Chris Christie on Sirota: “He’s Not a Journalist, He’s a Hack”

New Jersey gov rips writer who exposed state's risky investments.

Chris Christie got quite a bit miffed when talking yesterday about the report that New Jersey’s pension shortfall is due to risky investments Christie directed the state to make.

“The article that spurred all this conversation has been written by a guy who has been a completely discredited journalist who’s been fired for being inaccurate and inflammatory before,” Christie said. “Right now, anybody can pop up on a website and call themselves a journalist. David Sirota’s not a journalist, he’s a hack.”

Paul Carr of Pando Daily, where Sirota used to work, defended Sirota’s writing at the website and said Sirota was let go by the website during restructuring. “As Christie is well aware, not only does Pando stand by David’s reporting but we continue to cover any legal expenses he incurs as a result of Christie’s cronies threatening to sue over our coverage,” Carr wrote.

Sirota, who did some reporting on Christie’s influence on New Jersey’s pension funds while at Pando, now works for International Business Times. He talked with Philly mag’s Joel Mathis earlier this week about his reporting. Here’s a comparison he made between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Had New Jersey followed the investment advice of Warren Buffet, had it followed the investment strategy of Montgomery County, Pa., which is to diversify its portfolio through passively managed, low-fee stock-indexed funds, had it done that rather than put the money into alternative… the state would have $5.8, $6 billion more in its portfolio. That’s huge.

Sirota’s reports seem to show New Jersey wasted money by paying money managers at Wall Street firms to get a return no better than the simpler approach used in places like Montco.