|Governor Christie is the new Tony Soprano, says Columnist Charles Stile.|
Living in a state ruled by Governor Christie is getting more unpleasant by the day.
He has reduced the disabled and poor to begging for crumbs from his insensitive budget proposal and the middle class to defending their union pay and benefits -- part of his successful strategy of preserving the wealth of his supporters.
Of course, his biggest coup is winning over The Record of Woodland Park and other New Jersey media, who love doing public relations for a politician basking in the adoration of a recession-wracked nation.
Who loves Christie?
(The news copy editor wastes space in the drop headline by saying the hearing was held "at college." What does that add?)
Staff Writer Elise Young, from the paper's State House Bureau, covered the hearing, as did Columnist Charles Stile, who weighs in from the front of Local.
You've got to read Stile's column all the way through to realize he has lost his balls: Social advocates steer clear of Christie
He seems to relish telling readers how Christie stands ready with an ax to cut off outstretched hands and how it would be "suicidal" for social service groups to attack the governor.
However, what he never says is why he and other journalists rarely criticize the thug.
"Mocking Christie's shared-sacrifice mantra or highlighting the hypocrisy of letting millionaires off without a tax increase for the second consecutive year, while these social service groups skimp and limp along with scaled-down state investment, would be suicidal.
It goes beyond that, as viewers of the CBS Evening News know. They saw Christie tell a reporter that a New York Times/CBS News poll that found strong opposition to his anti-union policies must have been worded to get the results the media wanted.
"They run the risk of Christie's countering with his scalding brand of mocking. And criticism in Christie's world is tantamount to disloyalty. Critics are traitors. Or as Tony Soprano, whose Jersey Tough Guy persona Christie sometimes personifies, often said of his exiled allies: "You're dead to me."
The rest of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local news section is a mishmash of police and fire news, government grant news and human-interest stories, with a local obituary thrown in for good measure.
But if you're looking for municipal news from major communities, such as budget deliberations in Hackensack, you won't find it.
After Monday's deluge, you'll find the misery of people who live in flood zones all over the front-page today. But flooding is not news; it's the decades of inaction by federal, state and local officials the paper should be exposing.
The sidebar on Page 1 about Pascack Brook flooding is written so poorly, readers aren't told until the 13th paragraph -- on the jump page -- that water is released to prevent the Woodcliff Lake reservoir from overflowing.