Saturday, October 9, 2010

Editorial tunnel vision

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New JerseyImage via Wikipedia
A science center official says the "Jurassic Park"  movie showed "live dinosaurs."

The Record's front page on Friday was dominated by Governor Christie's unilateral decision to stop work on the Hudson rail tunnel and an editorial backed him up. But none of the reporters or the editorial page editor questioned -- or even explained -- his authority to do so. Today, we learn the feds got Christie to agree to a two-week "hiatus," whatever that is.

Since the Republican took office in January, the Woodland Park daily has endorsed virtually every one of his decisions, including his slashing and burning of state programs for the middle and working classes, while giving him a pass on his clear favoritism for millionaires such as the Borgs and his wealthy supporters.

Sadly, the staff -- from Editor Francis Scandale to Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin to Washington, Trenton and transportation reporters -- have become nothing more than media whores catering to the governor's every whim. What a disservice to readers.

Is The Record guilty of cultural insensitivity or worse? Most of A-1 today is covered by another article about Korean-Americans in North Jersey, the latest in a series. This is a worthy subject -- focusing on survivors of Japanese sex enslavement -- but what about other immigrant groups? 

A couple of weeks ago, a former columnist wrote an op-ed piece taking the paper to task for omitting Japanese-Americans from an education story. 

I can't recall anything more than an occasional crime story about the God-fearing, hard-working Jamaican community in Englewood, Teaneck and Hackensack from any reporter in the past two decades -- yet head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes bought and ate her fair share of Jamaican black rum cakes. The Jamaican community has been here far longer than the Koreans.

Does it have to do with Jamaicans being black? We know what a shameful job Scandale and Sykes have done in diversifying the newsroom. Scandale even got rid of the paper's only Hispanic and black columnists.

Did you read that A-3 story from The Star-Ledger about the frozen woolly mammoth on display at the Liberty Science Center? Did you read this quote from a science center official: "You've seen those live dinosaurs in movies like 'Jurassic Park'...." Live? Is he kidding? Do I have to say they weren't "live dinosaurs"? More great news copy editing.

Local is another crappy section from Sykes and her staff of assistant assignment editors and municipal reporters. The first Englewood story by Giovanna Fabiano in nearly two months is about the dredging of a pond. No, that's not the same pond dredging you saw in the section the other day.

Sykes and the staff try to catch up with the sex-assault arrest of a Fox 5 news reporter from Wyckoff, allegedly with a 4-year-old girl -- a story that has been all over Jerry DeMarco's Cliffview Pages L-6 and L-7 are mostly court, police and fire news.
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  1. The paper has become the AP/Ledger/Record. Yesterday's news that is no longer local, trusted, or a source.

    So few pages. Such large photos. So much wire copy! So unfair to readers, advertisers and employees. A sinking ship to be sure.

    Don't blame the newsroom; you know they hate where this is going. This is nobody's decision but the Borgs.

  2. I agree it all comes from the Borgs -- especially those two arrogant, spoiled brats -- and I guess I shouldn't expect others to challenge them and their puppet editors, because I know any little bit of criticism can get a reporter into trouble or fired.

    Francis Scandale, Deirdre Sykes, Liz Houlton, Barbara Jaeger et. al. are the lowest form of journalists I have ever encountered.

    I feel for everyone who is still there and my sense of relief at being retired is overwhelming.

  3. You mean those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park weren't live? How about the dinosaurs on the Record assignment desk?

  4. Please don't insult journalists by calling that quartet journalists.

  5. How about dinosaurs? Their skills have long been extinct. Then again, why insult dinosaurs. What did they ever do to deserve that, besides eat a few scientists in Jurassic Park?

  6. I like media whores, though that insults prostitutes.

  7. This is a sticky wicket indeed. About the only thing I can think of that you wouldn't insult with a comparison to these four would be bedbugs.

  8. I was eager to read the story about the Korean women during WWII but after I finished I felt like it explained absolutely nothing about the history of the situation and instead focused on the people who were involved in the ceremony of unveiling the boulder with the plaque.


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