Jersey Bore: Who Wants to Watch Chris Christie on Cable TV?

Is this a practical joke, or a real idea?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s possible career as a sports broadcaster may not have panned out, but he might still have a shot at a television gig. Christie has had conversations with both MSNBC and CNN about possible contributor deals after his term ends, according to three sources with knowledge of the talks.

“Yes. They are talking about a possible deal,” an NBC source said. An NBC spokesperson declined to comment.

CNN declined to comment.

Christie is not in talks with Fox News, a separate source with knowledge of the situation said.

Fox News wisely wouldn’t touch Christie because he would put viewers to sleep at any hour of the day. Why would CNN and MSNBC not realize the same thing?

The failed New Jersey governor would be a disaster and a half as a contributor to either network. What compelling insight could he possibly bring to the table? What vision could he articulate? What wisdom could he impart?

It’s one thing for cable networks skittish about false allegations of “liberal bias” to bring Republican hacks on board as contributors. It doesn’t silence those allegations, of course, but those networks certainly have the right to try. However, putting Christie on the air would be about as exciting as airing a test pattern.

Did it ever dawn on the executives considering bringing Christie on board that taking such an action would insult the intelligence of their viewers? Why would any cable-news honcho assume that viewers want to hear from Bridgegate Boy?

Christie has a long and sordid history of intemperate behavior towards those who offend him. What happens if a host or fellow panelist irritates him during a discussion? Will he yell at his colleague to shut up?

One can easily envision Christie popping off if he’s hired by CNN or MSNBC prior to the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and a colleague brings up his reluctance to acknowledge the role human-caused climate change played in fueling Sandy–and his shameful 2011 decision to pull New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. How would Christie respond if a colleague brought up the fact that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who endorsed Christie’s doomed 2016 presidential campaign, did not pull his state out of RGGI and in fact joined other governors in an effort to strengthen the policy?

As to why Chris Christie would be interested in becoming a pundit-for-hire, perhaps he figures that if John Kasich can become a media darling, he can too. Of course, the difference between Kasich and Trump is that Kasich is, shall we say, a less grating television presence than Christie.

Cable news has been littered with failures over the years: Alan Keyes and Michael Savage on MSNBC and Jeffrey Lord on CNN immediately leap to mind. If Christie joins the commentary class on CNN or MSNBC, don’t expect him to last too long; how could he, with a temper that short?

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.