Sunday, January 16, 2011

A great paper for sports fans

Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.Image via Wikipedia
Francis "Frank" Scandale, editor of The Record, apparently learned nothing from Columbine.

Who is Magdy Elamir and why is a story about this doctor leading The Record of Woodland Park today? Well, you get a hint in the drop headline's "latest brush with law," but wait until you turn to A-12 and find out he's allegedly been breaking the law for more than 12 years and has been practicing medicine all along. 

Now, that's Page 1 news, not a story focusing on weeds in the driveway of his empty multimillion dollar home in Saddle River. Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her minions are on autopilot again.

You'd think Editor Francis Scandale would be ashamed of how he downplayed the Arizona shootings to run a huge photo of a Jets football player on the front page last Sunday, but here is another big photo of a Jets "rally" on A-1, while the shooting rampage story has been shoved inside the paper.

In fact, there are so many good stories and and at least one column that should have appeared on A-1 today, all this bonding Scandale is doing with the other male editors over sports is getting really irresponsible. 

Rich will get richer

Governor Christie is vowing to give another tax break to the wealthy -- corporations and small businesses this time -- and that should have been all over Page 1. There is no evidence tax breaks create jobs, and a A-1 refer doesn't cut it. 

The profile of Tuscon in the wake of the assassination of a federal judge and the attempted murder of a congresswoman, now on A-5, also should have been outside, especially in view of all the letters to the editor on the shootings from North Jersey readers (O-3).

This still is the most talked-about story in the region and the nation, even if Scandale can't hear it for all the ass-slapping and high-fiving he's doing over the Jets' playoff game.

Readers are constantly asked to wade through drivel on Page 1 from Columnists John Cichowski and Charles Stile. So why didn't Scandale put a powerful package -- Mike Kelly's column on our weak gun laws (O-1) and Margulies' cartoon on the gun lobby (O-2) -- out front today? 

How many more massacres will it take?

That question is the headline on Kelly's column, but it could just as well be posed to Scandale, who covered the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 when he was an editor at The Denver Post -- as he never let anyone at The Record forget in the decade since he arrived here. 

I'm no fan of Kelly, but here, for a change, he writes directly and effectively:
"America is awash in too many handguns, too many angry nut-jobs, too many gun laws with loopholes and too many politicians who fear the narrow-mindedness of the National Rifle Association."

More jock itch

Even Sykes is succumbing to jock itch, putting Yankee captain Derek Jeter on the front of Local today as one of the 2011 PEOPLE TO WATCH, along with a six-column auto dealer ad above the fold, an abomination. Sykes doesn't get out much, if she can't find any local people to watch.

How is local news covered by her clueless assignment desk? 

The towns assigned to her pets -- such as Hackensack and Englewood -- languish, while the towns covered by energetic staff members flourish. One of those, Denisa R. Superville, has three stories in the section today, but there are none from Monsy Alvarado and Giovanna Fabiano.

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