Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Relentless focus on the young

Dr. Öz at ServiceNation 2008
Image via Wikipedia
Multimillionaire Dr. Mehmet Oz of Cliffside Park using his fingers to indicate the size of a typical senior citizen's brain when it comes to exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.


Is it really front-page news that a bill proposes to add more hours of practice for teen drivers with learner's permits?

As interim Editor Doug Clancy surely knows, inexperienced drivers are more dangerous than the inexperienced reporters in The Record's Better Living section. But isn't the goal safer roads for everyone?

Now, readers can expect a half-dozen columns from the Road Warrior, giving parents a platform to bitch and moan about this proposal, as they did about the red license-plate decals for teens under 18.

F.U. to seniors

The teen-driving story on Page 1 today only highlights how little attention head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes pays to older drivers, another accident-prone group.

She loves the photo ops they provide as they plow into storefronts, other cars or pedestrians -- often with fatal consequences -- but she doesn't bother publishing a guide to programs that could help them become better drivers.

You'd think Egypt was part of North Jersey by the frequency of photos from there that land on the front page (A-1).

Staff Writer Kibret Markos reports a $2.1 million award to the estate of a Ramapough Indian who was fatally shot by a park ranger in 2006, but ignores the potential one-third payout to the family's lawyer (A-1).

I could not find the age of the victim, Emil Mann, in the story. 

And Markos apparently missed a bigger jury award Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack -- $10 million to the family of a visiting 13-year-old Korean boy who drowned in Ridgewood's municipal pool (NorthJersey.com).

Christie payback

The third and final part of the series on the developmentally disabled highlights Governor Christie's plan to shift work from unionized state employees to low-paid workers in the private sector -- likely at the behest of his many corporate donors (A-1).

The big news from Hackensack in Sykes' Local section today is the carbon-dioxide poisoning of a family of three from a faulty furnace flue (L-1).

Senior handouts

Below that, a story reports seniors lined up for free smoothies and cups of fruit during a visit by that horse's ass, Dr. Mehmet Oz, to the Northwest Bergen Senior Activities Center in Midland Park (L-1).

The story reinforces the paper's theme that most seniors need to be spoon-fed a message of "healthy aging" -- just as Sykes' assignment desk insists on being spoon-fed press releases.

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