Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad news for seniors on all fronts

FAA airport diagram for Teterboro Airport (TEB...Image via Wikipedia
 Teterboro Airport is a huge nuisance for Bergen County residents.

The Record runs stories about senior citizens infrequently -- the editors are far more concerned about autism than Alzheimer's disease, and they treat the  death and destruction caused by older drivers as mere photo-ops.

Today, the front page is dominated by a story on how life expectancy in the United States ranked 37th globally, with a photo of a woman who turned 100 in May. 

Old news

(Last Thursday, CNN reported the U.S. ranked 38th, not 37th.) The ranking is from 2007, not this year.

The main headline in The Record notes the country's poor ranking "despite spending" -- a bewildering choice of words in view of the 30 million to 40 million people without health insurance.

Nor does the story compare the U.S. with every other country.

The story cites "research released this month" by the obscure Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, where an automated system answered the phone this morning.  

The only other stories on Editor Francis Scandale's front page today are about official corruption. For a New Jersey paper, that's like using A-1 to report the sun rose and set. 

Aircraft news

The lead story in head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section reports another wealthy, macho small-plane pilot -- this one a doctor from Franklin Lakes -- killed himself and his wife when his plane crashed and burned in Ohio (L-1).

Mike Kelly deserves rare praise for a column demanding the shut-down of Teterboro Airport or at least a ban on all those noisy business jets carrying such mucky mucks as Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg, investment bankers and hip-hop stars (L-1). 

Still, Kelly is such a poor reporter and writer, he mentions how the jets scream  over "the close-knit, working-class neighborhoods of Hackensack," but ignores the aircraft noise heard in the city's middle and upper-middle-class enclaves. 

He also says, "Other jets float into Teterboro all day ...." 

No. Jets don't "float" unless their engines have died. They roar overhead, denying residents of many towns the quiet enjoyment of their homes and backyards.

The local-news section has two stories from Garfield (L-2 and L-3), but none from Hackensack.


Are the news and features copy desks competing with each other to see which can make the most mistakes? 

That wouldn't be surprising, considering that Liz Houlton, who supervises the news copy editors, once ran the features copy desk and then left it in the unsteady hands of her husband, George Cubanski.

A Star-Ledger story on F-8 of Better Living today reports Rockland County, N.Y., is east of the Hudson River. (It's west of the river, just north of New Jersey.)

On Sunday, the headline on the Road Warrior column (L-1) referred to "summer," which doesn't officially start until Tuesday.

Also on Sunday, the Father's Day feature on the Better Living front had a different age for Hudson Feeney in the text and photo caption (F-1). 

That same day -- in Sachi Fujimori's excellent story on karaoke -- the photo and caption on F-7 don't seem to jibe with the text on how many other women joined the reporter to sing a Beyonce hit. 

None of these errors have been corrected or clarified.

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  1. better leave George Cubanski out of this. he retired.

  2. "Retired"?

    That's a likely story. Maybe he was shown the door, while his wife, Liz Houlton, kept her job, just as do-nothing Kevin O'Neil got the heave-ho and Deirdre Sykes stayed on.

    The paper rails against nepotism in public jobs but thinks nothing of husbands and wives working in the same newsroom.


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