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|The Record story has to be read and re-read to find out what happened in Washington Township.|
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The gang that can't report or write straight
I don't know how many editors and reporters worked on today's Page 1 story about a man who was killed in a shootout with police, but the confused jumble in the paper isn't much better than the incomprehensible account on the Web site, northjersey.com.
Jerry DeMarco, The Record's former Breaking News editor, used his superior contacts to report on Cliffview Pilot.com that the man was the one who called police, and the fatality may have been a case of "suicide by cop."
The account in the Woodland Park daily is full of problems -- from a clunky A-1 headline that doesn't tell you who died to a dropped word in a quote from the prosecutor to saying the prosecutor "wrote" instead of "said" when using material from a press release.
Still, the story could have been a lot clearer if the editors and reporters stated at the outset there were two men named Robert Ellis, a father and son, but that's on A-6, the continuation page.
Instead, readers get the useless information on the front page that the dead man's "last known address was in Ridgewood."
Just before the story jumps, the prosecutor is quoted as saying, "The exchange [of gunfire] resulted in [the younger ] Ellis' death, and he was pronounced at the scene around 2 a.m." The word "dead" is missing.
With the departure of News Copy Desk Co-Slot Nancy Cherry and the merger of The Record and Herald News copy desks in 2008, the newspaper abandoned its high standards for headlines and editing.
What you see in the paper now are all the screw-ups by the assignment editors who work under Editor Deirdre Sykes -- the editors who are supposed to fix any broken copy submitted by reporters before it is sent over to the copy desk.
More embarrassing corrections appear on A-2 today.
On the front of Sykes' Local section, a story on burning wood to heat homes completely omits any discussion of potentially harmful air pollution.
Landlord Hartz Mountain Industries is opposing a $102 million tax break that may lure Panasonic out of one of its buildings, according to a story on the Business front today. Hartz also got burnt when it was rejected as the developer of the Meadowlands parcel where Xanadu is now being built.
Maybe the real story is that Hartz continues to contribute money to the wrong politicians.
Wine and food snob
Elisa Ung's The Corner Table Column on the front of Better Living discusses private wine lockers for big spenders at three restaurants.
But isn't there a problem revealed by the photo on F-1, showing wine bottles standing upright in wine lockers at Capitol Grille, a high-end steakhouse in Paramus that can't spell "grill."
Unopened bottles of good wine are supposed to be stored on their sides.
Who is incoherent?
Columnist Mike Kelly complains about the "incoherent dialogue" in the wake of a congressman's hearing on Muslims (O-1).
But it is Kelly himself who is incoherent, and I'm wondering, if like Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the moron who called the hearing, the columnist is hiding his sympathy and support for the terrorist group known as the Irish Republican Army.