Sunday, January 27, 2013

Travel editor to Korean-Americans: Bite me!

One of the newer restaurants in Palisades Park, a Korean-American enclave that might as well be on the far side of the moon, as far as The Record's travel editor is concerned.

What could Bergen County's Korean-Americans possibly have done to Jill Schensul, the ditzy, jet-lagged travel editor at The Record of Woodland Park?

Schensul has been dissing Koreans for years, refusing to run any travel stories about their native country in her thin section (only four pages today).

In today's cover story on immigrant enclaves, she goes out of her way to ignore the bustling Korean-American business district in nearby Palisades Park,  while praising others as far away as Washington, D.C. (T-1).

Dog eaters?

Schensul is a vegetarian and an animal lover who has never hidden her dislike for Koreans, because they allegedly eat dog meat in their home country.

In today's piece, she tells readers "to bring an appetite" and "an open mind," but continues to exhibit a closed mind when it comes to Korean culture and its largely vegetarian cuisine.  

Sadly, she is the kind of dishonest journalist -- think Road Warrior John Cichowski and Columnists Mike Kelly, Charles Stile and Alfred P. Doblin -- who seems to find a roost at The Record.

All you have to do is look at the haggard woman's dated column photo on the Travel front today to see her dishonesty.    

As for today's Sunday edition, it's another bomb from Editor Marty Gottlieb, who gives us a front page weighed down by think pieces on gun control and federal disaster aid that are guaranteed to send you back to bed.

Another Kelly mystery

Then, Kelly's A-1 column goes on an on about another mystery few people care about -- whether poet Joyce Kilmer wrote "Trees" while living in Mahwah.

This ranks up there with his endless column on the identity of an elderly woman who was rescued from ankle-deep flood waters in Little Ferry during Superstorm Sandy. 

Who is man in photo?

A photo of "Alex Michelini" runs on Page 1 with Kelly's column, but who is he?

Readers have to plow through some 20 paragraphs before they find out on A-6 that Michelini, 75, lives in Mahwah and "decided to devote part of his retirement to tracking down the origins of Kilmer's poem."

Talk about seniors having nothing to do after they retire.

Kelly identifies Michelini as a former New York Daily News reporter, but in the 1970s, I worked as an Elizabeth-based stringer for the New Jersey edition of the News and Michelini was my editor.

He is not only one of the shortest editors I have ever met, he had one of the foulest mouths.

I had to "sell" my stories to the tough-talking Michelini, who wouldn't accept just anything, and I wasn't paid unless my reporting was published.

I recall he paid for a few paragraphs about an overweight woman who sued her landlord after she sat down on her apartment toilet and fell through to the floor below. 

And when I called and asked if he wanted something on a New Jersey priest who had been found dead of a heart attack in a Manhattan brownstone, Michelini wanted to know if the clergyman had been "screwing" a young boy.

Chief space filler

Cichowski, the Road Warrior, is prized for his ability to fill space -- three times a week -- in the Local section of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her incompetent deputy, Dan Sforza, who also rely on photos of minor accidents (L-2).

Today, Cichowski's column is devoted to a single NJ Transit rail station, in Garfield. That follows another whole column devoted to the Teterboro train station.

One station, one column. 

Maybe, he'll eventually get around to the Anderson Street station in Hackensack that burned down several years ago and was replaced by a bus shelter.  

The Broken Record

As for Hackensack news, The Record is known as The Broken Record, today giving city readers the third major story about the new police director, Michael Mordaga, since Wednesday (L-1).

Today's story says Mordaga takes over Feb. 4 from interim Police Chief Tomas Padilla, who retires Jan. 31.

So, who runs the department for three days?

Food for thought

On the Business front, the thousands of readers who buy organic and naturally raised food can ignore the  Your Money's Worth column, which doesn't recognize their existence (B-1).

A second Kelly column appears on the Opinion front today, discussing the case of Jennifer O'Brien, a Paterson teacher who was sacked "almost two years ago" for a Facebook reference to her students as "future criminals" (O-1).

Why is Kelly writing about this now? Has he run out of ideas? 

On the Better Living front, why is chief Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung writing about chefs who smoke, in a Sunday column -- The Corner Table -- that is supposed to discuss issues facing restaurant goers (B-1)?


  1. Sounds like you and your editor were it from the same cloth. It's nice to have mentors. Hope you were able to mentor youn journalists like he did.

  2. The travel editor should travel to Fort Lee. Interesting concept.

  3. She also ignored the bustling Middle Eastern bazaar in South Paterson in favor of places much farther away. It's bewildering and irresponsible.


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