocked by a claim of executive privilege, meaning the New Jersey government considers Ailes an adviser to Christie.”
Sherman’s unauthorized biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” will be released next week and may contain more details of this relationship. In the meantime, there is ample evidence that Fox News is already running interference on behalf of Ailes’ crush. As Media Matters noted, Fox spent less than fifteen minutes reporting the breaking news about Bridge-gate, far less than other news outlets. When Fox did commit to cover the story they framed it as a demonstration of Christie’s “lesson in leadership.”
This obvious bias in favor of Christie should not surprise anyone. When the CEO of a cable news network has personally pursued you to become a candidate for president, it is indeed “safe” to assume that they are in your camp. Expect the love affair between Fox and Christie to continue until it becomes untenable to prop up a blatantly corrupt political bully. But don’t worry, Fox will survive the break-up and rebound quickly to former crushes like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.