Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pitting reader against reader

Black History Month ProgramImage by New Jersey State Library via Flickr
A Black History Month program. Does The Record treat blacks differently than whites?

Three days after Governor Christie claimed public employee unions are "trying to break the middle class," The Record finally put his comments into perspective at the top of the front page.

But lest readers think Editor Francis Scandale and the other so-called journalists running the Woodland Park daily are criticizing Christie's anti-union policies, the newsroom lords were careful to make sure union protesters are the ones who define the story as a battle of middle-class residents.

The editors have kept their prime mission in focus: Helping the Republican bully distract readers from his slavish service to wealthy supporters at the expense of New Jersey's middle- and working-class families.

Cries of middle-class 'war'

It's the perfect headline, but it should have appeared Thursday on the initial report of the governor's comments.

Two embarrassing corrections appear on A-2 today, one from Political Stile Columnist Charles Stile.

Lifestyles of the rich

A wealthy Alpine woman somehow convinced head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes that her midlife crisis was worthy of lavish coverage on the front of Local today. Amy Lerner and her sister will be competing next month in an off-road rally in Morocco.

Apparently, Sykes had no other legitimate local news for her section front today. Maybe her staff took a three-day weekend. 

A far better choice for the front is the controversy over an anti-black, antiabortion ad that used the photo of a 6-year-old African-American girl from Paterson. That story is buried on L-6 today. 

Is Sykes herself showing bias during Black History Month? Is she favoring the rich, as Christie does?

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