Bill Maher, first admitting he’s a fan of MSNBC, challenged Rachel Maddow on “Real Time” Friday night over what he sees as her network’s “over the top” coverage of Bridgegate, the scandal hanging over N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

Image source: HBO via YouTube

Image source: HBO via YouTube

Maher told Maddow, an MSNBC host, that the network has been leading many of its shows night after night over the last two months with Bridgegate and shouldn’t be a “top story” at this point.

“I am totally obsessed with the Christie story, unapologetically,” Maddow responded, which soon drew cheers and claps from the audience.

Maher questioned if the scandal had involved a Democrat governor in a state farther from media-obsessed New York City, would it be covered the same way? “It’s not Watergate,” Maher noted. “He’s not the president.”

“When there are gonzo political corruption stories, you cover them,” Maddow said.

Maher said he jokingly referred to Bridgegate as MSNBC’s “Benghazi,” then clarified that Bridgegate is a real scandal while Benghazi is not; Maddow noted that a big reason Bridgegate deserves coverage is because no one yet knows what happened.

Another guest, National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke, wondered if MSNBC is drilling down hard on Bridgegate as a way to hurt Christie’s presidential chances, to which Maddow scoffed.

Here’s the clip via YouTube:

(H/T: Mediaite)