Christie’s 19,347-Word Apology: Lane-Changer

Photograph by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on Jan. 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.

So, as news conferences go, today’s apology for a traffic jam in New Jersey was a lollapalooza.

Gov. Chris Christie spent the better part of two hours explaining the implications of how his deputy chief of staff had lied to him about her involvement in the lane closures on the Fort Lee side of the George Washington Bridge. (“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” aide Bridget Kelly had told one of Christie’s men at the Port Authority. ”Got it,” the fellow wrote back. Kelly was fired today.)

As if the “abject stupidity” of the apparent attempt to punish the town’s mayor wasn’t bad enough, Christie said he had been lied to, let his constituents down and questioned publicly what about his own conduct had created an atmosphere that encouraged such staff behavior. “What did I do wrong to make these folks think it was OK to lie to me?”

But not everyone was as consumed with all this as CNN, which aired the late-morning news conference in its entirety.

Christie went to Fort Lee to personally apologize, delivering another 30 minute-plus explanation to the mayor.

And as serious as the intentional jam (federal prosecutors are looking into it) and its implications for the people of Fort Lee (including the family of a 91-year-old woman who died during the bridge backup) and the political aspirations of Christie himself may be, the saga has generated many more minutes of lighter coverage:



For the authors of “Game Change,” the potboiler about Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential election campaign, another plot looms:

And of course, the saga now has its own Twitter handle.


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