Fake news is as common today as breakfast meals at a Waffle House. The November election reignited our nation's need to grapple with what to accept as truth and what simply represents a person spouting off. Put simply, one has to consider the source.
The source. Yes, let's consider just that in recent Philadelphia fan bashings that made headlines.
New Jersey Gov. Christie took a shot toward at least 40 percent of his constituents in recent weeks. First, he visited WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show and bashed Eagles fans.
In fact, according to numerous media reports, he said, "They're interested. But the hostility, I will tell you that I take for being a Cowboys fan - and this is what I say to Giants fans all the time, and Eagles fans. Now Eagles fans I understand it from a little more because the Eagles do suck and they've sucked for a long time. And their fans are generally angry, awful people."
Then, not wanting to let up, he let his feelings toward Phillies fans out on an appearance on SportsNet New York's Baseball Night. During a segment in which the hosts created a controversy over the Phillies' use of Tug McGraw's phrase, "Ya Gotta Believe," our esteemed Garden State leader opined, "The Phillies suck. . . . They're an awful team. They're an angry bitter fan base and it's not safe for civilized people to go to Citizens Bank Park if you want to root for the other team."
Ouch. Thanks, Gov. But, before getting all riled up, just consider the source.
Who cares what he said? Let's get this one out of the way: He is rumored to have eyes on a New York sports talk radio show and he simply pandered to his audience of New Yorkers. Had he been on Philly radio and said that about Dallas or Giants fans, he'd have entered the Ed Rendell stratosphere. Christie acted the part for his next potential gig.
Consider the source. This is a man who is a Dallas Cowboys fan even though he grew up in the North Jersey/New York market. Why? Because the Cowboys won when he was younger. Rooting for one's local teams qualifies as a civic duty. Yet, a young Chris Christie elected to commence a life of front-running as a child. That would explain why he jumped on the Trump Train seconds after losing in New Hampshire.
And, front-running signals a lack of loyalty. In fact, the World's Greatest Bridge Blocker lacks any loyalty to those not named Christie. Just ask public workers, his scapegoat bridge staffers, or the Wildwood residents he mocked with mops while in New Hampshire running a fruitless, failing POTUS campaign. Talk about "awful" people. And, it all started with a decision to root for the winning team while avoiding his civic duty to don NY football sports apparel.
The "angry, awful" fans Christie refers to know what true annual suffering entails. Loyalty breeds within the fan base. Teaching kids "Dallas Sucks" chants around the City of Brotherly Love, while ironic, remains a sign of proper, professional parenting. Had that lesson been instilled in Christie as a young lad, and had he been raised a Jets or Giants fan, maybe loyalty would extend to those he was elected to serve, not mock. Maybe his approval rating would be higher and he'd have placed in New Hampshire a year ago.
For now, just consider the source.
Frank Ward is a South Jersey writer and editor. firstname.lastname@example.org