Fox News has devoted less coverage than several of its cable news rivals to the scandal swirling around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has had to confront the fact that one of his top aides was directly involved in a nasty political payback scheme. While the revelations were all over CNN, MSNBC and the front pages of the nation's newspapers, Fox News paid relatively little attention to the story — on Wednesday, it spent just 15 minutes on the topic, according to Media Matters.
But Thursday afternoon, Greg Gutfeld, one of the hosts of "The Five," admitted the story is a "scandal."
"We cannot sit here and dismiss this as a distraction," he said. "That makes us look like complete hypocrites, because we would explode. ... We have exploded here at this table when somebody says Benghazi is a distraction or...is a phony scandal."
"This is not a distraction. This is a scandal," he added.
Gutfeld then argued that the media is softer on Democratic scandals than Republican ones but said, "[Y]ou cannot use it as an excuse to say this isn't real."
Not everyone in the Fox News family agrees with Gutfield. Earlier on Thursday, Fox News Radio anchor and reporter Todd Starnes asked, "the mainstream media is hyperventilating over a traffic jam?"
Christie and his administration had maintained that the September closure of Fort Lee, N.J. access lanes to the George Washington Bridge -- a move that created massive traffic jams for local residents -- was not at all political but instead was part of a traffic study. They scoffed at accusations that the closure was related to the fact that Fort Lee's Democratic mayor did not appear to be backing Christie's reelection bid in November.
But emails released Wednesday between Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, and one of his appointees at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, blew apart that reasoning and showed clear political motivations.