Monday, July 18, 2011

Mac's pal gets front-page play again

Bombardier Global 5000 business jet takes offImage via Wikipedia
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Mac Borg and Jon Hanson.

Today brings another Page 1 bully pulpit in The Record for wealthy real estate developer Jon F. Hanson -- a close, jet-setting friend of  Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg and Governor Christie's adviser on the state's sports and entertainment industries.

How cozy. Thanks to Christie, Borg and Hanson don't have to worry about a millionaires tax, giving them more money to buy fuel for the business jet they co-own -- the one that roars overhead just as you're trying to enjoy your backyard.

Editor Francis Scandale indulges Staff Writer John Brennan, whose endless pieces on Hanson's panel often land on the front page. Of course, hundreds of calls have flooded the news desk, clamoring for such coverage.

Another lie

If "truth-serum" statements were barred from a recent cold-case murder trial in Hackensack, and courts have consistently ruled them inadmissible, why bore readers with a long story on A-1 today?

Can anyone make heads or tails of a column by Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin on Tom Hanks and Bergen Community College President G. Jeremiah Ryan (A-11)?

Screwed for decades by Ford Motor Co.'s toxic dumping, by the legal community and by the media, adults in a mixed-race Upper Ringwood community may be tested for lead poisoning (Local front). Duh.

Second opinion

The Record's editors and columnists can't write dispassionately about Christie, but Brigid Harrison, a political science and law professor, doesn't have that problem.

In her column on Page O-2 of Sunday's Opinion section, Harrison talks about the governor's style:

"Brashness we found charming 18 months ago is wearing. And divisive. And indicative of deep-seated insecurity. And unpresidential."

Just think. If the GOP bully runs for president in 2012, we'll be rid of him in about 16 months.

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  1. Charles Saydah he has a cushy job. If he does anything else, I don't know about it. When he worked in Hackensack, he always had time for a midday jog over the bridge to Bogota. (He ran in the street, not on the sidewalk.) I don't know how he avoided joining the exodus of workers over 50 after Stephen when he took over. Maybe Stephen didn't know about him. I sent him a letter once but he ignored me.

  2. Boy, I could have written the previous comment.

    I once almost ran Charles Saydah down on DeGraw Avenue in Teaneck as I was driving toward Bogota and was blinded by the sun. He was running in the street in the opposite direction.

    Saydah is a lifer who faithfully attended the annual dinner The Record threw to recognize long service. I attended once or twice, and watched him cutting a rug with his wife. Mac was inebriated, as usual.

    Saydah also was proud of his hummus recipe, which he handed out.

    For a time, he was doing municipal reporting, but then landed in the cushy Opinion section job, and he's never looked back.

  3. Knock ol' Chuckles all you like but the fact is he's the only person on the entire staff who has any contact with the readers -- excuse me, Deirdre, I forgot about Chichowsky -- I mean any real contact, kind of like an ombudsman, if anything were to happen to Charlie like he should get shitcanned, a good couple hundred readers would probably revolt and end their subscriptions. The letters page is one of the few parts of the Record of Woodland Hills that ain't broke, so I suppose Stephen will eventually try and fix it. Sorry, Charlie.

  4. How very true.

    But he doesn't always take the job seriously.

    When I proofed the page on the news copy desk, I found headings were wrong or sent through with typos.

    Also, newsroom employees are not allowed to write letters to the editor, because they get more than they can print.

    But I wouldn't call him an ombudsman. The paper has sorely needed one of those for decades, but editors don't really give a shit what readers think about the news process or the lack of town coverage.

  5. The entire episode of what happened to the Ramapoughs, from the dumping that Ford did, to Ringwood's turning of a blind eye to it, to the EPA's mishandling of the initial cleanup, to the state government's lack of interest in the issue, to the poor decisions made by the legal team (granted the fear of Ford going bankrupt) is nothing but a shame. It all amounted to Ford saying here is $35,000, be happy if you live to 50. Let us also not forget the casino advocates blocking the recognition of the tribe to protest their interests.

  6. You're absolutely right.

    I saw the documentary last night ("Mann v. Ford"), and thought it was excellent.

    I don't remember details from The Record's series five or six years ago, but it didn't have the impact of this film.

    The Record series was overwhelming. Just too much material for the reader to absorb.

    This was an attempt by the Borgs and the editors to win a Pulitzer Prize, and they failed.

    The one thing about the film that jumped out at me was how the plaintiffs' lawyers completely misread the financial condition of Ford Motor Co. and feared the automaker would go bankrupt and leave them with nothing.

    But Ford was the only automaker that didn't take a government bailout. I'm wondering if Ford somehow manipulated its stock to make it appear weak and on the verge of bankruptcy as part of its legal strategy.


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