Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mac Borg's pal is back in the news

English: Xanadu as seen from the roof of the M...
Xanadu (American Dream) as seen from the roof of the Meadowlands Sheraton. The indoor ski slope is on the left. (Wikipedia)

Editor Marty Gottlieb chokes readers today with another endless account of the on-again, off-again American Dream mega retail and entertainment project in the Meadowlands (Page 1).

Buried deep in the text on the continuation page are a few paragraphs about the role of real estate mogul Jon F. Hanson, who co-owns a business jet with North Jersey Media Group Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg (A-8),

Of course, the relationship isn't mentioned.

As the state's economy tanks under the regressive tax policies of Governor Christie, the GOP bulldog hasn't let go of the project's potential as a "job machine for the men and woman of New Jersey."

One-man P.R. machine

The story is by Staff Writer John Brennan, who for years hoped to bury what was once known as Xanadu.

After Christie got involved, Brennan became a one-man public-relations machine. 

The project has or is expected to receive hundreds of millions in state tax breaks. 

Today, Brennan buries the news on the continuation page, boring readers with paragraph after paragraph of background.

Muskrat love

At the bottom of A-1 today, a nostalgic piece on trapping in the Meadowlands could have been packaged with the wildly promotional American Dream story.

All of those dead muskrats are a turnoff, but did you notice how Production Editor Liz Houlton screwed up the captions for the two A-1 photos and a third photo on A-6. 

Captions appear to be under the wrong photos, and no one caught the error, typical for Houlton's copy desk. 

Another Polish joke

Road Warrior John Cichowski couldn't find any commuting issue to write about today, so he looks forward a year to the closing of some lanes of the Pulaski Skyway, a major route to the Holland Tunnel that has been under reconstruction forever it seems (Local front).

I recall the night I was working on the news copy desk in Hackensack when the word came down that then-Editor Francis "Frank" Scandale didn't want the words "Pulaski Skyway" to appear on the front page in connection with a story on crumbling infrastructure.

Scandale argued "no one ever heard of" the Pulaski Skyway, which links Jersey City and Newark, and no one from Bergen County used it. Case closed.

Cichowski claims the bridge has been "terrorizing motorists" since it opened in 1932, but that's typical of his lame attempts to make his boring, irrelevant  columns come to life. 

Food rambles

In Better Living, Restaurant Reivewer Elisa Ung devotes her entire Sunday column, The Corner Table, to promote the new owner and chef of the Saddle River Inn (BL-1).

This past Tuesday, Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill erred in reporting that NYC Restaurant Week 2013 "actually lasts for two weeks."

According to the Web site,, restaurants are serving $25 lunches and $38 dinners from Jan. 14 through Feb. 8 --  more than three weeks.

Christie smothers Sandy

On the Opinion front, Professor Brigid Harrison praises Christie's political skills, but that seems to be contradicted big time by how he flopped at getting Congress to approve the $60-billion Superstorm Sandy recovery package (A-1 and A-4). 

Breathe deep 
A story on the Real Estate front today reports a building called The M at Englewood South is giving tenants the option to put half of their monthly rents toward a down payment on purchasing the units (R-1).

The piece never explains why anyone wants to live next to Route 4, with all of its traffic noise and polluted air.

Sounds like a great place to raise children and grow old.

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