Monday, February 18, 2013

This is what 'follow the money' means

Dan Sforza, a local-news assignment editor at The Record of Woodland Park, was the inspiration for this sculpture at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Editor's note: "Eye on The Record" is using a new template on Google's Blogger platform after the original became corrupted. Popular Posts, My Blog Roll and a list of previous posts appear at the end of the posts, instead of on the right. I am still able to use the original template for "Do You Really Know What You're Eating," my food blog.

Another Page 1 story on the cozy relationship between Governor Christie and the national group that helped him win "his long-shot campaign" in 2009 is a good example of how the media can explore the corrupting influence of money.

It's a tool The Record's editors have rarely used in recent years as they virtually ignored the need for campaign-finance reform and local ordinances against "pay to play."

In last year's North Jersey congressional campaigns, the Woodland Park daily gave the most coverage to candidates who raised the most special-interest money, such as author and relentless self-promoter Shmuley Boteach, a rabbi who lives in Englewood.

That bias has continued in the early months of New Jersey's gubernatorial campaign between Christie, the GOP bully, and state Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Metuchen. 

Money in local election

Now, Hackensack readers wonder whether The Record will "follow the money" backing candidates in the campaign for City Council. The election is on May 14.

The phrase "follow the money" refers to an investigative tool used by Washington Post reporters in their stories uncovering the Watergate break-in during the Nixon administration. 

More poor editing

Before I move on to other Page 1 stories, check out the incredibly sloppy editing of Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson's story on the Republican Governors Association and Christie:

The lead paragraph states that Christie won his campaign against Jon Corzine "four years ago," but he didn't actually "win" until November 2009. 

Taking flight   

Readers who believe the paper's local-news coverage is for the birds find confirmation of that in stories and photos on A-1 and L-1 today.

At the top of the front page, Staff Writer John Brennan continues to mine his addicted gamblers beat -- in yet another story that puts the vast majority of readers to sleep.  

Dull headline

Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin should stop writing headlines for editorials, if he is going to continue coming up with duds like this one on A-13 today:

North Jersey suffers
Totowa development center to close  

That  is such old news, especially when the editorial criticizes the Christie administration for not sending officials from the state Department of Human Services to talk to concerned families at a public hearing.

No accident

There is so little local news today a layout editor had to blow up another gee-whiz, non-fatal, rollover-accident photo as big as possible to fill a gaping hole on the Local front today.

"Car wreck in Westwood" is the incredibly unimaginative overline, and the caption blames police for the usual lack of information about the driver or the cause of the accident.

Millionaire chef

For the second day in a row, Better Living promotes another celebrity chef on its cover (BL-1).

"Jose Andres is not a just chef and prolific restaurateur," Staff Writer Elisa Ung says in the first paragraph, hoping to whet readers' appetites.

Tickets to the New Jersey Wine and Food Festival that Andres "healdines" range from $30 to $448.

No thanks.


  1. The last design was not the original design. The original waste orange.

  2. That was temporary for one or two days.


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