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Gov. Chris Christie Calls Roger Ailes A Confidential Advisor

Reported by Ellen - June 18, 2011 -

We posted a few weeks ago about New York Magazine's report that Fox News Chief Roger Ailes had futilely tried to get Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) to enter the presidential race. That nugget caught the attention of Gawker’s John Cook, too. In response, Gawker filed a request under New Jersey's Open Records Act for correspondence and any records of meetings or phone calls between Ailes and Christie. Christie’s office invoked “executive privilege” to deny the request, without even acknowledging whether any such records exist.

As Gawker noted,

New Jersey has a rather robust executive privilege—former Gov. Jon Corzine successfully employed it to keep his email exchanges with his ex-girlfriend and former union boss Carla Katz secret in the face of a public records act request—and there's nothing particularly unusual about Christie invoking it. What is unusual is his attempt to use it to cover conversations with someone who is, ostensibly at least, a news executive. It amounts to a rather bald admission that Ailes provides Christie with political advice.

Gawker also noted that Christie “wasn't always so interested in secrecy. After Corzine prevailed in his legal battle to keep his emails private, Christie—then a candidate—responded: 'In the interest of transparency, if I were governor I would release the e-mails.'"

Given Fox News’ bullheaded intransigence when its employees cross ethical lines, it’s no surprise Christie refused to apologize for the Choppergate incident – in which he used a state helicopter to fly to his son’s ball game after demanding austerity measures and targeting public officials who abuse perks. Christie did, however, reimburse the state for the use of the helicopter after a public outcry.

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