New York Times covers Chris Christie’s waistline – but not his multibillion-dollar pension firestorm

Paper of record ignores mounting evidence of pay-to-play, but seemingly finds other Christie topics more important

Published September 24, 2014 4:37PM (EDT)

Chris Christie                                    (AP/Matt Rourke)
Chris Christie (AP/Matt Rourke)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to be plagued by a drip-drip-drip of revelations surrounding his administration’s pension scandal, but the New York Times would rather talk about the potential 2016 GOP presidential contender’s weight loss.

A bit of background: In 2010, Christie appointed investor and longtime pal Robert Grady to oversee New Jersey’s $81 billion state pension fund. Grady, whose professional background is in private equity and who still serves as a managing director at the Wyoming-based Cheyenne Capital fund, began steering state pension funds toward private equity institutions and other “alternative investment firms” – including an investment of $1.8 billion in the Blackstone Group, which also counts Grady’s Cheyenne Capital as an investor. Meanwhile, financial institutions whose employees have supported Christie’s campaigns and political interests have received an estimated $14 billion in pension money from the state.

All told, directing pension investments toward such institutions has come at a cost of $3.8 billion to New Jersey taxpayers. The state’s pensions are $104 billion in the red, and New Jersey’s pension woes are a major reason the state’s credit rating has been cut eight times during Christie’s tenure.

Christie’s pension scandal hasn’t escaped the attention of New Jersey and regional media — with the glaring exception of a certain newspaper across the Hudson River.

The Times hasn’t found time to document the mounting evidence of not just mismanagement, but potentially corruption, in the Christie administration’s handling of New Jersey’s pensions. As more revelations of Grady’s shady pension deals came to light this month, the Times ran no reports on the story, although the paper did examine how Chris Christie’s trip to Mexico may be a prelude to a presidential run. And on Monday, the paper of record reported that Christie told a confab of conservative donors at David Koch’s Upper East Side duplex that he’s lost 85 pounds since undergoing weight loss surgery last year.

For those wondering, Christie “did not reveal his current weight,” the Times wrote.

Meanwhile, as the Times updates its readers on Christie’s progress in achieving his fighting weight ahead of 2016, his administration is again being exposed as something radically different from the clean, straight-talking government Christie has long promised the New Jersey voters. As with Bridgegate, the most charitable reading of the latest Christie scandal is that he’s an incompetent manager, not an agent of malfeasance.

But rest assured, if you're interested, you can learn all about Christie shedding some pounds.

By Luke Brinker

MORE FROM Luke Brinker

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2016 Elections Chris Christie Media Criticism New Jersey Pensions Politics The New York Times