|Superstorm Sandy damage in Union Beach on Jan. 19, above and below.|
In the photo on Page 1 of The Record today, can that be the friend who has been enabling Governor Christie's binge eating and continued denial of how his morbid obesity is endangering his health?
There, in the bottom left corner of the photo from Sea Bright, the unidentified bearded man in a red T-shirt and suit jacket appears to be even bigger than Christie, who weighs 400 pounds or close to it.
The photo is a rare glimpse of the GOP bully actually walking -- as opposed to being driven even short distances in a massive state police SUV or Ford Crown Victoria.
Is it a coincidence that at the bottom of the front page readers find a blurb about a Polish holiday called "Fat Thursday," which could very well serve as the overline for the photo of Christie and his eating partner?
On A-4 today, a story from The Star-Ledger -- not from Deirdre Sykes, The Record's obese head assignment editor -- quotes experts who see rising health risks for Christie, who ate a jelly doughnut on the David Letterman TV show even as he declared himself "the healthiest fat man" on Earth.
"The governor declined Thursday to release his medical records and does not discuss what he eats and drinks or how often he exercises," The Star-Ledger reports, contradicting media reports dating to 2010.
Two of Christie's favorites are beer and pizza, according to those reports.
And on "60 Minutes," he claimed to be working out with a personal trainer, but refused to reveal his weight or say how much he had lost.
Editors as enablers
Another enabler is Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin, a trim, fastidious man who describes himself as "short" and "husky" growing up (A-18).
Doblin and other media members who emphasize how hard it is to lose weight only encourage the obese, whose eating is out of control.
"Losing a lot of weight can appear to be an impossible task," Doblin says, but he should have added it is very possible with a little discipline or, if you don't have will power, with life-saving surgery.
Weight loss is easy
Of course, Doblin may think it's "impossible," because he rubs shoulders with Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill, who delights in promoting cookbook recipes filled with butter, sugar and heavy cream, and chief Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, who is addicted to desserts.
At the gym on Thursday, I met an obese man who said he had lost 96 pounds after Lap-Band surgery at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck.
"An inflatable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach [that] divides it into two unequal parts. The upper part acts as the new stomach, restricting food intake and promoting weight loss," according to NJBariatrics.com.
Hire a personal cook
The Christies' net worth has been put at $3 million, so it would be easy for the state's overweight first family to hire a personal cook.
He or she could prepare weight-losing meals for the entire family, and snacks for when the governor is traveling around the country collecting campaign money from special interests.
Talking about special interests: Is The Record going to identify all of Christie's donors and free flights, as it does today for embattled Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat (A-1)?
Another bad headline
Also on A-1 today, the headline on the Silver Alerts story improperly puts quote marks around the words "be on the lookout" that don't appear on the highway signs.
On the front of Sykes' Local section, the first line from Road Warrior John Cichowski -- "Ka-boom!" -- signals another column that lands like a bomb and has absolutely nothing to do with North Jersey's many commuting problems (L-1).
Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, found little local news and had to fill out their pages with two gee-whiz photos of non-fatal accidents (L-2 and L-3).
Mother Nature struck a blow for the environment by using a tree to destroy a gas-guzzling, polluting SUV that had a single occupant, a woman (L-3).
As in the past, both photo captions lack even basic information on the cause of the accidents or the identity of the drivers.
Having a heart
Also on L-3 today, The Record corrects a previous story on less-invasive heart surgery by including the names of two hospitals the paper had omitted on Sunday -- Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson.
Section is on diet
In another sign of cutbacks, the restaurant review in Better Living today fills only one page, instead of two (BL-18).
The Balcony in Carlstadt gets a lukewarm "Good" rating from Bob Probert, who doesn't say whether any of the meat or poultry is naturally raised or whether the salmon is wild or farmed.
On Thursday's L-3, The Record reported the Teaneck Township Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing support for state and federal measures to address gun voilence.
The paper didn't report that Hackensack's City Council deferred action on the same resolution Tuesday night.