Friday, October 7, 2016

CHRIS CHRISTIE: The master of political porn |

CHRIS CHRISTIE: The master of political porn |:

CHRIS CHRISTIE: The master of political porn


New Jersey, despite the sentiments of many residents and the producers of television shows and authors of books with catchy titles, is no more politically corrupt than any other big urban state. It has, however, in the last few decades become the center of a new political phenomenon:  Political pornography.  And, in this less graphic version of “Boogie Nights,” the Jack Horner character, the producer—Burt Reynolds—is, of course, Chris Christie, the punk who became governor.
Why call it pornography?  Sure, it doesn’t have much to do with sex—although, as we’ve seen from the Bridgegate trial, profanity and obscenity are prominent in dialogue. It’s more like poverty porn, the exploitation of the degraded circumstances of people in a way that titillates observers, draws media like flies to manure, produces emotion-packed stories, results in a transfer of wealth to the organizations that do the exploiting–and yet nothing is changed for the poor.
And, like both sexual and poverty pornography, political pornography is essentially amoral. Its stories—and Bridgegate is only the most prominent at the moment—provide no guide to good behavior, produce no heroes as examples of right-thinking,  and end with no spiritual uplift. Watching political pornography titillates but doesn’t inform, just as sexual pornography arouses without any sense of romance.

Richard Aregood
Richard Aregood

We should have seen it coming to New Jersey when the story first broke that Chris Christie, a small-time Morris County Republican with little expertise in criminal law but with a brother with a lot of money to donate to the Republican Party, would be named the US Attorney in New Jersey—an office that had reached national prominence through crime-busting prosecutors like Herbert Stern and Frederick Lacey. My friend and colleague,  the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Richard Aregood, tried to warn us, even then.
Like porn producers who care nothing about plot and porn actors whose natural physical endowments make up for lack of theatrical skills, Christie became New Jersey’s chief federal prosecutor to advance, not justice, but his own political CHRIS CHRISTIE: The master of political porn |:


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