Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Laughter amid the tears

The Big Story logo from 2005-01-19 to 2006-11-26Image via Wikipedia

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Editors Francis Scandale, Deirdre Sykes, Jim McGarvey and the rest of that sorry lot at The Record of Woodland Park cannot handle The Big Story.

Today's tabloid-like front page is dominated by the sad tale of a father who killed his two young children in Ringwood, then took his own life; and the indictment of suspended Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa on new charges. 

Both stories have problems, and near the end, the latter story provides comic relief by reporting, "Zisa....comes from a family of public servants." What a joke.

How many decades is The Record and other media going to report there were no outward signs of trouble and the neighbors were shocked or stunned after a murder, suicide or other tragedy, and never do the story on 1) how superficial our relationships with our neighbors truly are, and 2) is there anyplace a troubled person can turn for help in North Jersey? 

Instead, 11 reporters, a photographer and a graphic artist are thrown at assembling the main bar under the questionable leadership of Editor Jim McScreamy. The bodies were discovered Monday night at 8, so either the late police checks missed this important story or the cops withheld it until Tuesday.  
This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...Image via Wikipedia
Why are there no interviews with Hackensack residents on the indictment of  the police chief?

Turning to the Zisa story, why did the Hackensack reporter find it necessary to attribute the indictment to the Prosecutor's Office, and why didn't any editor catch that clunky construction in the lead story on Page 1? 

Why are there no interviews with residents, who flooded with comments (see previous post)? Where is the sidebar on whether Zisa's legal troubles, lawsuits filed against him and cops' disciplinary hearings have affected the morale of the department or the quality of policing? Does the public still have confidence in the department?

In short, when is Sykes and her minions going to get their heads out of their ample asses, and give some real direction to Monsy Alvarado, who has been pursuing the Zisa story for nearly two years, often to the exclusion of basic news about the city, where the newspaper was founded in 1895?

Even when the paper's employees filled four floors at 150 River St., only a few blocks from Hackensack Police Department headquarters, I cannot recall a story on the Zisa family dynasty and the nepotism, in what many refer to as "Zisaville."

Do you think Karen Rouse or any other reporter who covered the New Jersey Turnpike Authority in recent years ever asked to see the agency's budget? (See A-1 story today on "$43 million in waste.")

In Local, a story reports a Hebrew-immersion elementary school in Englewood is applying for designation as a charter school -- just what that city needs to further segregation in the lower grades.

Food Editor Susan Sherrill's "In Your Kitchen" column debuts in Better Living today (F-1) with two recipes from a French cookbook that use butter, cream and pancetta (similar to bacon). The F-2 photo is by her husband. If you're watching your cholesterol, please turn the page.

Editor Barbara Jaeger's Better Living section is always designated "F," as in F.U. to readers who want to eat healthy meals.


  1. Ooh la la! A French recipe with lots of butter, cream and bacon! You do realize, don't you, that the Ung-Sherrill 1-2 punch is a stroke of genius by Jaeger and the Borg sibs. After all, guess who is the Record's biggest advertiser (hint: It begins with an H and ends with an ackensack University Medical Center).

  2. OK.

    So you're saying the newspaper is engaging in a journalistic and culinary conspiracy to send as many readers as possible to the hospital, just as John Cichowski's endless blathering about cars and drivers is designed to send a steady stream of buyers to auto dealers' showrooms, another huge source of ad revenue?

    I love it.

  3. Speaking of Cichowski, I couldn't believe it -- sixty degrees out, summer barely over, and today he writes another column based on a 2003 email about chunks of ice falling off the top of cars.
    As for the hospital thing, it's more like just an ironic coincidence. Even the Record wouldn't sink that low.

  4. I'm not so sure.

    Remember, Jennifer A. Borg, Esq., sat on the hospital's board until the Coniglio blow-up, then resigned her seat in the wake of the story.


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