Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Low drama, high drama and political hype

Rep. Gabrielle GiffordsImage by TalkMediaNews via Flickr
Gabrielle Giffords six months after the shooting.

The anti-climactic approval of the debt deal is a minor footnote to the surprise appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to cast her vote on the House floor, as captured by The Record today in A-1 and A-6 photos.

Unspoken in the Associated Press story is the stark contrast between her values and those of the Tea Party conservatives who paralyzed the process for so many months and who may face defeat in 2012, just two years after they helped the GOP take control of the House.

Giffords' dramatic appearance also served to remind readers how Editor Francis Scandale treated her and the Arizona shootings nearly eight months ago.

Here is an excerpt from Eye on The Record on Jan. 13, 2011:

"The Arizona shootings are back on the front page again today. 
"Even though it's the most talked-about story in the nation, Editor Frank Scandale again demonstrated his famously flawed news judgment by underplaying it badly on Sunday on The Record's front page.
"Then, he played catch-up on Monday, allowed it to play second fiddle on Tuesday to the dismemberment of a Cliffside Park man and knocked it off the front altogether on Wednesday.
"Running a huge photo of a Jets football player on Sunday's front page -- and squeezing the attempted assassination  of Gabrielle Giffords under a one-column headline -- is so insensitive that it could only come from an editor like Scandale."

 Read the entire post here: An emotionally cold editor

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...Image via Wikipedia
Gabrielle Giffords before the shooting.

Editors love Chris Christie

Scandale and other editors fell all over themselves to give Page 1 play today to Governor Christie actually doing something good for seniors and the disabled.

The story by Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton is careful to omit mention the $100 to help pay energy bills comes not from Christie, but from the federal government, as readers learn from the Political Stile column on L-1.

An editorial on A-8 blasts "a core of Tea Party-aligned House Republicans [who] held their party and the nation hostage," but that's diluted by an OpEd piece on the next page, A-9, claiming the Tea Baggers scored "a key victory."  What B.S.

F.U. to old people

The big photo of an old car in a pool on the front of Local again dramatizes the challenges facing elderly drivers, but don't expect head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes to awake from her nap and direct the staff to do a series on the subject (L-1).

Another L-1 story reports Passaic County ranks extremely low in a quality-of-life poll -- likely because of the presence of the editors and managers who run The Record, Herald News and North Jersey Media Group in Woodland Park.

At the bottom of the Local front, a story on changes to school-bus routes in Teaneck leaves readers wondering why they should sympathize with parents who spend $15,000 to $20,000 a year to send their kid to private school, on top of paying public school taxes.

Not a suspect

Tenafly police are dismissing a tip the polite robber at the NVE Bank was Publisher Stephen A. Borg, scrambling to make the mortgage and property tax payment on his $3.65 million Churchill Road McMansion (L-3). 

On the first Business page, the Your Money's Worth column -- on spending by 10 charities -- has readers questioning what happened to the full-time newsside reporter assigned to non-profits (L-7).

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  1. An obscure message from the Anonymous peanut gallery:

    "Giffords is a Blue Dog Democrat....That means that she is fairly conservative. So I don't know how stark the contrast is."

    I don't think you know what you are talking about.

  2. Here's a news note: According to Alan Mutter's "Newsosaur" blog, the market capitalization of McClatchy Newspapers, which peaked at $3.5 billion in 2006, now is less than $200 million.

    McClatchy includes Sacramento, Fort Worth, Charlotte, etc. Wonder what NJMG is worth?

  3. A good question, but the Borgs are more concerned with their own personal net worth.

  4. According to those calculations, NJMG would be worth peanuts, which explans all the comments from the peanut gallery.

  5. So maybe that WAS Mac I saw on the line at the soup kitchen. Dang, I can't think of a family more deserving of going broke.

  6. Mac at a soup kitchen? Not in a million years.

    He still is nominally chairman of NJMG, though his children probably treat him like a welfare case.


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