Saturday, July 30, 2011

Editors fear saying the O-word

Jeff Vanderbeek presents Mary Pat Christie wit...Image by New Jersey State Library via Flickr
New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie hides behind a hockey jersey.

The Record's Page 1 story on Governor Christie's health problems and the editorial on Page A-11 are masterful writing jobs. 

Both avoid any mention of how the governor has become the poster adult for the obesity epidemic.

Today's story by Staff Writer Juliet Fletcher quotes Christie as saying he has "urged his staff ... to release a 'complete download of all the medical results'" from his hospital check-up after an asthma attack on Thursday.

Download from where? The story doesn't say, and the reporter includes absolutely no medical data, doesn't quote any doctors and doesn't tell readers how much Christie weighs.

Fletcher does reveal that Christie keeps Governor's Hours, showing up at work on Friday at 11:03 a.m.

Hungry for more

What did he have for breakfast? A half-dozen eggs, a stack of pancakes and a slab of bacon or low-fat yogurt and fruit, whole-grain toast and an egg-white omelet?

Your guess is as good as mine. 

We've read the governor is working with a personal trainer, but he won't lose any weight unless he makes real dietary changes, and that means giving up such favorites as beer and pizza.

The editorial ("Wake-up call, Christie's scare, a teachable moment") is a well-crafted exercise in avoiding any mention of the obesity epidemic, and even contains an inadvertently hilarious bit about a health program the governor should launch.

Vintage Doblin

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin, who either wrote or edited and approved the editorial, concentrates on Christie's asthma, not his excessive weight.

He even drags in the state's poor, who are more prone to having asthma, and glosses over cuts in state funding to urban centers as "the fiscal reality of New Jersey under Christie's watch."

What a pussy. What a Christie apologist. What about the governor's refusal to hike taxes on millionaires or the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks he is giving businesses?

When he finally turns to Christie's weight, he mentions New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie has "drawn attention to area food pantries and the need to donate to them," but doesn't note that first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign targets childhood obesity.

The photos I've seen of Mary Pat Christie and some of her children suggest obesity, not hunger, should be her chief concern.

In fact, in pulling the plug on Hudson River rail tunnels, the governor cited his wife's complaint that she would have to walk too far to connect to the subway in Manhattan. How lazy can you get?

'Put it in the can'

Then, the editorial urges the governor to launch a companion program to his wife's called "Put it in the can." 

People would save the money they normally use to buy unhealthy snacks, and donate it to a food pantry or buy food to donate, the editorial suggests.

All I could think of is that this editorial belongs in the shit can.

But there's more: "Christie should consider challenging New Jerseyans who are also struggling with weight issues to join in a long-term regimen of diet and exercise."

Elephants in the newsroom

Gee, what about all the obese editors at The Record? For years, they've consistently refused to launch a series on the obesity epidemic. 

Why didn't former Food Editor Bill Pitcher, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and Projects Editor Tim Nostrand put themselves up as examples to the reading public, try to lose weight and report the results as part of a series on obesity?

'Job creators'

Look at all the jobs the Bush tax cuts have created.

On A-3 today, the Associated Press reports the "job creators" who run New Jersey-based Merck & Co. plan to cut up to 13,000 more jobs -- bringing to 30,000 the number of positions shed since a November 2009 merger with another drug giant.

Is Merck losing money? No. In fact, second-quarter profits were higher than for the comparable period last year.

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