Coining a Word
What’s a traffic jam caused by lane closures? It’s a Christie!
Steven G. Platt
Is Christie History?
There are several LOL moments in Katha Pollitt’s “Christie: A Bully’s Bully” [Feb. 3]. The most delicious: “Christie has filled the place formerly occupied by John McCain: the straight-shooting Republican ‘maverick’ (a maverick being a Republican who admits the earth is probably older than 10,000 years).” Ooooo loverly! That really made my day.
If Christie (to say nothing of McCain) is the Republicans’ idea of a “man’s man,” they’re worse off than I thought. I’m not sure how to define “man’s man,” but I am definitely sure we would not want one as president.
As John Nichols notes [“Christie’s Jam—and the GOP’s,” Feb. 3], owing to “the decline in media coverage of statehouses, governors frequently work their will with scant scrutiny.” This was true in 2012 when Christie was able to defund and kill the New Jersey Network (NJN), the state’s public television system, which had broadcast daily hard-news, field-produced programs since the 1970s. He was able to do this, as Katha Pollitt notes, with the assistance of Democrats who cozied up to him.
So the watchdog was replaced by the new, underfunded “public TV 2.0” model, NJTV, with its lapdog style and webcam interviews with studio hosts/newsreaders replacing experienced beat reporters. An early show featured a long interview with a Christie crony blaming the messenger (The New York Times) for its front-page exposé of halfway houses run by the crony. NJTV had to try to get up to speed quickly to cover “Bridge(t)gate” (named for the alleged perpetrator, Christie’s assistant chief of staff, Bridget Kelly). But Christie’s bipartisan murder of NJN was the death of electronic journalism here.
Alan S. Pollack
jersey city, n.j.
Chris Christie looks and moves and gestures and sounds like the pig in Animal Farm. Notice how the face registers no emotion except when it falls into anger. The eyelids have no affect; the eyebrows are rarely raised; there is no frown, no sweetness in the occasional smile, no grin, no joy. There is only the almost continuous push—as if every fiber of his being has been concentrated to pull off an effort—swimming upstream in a gale; squeezing the life out of a victim; ordering retaliation against a perceived enemy.
Sean David Bennett