NPR Hypes Political Fallout from "Bridgegate" Scandal, Ignores Christie Innocence

Talk about tone deaf at National Public Radio. On Thursday’s All Things Considered, NPR reporter Don Gonyea ran a segment on Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) traveling to New Hampshire to campaign with Scott Brown as he seeks to become the next senator from New Hampshire.

Unsurprisingly, the NPR reporter did his best to play up the “Bridgegate” controversy despite the Department of Justice clearing Christie of any wrongdoing in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The accompanying story on the NPR website blared “Will bridge scandal jam Gov. Christie’s road show?.”

NPR anchor Robert Siegel introduced Gonyea’s report by playing up how Christie “was there on business related to the upcoming midterm elections. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, he was also there to make an impression for the election in two years, pressing ahead despite the New Jersey Bridgegate scandal.”

After detailing why Christie was in New Hampshire campaigning for Brown, Gonyea made sure to remind his NPR audience about the supposed political fallout from “Bridgegate”:

DON GONYEA: But here's Christie's problem - without me asking about it, Destefano raises the issue of those famous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

DESTEFANO: If I was on that bridge in that traffic jam, I probably feel differently though. I took that as an example of the abuse of government for political purposes, which is much the same as I see happening in Washington.

DON GONYEA: The issue has hurt Christie in polling. In early, early polls last year, he was ahead of the pack in New Hampshire. A CNN poll out this week puts him in fourth place. But one longtime state Republican at yesterday's event said let's see what the issue looks like in a year's time. It's New Hampshire, he said, and it'll all get a full airing. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Manchester, New Hampshire.

As of Friday morning, NPR has not updated its website to reflect the New Jersey governor’s innocence and Friday's Morning Edition ignored the revelations altogether but NPR still made the decision to run a critical piece on Christie the day he was cleared of any wrongdoing in “Bridgegate.”   

— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.