Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scouring Page 1 for scraps of local news

Euclid Avenue, near Grand Avenue, in Hackensack's Fairmount section, above and below, is another street officials have neglected for decades. Residents say it hasn't been paved since 1979, yet taxes and city employees' salaries continue to rise. 

As if a week or more of stories on the so-called sequester crisis wasn't enough, Editor Marty Gottlieb unleashes two more on Page 1 today that are guaranteed to put readers to sleep.

A third A-1 story is a trend piece on free online classes that seems to suggest Gottlieb is flunking his assignment of putting out a hometown newspaper filled with local news.

Shoot em' up

But the front-page is dominated today by a wildly exaggerated column on the AR-15 assault rifle by the tired Mike Kelly.

The main headline -- "Meet America's weapon of choice" -- is hype, and isn't supported by the text or the numbers in a graphic on A-6.

The graphic says 1.626 million were produced in a 21-year period -- this in a nation of 300 million people.

Maybe, the AR-15 is the "weapon of choice" for men who wish their cocks were that big.

More sloppy work

And typical of the work of Production Liz Houlton's copy desk, the A-6 graphic drops the word "million" in two places under a heading: "Number of firearms in U.S."

More errors

On the front of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local, Road Warrior John Cichowski publishes an elaborate justification for all of the rollover-accident photos Sykes uses as filler in place of news she and her minions are too lazy to gather (L-1).

This column follows Cichowski's major boner on Friday, when he told readers toll agencies don't cross-honor E-ZPass discounts, when, in fact, they do. 

A reader concerned about Cichowski's accelerating inaccuracies sent this e-mail to management:

"Like death, taxes and rising tolls, there is another sure thing Record readers can count on: Endless mistaken reporting and misinformed responses by the Road Warrior to readers' questions without any corrections, even when notified about these gross mistakes.

"Road Warrior's glaring mistakes and made-up, uneducated answers were in evidence in the March 1 column responding to to readers' questions about E-ZPass and tolls.

"The Record should STOP the Road Warrior from misinforming its readers and publishing nonsense in response to readers' questions.

"The Road Warrior indicated that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority E-ZPass system won't accept discounts from other E-ZPass systems, including the Port Authority.

"In reality, the N.J. Turnpike E-ZPass Web page specifically states that its EZ-Pass users are eligible for discounts from various E-ZPass systems, such as the Port Authority's.

"The Road Warrior seems to be more interested in filling up column space rather than actually providing accurate answers to his adoring readers."

For the full e-mail, click on this link to the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers:

Answers pulled out of thin air 

Local snooze

Hackensack readers are accustomed to a Sunday paper without news of their city, but what about other towns?

The big news in Teaneck is a family and dog escaping a fire (L-3).

Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood are conspicuously absent in the L-1 story on towns launching health and fitness "wellness" programs.

Empty plate

In Better Living, there is no explanation to readers for why The Corner Table column is missing today.

The column -- which often promotes chefs and restaurant owners -- is written by Staff Writer Elisa Ung, who is taking a break from weekly restaurant reviewing.


  1. Maybe Elissa Ung was laid off too.

  2. Don't think so. She probably went in for bariatric surgery.

  3. Have you even met the woman? She is not overweight. I seem to remember you having a little waistline trouble b

  4. When Elisa Ung started at The Record, she was chubby or what you'd call zaftig ( not sure of the spelling), unusual for an Asian woman. The reason soon became clear: an obsession with dessert. I've lost more than 40 pounds in the last couple of years and kept it off. LOL.

  5. Maybe she is on maternity leave again. She hasn't contributed anything to the Second Helpings blog since Feb. 13.


If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.