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Christie Orders Half-Staff, Controversy Rages

Christie Orders Half-Staff, Controversy Rages

TERESA MASTERSON 02/15/2012 8:27 PM

Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags flown at half-staff at state government buildings Saturday - the day of Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Christie described Houston, who was born in Newark and raised in nearby East Orange, as a “cultural icon” who belongs in the same category of New Jersey music history as Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.

“Her accomplishments were a great source of pride for the people of the state,” Christie said, according to NJ.com. "On that basis, I think she's entitled to have that recognition made for her."

On social media and other forums, many lambasted Christie’s decision to honor the Newark native. Within 30 minutes of posting the news, NBC10 Facebook page had 350 opinions on Christie's decision to lower state flags for Houston - the majority of which were against the measure.

"Why can't we focus on the true Heroes that fight for our country? This is getting ridiculous with the whole flag lowering thing for celebs!" Ray Leichner wrote.

"I get the concept of she was a famous NJ Native but really, I think the idea of flying the flag half-staff for her is going a bit over-board," wrote Karen Preston. "I think it is a shame that the Governor would give this honor to Whitney Houston when there are true heroes that are Native New Jerseyans who have died for our country that do not get the same respect."

"Okay I love Whitney and so sad of her passing but jeez this is a bit much. It's not like she died in battle...She died of her own doing! Love ya Whitney may you RIP but I would like to think she would even say this is a bit extreme," wrote Anastasia Carter.

Still, others supported Christie's decision, saying that this wouldn't be a discussion if the person being honored was New Jersey's Jon Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen. State flags were flown at half-staff when Hoboken native Frank Sinatra died.

"I'm wondering if this question would be asked if Bruce Springsteen was the dead one! I bet most opinions would be different," Mustafa Sulaiman wrote on the Facebook page.

Many say they are glad that there is some sort of public display of mourning while fans are barred from the family's private services.

"Yes they should. She was born and raised there. Also since fans cant attend her funeral, its the right thing to do in her honor," said Yasmine Wiley.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was similarly criticized last month after ordering all Pennsylvania flags fly at half-staff in honor of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Houston, 48, died Saturday at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was scheduled to perform at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards bash. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.

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by Anonymousreply 33February 18, 2012 3:58 PM

NJ's Blimp Guv is still getting heat for lowering state flags for a druggie, as he should.

It was simple pandering on his part.

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by Anonymousreply 1February 16, 2012 4:16 PM

He's looking for black votes. Also pushing for Charter schools in Newark to help poor black kids which the teachers' union is against.

by Anonymousreply 2February 16, 2012 4:23 PM

If a "Jersey Shore" cast member dies flags should be lowered. They've drawn more attention to the Garden State than anyone in recent history.

by Anonymousreply 3February 16, 2012 4:36 PM

Shame he can't make the connection that she was a lesbian, in some kind of turmoil from being forced in the show buz closet, and that when he vetoes the gay marriage bill he is essentially NOT flying flags at half mast for her.

by Anonymousreply 4February 16, 2012 4:37 PM

It's a hard call. She was extremely talented. On the other hand she was a druggie who actually lied about her upbringing in New Jersey (she presented her self as a porr girl from Newark which she was not).

by Anonymousreply 5February 16, 2012 4:47 PM

I don't recall the flags hanging at half-mast for Sinatra, probably the most famous resident of New Jersey. I am not saying it should have been, but I don't think any showbiz performer warrants that. I believe it is strictly for heads-of-state. Christie is such a creep and a liar - this is to take attention away from his anti-gay remarks and pander to the African-American vote. He is so damn obvious. Hey, Chris next Tuesday is Fassnacht Day, better known as Doughnut Day. There is something for you to look forward to you obese slob!

by Anonymousreply 6February 16, 2012 4:49 PM

In my considered opinion, it cheapens the gesture when a state lowers its flags for celebrities.

Flag lowering should be reserved for heroes.

Whitney Houston was no hero. Nor was Frank Sinatra and when their deaths occur, neither will be Jon Bon Jovi nor Bruce Springsteen.

NJ is acting like some podunk red state when they do shit like this.

I hope New Jersey-ites castigate Christie over this at the ballot box.

by Anonymousreply 7February 16, 2012 4:53 PM

There is no comparison between Whitney with Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Both men continued to live in NJ making it their primary residence and are active in their communities. Both of them are more than happy to host fundraisers or lend their name to any number of state related causes. They lead relatively decent, honest lives, no scandals, no drug addictions, no embarrassing domestic disputes, no tacky mega mansions in foreclosure. And as far as Springsteen goes, his career was well established long before Whitney was even in a training bra. Both men are the sort of people any state would be proud to claim as native born. Whitney, not so much.

by Anonymousreply 8February 16, 2012 5:04 PM

You don't understand how that would not fly in the black community, R9.

by Anonymousreply 9February 16, 2012 5:07 PM

Where was the outrage when this was done for Steve Jobs?

by Anonymousreply 10February 16, 2012 5:16 PM

R10 It doesnt matter if it flies or not, those are the facts.

by Anonymousreply 11February 16, 2012 5:48 PM

Facts don't matter, hive mentality does.

by Anonymousreply 12February 16, 2012 6:00 PM

R13 Im not sure what you mean by "hive mentality" I hope you're not implying that black voters will support Christie on the basis of this act alone.

by Anonymousreply 13February 16, 2012 6:24 PM

No, the perceived inequality of honoring white Bon Jovi or Bruce and not black Whitney.

The details you cited should have a bearing, but they wouldn't if he honored them and not her.

by Anonymousreply 14February 16, 2012 7:58 PM

Apprently he has order it lowered for NJ soldiers killed in active duty. I'm not sure if lowered it for every one, but it's happened with some frequency.

by Anonymousreply 15February 16, 2012 8:02 PM

R15 True, which is why lowering a flag for a celebrity death is a pretty stupid idea all around.

As it is, I have a feeling both Springsteen and Bon Jovi are going to out live Christie by more than a few decades.

by Anonymousreply 16February 16, 2012 8:11 PM

"NJ is acting like some podunk red state when they do shit like this."

But you give a free pass to PA for lowering the flag for Joe Paterno?

I'll take Whitney over "JoePa" any day and I'm not even that much of a Whitney fan.

by Anonymousreply 17February 16, 2012 9:08 PM

Why are people against lowering the flag to half-staff?

Whitney Houston was a public figure. She was not controversial nor was she political. She contributed immensely to the entertainment industry and thus brought immeasuable joy to millions worldwide.

Why not honor a hometown figure for one day?

She had a disease--it's called addiction. We can argue forever that she didn't seek help or those around her didn't help her enough. But she's dead now. And there is nothing wrong with state officials making a decision to honor one of its citizens who had an affect on millions of people. Houston's affect will live on, but for this one day, it is sadly coming to a halt as we pay our respects.

by Anonymousreply 18February 16, 2012 9:43 PM

It would be a more fitting tribute to Whitney to keep the flag flying high.

by Anonymousreply 19February 16, 2012 9:50 PM

Christie been embarrassed into lowering the flags for the 20-year-old soldier from North Arlington who was killed last week. They'll be at half-staff on Tuesday.

by Anonymousreply 20February 16, 2012 10:57 PM

I know she's from Jersey but this seems pretty ridiculous. He must be trying to gain some black votes.

by Anonymousreply 21February 16, 2012 11:03 PM

For those who are trying to forget - both Frank Sinatra and Joe Paterno had flags flown at half mast. Please get your facts straight and not let your bigotry show. You either dislike the idea for anyone other than those who served our country, or don't mind that people who had a huge impact on many are also recognized.

by Anonymousreply 22February 17, 2012 3:06 AM

No one said they didn't, did they, R23?

by Anonymousreply 23February 17, 2012 3:09 AM

R2 is right, it's pandering. What a joke.

by Anonymousreply 24February 17, 2012 3:13 AM

I think it's a nice gesture. We should honor those beyond those that kill for us. I can't stand Christie but I don't know why you'd be upset by a little show of civic pride. Whitney certainly was a prouder product of Jersey than the governor.

by Anonymousreply 25February 17, 2012 3:16 AM

Let's see if they fly at half mast for New Jersey gal Connie Francis when she dies.

by Anonymousreply 26February 18, 2012 5:06 AM

a crack head bitch

by Anonymousreply 27February 18, 2012 5:11 AM

I do not have a problem with this, considering the gesture has been made for others. People get so bent out of shape over the American flag. As long as the flag is treated with respect, why does half-staff bother so many of you? It's to acknowledge a person's contributions or influence on our society and Americans. She didn't kill anyone, steal, diddle kids or otherwise do something disgraceful. This isn't being done to congratulate or celebrate her drug use. The fact is, she made a major, lasting impact on American music and touched people emotionally. It is sad that she won't be around to continue.

I'm all for it. Now, if the President ordered all flags lowered, I would be bent out of shape. But this is her home state and, even if she did misrepresent her upbringing, the people of New Jersey think of her as theirs.

by Anonymousreply 28February 18, 2012 5:30 AM


by Anonymousreply 29February 18, 2012 5:34 AM

He wouldn't do this for a gay person

by Anonymousreply 30February 18, 2012 6:51 AM

Flag Etiquette .... Half-staff for government officials and military personnel. Half-mast for everyone else.

by Anonymousreply 31February 18, 2012 2:16 PM

Now if he ordered the casinos closed in Whitney's honor...

by Anonymousreply 32February 18, 2012 3:58 PM
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