Friday, July 29, 2011

How chief asthmatic manages the news

HAMMONTON, NJ  - MARCH 29:  New Jersey Governo...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Thanks to a compliant media in the state, Governor Christie never has to answer any embarrassing questions about his excessive weight or his diet.

Asthma? Inhalers? Where have I been?

The Record's front page today reports Governor Christie has "always spoken freely about his asthma and weight," but why haven't we seen that in the paper before now?

At the gym this morning, most of the people I asked didn't know the unpopular Christie had asthma until the media reported he was taken to the hospital on Thursday after suffering an asthma attack.

"They shouldn't have revived him," one personal trainer cracked. "No inhaler for you, Mr. Governor," another said.

Today, readers are bombarded with four stories starting on Page 1, a really unflattering A-1 photo of Christie after he spoke to reporters outside the hospital and upbeat, time-bending headlines that deliver far more than any of the text.

Christie back to work

scare puts 
on weight

Back to work? How could the copy editor writing this Thursday night possibly know he'd be back at work this morning? 

And would you look at the ridiculous caption under the photo of a flummoxed Christie: "Governor Christie leaving to go home and rest Thursday before returning to the State House today."

Huh? You mean he says he'll return to the State House today or he hopes to return to the State House, right?

And if the health scare "puts [a] spotlight on [his] weight," why do the thousands of words in the paper today omit the governor's weight, how much he may have lost and how much he wants to lose? 

What's up doc?

Why didn't the media question any of his doctors?

This is Christie continuing to manage the news -- just as he and his spin doctors have managed it since he took office in January 2010.

They do this knowing The Record employs pussies, including Editor Francis Scandale, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and reporters John Reitmeyer, Charles Stile, Mary Jo Layton and others.

Did anyone, God forbid, ask Christie how much he weighs or whether he still enjoys a steady diet of beer and pizza?

As if today's front page isn't embarrassing enough -- with everyone from Scandale on down trying to gloss over the governor's serious health problems -- two embarrassing corrections and a clarification appear on A-2 today.

Earth shaking

The big news on the front of Sykes' Local section is another detailed story on the 14 eighth-graders visiting Glen Rock -- Scandale's hometown -- from Japan (L-1). Two days in the country, two major stories.

The story about the sister-town exchange takes up so much space, there wasn't room for any Hackensack, Englewood or Teaneck municipal news. 

Just desserts

In Better Living, only three of the 11 paragraphs in Staff Writer Elisa Ung's three-star review of Velo in Nyack, N.Y., discuss the food.

If it weren't for all the space the restaurant reviewer gives to a travelogue and the owner's resume -- and a wasted paragraph on the four desserts she made room for -- she could have told readers if the pork tenderloin was raised naturally or whether the restaurant serves fish.

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