Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No-news front page is editor's specialty

Jockstrap ad, 1941Image via Wikipedia
This ad influenced Francis Scandale's family.

If it's Tuesday, it must be another no-news front page from Francis Scandale, The Record's editor, who has crafted hundreds of them since he took over more than a decade ago and began running in place.

Today, as on many occasions in the past, he's allowed reporter-turned-promoter John Brennan to hijack Page 1 with an exaggerated story on voter support for sports betting in New Jersey.

Scandale is known to wear an old, itchy jock strap every day to hold what little manhood he has left after head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes got through with him. 

He barely salvaged the right to decide what goes on A-1, heavily favoring sports and what he calls "the business of sports."

Mighty 800

The lead story -- "N.J. favors sports betting" -- is based on a poll of only 800 registered voters. How do 800 people morph into "New Jersey"? Did they call me? You?

Scandale and Brennan are so used to prostituting themselves in front of sports business interests, they have no shame in leading the paper with tripe like this.

I'm not even going to waste my time recapping the other "soft news" stories on A-1 today, but this trio is about as boring as you can get.

Five corrections and a clarification on A-2 today must be a new record. They testify to what a lousy job of damage control Sykes' assignment editors, Liz Houlton's news copy desk and the sports copy desk are doing.

Borg's hoods

On the front of Sykes' Local section, a nature area called Borg's Woods is in the news again, but "The back story" blurb distorts the history of the 14-acre parcel on the Hackensack-Maywood border.

The land was the back yard of Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg when he was growing up in the big, white house at Summit and Fairmount avenues in Hackensack, and his father was running The Record.

Bergen County bought the wetlands for $1.74 million in 1994 from the parent company of the newspaper, as today's story says, but only after fierce neighborhood opposition to Borg's plan to sell the parcel to a townhouse developer. 

That part of the story apparently was deliberately omitted. You can always count on the assignment editors to revise history, especially when it comes to the Borg family.

Kissing Borg's ass

I recall how Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza repeatedly refused to include Borg's opposition to a synagogue down the block from his Walnut Street home, on the East Hill of Englewood, claiming he couldn't find "room" in the stories for that essential bit of information. What a turkey.

The pissing match over the brook running through Borg's Woods is the only Hackensack municipal news today, though readers will also find stories about Teaneck, Glen Rock and a few other towns.

In Better Living, the only food coverage is a story in which native-born Italians lecture Americans on how to eat pasta (F-1 and F-3).

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  1. The most amazing thing about the Borgs Woods story was that it was not wire copy. Someone had enough collective memory to provide directions to Hackensack.


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