Opinions Aren’t Questions

Some media outlets are making a big deal out of a new Chris Christie video from Monday morning, Save Jerseyans, in which the New Jersey Governor is seen shutting down an ABC-7 correspondent at a press conference.

I’m not sure why. There’s nothing new to see here! Chris Christie has been verbally manhandling pushy reporters for almost three years. That said, I suspect we’re going to see more media indignation heading into 2013 as liberals grow frustrated over the Governor’s persistent popularity in the midst of ongoing economic turbulence.

Check it out:


Two quick observations…

(1.) Who was initially rude to whom?

As best I cant tell from the video clip, Governor Christie politely took and answered the ABC reporter’s question concerning the “Homekeeper” mortgage assistance program (a topic originally broached by the Inky’s Matt Katz earlier this month).

Fortunately for lovers of Christie-generated viral videos, the ABC reporter pressed on by asking a “follow up” question…

(2.) The reporter’s follow up “question” was actually an opinion, and you don’t debate Chris Christie at a presser.

Note how the reporter begins his follow up “question” at the 0:25 mark by saying “you know, I’m not sure that really rings true.”

Oh boy… first off, Governor Christie didn’t cut off the reporter’s question. The reporter got his first question out and answered. The “follow up” was the problem. And why was it a problem, you ask?

Pressing public officials for better answers on the record is one thing, folks; stating that you don’t think said public official’s position “rings true” isn’t journalism at all, and it’s certainly not a “question.” That’s an opinion. There’s a clear difference. Reporters aren’t supposed to offer their opinions or pass judgment on the issues/people whom they cover. Interestingly, ABC-7 must’ve picked up on this, too, since the “rings true” line is conspicuously absent from its online account of the exchange.

At the end of the day, folks, you need to put yourself in a Republican elected official’s shoes.

I’m sure the Governor would agree that a “free press” is essential to the maintenance of a free society. Sadly, a growing majority of a mainstream journalists seem more interested in advocating a particular ideological agenda than engaging an unbiased pursuit of fact and truth. The unbelievably slanted coverage of this year’s presidential contest has provided a shocking example of how the Fourth Estate is morphing into the second wing of the DNC.

Another case in point illustrated by a contrast: the media wants to debate Chris Christie at a press conference, but the media also continues to avoid scrutinizing the President’s record (as the world collapses around us) while some of its members are coordinating questions to trip up his opponent.

Why should Governor Christie or any other Republican sit still and take it on the chin without a fight? In doing so, they’d be letting down the free citizens whom the free press are also supposed to serve.