Friday, January 7, 2011

Chris Christie -- warts and all

Governor of New Jersey Chris ChristieImage via Wikipedia
Jerry DeMarco calls Governor Christie "Chrispie" and "Bully from the 'Burbs."

Jerry DeMarco has seen Chris Christie as an unabashed Bruce Springsteen fan, as a corruption-busting U.S. attorney and in the Editorial Board room. 

He's been especially keen in noticing how the editors of The Record have reacted to our Republican bully of a governor.

The Woodland Park daily's editors and reporters appeared to speak with one voice in unified praise of  Christie in the first year of his administration, even when he balanced the state budget on the backs of the middle and working classes, and gave a break to millionaires, many of whom support him.

But lately, there has been some push back -- even from Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin -- as the effects of his deep budget cuts on education and other areas become clearer. 

Now, DeMarco, the former Breaking News Editor of, is watching Governor Christie from his perch at Cliffview

Here are DeMarco's latest comments:

I suspect this is just the beginning of “Chrispie” bashing from the middle floors of the Sixties-era high-rise fast by Route 80 [1 Garret Mountain Plaza in Woodland Park, headquarters of North Jersey Media Group]. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s personal, not business.

One thing I noticed about management at NJMF [stet], and that includes Alfred Dandy, is the belief that touting a horse in a race will secure insider access later on. Hey, it worked with Loretta Weinberg. If not for her, they wouldn’t have been on Joe Ferriero’s tail, or braved a three-year witch hunt of a former lawman more accomplished than they could ever hope to be.

Christie’s a different barrel o’ fish, though [stet 2].

Methinks His Primness Mr. Doblin isn’t taking kindly to standing behind the velvet rope. He folds his arms, taps his wing-tipped foot, purses his lips -- miffed that others are waltzing in while, day after day, he seeks merely a wee bit o’ coffee tawk with the Bully from the ‘Burbs.

No surprise to those who know me that I find most newspaper editors sycophants who care little about the “real people” they promise to serve and more about trying to stroke their own fragile egos.
(Just look at Scandale: Every other week, he “comes up with” another story idea after yet another dinner party chatting up the lawyerly friends of his barrister wife. More than once he responded to my push-back with: “Just find out for me, will ya?”)

Then there are true journalists, with integrity, intelligence -- and stones. If you haven’t heard, Greta Van Susteren blogged this week about promises Christie made -- to her face -- to do an “ON THE RECORD” cable show. Instead, she said, she was given run-around, twice.

“I have gotten that before from politicians and I sure don't take it personally,” Van Susteren wrote.

But she said Christie went out of his way one night to hand her a card with what he said was his personal cellphone number after he stiffed her the first time. Turned out to be his office number.

“It is a bit weird that he tracked me down to give me his number to book him and then avoids me,” she wrote. “Whatever.…”

Read more:

My point: If Christie is going to treat GVS that way, what chance does the man with Dick Cavett’s voice stand?

I used to call Chris my friend. I remember a night he walked into a huge room full of people waiting just for him and made a beeline for me. People were probably looking at me wondering, "Who the hell is THIS guy?" Chris wanted to tell me he thought a review I wrote in The Record about a Springsteen concert was “awesome.”

Besides his flair for flesh-pressing, Chris has a particular genius: He can look at a case file 5 minutes before court opens and get a jury to convict before lunch -- not through expert analysis of the evidence but by chatting up you, and me, like we’re all knockin‘ back Heinees at a barbecue.

I watched the ENTIRE Record editorial board eat from his hand while Chris was still U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. They asked so many times whether he was running for governor -- like rookie reporters thinking they could worm out the big scoop -- it eventually became embarrassing..

By the time we were through, he all but took their wallets, keys and watches. Yet, as he walked from the Hackensack corporate wing with Michele Brown (you remember her: she of the personal loan), the frigs and Frank were thrilled -- almost giggly -- from the experience.

Flash forward to now, as a bully out of his depth shouts down the good people of our state, then posts it on YouTube for God-knows-what-just-reason. Earlier this week, he yelled at photogs as he walked to his car, saying they were only waiting for him to slip and fall. And he wasn‘t kidding around.

Not for anything, but he's looking less the statesman and more the Kingpin every day.

After seeing a 3D-like photo of Chris standing tall, looking straight into the camera from behind what looked like a bay window in a suit jacket, the lone clasped button straining to stay tethered, I wrote a piece about the man‘s size.

I‘m reluctant to pull the trigger: I don't want to offend people with weight trouble. But there’s this: To lecture that we need to better discipline ourselves is difficult to take from someone who can't control his weight -- or ego. Seems the next time he actually listens to someone since he became governor will be the first.

“His ‘inner circle’ is getting larger, and folks are being pushed further and further to arm's length, including staunch supporters,” one of my best inside sources told me this week.  “There's a serious lack of communication, and I'm still not sure if it's due to the man himself shutting everyone out or his Trenton minions being so convinced of their own importance that they're closing ranks and insulating their guy to the point of absurdity.

“Either way, the result is that things are happening, decisions are being made, and folks who should be given a heads' up are actually the last to know.  There have been grumblings about this from others, so I know it's not just an isolated incident here and there.”

If he’s doing this to his own people, where does that leave Francis “Laughing Boy” Scandale, not to mention the sly Charles Stile and the diminutive Skull Cap in Suspenders?

I suspect these initial critical forays will, in the end, prove just the preliminaries. As the swelling tide of public opinion turns on Christie, and The Record finds itself more adrift from its garrulous friend, I’ll bet all kinds of arrows start flying from the building hard by the interstate.


See previous post, Money, money, money
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  1. Can you spell it out in English Mr. Sasson,the relationship between the Govenor and NJMG,
    and the relationship between Chris Christie
    and the Borg Family? I hope you understand why I made two questions out of this. Thank You.

  2. What I see is unusually favorable news coverage of the governor, often sounding like press releases from his office.

    I don't know anything about any relationships between the governor and North Jersey Media Group, or him and the Borg family.

    However, the Borgs are the kind of wealthy family that is benefiting most from his policies.

  3. Hey, didn't you used to be Jerry DeMarco?


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