The Obama and Christie scandals: A tale of two media

The Christie scandal landed on the cover of The New Yorker. The magazine’s cover story following the IRS revelations was about “urban cyclists.” Obviously, The New Yorker has a local purview that makes the Christie story more relevant than a Washington-based scandal, but that didn’t stop the magazine from running a Halloween-themed cover on the government shutdown depicting John Boehner and Ted Cruz as ghosts haunting the Capitol.

Some in the media have been rather incredulous about Christie’s denying involvement, or have set an exceptionally high bar for the governor to clear his name. Meet the Press host David Gregory wonders: “Isn’t the burden for [Christie] to prove he didn’t create an atmosphere where underlings thought this was okay?” Such questions certainly weren’t being asked (outside the conservative media) about President Obama in the wake of the IRS revelations, even though Obama’s claims to have had no knowledge of the targeting allegations under investigation seemed equally suspect, and he has publicly castigated spending from outside political groups and condemned a key Supreme Court decision that made it easier.

Liberals have criticized Fox News for apparently being uninterested in the Christie scandal — probably a fair point, if a bit hypocritical given the way that MSNBC covered the “phony” IRS scandal. The network that recently fired one of its hosts for suggesting someone defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth cut away from one of the first congressional hearings on IRS targeting so that host Chris Jansing could ask a Democratic lawmaker if he thought Republicans were “more interested in going after the White House than they are in getting to the bottom of this.”