Joan Walsh: the news media wants to save Chris Christie

Credit: PBS

Interesting theory on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s ongoing bridge scandal, brought to us by Salon Editor Joan Walsh (who also believes Christie should be able to recall every person he’s ever met):

I think there’s something … at work, something psychological, maybe, and harder to get at. I think the mainstream media and its dominant pundits are unable to take in exactly how far to the right the Republican Party has swung in the last decade, and so they need to invent “moderates” to keep from writing over and over about the party’s departure from political sanity. And when their moderates either show themselves as extremists, as Christie has repeatedly, or else as severely flawed politicians, as Christie has lately, those pundits either ignore it or rush to rescue them over and over.

Ignore? The Christie scandal was the fourth most-followed news story last week, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s likely not because Americans had to seek out alternative tabloids for information on it. The story is front page on large publications and leads the national newscasts.

Rescue? Right, with these headlines:

“Christie hopes speech will obscure scandal” [New York Times]

“Controversy swells into new areas for Christie” [Washington Post]

“Christie, Official Who Arranged Bridge Closures Were Together During Fiasco” [Wall Street Journal]