Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Jersey is going down for the count

Why aren't Hollywood directors interested in the saga of a young publisher who puts personal gain ahead of his newspaper's responsibility to cover Hackensack and many other towns? The dumpsters in the parking lot at 150 River St., The Record's old headquarters, above, are a fitting symbol of how Publisher Stephen A. Borg has abandoned the city where the paper was founded more than 115 years ago.

The Record's upbeat coverage of Governor Christie can't hide the sad reality: 

Battered by Superstorm Sandy and facing a deficit of up to $2 billion, the great state of New Jersey is on the ropes (A-1 today and Monday).

Is there any doubt Christie has mismanaged the state and cut middle-class programs to balance the state budget?

And it's all to preserve lower tax rates on the millionaires who support him -- an issue on which even his fellow hard-line Republicans in Congress have yielded.

Pitty the poor senior

Monday's front page continued The Record's policy of stereotyping seniors as frail, sickly and helpless

If not the police, who are they supposed to call when they fall?

Readers don't get to know all those well-heeled, globe-trotting seniors who live full lives until they die and show up in one of Jay Levin's local obits. 

Acting stupid 

Today's and Monday's coverage of the Golden Globe Awards ignores how Hollywood appears to be stuck in the past, making films about such events as the Iranian hostage crisis, emancipation of the slaves and the French revolution.

Where are the movies about newspapers and the selfish people who own and edit them?

Too bad Jodie Foster's Golden Globe speech stole all the attention away from winners Ben Afleck and others whose acceptance speeches made them sound like blithering idiots (Better Living cover).

It demonstrates how most actors are only as good as their scripts.

Out of order

Monday's Page 1 carried a rare Hackensack story that isn't only about the legal problems of former Police Chief Ken Zisa.

Staff Writer Jeff Pillets focuses on questionable behavior and apparent conflicts of interest involving Richard Malagiere, attorney for the city zoning board and former legal counsel to the Board of Freeholders.

In the past three years, Pillets reports, Malagiere has received at least $822,000 for advising the zoning board and for defending Zisa in a series of civil law suits.   

Gunning for readers 

It's good to see Mike Kelly writing today and Sunday about the nation's shameful record on controlling gun violence, but readers can do without the overly dramatic prose and the eye-glazing length of his columns (A-1 today, O-1 on Sunday).

Here is vintage Kelly: "American history is rich with stories of ordinary people mounting extraordinary efforts to change the way we live." 

Or this: "The Locieros offer a counterpoint from their Hawthorne living room, where a large portrait of their daughter keeps watch and a clock tolls every hour [italics added]."

Hey, Kelly, no she doesn't and no it doesn't.  

Fuzzy journalism

Political Columnist Charles Stile reports on how Christie is blurring the line between his official role as governor and his candidacy for a second term (A-1).

But isn't that what the editors, reporters and columnists at The Record have been doing since the GOP bulldog took office 3 years ago: 

Blurring the line between covering him and praising him, despite evidence he is the state's worst governor ever.  

Little local news

Thanks to head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, there hasn't been much to read in Local lately beyond Law & Order news.

But today, L-1 carries two Hackensack stories, including a discussion of whether city zoners will re-appointment Malagiere. 

The second story, on the death of two elderly women in a crash with a second vehicle on Polifly Road, doesn't say whether any charges are pending or even whether police are investigating (L-1).

Readers are told, "Police said they had no other details to release Monday night."  

So, Sykes and Sforza told the reporter to go to police headquarters on State Street today and stand outside with his hand out.

Paved with errors 
Sunday's Road Warrior column on the Pulaski Skyway was filled with errors, according to a concerned reader who e-mailed management:

"General Pulaski and advocates of history, traffic, and the truth are turning over in their graves or gravel beds about mistaken reporting by the Road Warrior [John Cichowski] in his Jan. 13 column about scheduled construction work for the Pulaski Skyway.

"The Road Warrior reporting once again damages The Record's integrity, which becomes more and more costly to repair the longer these misleading and false reports are allowed to continue in the Road Warrior columns without any corrections."

To read the full e-mail, go to the following link:

Road Warrior surrenders to accuracy again 

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