Dennis tells Fox News ‘real story’ behind Christie beach scandal
I was invited to be on Fox News on Monday to comment on the Governor being spotted on an otherwise deserted, closed state beach over the weekend.
So I dug up all I could on why the budget couldn't pass and the state had to shut down some parks and some beaches.
First, the national media made it seem as if nobody in New Jersey could go to the beach this weekend. Most people outside the state don't realize that a very small percentage of people here go to Island Beach State Park (where the Governor's summer residence is).
For those who do, I'm sure it was an inconvenience. According to friends right outside the park, many hit the beaches at Seaside Park and even the bay beach at South Seaside Park. Many I'm sure went to Seaside Heights or Lavallette and no one was left standing on the street sweating in the hot summer sun.
With 119 miles of coastline and dozens of beach towns there were plenty of beaches to go to. The news outlet that got the photo routinely hunts for anything dirty on Christie. He has told us that when he first became governor, reporters would stake out the local McDonald's and anywhere else he might eat, asking the employees what he ordered.
The reporter who got the infamous photo had planned to go up in the plane for aerial shots on Tuesday, but on a hunch, took the small plane up Sunday hoping to catch Christie on the beach and BINGO! (Great get, by the way, and a good hunch.)
Without those pictures and the magnifying glass of social media and TV, this isn't a story.
As I mentioned on Fox News on Monday, that same news outlet probably knew about former Governor Jim McGreevy's dalliances with other men. It was an open secret. Law enforcement knew. The media knew. But McGreevy wasn't a bully and didn't have an (R) next to his name so it wasn't really fair game for them.
All of that aside, the Governor could have made other arrangements for his beach weekend with family and friends. Lord knows thousands of other folks did! The governor's brother has a beach house a few towns away and I'm sure he could have brought the family there.
But he's the governor and he's not one to shy away from the perks of the job, so there he was. Social media exploded. The national media was all over it and it looked horrible.
He's usually pretty adept and side stepping gaffs and blunders, but this one was a bulls eye. He tried blaming Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (aka the Seinfeld Soup-Nazi look alike) for not taking a vote on the budget, but no one knows him and he wasn't caught on film playing on an empty public beach.
All of the explanations, plausible or BS, couldn't wipe away the image from that plane that went around the world.
So the budget got passed the next evening. The parks and beaches that had been closed were reopened. But the damage was done.
Christie didn't get the Horizon deal he wanted as part of the budget and the common folks got to use their public beach.
So when people ask you how your long holiday weekend was, even if you got sunburn, poison ivy, sprained an ankle on the beach, or got food poisoning from bad meat at a BBQ, it wasn't as much of a disaster as it was for Governor Christopher J. Christie.
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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.