The big problem for Christie, on the other hand, is that the scandals driving his brutal media coverage—most famously Bridge-gate, but also his alleged attempt to withhold Sandy relief funds from the city of Hoboken unless the mayor backed a project for a powerful developer, to say nothing of a series of older scandals, like ostentatiously abusing his expense account as a U.S. attorney, funneling fat federal contracts to key backers, etc.—all cut in the wrong direction ideologically. They sound like a Tea Partier’s nightmare of big government. As much as conservatives might have a soft spot for victims of the liberal media, once the dust clears, it’s hard to imagine them feeling very sympathetic to a candidate who’s been attacked for a litany of sins that aren’t just morally suspect in their eyes, but ideologically damning. As it happens, Giuliani’s own media-bashing officially jumped the shark when he deployed it during a scandal that was similarly off-message ideologically—a Politico report that he’d billed New York City taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars of security expenses that he ran up while visiting his mistress.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Christie’s 2016 chances are plummeting regardless of what he does, so in some sense this discussion is academic. But if he’s going to have any prayer at all in the GOP primaries, I’d guess there’s a bigger percentage for him in continuing to engage the media, however painful this is, rather than attacking it.