Just as “Jersey Shore” was laid to rest and Italian-Americans could rejoice (save for the continuation of the spin-off “Snooki and Jwoww”), the ethnic group took another hit, thanks to Time magazine’s latest cover.
Or so New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says. The corpulent cover subject is none too pleased with the way he’s been portrayed—likening it to Tony Soprano of the popular HBO series “The Sopranos.”
Time’s Jan. 21, 2013 cover features a close-up of the governor—which the spokesman of an Italian-American advocacy group compares to a mug shot—with the words “The Boss” emblazoned across the bottom.
The news weekly magazine insisted the headline was a reference to Christie’s handling of the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy destruction in his home state, as well as an allusion to his newfound friendship with idol—and other “boss”—Bruce Springsteen.
But after the endurance of The Godfather or the success of “The Sopranos,” is that really the first thing that would come to mind? Likely not.
Aside from the controversial cover, Christie is favorably portrayed in the accompanying article for his leadership during Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath and recovery and praised for his conciliatory actions in helping secure disaster relief for his state.
The article makes much ado over the Democrat-Republican divide, even as the Republican Christie lashes out at fellow Republicans for holding up disaster aid and crosses party lines to tour his devastated state with Democratic President Barack Obama.
Could this be loosely interpreted as loyalty to his people at all costs, something akin to what a mob boss would do? It’s something of a reach, but maybe.
In reality, a politician looking out for his electorate’s interest and willing to work with the spirit of compromise to get things done sounds like something most hold out hope for when they cast their votes. And “compromise” generally isn’t considered synonymous with “mobster.”
So while the article presents Christie as a likeable, capable leader who’s sometimes a little rough around the edges, the cover seems too forced to make sense—at least other than as a means to generate buzz or sales.