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Chris Christie rips reporter for confrontation with Rex Ryan

August 27, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the Little League World Series championship game in Williamsport, Pa.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie throws out the ceremonial first pitch before… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could end up being the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.

He might not be getting too many votes from the staff of the New York Daily News.

In a guest stint on a local sports talk radio show Monday, Christie lashed out at Manish Mehta, the New York Jets beat writer for the Daily News, for apparently being the reporter who asked the questions that caused Coach Rex Ryan to lose his temper Saturday night during a news conference.

“Idiot,” Christie said of Mehta. “The guy’s a complete idiot. Self-consumed, underpaid reporter. The only reason he’s empowered is we’re spending all this time this morning talking about Manish Mehta who, by the way, I couldn’t pick out of a police lineup. ... We shouldn’t be giving this dope, you know, the amount of airtime we’ve given him already.”

During Saturday night's preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Ryan inserted Mark Sanchez, one of two players competing for the starting quarterback job, into the game during the fourth quarter, with no other potential first-stringers around him.

Sanchez ended up injuring his shoulder and his playing status is unknown with less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. After the game, Ryan was peppered with questions about the quarterback situation and eventually lost his cool.

“As somebody who stands in front of the press asking you questions, what's he supposed to say at that point?" Christie asked co-host Craig Carton. "He tried to defend the decision, and people keep yelling at him, so he had enough of the ... . He's like, ‘Enough, I've given you my answer.' There comes a point, Craig, sometimes, with you people in the media, where you just have to say, ‘Hey, that's my answer. You think it's stupid, you don't like it, then say that. But leave me alone.'”

Now that's a good point from someone who definitely knows what he's talking about. Too bad he had to overshadow it by taking swipes at a reporter he admits he doesn't even know.

The Daily News isn't taking this lying down. In a gesture to show the governor that it's not nice to make personal attacks on someone, the newspaper has chosen to make personal attacks on Christie, focusing specifically on his weight.

"Who you calling an idiot, fatso!" is the front-page headline on Tuesday's paper. The website features at least two columns about the incident (neither written by Manish) -- with one of them filled with not-so-subtle references to Christie's waistline -- as well as a graphic entitled "Manish vs. The Meatball."

Of course, the folks at the Daily News have every right to defend their colleague, just as Christie had every right to defend his buddy Ryan. But, like Christie, they lost credibility when they decided to make it personal.

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