As Rich pointed out below, this morning’s political talk shows were amazingly obsessed with the news that some of Chris Christie’s top aides appear to have been involved in causing a serious traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge, between New York and New Jersey. It was indeed something of a slow news week, but the past seven days saw terrifying advances made by al-Qaeda in Iraq, the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and Republican talk about how they’d like to address the problem, the release of an important account of how the Obama administration handled national security, and the death of one of the key figures in the Israel–Palestine conflict. But with certain exceptions, you wouldn’t know it: As Rich said, the New Jersey scandal is a legitimate, important story, but the Sunday shows fell over themselves to offer incredibly comprehensive coverage of it and idle speculation about how it’ll affect a potential presidential candidate’s fate two or three years down the road.
Here’s how long each program took before they deigned to discuss something other than the scandal:
Meet the Press: 33 minutes. After having on the mayor of Fort Lee (the town most affected by the traffic jam), airing a report from Iowa on the scandal’s impact, and suggesting that viewers weigh in on Meet the Press’s Facebook page (among other things), the NBC program’s roundtable finally, at 11:03 a.m. New York time, turned to discussing the release of Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’s explosive memoir. Thankfully, just eight minutes later, at 11:11, they returned to the Christie controversy.