Gov. Christie on Thursday night blasted the newspaper industry as hypocritical for fighting a bill that would lift a state requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers.
On his Ask the Governor radio show on New Jersey 101.5FM, Christie said newspapers had been "unmasked" in the legislative fight as "feeding like pigs at the government trough."
The bill, which stalled this week, would allow legal notices for things such as foreclosures, proposed ordinances, and public contracts to be posted free online.
Christie called the mandate to publish paid legal notices a "government-ordered rip-off" and scoffed that anyone finds them valuable except newspapers.
"No one reads this stuff," he said.
The New Jersey Press Association, citing a 2011 survey, said the annual cost of the legal ads is close to $20 million, with one-third of that paid by governments with taxpayer funds.
Christie has argued that the figure was $80 million. He said on the program that his administration came up with the figure from a review of newspapers, but he declined to get into details.
Instead, he questioned the $20 million estimate and challenged newspaper publishers to open their books.
He said writers at the newspapers that defended the legal ads were "paid lobbyists all week for their billionaire bosses."
Christie vowed to revisit the issue in 2017, his final year in office.
"I have plenty of time. I've got 391 days," he said.
Also during the program, he shrugged off the failure of a legislative effort to lift a restriction that prevents him from getting paid to write a book while he was still governor.
"It's fine. I'll wait a year. It's 391 days," he said.
Near the end, he was asked who he was rooting for in the NFL game between the Eagles and the New York Giants.
He replied: "Tonight, fly, Eagles, fly, on the road to victory."
He didn't explain his pick, but Christie is a Cowboys fan and a Giants loss would help Dallas.