Monday, May 30, 2011

It's a holiday from serving readers

Memorial Day FlagsImage by eddiecoyote via Flickr
Should any business have a message that begins, "Please listen ..."?

My copy of The Record was in its usual place on the sidewalk a little before 8 this morning.

But the crack circulation department apparently didn't listen to the forecast of rain, and the paper was soaked through three or four sections in its single plastic bag.

When I called the home delivery number, the automated system hadn't been activated, so I heard a message in a male voice that began, "Please listen ...." It told me the hours of the department and thanked me for calling.

You could almost see the employee's clenched teeth. 

Memorial Day IMG_4733Image by OZinOH via Flickr

I called the newsroom in Woodland Park and also got a recorded message that no one was there to take my call. And I couldn't leave a message.

Sure, I know it's Memorial Day. It comes around once a year. Is circulation aware of that?

A few minutes after 8, home delivery's automated system began working, but after following all the prompts to report a wet paper and request the delivery of a dry one, I was informed that because of the holiday the replacement won't be delivered until Tuesday.

I've laid out the sections to dry them. 

Today's paper is all wet

Most of Page 1 and all of the Local front is devoted to the same Memorial Day coverage readers see every year, especially since 9/11.

Of course, Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes know perfectly well all this recounting of heroics and how young men were blown to smithereens fills the space of local-news stories they don't have.

It also lets Columnist Michael Kelly off the hook. He can just reshuffle the words of a past Memorial Day column, knowing the editors aren't paying any attention (L-1). 

Sure this is news?

The routine shore-outlook story on A-1 today likely will be followed by a mid-summer update and a Labor Day wrap-up.

Also on the front page, Staff Writer Harvy Lipman reports a North Jersey resident went to help out after a natural disaster in another part of the country. Why is this even news?

On A-12, a column by Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin suggests Governor Christie will run for the presidency in 2016.

Doblin is counting on the national electorate ignoring, as he has, how Christie is trying to destroy the middle-class way of life in New Jersey, while selling out to his wealthy supporters and other special interests.
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