Christie Report Called Sexist in Treatment of Ex-Aide

Bridget Anne Kelly 'seemed emotional' and is given most of the blame

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 28, 2014 3:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Chris Christie surely knew that the report exonerating him in the Jersey bridge scandal would be called biased because he himself commissioned it. But sexist, too? That's the gist of criticism making the rounds because of the report's treatment of former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly. Investigators wrote that Kelly "seemed emotional" and was “habitually concerned about how she was perceived by the governor"—a tone notably absent in descriptions of the men in the report, Kelly's friends point out to the New York Times. The report, in the words of the Times, "doubles down on a strategy of portraying Ms. Kelly as duplicitous, weeping frequently and dependent on men for approval and stability."

What seem to be rankling critics most is that investigators found it necessary to mention not only that that Kelly had a brief relationship with Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, but that it was Stepien who broke it off. “Maybe that’s what’s making me so angry,” state Sen. Loretta Weinberg tells the Daily Beast. “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?" (Both the DB and a column at Raw Story use the phrase "slut-shaming" in their headlines.) Christie defended the report today when asked whether it was fair to Kelly, reports the Washington Post. The report lays out the facts, he said, and “how anyone wants to interpret those, it’s up to your interpretation.” (In another Bridgegate development, the head of the Port Authority resigned today, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly.
Former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, Pool)
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