July 3, 2017

The (Newark, New Jersey) Star-Ledger has proof, and the internet is living for it.

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that he hadn’t gotten any sun that day, the newspaper proved him wrong with photographs of him and his family on the beach. One of the Star-Ledger’s photographers had been cruising the deserted shoreline in a private plane and snapped a few photos after flying over Christie’s family twice.

The story gained traction because Christie called for the government to shut down Friday and is still using a state-provided beach house — despite the fact that beaches owned by the government will remain closed to the public for the Fourth of July. But the best part was a Christie spokesman’s response to the photographs.

“He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on,” Brian Murray told the Star-Ledger.


The media, readers and the governor himself responded in force to the Star-Ledger’s revealing photographs. Christie called a Fox affiliate on Monday morning to defend his decision to lounge at Island Beach State Park — and to sarcastically praise the newspaper’s coverage of him.

“What a great bit of journalism by the Star-Ledger. They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with — his wife and his children and their friends,” Christie told WNYW. “I’m sure they’re going to get a Pulitzer for this, they caught me.”

While the governor shrugged off the embarrassing aerial photos, the lieutenant governor did the opposite, posting on Facebook that Christie having a beach day during the New Jersey government shutdown is “beyond words.”

And other social media users joined in on the Christie bashing, posting the Star-Ledger’s photos on social media en masse with their own mocking captions. Here’s a roundup of some of the best reactions on Twitter:

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Daniel Funke is a staff writer covering online misinformation for PolitiFact. He previously reported for Poynter as a fact-checking reporter and a Google News Lab…
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