Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bottom of the news barrel

Secaucus Junction interiorImage via Wikipedia
Mass-transit advocates are hoping the No. 7 subway is extended to Secaucus, above.

Most of the front page and almost an entire inside page are taken up today with Staff Writer Andrew Tangel's tangled tale about states putting their public employee pension funds at risk. The main headline -- "Public pensions at risk" -- is one of those the news copy desk keeps on a save/get key and uses every six months or so.

At the bottom of A-1 in The Record of Woodland Park today is a story that shows the paper's public relations machine hard at work, this time praising Governor Christie for slowing the increase in state debt -- without mentioning how he has blown billions in federal education and transportation aid.

Doesn't know ass from elbow

That's supplemented by an editorial (Page O-2) that once again hails Christie's decision to kill the Hudson River rail tunnels and urges extension of the No. 7 subway line to Secaucus. This sounds like it was written by Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin, who doesn't seems to know the meaning of a "one-seat ride" (in mass-transit lingo).

The editorial errs in saying the No. 7 would be a "one-seat ride" to the city "for New Jersey commuters." Only a handful of commuters who walk to the Secaucus station would get a one-seat ride. If you drive or take a bus there, it's two seats; if you take the train to Secaucus, it's also two seats. See, each time your ass is in a sitting position, that's one seat.

The rail tunnels Christie killed would have doubled the number of NJ Transit trains and given many thousands of commuters a one-seat ride into Manhattan from rail stations in North Jersey. The chief benefit of extending the No. 7 line would be a direct link to the East Side of Manhattan for the first time.

The paper seems thin today, as if Editor Frank Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes have been scraping the bottom of the news barrel. 

Misnamed column

Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung writes a Sunday column in Better Living called "The Corner Table," which sounds like it's supposed to represent the views of customers. But so many of her columns are like today's -- quoting restaurant owners, chefs and others in the food business.

Couldn't she find any restaurant patrons who had wish lists for the holidays or was she just too lazy to look? I guess she thinks her constant belly aching about the quality of desserts she samples for her restaurant reviews is voice enough for consumers.

If she doesn't change the name of her Sunday column,  she risks being known as Ugh, not Ung. 

Selling out the Travel section

Of all the cruise lines, why is Royal Caribbean's seven-night Mediterranean trip featured in the Travel section's Cover Story? Did the cruise line comp Staff Writer Jerry Luciani, who is head of the graphics department? Or are we to believe the newspaper spent nearly $6,000 to send him and his wife on the trip?

Luciani and another male staffer were seen this year on an all-expenses-paid press junket to Mexico City.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian Indian travelers make a rare appearance today on the usually all-white Page T-3, The Record on the Road photo feature.

1 comment:

  1. Vacations are kickin' in. Use 'em or lose 'em. Stuff's only get thinner from here...


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