New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was cleared Thursday of having prior knowledge of the George Washington Bridge lane closures that led to massive traffic delays in 2013.

But of course that’s not the story that left-leaning publications like the New York Times and Talking Points Memo are telling.

The Times' headline for the news was “Official said he told Christie of lane closings, bridge scandal report says.”

And TPM's original headline, which has since been changed, was “Christie's own lawyer reveals bridgegate shocker: Governor was told about closures.”

Gee, that sounds like Christie lied during his Jan. 9 press conference and was involved in the closures, doesn’t it?

Not so, but one would have to actually read the articles above to learn that.

The claim stems from former Port Authority official David Wildstein, who said he told Christie of the closures during a 9/11 memorial event — while the lanes were closed.

Now remember what Christie said at his press conference:

“I knew nothing about this. And until it started to be reported in the papers about the closure, but even then I was told this was a traffic study. Senator Barnoni testified that it was a traffic study. There still may have been a traffic study that now has political overtones to it as well.”

So Christie admitted that he didn’t know about the lane closures until they were occurring — which Wildstein’s supposed bombshell confirms.

“[Wildstein] even suggested he mentioned the traffic issue in Fort Lee to the governor at a public event during the lane realignment -- a reference that the governor does not recall and, even if actually made, would not have registered with the governor in any event because he knew nothing about this decision in advance and would not have considered another traffic issue at one of the bridges or tunnels to be memorable,” the internal investigation reported.

The lane closings began Sept. 9, 2013, two days before Wildstein said he told Christie about them. It’s not a stretch to believe that Christie may have read a newspaper in those two days.

The report confirms what Christie said at his press conference, and that’s too bad for the liberal media, who were champing at the bit for an opportunity to bring down someone they see as a formidable opponent in 2016.

So now they’ve resorted to pretending that the report that exonerated Christie actually implicated him.

Full disclosure: I assisted in New Jersey campaigns in 2009 for candidates that were down-ticket from Chris Christie, and as such I handed out his literature and included his name in phone calls when campaigning for other candidates.