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Governor Christie Defends Calling New York Daily News Writer Manish Mehta an ‘Idiot’

Gov. Christie took heat this week for a frank radio interview he gave Monday, in which he called New York Daily News writer Manish Mehta a “dope” and an “idiot.” Tonight on NJ 101.5’s Ask the Governor program, Christie wasn’t apologizing.

Christie criticized Mehta on Monday for hammering Jets coach Rex Ryan over whether rookie QB Geno Smith still “had a chance.”

“What kind of stupid question is that?” Christie said tonight. “Of course [he] has a chance.”

The New York Daily News, where Mehta is the Jets beat writer, responded to Christie’s original comments on Monday by screaming on Tuesday’s front page: “Who you calling an idiot, fatso?”

Was Christie offended by the New York Daily News’ response? “They’re calling me names on the front page. That’s fine, OK. That’s their choice. They get to express themselves, too.”

The governor also hinted that those offended by his comments – including sports writers – might have taken them too seriously. Writers at the New York Times and at the Washington Post also took Christie to task. “Some of the reaction to this is over-wrought reporters who are so thin-skinned that they don’t like to be criticized either,” Christie said.

“Let’s try to keep some perspective,” he continued. “These sports writers get called every name in the book by sports fans who read them. I was very interested to see their sensitivity.”

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