Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Belly laughs echo amid news drought

Official photo of senator Frank Lautenberg(D-NJ)Image via Wikipedia
Hey, Governor Christie, one of the richest men in the state, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, has some practical advice on how to spend the state's money. 

Don't you love Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.,  telling Governor Christie in The Record today he can get it for him "wholesale"?

Christie railroaded commuters when he pulled the plug on new Hudson River tunnels, and now he's railroading taxpayers by shoveling more than $1 million for legal and lobbying services to his pals at a politically connected law firm in Washington, D.C. (A-1).

"Governor Christie could have gone wholesale, but chose to go retail at a heavy cost to the state," Lautenberg said.

You'll have to plow deep into the Page 1 story, all the way to the continuation page to see Lautenberg's comment (A-6).

So the clueless news or copy editor uses not the Lautenberg quote as a pop-out at the top of the column on A-6, but a quote from NJ Transit containing an embarrassing grammatical error.

And why do Staff Writers Karen Rouse and Herb Jackson insist on sticking to their deadly dull recitation of the facts?  

Loosen up. Use that great Lautenberg quote in the lead to hook readers and stop trying to pass off your stories as exposes.

Organ grinder

Editor Francis Scandale came up with a doozie front page today.

Where did this story on a New Jersey organ-making family come from, and why is it on A-1? As for the other A-1 story, isn't everyone already tired of federal snitch Solomon Dwek, and the petty officials he bribed?

What would have been wrong with putting out front a scary story that affects nearly every reader -- the one on commercial air travel safety -- instead of burying it on A-7?

There's even a Page 1 blurb about an idiotic column by Tara Sullivan in Sports, comparing the U.S. Women's World Cup team to the '99 squad. 

How about comparing the Woodland Park daily to The Record in 1999, before the Scandale scourge arrived?

More Jewish news

Another Page 1 blurb, on a Jewish center, doesn't even tell you what town it's in.

It's in Tenafly, Staff Writer Deena Yellin reports on the front of Local. Isn't there something wrong with allowing an Orthodox Jew to write so many stories about other Orthodox Jews?

Readers often learn a lot from letters to the editor, more than what they learn from the paper.

James T. Gallione  Sr., a retired Westwood teacher, comments on the ceiling Christie has imposed on superintendents' salaries, but notes that in addition to a $175,000 salary, the governor gets a $75,000 cash stipend, a luxury box and other perks (A-10).

It looks like head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes -- or her stand-in -- put the paper to bed real early Monday night.

No July Fourth fireworks photos appear on the Local front or anywhere else.


  1. I guess moving the paper out of the Hackensack office means that the photog can't get up on the roof five minutes before the fireworks go off to get their A-1 art.

  2. True. And the paper misses lots of other news in these parts.

  3. Every July Fourth that I worked on the news copy desk -- and I worked most of them -- I recall going up to the roof to watch the fireworks in Hackensack and nearby towns, in a 360-degree panorama.

    The view of the New York skyline from the newsroom was superb, and from the copy desk we could see the column of smoke rising from the World Trade Center on 9/11 -- framed in one of the big windows.

    We put out an Extra that day. The newsroom hasn't gotten close to that kind of excitement since.

    The only sour note was Scandale blowing the chance to make our front page unique with Tom Franklin's incredible photo of a defiant flag-raising over the ruins.

  4. That was the only sour note? Not the 3,000 deaths?

    Also, it's fitting that you wax nostalgic about holidays. Funny that you don't wax nostalgic about the Thanksgiving dinners that you scarfed down when you happened to be working that day. Maybe it's because to do so, you'd have to give some credit to Bill Pitcher, right?

  5. I never ate one of Bill Pitcher's dinners, though I did contribute a spicy salsa with tequila one year when I wasn't working.

    As for your other comment, you seem to have trouble reading or at least understanding what you read.

  6. Yeah, Pitcher, that was a guy who really deserved the brutal things you had to say about him.


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