Blocking Access to a Bridge Is the Worst Act Ever, Right?

by Jim Geraghty

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the media’s round-the-clock, week-long coverage of Bridgemageddon, it’s that limiting access to a bridge is one of the worst crimes imaginable, right?

The above video shows when Occupy Wall Street blocked access to the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, 2011:

In a tense showdown above the East River, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests who took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The police said it was the marchers’ choice that led to the enforcement action.

“Protesters who used the Brooklyn Bridge walkway were not arrested,” Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, said. “Those who took over the Brooklyn-bound roadway, and impeded vehicle traffic, were arrested.”

Actually, government officials’ limiting access to a bridge over personal pique or a political grudge is a serious scandal, and worthy of investigation. The firings are justified, and the New Jersey state legislature is entirely within its rights to get to the bottom of it. But the national media is offering an obsessive level of coverage not because the crime is so horrific, because the bridge access-limiting may or may not involve a big-name Republican governor who had been perceived as a strong contender for the GOP presidential nomination. When Occupy blocks access to the most iconic American bridge, it’s not even a blip on the national news. With Christie, we’re in the seventh day of intense, coast-to-coast discussion and speculation.

Thanks to Nathan Wurtzel for remembering that other obstruction of bridge access in the New York City area.

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