On July 6, 2016, Gannett, the nation's biggest newspaper chain, paid the Borgs $40 million for North Jersey Media Group (The Record of Woodland Park, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, (201) magazine and 50 weeklies). Stephen A. Borg, publisher for a decade, oversaw the biggest downsizing ever. Local news declined, errors mounted and most employees were denied raises. Gannett replaced Editor Deirdre Sykes, revised The Record's website and redesigned the print edition, cutting another 350-plus jobs.
An OpEd article by President Obama that appeared in The Los Angeles Times.
Even if you don't read Alfred P. Doblin's columns on the OpEd page -- such as the one that appears today on Page A-13 -- you're probably reading one of his unsigned editorials or other editorials he has reviewed, edited and approved in his role as editor of The Record's Editorial Page.
Doblin is the former Hackensack daily's first Editorial Page editor who both expresses the newspaper's official position in editorials and writes highly partisan columns.
And there's the rub. His columns' clear bias in favor of almost everything Governor Christie has done since the Republican took office a year ago is damaging the credibility of the paper's editorials.
Doblin came to The Record from its sister paper, the Herald News. Editorial writers at the flagship paper were passed over when he was appointed to replace Dick Benfield, who retired. He is a fastidious little man with an apparently small brain.
He loves movies and Broadway shows, and often compares events to them. His often juvenile prose employs a lot of gimmicks and plays on words. Take a look at the headline over his column, which runs on the Editorial Page in a small Monday paper:
Fear-mongering makes for bipartisan blend of tea
I have no idea what that means, a problem even if he didn't write it himself.
In today's column, Doblin attacks Democratic State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski, also an assemblyman, for saying Christie launched an "assault" on seniors in his call last week for raising the retirement age and cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Well, isn't it an assault on older Americans? Doblin prefers to call the speech to a conservative think tank in Washington "a large dose of leadership," because Christie supposedly has the political courage no other Republican or Democrat has to push for cuts in these programs.
Of course, Doblin never mentions that Christie has no political courage when it comes to finding new sources of revenue the state needs to climb out of its deep financial hole -- such as the millionaires tax and a few pennies added to the low gasoline tax.
And is there any real validity to Doblin's comparison of Wisniewski's statement to Sarah Palin's "fear-mongering"? Don't insult my intelligence with a stupid gimmick.
Don't you love how Doblin and his ilk invariably use the word "reform" to mask big cuts in government programs that are working and helping middle- and working-class retirees? And as a recent letter to the editor noted, all of us contribute to Social Security during our working lives, so hands off, please.
Just above Doblin's column today, he speaks in his "other voice" -- an editorial opposing Christie's use of toll hikes to rescue the nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund.
More ass slapping
The jock itching, ass slapping, jock-strap waving and male bonding roared back at the news meeting where Editor Francis Scandale ordered a large photo of spring baseball training on Page 1 today.
The front page usually carries a preview of Christie's budget speech, which is set for Tuesday, but why should Scandale care whether the governor is going to continue his assault on middle- and working-class programs, as he did to balance the current budget?
Scandale continues to fiddle while New Jersey burns -- residents watch in disbelief as the rich and powerful attack their public employee unions, end their property tax rebates, cut programs for low-income women and children, and shake their way of life the core.