Incident Sparks Satirical News Article, Criticism From Animal Rights Group

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had no mercy for a spider that crawled up onto his desk as he spoke to a group of children late last week.

The students spotted the spider – of an unidentified variety – near the governor’s telephone on Friday. Speaking softly, Christie gave the spider a smack down.

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The incident was captured on video and posted to Christie’s YouTube channel, under the headline, “Governor Christie Saves School Children From Spider.”

Surrounded by the group of youngsters, Christie looks around for the spider and says, “Where is he?” with his phone receiver in hand.

“There he is,” Christie says as he finds the spider and slams down his palm.

“That’s also another fun part of being governor,” Christie then says as the students laugh. “Any bugs on your desk, you’re allowed to kill them and not get in trouble.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals President Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement saying Christie probably killed it without thinking. Newkirk said “some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary” and that can prevent people from pondering their worth.

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The spider incident also sparked a satirical article in “Weekly World News,” the Web edition of the long-running supermarket tabloid paper.

The satirical article claimed that Christie was so “upset” by PETA’s reaction that he went all around New Jersey looking for spiders to kill. The article showed a picture of President Barack Obama comforting a woman in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and claimed the president was really comforting the woman because she “lost her entire spider collection – over 3,000 rare spiders – when Christie came in and stomped them all to death.”

The article made up quotes for Christie about wanting New Jersey to be a “spider-free state.” He was even “quoted” in the satirical article that he would stomp Spider-Man “into oblivion.”

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