Friday, January 14, 2011

Christie speaks, The Record parrots

The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.Image via Wikipedia

Governor Christie's town hall meeting in Paramus is definitely front-page news, but merely parroting what he says is a gross disservice to readers.

Today, The Record of Woodland Park reports in the first two paragraphs of an A-1 story that Christie pledges "to close failing schools" and quotes him as saying, "We're going to close them and start over." 

Huh? Does he mean that literally and, if so, what happens to the teachers and administrators? Does he mean that figuratively and, if so, what exactly is he saying he is going to do?

Well, the story continues, then jumps to A-6, but, amazingly, there is not another word about closing failing schools. Again, Editor Francis Scandale,  head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her minions fail readers miserably, not to mention the news copy desk under Production Director Liz Houlton.

Here comes the judge

The lead A-1 story today reports the appointment of Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Doyne in Hackensack as a special master to "examine whether the Christie administration's cuts to public school aid are constitutional," but you won't find a profile of the judge or any word on whether he sends his children to public or private schools.

Why didn't Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin write an editorial criticizing Christie for not saying a word in his State of the State address Tuesday about job creation and economic stimulation -- as Sheila Y. Oliver, D- Essex, the Assembly speaker, points out today on the Opinion Page (A-21)?

Local, schmocal

What is the mayor of Newark doing on the front of the Local section today as a 2011 PEOPLE TO WATCH and why is that six-column auto dealer ad running above the fold again? Aren't there any mayors in Bergen, Passaic or Morris counties we should be watching?

Read it first in a weekly

In the Jan. 14 edition of the weekly paper, Hackensack Chronicle Managing Editor Mark J. Bonamo reports on residents angrily questioning the City Council at a Jan. 4 meeting about the Police Department, legal fees and budget transfers under the headline:

Public rages at city
over HPD turmoil

Bonamo also has done two major stories on morale and leadership in the department since the arrest and suspension of Police Chief Ken Zisa. 

None of these stories have appeared in The Record.

Neighborhood news

On L-3, for the first time in memory after a snowstorm, a story recounts the plight of pedestrians who risk injury when uncleared sidewalks force them to walk in the street.

But Staff Writer Karen Rouse appears to have interviewed people within a few blocks of her apartment in Hackensack, neglecting to describe all the bus stops still buried under snow and the snowbanks people have to climb to reach the sidewalk after parking on Main Street or in front of the post office.

Ung's kiss of death

In Better Living today , Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung gives two stars (Good) to Shahrzad, an Iranian restaurant in Edgewater -- the same rating she gave to the faux-Caribbean Bahama Breeze in Wayne, a chain restaurant that served her raw or undercooked scallops.
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  1. I am glad you brought up that restaurant review. I knew very little about that restaurant other than I believe Jason Perlow reviewed it. That being said, nothing I read in her review could possibly help me understand why she gave it 2 stars. The only thing I caught was the one appetizer being dry. How does that warrant a 2 star review? If the place really deserved 2 stars she sure did a poor job telling me why.

  2. Yes. She appears to be very fussy about food, but she stuffs her face with dessert indiscriminately.


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