Thursday, February 17, 2011

More good P.R. for Christie

A complete set of the Babylonian TalmudImage via Wikipedia
Like the Talmud, The Record's coverage of Englewood has hidden meaning.

The Record continues to use its front page to promote Governor Christie's conservative agenda, without characterizing his policies for what they are: an unprecedented attack on the middle and working classes in New Jersey.

Editor Francis Scandale leads Page 1 of the Woodland Park daily with the Christie administration's proposal to revise teacher-tenure rules.

We love you, Big Guy

Below the fold on A-1, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson continues his unabashed love affair with Christie.

He reports the governor "mixed trademark bravado and self-professed humility in a speech to a conservative think tank ... that further burnished his rising star-status in national politics," but denied he has any interest in running for president. 

On the continuation page, the reporter says, "The speech, full of self-deprecating jokes, played among the crowd of conservatives, many of them young people, and journalists, including some top Washington columnists."
You can't buy better public relations. I wonder if Jackson is pulling out all the verbal stops for Christie because he hopes to become part of any national campaign the Republican might launch in the future.

Christie says he isn't afraid politically to call for cuts in entitlement programs -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- a stance that reveals growing ageism in society.

It's a trend familiar to Publisher Stephen A. Borg, Scandale and other editors, who laid off mostly older workers in 2007-08.

Christie wants to cut New Jersey's Medicaid program. He's already cut property tax rebates, school lunches for low-income children and health care for low-income women, among other programs.

Stories such as this divert attention from Christie's refusal to generate more tax revenue from millionaires, including his wealthy supporters, or raise the low gasoline tax on their gas-guzzling limos and SUVs to repair roads and bridges and improve mass transit.

Narrow focus

Letters to the editor today scold The Record for its narrow focus on Orthodox Jews in stories about young athletes who can't compete on the Sabbath (A-12). Protestants and Catholics have similar conflicts, readers say.  

Divided city

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, you see a similar bias in coverage by Englewood reporter Giovanna Fabiano, who breaks a long silence today with two municipal stories from her beat -- the first since Jan. 22. 

Fabiano has written  about the efforts of Orthodox Jewish residents to cut taxes, but not about the positions of other groups.

Today, she reports the City Council voted to name a park after an Orthodox Jewish doctor who lived in Englewood, but worked in New York City (L-3). He was killed by a hit-run driver as he returned home from a prayer service.  

At the same meeting, the longtime pastor of a black church who extended his ministry to the city's "poorest neighborhoods, as well as hospitals and prisons" before his death at 81 late last month, was honored in "a special resolution Tuesday night."

I guess city officials ran out of parks to rename.

Fabiano has a second story on budget deliberations in Englewood (L-3), but I have seen nothing similar from Hackensack reporter Monsy Alvarado, who also seems intent on ignoring the current re-assessment of homes throughout the city as real estate values fall. 
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