It's a Chris-tastrophe
(Sorry, the Daily News took all the good headlines.)
Without a doubt, Chris Christie's traffic scandal is the uncontested top trending story today in the Muck Rack newsroom. The New York Times is toward the top, with news that emails tie top Christie aides to lane closings in an attempt to put the squeeze on Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich. "Appallingly petty staff wreaks havoc. Classy!" Re/code's Kara Swisher remarked. "Whoa. The PA angle is shocking and the fact they did it on 9/11 is despicable," noted Brian Tracey with Reuters. "A Christie staffer's response to the late school buses stuck in GWB traffic: 'They are the children of Buono voters,'" WNYC's Yasmeen Khan shared.
Then Cairo-based freelancer Gregg Carlstrom took a moment to help us put things into perspective, first. "Perhaps someday causing a traffic jam will be worst pol abuse in Egypt, too. Though they'd need to fix traffic first."
The Wall Street Journal is all over it, as well, with a headline citing the emailed quote that was perhaps most damning of all: Christie Aide: 'Time for Some Traffic Problems.' "Smoking guns don't get much smokier than: 'Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,' Neil King there pointed out. "This reads like a movie or episode of House of Cards," colleague Sarah Needleman marveled. It gave freelance journalist Claire Howorth some ideas, who resolved, "def going to start saying 'time for some traffic problems' whenever [I] am mad at someone." SP Sullivan at New Jersey Star-Ledger had a slightly different take: "To be fair, it is literally *always* time for traffic problems in Fort Lee."
And from NorthJersey.com, even more details emerge on the scandal. "A lot of people only read NYT stories. This details the layers of staff involvement and contempt for voters," Salon's Joan Walsh concluded. "Respect to the Bergen Record for chasing this Christie REVENGE TRAFFIC story down, too. My hometown paper," freelance journo David Roth noted. "This story is CRAZY," responded Marc Ramirez with the Dallas Morning News. "Christie says he was misled on GWB lane closures." Lionel at WPIX New York, however, was unmoved: "When you’re the Governor, you know where the buck stops. This is far more problematic than I think he realizes."
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News is going so far as to call it Christie's Waterloo. "NYDN pulling absolutely no punches," observed Karen Beninato at Forbes. Josh Barro at Business Insider was a bit more hesitant: "This NYDN editorial is mostly right, but calling Christie a 'monster' over this scandal is over the top."
But, wait; it gets worse.
EMS responses were evidently delayed by the GWB lane closures in Fort Lee. Which caused Ryan Lizza to practically gasp, "OMG, an unconscious woman waiting for EMS delayed by bridge traffic, later died." Michael Cohen at the Guardian announced, "And this is proverbial final straw for Christie."
And yes, the NYDN quietly waited years to use this headline, and now's their opportunity: "FAT CHANCE NOW, CHRIS," their front page screams. "Subtle and classy pun from the Daily News here," Slate's Matthew Yglesias mused. "Your move @nypost," Michael Roston teased at "that other New York paper" (we mean the Times). Clara Jeffery at Mother Jones was equally unimpressed: "Better heds than @NYDailyNews, ranked: 1) Bridge Set Me Up 2) Bridge to Nowhere 3) Payback's A Bridge 4) Bridge Troll."