Monday, March 21, 2011

Editor's bowel movements make the news

Perigree MoonImage by A. Blight via Flickr
The perigree moon on March 19, 2011, didn't look anything like a big pizza pie.

The Record's news copy desk -- once the last line of defense against carelessness and inexperience -- continues to befuddle, amuse and just fall flat on its face with headlines and captions that have readers shaking their heads in disbelief.

Being regular is a victory

This is the photo over line on the front of Local today, but doesn't it sound suspiciously like what head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes says about her bowel movements?

Military pounds Libya

This is the lead headline on Page 1 today, but which "military" does the Woodland Park daily mean? Libya's military? A far better word is "coalition" or "allies."

An Eye on The Record reader noted the copy desk sent people searching for their dictionaries by using "perigree" in an L-1 photo caption on Sunday (it's "the point nearest the earth's center in the orbit of the moon or a satellite"). 

But, then, the copy editor uses perigree improperly by writing "closest perigree." 

On A-4, a photo shows President Obama kicking a soccer ball in Brazil, but the caption inexplicably says "dribbling a soccer ball."

A boring front page

Except for the attack on Libya, Editor Francis Scandale's front page today returns to celebrating the mundane after failing miserably to explore the human drama of the disaster in Japan.

The vast majority of New Jersey residents live in fear of proving their identities just to get their driver's license renewed, so why assign a reporter to spend several months on the dry subject of document fraud (A-1)? 

Why profile a congressman from South Jersey (A-1)? Aren't any of the North Jersey representatives worthy of such attention?

Don't miss the Margulies cartoon on home rule today (A-13).

Readers won't find much in Local today.

But Hackensack residents finally learn about the progress of the city's proposed budget in a story on L-5, and Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado also throws in the reassessment of properties she previously ignored.

A second look

A recent review and one published several months ago call into question Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung's credibility and accuracy.

In a Nov. 5, 2010, review of Chef Ji's Moon Jar in Fort Lee, Ung said it would be good "for nighttime drinks and small bites [of food]." 

But this past Friday, a poorly composed sentence in her review of Raku Izakaya in Fort Lee said the owners saw a void: "a place to go and linger, that offered food and drinks ... but also the flexibility to linger over cocktails and a few small bites."

Sounds like Moon Jar was and is that place, even though Chef Ji Cha is no longer associated with it. Ung is one of those restaurant reviewers who can't resist declaring, I found someplace unique, even when it's not the case.

And in the older review, it turns out, Ung was incorrect in writing Moonjar as one word; the sign and business card has it as "Moon Jar."
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