|Lincoln Tunnel rush hour: Five lanes of traffic into two. Why doesn't The Record write about commuting problems instead of such topics as scrutiny of school bus drivers?|
Another boring report on crumbling infrastructure and a speculative story on state revenue guarantee that all eyes notice the three-column item at the top of Page 1 today -- reporting the death of former New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger.
Of course, many readers know why his death is front-page news: Marty Gottlieb, The Record's editor, spent many years working for Sulzberger in New York and Paris.
But in the past, The Record has denied some prominent New and North Jerseyans similar notice on A-1.
I'm not sure why the Sulzberger obituary on A-6 today is from a Times' rival, The Washington Post. And what's with the nearly 40-year-old photo of Sulzberger?
Borg on 'Punch'
Among those reacting to the death is Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg, chairman of North Jersey Media Group, who handed the publisher reins to one of his Silver Spoons, Stephen A. Borg.
The elder Borg isn't half the man of Sulzberger, whom he describes as "an extraordinary gentlemen, and a person who would guard the reputation of his product with his life."
(Production Editor Liz Houlton and her crack copy editors missed "gentlemen" instead of "gentleman.")
Record v. Times
Readers know Mac Borg hasn't guarded the reputation of The Record, which has published several flattering stories about Borg family friends and business associates.
And on three days last week, an ad for a Japanese clothing retailer was wrapped around Page 1, and the Better Living and Business sections published lavishly promotional pieces on the opening of its Paramus store.
They also know that Stephen Borg has put his selfish interests above the financial health of the newspaper, purchasing a $3.65 million Tenafly McMansion with a company mortgage only several months before a major downsizing.
The younger Borg also engineered NJMG's wholesale abandonment of Hackensack, and stood by when his chief assignment editor, Deirdre Sykes, followed suit by largely ignoring non-police news from the city where The Record had prospered for more than 110 years.
News or views?
Is there any news on Page 1 today?
I got a kick out of the "ANALYSIS" suggesting Governor Christie may close the gap "between optimistic budget projections and the state's gloomy revenue totals," and deliver a tax credit.
But the editors don't mention the weakness of Christie's plan: the recipients of huge corporate bonuses and stock-market profits pay little or no tax.
The governor is going to get screwed by the very same millionaires he has made immune from a tax surcharge. LOL.
Call me maybe
On the front of Local, Road Warrior John Cichowski addresses a compelling road safety issue: why school buses don't carry phone numbers on their sides (L-1).
The answer is obviously so drivers won't be pestering the attractive female school-bus drivers for dates.
The only Hackensack news today is from the police blotter: a brawl at General Poor's, the Main Street tavern that has been the scene of numerous going-away parties for Record staffers (L-3).
The brown-nosing Sykes ordered the reporter to list every one of the 11 police agencies that responded, thereby ensuring that in the future none of them will refuse to release routine crime information.
Shifting the blame
In Better Living, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung just doesn't get it.
As a consumer advocate, she should use her Corner Table column to report on the bad behavior of restaurant owners and chefs, not customers (BL-1).
I can think of owners and chefs who list "red snapper," but serve mystery fish; who buy low-cost, conventionally raised or grown food to boost their profits; and who gouge customers on wine purchases.
And many of them pay servers a minimum wage of under $3 an hour, then put the burden on customers to make up the difference through tips.
If Columnist Mike Kelly is going to rail about the "sound of gunfire" and "dilapidated housing" in Paterson (Opinion front), why doesn't he have the balls to criticize Christie for forcing the layoffs of more than 100 cops or to name all of the slumlords?