Chris Christie's year has been more than a little bit tough, what with "Bridgegate" and its attendant melodramas. But one thing he's got going for him is that, frankly, dude's been looking much healthier lately. A seemingly successful lap band surgery and healthier living have helped Christie shed some of the weight that made him a target of every cheap-shot artist in the pundit-sphere. But precisely how much weight has Christie lost? This wasn't a question I thought anyone would find particularly necessary to answer, at least until this morning, when Politico did this:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears to have shed as many as 85 pounds since his lap-band surgery last year and looks to be down to a healthier 230-something weight, according to experts.
After a constituent remarked about the governor’s noticeably slimmed-down physique at a town hall meeting last week, POLITICO asked two experts to estimate the governor’s weight loss by comparing several pictures of him from 2011 with recent photos.
Yes, in today's "Huh, what now?" moment in political journalism, Politico actually called up "experts" to do a round of "Guess Your Weight" -- you know, that game that is popular with carnival-folk? The good news, I guess, is that for once, the sources are not anonymous. The bad news is that "Dr. Jessica Barfield, a doctor of internal medicine specializing in nutrition and weight management at Loyal Medicine’s Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care in Melrose, Ill." and "Dr. David L. Katz, a director at the Prevention Research Center at Yale University’s School of Medicine" -- who were literally shown before and after photos and asked to hazard a guess about Christie's weight -- obviously have way too much time on their hands.
Why couldn't Politico just call up Chris Christie's office and ask? I don't know? Maybe they don't know anyone in Christie's office. Anyway, these "experts" are guessing that Christie has lost somewhere around 85 pounds. Scoop, if true! I'm sorry that we don't have peer-reviewed scientific consensus on this issue.
The larger question, however is this: Isn't the "Hey I thought I'd call a couple random doctors and get them to guess how much weight Chris Christie lost" pitch something that an editor is supposed to immediately shoot down? Because I would have shot this pitch down.