Governor Chris Christie’s office is not happy with MSNBC. The governor’s office called the network “almost gleeful” in its “very clear partisan politics” that have led to the network airing outlandish conspiracy theories, producing its own attack ad, and airing exclusives claiming Christie’s office extorted mayors.
In a statement yesterday, Christie spokesman Colin Reed addressed MSNBC’s exclusive report with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Up with Steve Kornacki. Zimmer, using as her evidence only her personal diary, alleged that two senior members of the Christie organization independently approached her and warned that a redevelopment project tied to a Christie crony needed to be approved in order for the town to receive Hurricane Sandy relief funds.
Kornacki, whose start in the journalism business came when he was hired by alleged BridgeGate mastermind and former Christie aide David Wildstein (then writing anonymously as “Wally Edge”), had previously theorized that the closing of local lanes of the George Washington Bridge last September was political retribution for that town’s mayor not approving a real estate project.
While Christie’s office had addressed the MSNBC report regarding Zimmer yesterday through spokesman Michael Drewniak (a major character in the unfolding BridgeGate drama), Reed released a longer and more aggressive statement against MSNBC yesterday. There is no indication that Drewniak has been taken off duty or otherwise dismissed since being subpoenaed to appear before the New Jersey Legislature to testify over the BridgeGate sandal.
“MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him,” Reed said, noting that Lawrence O’Donnell produced his own attack ad against the Governor. “It’s very clear partisan politics are at play here,” Reed continued, calling Zimmer one of many “Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind com[ing] out of the woodwork and try[ing] to get their faces on television.” Reed also noted that, before this incident, Christie and Zimmer had a good working relationship. Hoboken has been approved for “nearly $70 million dollars in federal aid,” he noted, while “Mayor Zimmer even recently [said] she’s ‘very glad’ he’s been our Governor.”
CNN reported last week that Christie is under federal investigation for misuse of Hurricane Sandy funds to promote himself in an advertising campaign during election season. Perhaps aware of the potentially positive optics of such a trip, Christie visited southern Stafford Township last Thursday to announce a milestone in disbursement of Hurricane Sandy funds and meet with victims of the storm. The trip had previously been postponed in order to make room for Christie’s two-hour press conference apologizing for the closures of the George Washington Bridge.
This more extensive attack against MSNBC comes after both the aforementioned Zimmer story and attack ad, as well as the complex Rachel Maddow theory that the George Washington Bridge closures were a result of a web of intrigue spawning from the Governor potentially being racist. Christie has previously enjoyed a more positive relationship with the network and remains the only person to whom Lawrence O’Donnell and his cast have given a standing ovation.