Chris Christie's Mysogynistic Attacks Against Bridget Kelly In GWB Report Draw Heavy Criticism.
March 28, 2014

Although Chris Christie's internal review didn't interview the most important people caught up in the Bridgegate scandal they did manage to trash his former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly quite cruelly and people are taking notice.

Irate Friends See Sexism in Report on Former Christie Aide

She “seemed emotional.” She was “habitually concerned about how she was perceived by the governor.” A boyfriend had ended a relationship.

Gov. Chris Christie, seeking to stanch the damage the scandal had caused to his political fortunes, fired her as his deputy chief of staff after that, calling her “stupid.” But the report commissioned by Mr. Christie and released Thursday doubles down on a strategy of portraying Ms. Kelly as duplicitous, weeping frequently and dependent on men for approval and stability.

Though the lawyers who wrote the report did not interview her, they explain her conduct in unusually personal terms — she is out of the office attending to a family member who had been hospitalized; a brief relationship “had cooled” at the “behest” of the man, Mr. Christie’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien.

The report raises these details but does not explain how or why they would have prompted her to send the damning email. It simply concludes that “events in her personal life may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind.”

The portrayal conflicts with ones offered by others: legislators who worked with Ms. Kelly in her role on Mr. Christie’s staff, who describe her as devoted to her job and assiduous to detail; friends who describe her as tough-minded through the challenges of a divorce and family health problems; her lawyer, who describes her as a 42-year-old single mother trying to make do even with cameras camped outside.

They show no proof of their misogynist allegations, but they include them anyway, Why is that you ask? Because this is not a real internal review report, but a document that's sole purpose is to exonerate Chris Christie. Why they thought going gonzo on Bridget Kelly was a good idea I have no clue. Maybe they believe like Bryan Fisher, that women are an inferior species and make a handy scapegoat.

One friend questioned why Ms. Kelly had been singled out for such harsh criticism in the report: “If you’re going to throw her under the bus, she shouldn’t be alone under the bus.”Some friends — including those who voted for Mr. Christie — reserved some of their harshest comments for him.Ms. Kelly’s friends also said that they were struck by what they felt was a gender bias in the report, noting that the personal language describing Ms. Kelly is not used to describe David Wildstein, even though he is pegged as her co-conspirator.

Joan Walsh: Christie’s creepy misogyny: Behold his despicable “blame Bridget” strategy

Christie’s lawyers’ treatment of Kelly was so shoddy that Stepien, formerly the governor’s former right-hand man, was forced to release a statement denouncing the report’s “gratuitous reference” to his “brief” relationship with Kelly as “a regrettable distraction.”

Blaming the woman goes back to Eve, so it shouldn’t be particularly surprising. But I still find this story bizarre: Why is Christie so determined not only to blame his former allies, but to shame them? He himself called Kelly “stupid” in his two-hour pity-party last January, while he depicted Wildstein as a high-school loser to his student-athlete-president demigod. Now his lawyers have used Stepien to smear Kelly – and that’s pissed off not only Stepien but Kelly’s friends, who took to the New York Times to denounce the report’s heaping dose of sexism in its depiction of Christie’s once fiercely loyal aide.

Olivia Nuzzi from The Daily Beast writes: The Slut-Shaming of Bridget Anne Kelly

“Maybe that’s what’s making me so angry,” Weinberg said in a phone call Thursday. “They’re talking about ‘a personal relationship’ and they put in the report that Mr. Stepien was the one who ended it—how do they know that? How do they know that? And was that done to add to the credence that this was some crazy woman, some woman who is no longer in control of her emotions?”

When asked why the affair was mentioned at all, Randy Mastro, an attorney at the white shoe firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which was hired to do the investigation, told the media at a press conference, “the relevance is that it may explain a lack of communication between [Kelly and Stepien].”

Samantha Wyatt writes: Will Megyn Kelly Ignore Sexist Attacks In Report Commissioned By Christie?

Megyn Kelly's staunch rejection of sexist rhetoric on Fox raises the question of whether she will press Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) on the sexist treatment of his former aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, in a new report on the George Washington Bridge scandal he commissioned.

On the March 28 edition of Happening Now, two of Kelly's Fox News colleagues, contributors Judith Miller and Kristen Powers, denounced the report, saying it "slut-shames" Bridget Anne Kelly with "extremely sexist references."

According to a March 28 Fox Nation post, Christie will go "one-on-one" with host Megyn Kelly on the March 28 edition of The Kelly File. Megyn Kelly has a history of denouncing sexism on her program, most notably tearing into Fox colleagues Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs over sexist comments they made about a study on the rise of female breadwinners in the U.S.

In light of Kelly's willingness to stand up to sexism on her show, it will be interesting to see whether she uses her Fox News platform to take Christie to task for the report's reliance on sexist smears to place the blame for the bridge scandal squarely on the shoulders of Bridget Anne Kelly.

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