Crowning Christie as Corrupt: The Media's Rush to Judge NJ Governor

Despite the liberal media's disinterest in pursuing investigations into Barack Obama's scandals, the case of Republican Chris Christie proves the existence of a blatant double standard. The New Jersey Governor, who will announce his presidential bid on Tuesday, endured a media frenzy when the Bridgegate scandal erupted 17 months ago.

When that story broke on January 8, 2014, all three networks immediately gave it big play on their evening news broadcasts. By the morning of January 10, less than 48 hours after the scandal arose, ABC, NBC and CBS already had generated a staggering 88 minutes of coverage. In comparison, over the previous six months those networks had devoted barely two minutes of coverage to developments in Barack Obama's IRS scandal.

While the broadcast networks trumpeted Bridgegate in January, they offered a mere 48 seconds of coverage in December to the news that a Democratic-led investigation had failed to find evidence conclusively linking Governor Christie to the 2013 traffic jam: 15 seconds on CBS, 16 seconds on ABC and 17 seconds on NBC.

During the hysteria of the initial coverage, MSNBC's Chris Matthews repeatedly compared Christie and Bridgegate to Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. On January 8, the day the scandal erupted, Matthews immediately jumped to the comparison, muttering, "Nixonian. It's so Nixonian." On January 9, while talking about Christie's innocence or guilt, the host connected: "When people say they feel sorry for the Watergate people....Their lives were ruined. I always say I got a worse one for you -- they got away with it."

On January 10, Matthews theorized, "I grew up during Watergate. I got to tell you, it follows a certain pattern." For the January 15 program, the cable anchor fixated, "Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon." On January 13 and 14, Matthews played clips of others making the comparison.

When they're not impugning him as a Nixonian crook, liberal reporters have made fun of Christie's weight. On February 11, Matthews mocked "the fat guy from New Jersey."

Two years ago, on February 6, 2013, Good Morning America's Amy Robach chided Christie, "He's going to have to lay off the doughnuts."

And on the September 29, 2011 Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie talked to then-NBC medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman about "someone as heavy as Chris Christie" running for president. Dr. Snyderman echoed that an individual "as fat as he is" might have trouble getting elected.

The fact that Christie breaks with conservatives on a number of issues has done nothing to shield him from the liberal media's contempt.

— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.