Thursday, July 28, 2016

Con man Trump is called the 'risky, reckless, radical choice'

"I'm a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one," former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, now an independent, said of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. (Photo credit: The Associated Press.)

Editor's note: I have revised and expanded Michael R. Bloomberg's comments on wacko racist Donald J. Trump, and added other comments about food coverage and duplication of coverage from the Democratic National Convention.


Editor Deirdre Sykes of The Record continues to cheat readers by omitting key moments in her coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, she failed to publish a word of first lady Michelle Obama's stirring call to the voting booth on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

And today's paper contains too few sentences from billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg's scathing attack on his fellow New Yorker, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (A-6).

In the most forceful take-down of the wacko racist so far, Bloomberg labeled Trump the "risky, reckless and radical choice" in the November election.

An independent

Bloomberg, who served as New York mayor from 2001-13, told the delegates on Wednesday night he has been a Democrat and a Republican, and is now an independent, "because I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership."

"Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower," Bloomberg said.

"Someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get things done. And I know that Hillary Clinton can do that....

"There are times when I disagree with Hillary [Clinton]. But whatever our disagreements may be, I'm here to say: 

"We must put them aside for the good of the country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue," Bloomberg said in a pointed reference to Trump.

Fuzzy reporting

On the Better Living cover today, the Now Open feature reports Hudson Mediterranean Grill in Edgewater serves "Turkish branzino" (BL-1).

Later, Staff Writer Sophia F. Gottfried quotes the Turkish owner as saying he is "passionate about high-quality ingredients ... and he's sourcing all produce and fish from local farms and fishermen."

Branzino or Mediterranean sea bass is a farmed fish that took Manhattan restaurants by storm a decade ago before invading New Jersey years later.

Most branzino is farmed in Italy and Greece. What's "local" about that?

Too much of bad thing

Only a die-hard politician searching for his name in print could possibly wade through the mind-numbing coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

A reader questioned why The Record on Wednesday ran both a political column and a news story on the same delegates breakfast sponsored by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2017 (A-1 and A-9).

What a waste of valuable space.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In a gun-loving America, news media must get off the fence

Too many lives are being lost while The Record and other news media hem and haw over the need for more gun control. (Photo credit: Sauk River


What exactly is the point of today's front-page column framing the gun-control debate from the warped perspective of a shooting range owner who enabled two suicides?

The Record's Mike Kelly is supposed to be an opinion columnist, but you won't find a single opinion on the slaughter caused by easy accessibility to guns, including military style assault weapons.

Kelly claims the owner of Gun for Hire shooting range finds "himself straddling two powerful currents in the fractious debate over firearms" (A-1).

But the veteran columnist, the newspaper he works for and other news media have themselves sat on the fence for far too long as the blood of innocent Americans runs in the street.

Readers no longer have the time or temperament for Kelly's tedious assemblage of quotes from both sides of the carnage in what amounts to little more than another he said/she said account.

Hillary Clinton

Much of the front page today is devoted to Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is the first woman to lead a major party ticket in a presidential election (A-1).

And the state Supreme Court said another woman, who lost her child in a custody battle, has a right to an attorney, even if she cannot afford one (A-1).

Meanwhile, an email circulating among Democrats contrasts the convention in Philadelphia to the Republicans' attempt to divide and conquer in Cleveland:

"The RNC convention was a hate-fest. The DNC is running an inclusive convention; one that has the most progressive platform ever thanx to Bernie Sanders. As a Jew, I could not be prouder of Bernie. I never thought I would see what he achieved in my lifetime. 
"I have never looked at my life as if it is about me. We live in a country in which we are a part and should contribute. I feel I have a responsibility to bear that in mind, which is why I often go out of my way to give a hand up and pay it forward. I believe a rising tide raises all boats. 
"As long as anyone can buy a gun anywhere and anyhow they choose, this fight isn't over. As long as people are not treated equally, this fight isn't over. As long as obstructionist Republicans control the House and Senate, this fight isn't over. (There are many more reasons why this fight isn't over, but I will stop here.)
"Yes, I am passionate about this. Enough is enough with the failures in DC. This is a moment in time when real change is possible. I hope we do not let it slip by. 
"Yesterday, Bernie Sanders spoke to his supporters about unifying behind Hillary and was booed by many. Bernie told them that if Trump wins, those that are booing will have to be the ones to tell that to their children. I pray I never have to have that conversation."

Governor Christie

In a letter to the editor today, Steve Becker of Wayne refers to the possibility Governor Christie could become the next U.S. attorney general.

Becker says "anyone who thinks that our beloved governor had no knowledge of [the George Washington Bridge lane closures] is more than welcome to make an offer on a bridge over the Hudson River" (A-12).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christie is returning to familiar role of screwing New Jersey

A view of the Navesink River from the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank.


Editor Deirdre Sykes' obsession with partisan politics continues to dominate The Record's front page even as Governor Christie is back at his old job of screwing New Jersey.

A major story about the GOP bully led Saturday's paper, reporting he opposes the latest plan to resolve the crisis over funding statewide road, bridge and rail improvements.

Insider deals

On Monday, another front-page story on politics reported Christie's "national prospects" have improved once again with rumors he could become Donald J. Trump's attorney general, if the wacko racist is elected to the White House.

Christie might be hoping to get the same kind of lucrative contract he steered to John Ashcroft in 2007, when the governor was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey and Ashcroft was his former boss in the U.S. Justice Department.

As the Star-Ledger reported, the former attorney general's D.C. law firm was poised to collect $52 million in 18 months to monitor a $311 million settlement Christie won to end a probe into kickbacks by leading manufacturers of hip and knee replacements.

Christie also handed lucrative contracts to other lawyers who served as monitors:

David Samson, his mentor and "father figure," whom Christie later appointed chairman of the Port Authority; and Debra Yang, one of the lawyers who led the "internal investigation" into the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

That whitewash of his role in the September 2013 lane closures in Fort Lee cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $10 million.

More conflict

Today's lead story emphasizes dissension and protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that USA Today compares to last week's meeting of Republicans (A-1).

But Sykes must have gone home early, because readers can't find a word of first lady Michelle Obama's inspiring speech to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton, who will be formally nominated  for president tonight.

Sure, a photo of the first lady appears on Page 1 (where the caption misspells her first name), but the speech must have been given too late for The Record's early deadlines.

The decision over a decade ago to move printing of the paper to Rockaway Township -- more than 30 miles from the heart of the circulation area in Hackensack -- means The Record often misses such late-breaking news while generating clouds of pollution from diesel-powered delivery trucks tearing up Route 80.

Back to Camden

Instead of the first lady's speech, the front page carries two inconsequential columns from Staff Writers John Cichowski and Mike Kelly.

The big news on the first Business page is the expected Aug. 5 opening of a "luxury" movie theater in Fort Lee where tickets will go for $19 to $24 (L-7).

The Better Living section also promoted the theater and its restaurant on Sunday.

I guess the Woodland Park daily is hoping to land big advertising contracts from both.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

To all Democrats: Don't take election of Clinton for granted

Filmmaker Michael Moore (@MMFlint) tweeted five reasons he thinks Republican wacko racist Donald J. Trump will be the next president of the United States.


"Donald J. Trump is going to win in November," filmmaker Michael Moore predicts.

"This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president," Moore said in a call to the voting booth that appears on his website, and on Twitter.

One major problem, Moore noted, is that in poor, black and Hispanic neighborhoods, where Democrat Hillary Clinton has widespread support, "everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot ... so in most elections it's hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote."

But in what Moore calls "the last stand of the angry white man," Trump's "crazed fans are going to be up at 5 a.m. on Election Day, kicking ass all day long ...."

Today's paper

To tens of thousands of Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, agnostic and atheistic readers, the retirement of the Newark archbishop is a non-event, so why does the story take up so much precious space on A-1 of The Record today?

Trump has pledged to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport 11 million illegal aliens, so why is Columnist Michael Kelly wasting our time with a Page 1 piece that has readers' eyes rolling:

"Trump a dilemma for many Hispanics"

Kelly's second column appears today on the Opinion section cover (O-1), where he looks ahead to the Sept. 12 trial of Governor Christie's key allies in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

In the court of public opinion, Christie himself has been found guilty of involvement in the politically motivated traffic jam, but Kelly doesn't seem convinced.

Citing Christie's prosecution of Clinton at the Republican National Convention last week, Kelly fails to remind readers the GOP bully also erased emails, as well as text messages, related to Bridgegate, and "lost" his cellphone for two years, according to reporting by WNYC-FM.

Amateur hour

Don't bother with Better Living's amateurish appraisal of Fort Lee's diverse dining scene or the wildly exaggerated comparison to Manhattan (BL-1).

Staff Writer Elisa Ung has been reviewing North Jersey restaurants and writing about food for about a decade -- yet she still hasn't discovered Hiura, which opened on Main Street about 25 years ago.

Many consider the BYO with fewer than 30 seats the best sushi and Japanese restaurant around.

She also ignores BCD, a Korean restaurant in Fort Lee that serves organic soft-tofu soup and superior side dishes.