Saturday, March 5, 2011

Editors do their best to screw old people

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...Image via Wikipedia
The first patient with Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed in November 1901.


All in unison now at The Record of Woodland Park, "We don't like old people."

In news coverage decisions and newsroom promotions, Editor Francis "Frank" Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes have made it abundantly clear they hate old people.

How many articles has Scandale run on the front page about autism and Alzheimer's disease? The answer is many of the former, few, if any, of the latter.

How many photos of car accidents and deaths caused by senior citizens has Sykes run in her Local section, while refusing to start a project on the challenges facing older drivers and the help available to them?

Newsroom shenanigans

How many older editorial workers seeking promotions were turned down by Scandale and Sykes? 

How many older workers were shown the door with puny severance packages after Publisher Stephen A. Borg took over?

Then, the older workers left behind got a good, royal screwing from big sister Jennifer A. Borg, the Sorbonne-educated vice president and general counsel who capped severance at 12 weeks of salary, infuriating employees with 20 or more years of service who were counting on one week's pay for each year of employment.

Along with Features Director Barbara Jaeger and Production Director Liz Houlton -- two longtime friends and co-workers, two ladies who lunch -- Scandale, Sykes and other editors compiled quite a list of employees they mistreated or hounded out of the newsroom and out of a job:

Former Food Editor Patricia Mack, former AME/Photo Rich Gigli, News Editor Mary Ann McEnery, News Copy Desk Co-Slot Nancy Cherry, News Copy Editor Aaron Elson, Go! Editor Trudy Walz, Features Copy Editor John Zeaman, Columnists Miguel Perez and Lawrence Aaron, Library Director Paul Wilder, Online Graphics Director Kevin O'Neil, Lorraine Matys, Reporter Elaine D'Aurizio and others.

Today's paper

On Page 1 today, of course, the big story is elder abuse -- coming only a couple of days after Actor Mickey Rooney appeared before Congress with his own horror story. 

Readers probably won't hear about it again until another nursing home worker or relative is arrested, or another 90-year-old appears before a congressional committee.

With the end of Black History Month, readers likely won't see any major back news until next February.

Belated kudos to Staff Writer Lindy Washburn for her moving piece on high African-American infant mortality and low birth weights across all income levels.

If the past is any guide, the only news of the large Jamaican community in Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood will be crime stories -- despite all the black rum cakes Sykes bought over the years from a Jamaican baker. 

'The rest suffer'

On A-11 today, a reader does what the paper's editorials refuse to do. Dean Daly of Ridgefield Park writes: "The country I love has gone insane." 

His letter notes the assault on Social Security and Medicare, the layoffs of police and firefighters and all the other attacks on middle- and working-class residents, while politicians give "immoral" tax cuts to the rich.

Read the entire letter here:
The wealthy enjoy,
the rest suffer
In order to save our economy, our fearless leaders want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare, putting our seniors out on the street; lay off cops, inevitably increasing crime rates; lay off firemen, resulting in longer response times with injuries, deaths and property losses rising; lay off teachers, resulting in 30-plus class sizes and a generation of undereducated kids, worsening the cycle of poverty; get rid of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, sending acid rain into our forests and waters and carcinogens into the lungs of our kids; eliminate public TV, maybe the finest on air.
All the while giving unconscionable and, in my opinion, immoral massive tax cuts to the richest among us. God forbid we ask the millionaires to give up that third house or that 50-foot boat.
This country I love has gone insane.
Dean Daly
Ridgefield Park, Feb. 26

Law & Order news

Almost the entire Local section today is filled with crime or court news. Four of the five stories on L-1 fit that category, and so do four of the five stories on L-3.

I guess the municipal reporters took a well-deserved three-day weekend.

Big boo of the week

More than half of the OpEd page was given over to advertising on Thursday (A-11), the first time I've seen crass commercialism making an inroad on those once-hallowed pages. 

Is it possible the paper ran out of the columns that usually fill that space? Didn't Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin have ready another column praising Governor Christie's style? His stuff sounds like it's on a save/get key.

Instead, two ads hawk discount carpets and clothing.

In January, an ad for a luxury car dealer appeared above the fold on the Local front almost every day, just underneath a series on the 2011 People to Watch.

A four-page, cover-wrap advertisement for a bank appeared on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, completely obscuring the front page, but The Record masthead, weather and newsstand price appeared on the first ad page, as well as on Page 1 underneath.

Who knows what new lows young Borg and his advertising department have in store in a desperate bid for revenue as readership declines.

Borg got rid of more than 10 advertising employees who "couldn't sell," and most of them were older employees

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. You don't have to be old, you just have to be older than Stephen and Jennifer.


If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.