The stunt Congressman Frank Pallone pulled this week, manipulating the media into inaccurately reporting that there was a new federal investigation into Governor Chris Christie’s participation in last summer’s #Stronger Than The Storm tourism ad campaign, is nothing new for the son a Long Branch used car dealer.
Such media manipulation is a well worn arrow in Pallone’s quiver.
In September of 2010, Pallone held a press conference in Keyport to announce his proposed $400 million Coastal Jobs Creation Act.
USA Yesterday The Asbury Park Press gave Pallone’s announcement widespread coverage on its website and in its print edition. You could have thought Pallone was distributing bags of cash to fisherman along the bayshore given the way APP reported that “news.”
There was a problem with Pallone’s Act of Congress. He proposed the bill the previous March and it died in committee in July. But here he was in September, 5 weeks before an election, declaring himself to be the reincarnation of St. Anthony of Padula, the patron saint of fishermen.
The Asbury Park Press reporters and editors either didn’t check on the status of the bill or they willingly gave Pallone hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “free media” 5 weeks before an election based on a story that was essentially a fabrication.
What Pallone did this week is the same play. In the mist of the media’s Bridgegate feeding frenzy, Pallone alerted the media that there was now a “federal investigation” into Christie inappropriately using Sandy Relief funds to boost his reelection campaign. The truth is that Pallone, in August of last year, wrote the HUD Inspector General asking that they look into the #Stronger Than The Storm ad campaign that featured Christie. In September, HUD informed Pallone they would do an audit, which is standard practice anyway.
Seeing the media sharks circling Christie hungry for blood, Pallone tossed the stale “news” of the standard HUD audit into the waters as if it was fresh meat. The sharks jumped and made a lot of noise, over nothing.