Monday, January 24, 2011

Readers are tired of the B.S.

Red and green peppers, Allentown Farmer's MarketImage by Martin LaBar via Flickr
Indoor farmers' markets aren't the only place to buy good produce in winter.

That's enough B.S. 

We're tired of Editor Francis Scandale catering to a fierce minority who claim most or all of us are interested in the Jets, Giants, Mets and Yankees, and that justifies Page 1 play. 

He's got a weak spot for putting sports all over the front page of The Record of Woodland Park, because he's addicted to male bonding in the news meeting -- the ass-slapping, high-fiving and jock-strap waving.

Scandale's skewed news judgment and desperate attempts to "sell papers" are well-known, and today is the 10th anniversary of the day he took over as editor. Is anybody celebrating?
In all likelihood, Scandale is only following orders from another jock, Publisher Stephen A. Borg, the dimmest light bulb in that wealthy publishing family. I may be wrong, but front-page sports coverage seemed to increase noticeably after Borg took over from his father in mid-2006.  

I'm from Brooklyn, but I've adopted New Jersey as my home state, and none of those overpaid athletes play for a New Jersey team. In fact, the Giants and Jets have a magnificent new football stadium in the Meadowlands, yet still call themselves the New York Dickheads. Fie on all of them.

But thanks to Scandale, win or lose, the Jets have claimed significant front-page turf recently, including today, despite mediocre reporting and writing by John Brennan, a former sports reporter. Brennan can't think clearly, can't write clearly. Can you believe his opening paragraphs from Pittsburgh today?

Wait until next year

He reports that Jets fans preferred seeing their team lose in the playoff game against the Steelers on Sunday over seeing them go to the Super Bowl and lose there. You can't make up this kind of confused reporting.

Sunday's and today's Jets packages are so big, there was room for only one other story on A-1.

You only have to read the headline on that second story to realize this is real news, which should have led the paper today. It's also of interest to just about everyone -- renewal of the battle over levying a millionaire's tax -- a battle Governor Christie won last year, while he systematically cut nearly every program for the middle and working classes, and eliminated property tax rebates for seniors.

Staff Writer John Reitmeyer says there are roughly 16,000 millionaires in New Jersey. When are we going to see the story on how many of them are financial supporters of Christie, who also has given the wealthy a break by not raising the tax on their gas-guzzling limos and SUVs? I'd say we're never going to see that story in The Record.

Did you see the A-1 streamer over the masthead? 


"Farm fresh" and "ripe for picking" are a little too much exaggeration for my taste, especially when low prices are the real reason people buy produce sold at indoors "farmers' markets."

And while Staff Writer Sachi Fujimori did her usually good job on the story (Better Living front), she should have focused more on the Paterson Farmers' Market, which has the lowest prices in the region, as well as being the only one that caters to both Middle Eastern and Hispanic consumers.

And here's an odd thing for Fujimori to say: "Just because the outdoors farmers' markets have shuttered till spring, it doesn't mean you have to subsist on shriveled or overpriced fruits and vegetables." 

Who, exactly, is selling those? Good produce is available in just about every supermarket, especially the Korean-owned ones, which are known for their competitive prices.

Local yokels

A local personality is featured for a change on L-1 today -- a singer-songwriter from Fair Lawn -- in the 2011 PEOPLE TO WATCH series, which is "brought to you by" a luxury car dealer's ad above the fold.

A long budget-deliberations story from Ridgewood appears on L-5, among the obituaries. Budget-cutting plans in Englewood also have been reported in Local, but I have yet to see anything similar from Hackensack reporter Monsy Alvarado, one of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' pets.

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