OMG!!!!! Look who’s covering Christie’s prez campaign


Brodesser-Akner on Twitter
Brodesser-Akner on Twitter


The Star-Ledger has hired a former Hollywood celebrity gossip blogger to be the senior political correspondent who will cover Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, according to social media sources.


Meanwhile, Amy Ellis Nutt, the only Star-Ledger writer ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, left the paper last week. She will work for The Washington Post.

The site LA Observed reported that Claude Brodesser-Akner, a former blogger for the gossip site TMZ,  revealed the move to New Jersey’s largest newspaper himself on his Facebook page:

“Longtime LA and Hollywood journalist Claude Brodesser-Akner is moving east to become the senior political writer for the Newark Star-Ledger, covering New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his anticipated run for the presidency. ’Those of you who know me well know this is about as close as it gets to me to winning PowerBall Lotto,’ Brodesser-Akner writes on Facebook. ‘It’s also a dream job that I need to point out ONLY came true with the endless love, support and sacrifice of the world’s hardest-working and best possible wife, Taffy Brodesser-Akner.’’’

The media site Cision also reported:

Claude Brodesser-Akneri s joining The Star-Ledger as a senior political writer, focusing on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his anticipated 2016 presidential run. Currently a freelance writer, he was most recently West Coast editor for New York magazine and Vulture from January 2010 to March 2013. He previously served as bureau chief for Advertising Age and co-editor for Madison + Vine at Crain Communications. Prior to this, he hosted and co-wrote The Business on KCRW, a show he created. Before that, he was a blogger for TMZ, a staff reporter for Variety and an intern for Charlie Rose. Follow Brodesser-Akner’s coverage on Facebook.”

The Star-Ledger has not made an announcement and Brodesser-Akner apparently has taken down the Facebook comment.

The proper name of the newspaper is The Star-Ledger. It dropped the word “Newark” from its title about 50 years ago.

Brodesser-Akner has made news of his own.   In 2008, while running the KCRW public radio show “The Business”—which covered Hollywood—he made some remarks that angered gay listeners by comparing critics of Proposition 8—the anti-gay marriage measure–to the rightwing politicians who blacklisted Hollywood actors, writers and directors. He called it the “pink list.”  Brodesser-Akner was replaced two months later.

Two years earlier, in a feature wedding story in The New York Times in 2006, Brodesser—Akner is his wife’s birth name—discussed his circumcision. The story opened:

“There are many ways for a man to prove his commitment to his fiancée: diamond rings, love poetry, the occasional tattoo. One of the most sincere, and certainly the most painful, is going through a religious conversion involving circumcision. But when Claude Brodesser, the son of Roman Catholic immigrants from Germany, proposed to Taffy Akner, an Orthodox Jew, he had no doubt about what he had to do.

“There’s no way she wasn’t going to marry a Jew,” Mr. Brodesser said of the conversion he made last year. And what of his visit to the mohel who did the circumcision? “It didn’t tickle,” he said. Ms. Akner, 30, recalled, “He was drugged, but the amount of Xanax I was on rivaled it.”


The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, announced major changes earlier this year that will include moving its operations out of Newark to Edison and Woodbridge.

  1. This, sadly, is completely consistent with my earlier comment to Linda Stamato’s guest blog (“Bridgegate is so NOT over: Chris Christie and the Priorities of the Privileged”), so I’ll simply repeat the pertinent part of it here: He’s a reality TV star with power in a country where entertainment trumps news. [Loud and deeply troubled sigh.]

    1. Christie does not require a journalist with a lengthy resume of experience covering political issues. Christie’s positions are simple. Ingratiate the Tea Party. Lie constantly about revenues, lane closures, public pension contributions. Oppose gun control, climate change control, environmental protections. Steal money from Sandy victims for seniors. Victimize teachers and other public employees. TMZ background should be perfect for this type of political joke.

  2. Somewhere, William Shakespeare rolls over in grave 🙁

  3. Perfect timing!

    I’m now reading Upton Sinclair’s “The Brass Check”.

    Highly recommended scathing expose on the media.

  4. Bob – apologies for off topic hijacking this thread and shameless blog promotion, but this one is about the health of Newark.

    Since you have many Newark readers and I very few, I thought this might be of interest to w wider reading audience:

    Bipartisan Corporate Shilling Seeking to Block EPA Listing of Newark Superfund Site


  5. Fantastic report, Mr. Wolfe. Thanks to you and Bob for teaming up and keeping this story in public view. Lives are at stake, so political careers should be as well. I have first hand experience with representatives of the DEP who were of tremendous service to the community (on air quality issues, smaller issues than this). I hope DEP will deliver. Eyes on it with gratitude for your contribution. Your documentation is invaluable. The South Jersey political nexus reeks.

  6. Geez, Braun. Let it go, already. You’re like the guy who can’t accept the fact that his girlfriend has dumped him and moved on. The Ledger sucks, and they’re moving out of Newark. We get it.

  7. Clearly, Claude was chosen because he is not afraid to put skin in the game.

  8. I just happened to see this column now. Don’t know how I missed it in July. It confirms, however, the worsening nature of the Star-Ledger & its impending doom. Rather than covering newly discovered facts about Christie’s pension shenanigans (see @davidsirota), costing the people of NJ $Billions, it hides the facts from the NJ public. By hiring a “GOSSIP BLOGER” to cover Christie’s “presidential campaign,” it shows its ‘true colors,’ hoping that Christie won’t be indicted so they can cover his campaign and sell newspapers. SHAMEFUL!!!

    1. Will wonders never cease! Besides spelling the word “BLOGGER” wrong, I must correct one other thing. After having sent the Star-Ledger @davidsirota’s Christie column for the past week, & asking them why they’re ‘Covering for Christie,” they printed it today online. Maybe tomorrow it will be in the printed version. #seriousjournalism

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