Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where have I read all of this before?

Republican Party (United States)
The Record continues to serve as the personal public relations journal for Governor Christie. (From Wikipedia)

With 10 months until the election, The Record today continues to promote Governor Christie for a second term and, ultimately, the presidency.

Editor Marty Gottlieb leads the paper with a so-called ANALYSIS, as well as a news story, all under an upbeat headline:

Recovery is Job 1 for Christie

In typical Gottlieb style, only a few of Christie's failures are mentioned, and they're relegated to the continuation page (A-6).

Our obese leader

Even the A-1 photo of the GOP bully is skillfully cropped to hide his grotesquely swollen body -- as if he is literally fattening up for the campaign ahead (see full photo on A-6).

You won't find a word about how Christie has fought to preserve low taxes for millionaires by cutting middle-class programs and benefits.

The problem with leaving any negatives to A-6 is that many readers -- weary of The Record's endless promotion of Christie -- won't ever get that far.

This kind of slanted journalism also leaves Gottlieb and his reporters open to insinuations they are taking their marching orders from the filthy rich Borgs, who are grateful for Christie's rabid anti-tax policies.

To make matters worse, today's Opinion cover carries yet another piece on Christie from Carl Golden, who was the press flunky for two other Republican governors, Tom Kean and Christie Whitman (O-1).

Uncanny journalism

The thin Sunday edition was wrapped in a ShopRite Can Can Sale advertising flier, declaring it as "The Greatest Sale Ever!"

Sadly, the Can Can Sale isn't what it used to be -- nor is The Record.

Praise for 'Final Words'

Also on A-1 today, Gottlieb focuses unprecedented attention on Staff Writer Jay Levin's "Final Words" -- last Sunday's moving takeout on hospice residents nearing the end of their lives -- and refers readers to a half-dozen letters on O-3.  

Today's front page also carries the photo of Staff Writer Elisa Ung and her column logo, The Corner Table, with a heart-warming story on the reopening in Moonachie of Bazzarelli Restaurant, which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

Ung did a great job, leaving readers to wonder why she continues to churn out weak restaurant reviews and even weaker Sunday columns, and avoids more reporting on such crucial issues as tipping and the low-quality beef and poultry served in many restaurants. 

Customers' burden

Taking up the slack is the paper's only consumer columnist, Kevin DeMarrais, who writes about tipping on the Business front today (B-1).

DeMarrais reports that servers make $2.13 an hour and if customers' tips don't bring them up to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the difference is made up by restaurant owners.

That's hard to believe

Still, even if true, DeMarrais doesn't explain why the burden falls on customers -- not restaurant owners -- to give servers a decent wage.

By the way, even though Christie appears to be eating everything in sight, he is on record as opposing an increase in the minimum wage in New Jersey -- another thing not mentioned in today's rah-rah coverage. 

Broken record

Favorable Christie stories aren't the only ones repeating on readers like a bad meal.

Staff Writer John Cichowski, who has carjacked the commuting column, has yet another piece today on lines at the MVC (Local front).

There are so many other issues the broken record could cover, if he just acted like the journalist he is supposed to be instead of the Local section's chief space filler -- under the whip of local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza.

New local buses

Chief among them is NJ Transit finally completing renewal of the local bus fleet, including the decrepit No. 780 between Englewood and the city of Passaic.

Gone are the creaking, decades-old white elephants familiar to the largely minority riders. They've been replaced with modern "talking buses" that even have bicycle racks. 

Cichowski also hasn't noticed:

That new E-ZPasses are half the size of the old; that hybrid owners can get toll discounts with a Green E-ZPass; or that paper license plates have replaced those large pieces of paper in the back windows of new cars

Also in Local today, the new Hackensack reporter is sounding a theme residents are all too familiar with: more legal action by police officers who allege their complaints of corruption were met with retaliation (L-3).

Is this really the best Sykes and Sforza can manage?

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