Friday, January 29, 2010

More chest thumping from JerryD

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Here is the comment Jerry DeMarco wrote after my last post. The former assistant assignment editor and breaking news editor for The Record has always been full of bluster, but just how much of what he says can we really believe? And isn't he trying to gloss over incidents of sexual harassment of several women he supervised?

DeMarco has boasted of sleeping with women high and low. His pursuit and harassment of women were well-known to his supervisor, head Assignment Editor Deirdre "Laughs A Lot" Sykes, who sat next to him and saw on his desk the photo of the news clerk who was about half  of DeMarco's age when he dated her.

His activities also were well-known to Dina Sforza, corporate attorney for North Jersey Media Group, and Jennifer A. Borg, NJMG vice president and general counsel. Yet as far as I know, De Marco was never disciplined, despite an explicit company policy against sexual harassment.

These three women didn't even stand up for the young women who were being exploited by him.

Here is what DeMarco said:


Horniness requires a pulse, Veektor. And what's wrong with having attractive QUALIFIED women on your staff? People always accused me of deliberately hiring hot babes -- oh, like one who came in with a Pulitzer and others who've gone on to much greater accomplishments, like NG and LK and the dazzlingly talented AK (even though I brought in KM, PL and PP, among other dudes). Admittedly, the honey wasn't as sweet once MT left, although AH took up the slack before bolting, as well (I can say that, cause I dated both). Then again, neither was a reporter. Nor are MH and KM -- both of them gorgeous inside and out, and more skilled than you and me put together, bud. So what if MK -- my all-time crush and the sexiest woman in journalism not named Rachel Sklar -- happens to work there? Or the blinding SA? (Sorry, SB. Just statin' fact.) The joint has some good-looking men, as well. I'm sure. I think. No? OK, since I left the male hottie level has dropped considerably, but what did you expect? Losing OC on the distaff side was a blow -- although those of us lucky to be her FB friends get to share each and every smooch and cuddle as she and new hubby J.P. Gotrocks III trot the globe (Were he and Peter Sellers separated at birth?). In fact, unless there've been defections from Hooters, I don't think the sexual tension is anywhere near what it used to be -- at least not since skunk hair and Pearl White were caught canoodling on the Great Lawn. My guess is there are more clock blockers than heart stoppers. Which reminds me: Is K Five Cents still there?

Victor E. Sasson said...
To readers: Your assignment, if you wish to accept it, is identifying all the people here now named only with initials. Victor Sasson


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24 comments:

  1. after reading this all one can say is why did it take the paper sooooo long to finally get rid of jerry?

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  2. Excellent question and one never addressed by the powers that be, including Jennifer A. Borg, a supposed attorney. It's clear a lot of policies at the newspaper are merely lip service, and are rarely enforced.

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  3. After scratching my head until the follicles started a petition drive to have my fingernails removed, the only KM I could come up with was Kibret Markos, and that wasn't a female. Jerry, who knew?

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  4. A few days before 9/11, my mom was diagnosed terminal with breast and spinal cancer. We had been were extremely close, she and I, and together we were wrecks.

    Both my brother (who was married) and my sister (who had a boyfriend) found solace in their mates.

    I found it in Manal.

    In the months leading up to my mother's death, she was there for me constantly. In the final days, she was my rock. She literally kept me standing in church as my knees began to give way.

    I remember that day, as well, because, way in back of the church, out of site, stood a line of people: Mitch Maddux, Paulo Lima, Peter Pochna, Nicole Gaudiano -- and Jennifer Borg.

    Her dad was running the company then, and that's what the company did. Kinda like the armed services. They made sure the significance of the event was recognized.

    So did Deirdre, who was the first Record person to show up at the wake, leading a massive band of co-workers who were under no obligation to be there.

    But you wouldn't know any of that, because you don't bother to find out. You know only what you already want to believe. You try and grab ahold of that fistful of rain and call it justification. You're sooner remain petty and insignificant than pursue and produce the truth.

    I once was angry at you for the lies. I was angry at how nastily you and Michael Thaler treated Manal, who felt so tormented that she dyed her shimmering black hair brown so she wouldn't look "so Arab."

    There were days she'd cry, not knowing what she'd done to incur your wrath. Finally, she just left.

    I suppose if the Borgs wanted, they could subpoena or question her. She could shed some light on the subject.

    I'm not angry anymore. I consider the source instead. Decades ago, I thought of you as a skilled newsman. But working beside you, during your tryout on the Assignment Desk, I discovered how truly bitter, angry, vile, mean-spirited, hurtful and hateful you are.

    So you're broken and you been hurt. Show my somebody who ain't.

    But that doesn't give you justification to publish lies -- about me or anyone else.

    Consider this your notice: Make one more false accusation about me, and we will have you before a judge faster than you could even imagine. Just because you write these lies on a blog doesn't mean you're entitled to certain protections that real media isn't.

    I think people can see my post from yesterday for what it really is. A goof.

    You, on the other hand, are petty. Pathetic. Insignificant. Dead-serious about it all.

    Sad, really. We've so little time on this earth, and you wasted it spewing bile instead of providing solutions. The coward's way.

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  5. I'm not sure what you are talking about when you speak of how I treated Manal. I hardly ever saw the woman or spoke to her, because I worked at night. My parents came from an Arab country and I have never had any problem with Arabs in the 30 years I have been shopping in South Paterson at markets and bakeries, and eating in their restaurants. And who can possibly know when you are telling the truth or passing off something as a "goof." Your threatening e-mails to me in the past -- were they a goof? Are your empty threats in your latest comment a "goof."?

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  6. Thank you, and thank you for the link, although Romanesko probably deserves a tad better billing than moi. I'll place a reciprocatative link as soon as I figure out some of these blogging nuances. I'll be "on the road" however, most of February interviewing WWII veterans. I'll still be following the Eye on the Record, however.

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  7. Also, I'm guessing that some people believe if the sex is consensual, it isn't harassment. Perhaps that's why so many alleged affairs went on at the Record with no repercussions, except in a few mysterious instances where editors were here today/gone tomorrow. I'm no expert on the subject, but I'll bet the ranch dressing on my salad that such an argument doesn't hold water. Uh-oh. Jerry just saw my bet and raised me a pound of mozzarella from that place in Englewood. Who's bluffing now?

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  8. Human first, citizen second, journalist/worker drone third.

    Manal and I went out for more than three years. How we felt for one another transcends all else. Was it harassment when Dee and Kevin met and married? Or any number of other newsroom couplings?

    How would you define what one of your own colleagues did -- screwing three married men in a row, including one around the same time his wife was giving birth?

    You guys are supposed to be so bright, yet you don't bother to read the manual or the statutes. You just kinda make it up as you go along, however best it suits you.

    And just to set things straight: I never boasted to anyone about anything. The simple act of repeating a lie 100 times doesn't make it the truth.

    Manal, Akiba, Ashanti, Merry (while I was a reporter) -- that was it, over the course of nearly 16 years. I supervised none of them, held no power to hire or fire any of them.

    All else is fiction.

    You wanna try and prove otherwise in court, then have at it. Just know the state now imposes penalties for frivolous lawsuits.

    I'm sorry you boys don't like me. But I understand. You were the ones getting the wedgies in high school, and I was the one giving them. You were the ones standing over to the side in college, wishing you could ask out the girls I slept with.

    And by the way: I resent both implications and outright lies that I wasn't qualified. Why don't the two of you gather your awards, accomplishments and achievements, and we'll match them against mine?

    Why don't you get people who've worked with or for you, and see how what they say compares to my friends and colleagues?

    To formally instruct someone not to continue engaging in what may be determined civilly punishable behavior is not a threat. It's a warning.

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  9. Almost forgot: No sooner did Manal and I get serious than I informed OWNERSHIP of the relationship.... Akiba had left by the time we began getting serious, so there was no issue there.... Ashanti was working for another editor during our extremely brief fling right at the turn of the millenium.... Merry happened even before then.

    Everyone in the newsroom, including management, knew about each one of them. There were no secrets -- which, unfortunately for you, means I did not sleep with the boss's daughter. And y'know what? I wouldn't even if I had the chance. Not a good career move -- then again, you don't seem to know much about those.

    So what if I put my girlfriend's picture on my desk after she left for a better job? It was a gift from a photographer whom I, and many others, hold in high esteem. Who doesn't have a photo of their spouse or loved ones on their desks? Who are you to dictate morality?

    When you tried out for the Assignment Desk, reporters complained. Oy, how they complained! Deirdre asked them to hang in there for the overall sake of the operation. As a group, we assignment editors unanimously agreed you acted superior, dismissive and churlish. We quietly agreed to keep a lookout for the troops so that there'd be no insurrection.

    Seems to come down to not going within -- and, in the end, going without.

    Finally: If The Record does such a lousy job covering the area's you covet, why don't you do what I did and create your own news site? Start-up cost is next to nothing, and there are plenty of people out there willing to talk, if you just ask. You could get your buddies to help and you could determine which stories get the most attention, where they're placed, how they're angled -- y'know, the things they pay management at your former place of employ to do.

    If I'm not mistaken, you never were part of management, were you? See? That's the beauty of your own site. Look at me: shameless wolf, driven by testosterone, interested only in satisfying my unsated thirst for sweet, sweet honey that drips from my lips as if from a peach, its nectar fueling the intense engine that is my creative drive -- yet here I am, sporting numbers unheard of for startups, fielding applications from reporters, photogs and salespeople, having my work cited in major media reports. And I'm only seven months in!

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  10. You spoke of cars you saw parked recently in The Record lot, yet we got a stock clip-art shot on your blog. Why couldn't you take a cellphone photo pic? Or bring a camera? Or get a one-shot? Or ask a friend? Too much work???

    You want to characterize me as some monster who was allowed to ride roughshod over the newsroom, benefitting from what you believe were special privileges.

    Yet you overlook some fundamental truths.

    Most importantly, you have NO idea what types of discussions I had with management and ownership during my tenure there. Personnel issues must, by their very nature, remain secret. So you have no idea whether I was ever put on probation, or denied a raise or had my payscale slid back several months. You don't know whether anyone called me in for an explanation of my relationship with a much younger girl whom I DIDN'T supervise. You don't know if I was assigned any special training or counseling. In fact, you know nothing about me other than sporadic moments occuring within eyesight or earshot of you.

    You also conveniently leave out another important detail:

    I worked my tail off, day in and day out. I put in ridiculous hours, worked holidays, worked weekends. There wasn't a crime story that we missed. And when there was competition, the majors couldn't touch us. My performance reviews were stellar, exemplary. I regularly exceeded expectations no less than 30 percent of the time working for three different supervisors -- Semel, Nostrand and Deirdre.

    Track down the people who've worked for me and gone on to better jobs. You could start in DC with Gail Kaufman and Nicole Gaudiano, move to NYC, where Paulo Lima is a successful attorney and Peter Pochna is buring it up with Rubenstein Associates. Or check in on Blomoberg reporter David Voreacos. Or the AP's Mike Casey (now HE'S quite the success story). Or try Khani Katzen, who was a clerk when I began working with her and got a job at the Inqi. Talk with Tom Davis -- a stellar newsman and a wonderful teacher; ask him about our work together. Or Tariq: let him tell you what I taught him about reporting. Or my fellow online associates. Or Kibret -- hands down, the best court reporting mind I've ever known. Or Tom Franklin, as fine a man as he is a photographer.

    You, on the other hand, have nothing to show for your career. You stewed. You bitched. You whimpered, whined and moaned. So, in the end, who better served society: A highly motivated, highly productive, intense but selfless worker bee with an occasionally wandering eye, or a lazy, miserable, whiny, insensitive, sorry sack o' shit?

    We saw one another's work, Victor. I dare you to say you weren't impressed with mine, while I, with all confidence, can say that yours suggested full-time consideration of another endeavor might have been in order.

    So there's your deposition. Stick it wherever you like.

    I pity you, my brother. That company is going to grind your speculative, half-baked complaints to a dust so fine that I'll have nothing left to settle with.

    Over and again, I tried to give you a hand. I urged you to stop being such a jerk. But you couldn't care less.

    So now I say to you: Go to your fate knowing that your anger and bitterness and jealousy cost you whatever sliver of a chance you might have had at making a cogent argument.

    Then go to hell.....

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  11. Your comments about my behavior when trying out for the assignment desk completely contradict you saying at the time that you were "pulling for me." Your credibility has been destroyed by all the versions of events you offer in these comments and in your e-mails to me.

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  12. Wow...you wanna leave my name out of this bullshit? Thanks.

    Victor, I never said or did anything against you. I'd like my name NOT to be here. If you as blogowner would be so gracious as to delete it, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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  13. Ashanti:

    And I never said or did anything against you, but why are you directing your anger at me and not Jerry DeMarco? I am gracious, but in this case the damage has been done. The only way to edit blog comments is to save/get them into a post or not publish them at all. Unfortunately, some of Jerry's comments were published in their entirety. For that, I apologize to you and the other women who were exploited by him.

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  14. Wasn't directed at you Victor, not at all. Lack of context leads to misinterpretation. I hope you're doing well. This all looks really silly, I hope all involved realize that.

    For the record, the comments and much of this discussion is completely unnecessary and quite inconsiderate. Let it be known that I have nothing to hide, do not deny anything that's been said, but choose not to insert myself into pissing matches such as this, and hence resent when my name is entered into them for no good reason. I'll refrain from further comment.

    Peace.

    -- Ashanti

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  15. Wow. I guess we know who the leading man is in "The Record Movie" now don't we?

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  16. Aaron, there were two females with the initials "KM"

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  17. Doesn't everyone love this guessing game?

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  18. Victor, the "Professor Kelp" Jerry wasn't giving wedgies in school. He was the one getting them: http://borough6.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/story-days/

    The "Buddy Love" Jerry was the person you saw at the Record.

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  19. It is funny that Jerry calls his site a news site. It is more like a propaganda site for policeman. And I am convinced that he has either a cocaine habit or is a heavy drinker. His "in love with myself" ramblings have the stench of an over active and drug enhanced mind.

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