It actually happened Saturday, but somehow I missed the lovely video above of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie calling a reporter an idiot and asking if he was stupid because the scribe dared to ask him a question that wasn’t on the subject of the water main break in Monmouth County Christie had summoned reporters for.
Mind you, this was hours after Christie had ordered the state legislature into session to deal with the tax cut he wants. He knew the state’s media would have some questions for him, so he told them he’d only be taking questions about the water main.
Reporter Chris Harris politely waited until Christie had fielded questions about the water main, then politely asked if the governor would be meeting with the legislature Monday.
And Christie went off.
Anybody who covers government has been in this situation a dozen times, and reporters take such put-downs as part of the job. Harris tweeted that he wasn’t offended.
But it’s my observation that politicians who lash out at the media often treat other constituencies similarly. And while it’s refreshing to hear a public official say what he really thinks, a volatile temper does have its downside.
The Christie outburst reminds me of course of our own beloved Ed Rendell, who had a hate/love/hate relationship with the media.
Rendell, whose new book is called A Nation of Wusses, demonstrates here to 60 Minutes that he isn’t one.