Monday, April 8, 2013

After 20-plus years, columnist can't hack it

A noisy private business jet takes off or lands at Teterboro Airport and flies over Hackensack every few minutes most mornings, afternoons and evenings. They are driving some residents crazy, but imagine what it's like to live next to the airport, a favorite of the 1%.

Columnist Mike Kelly is back on Page 1 of The Record today, asking the rhetorical questions that allow him to avoid directly criticizing Rutgers officials over the Mike Rice affair.

Questions are Kelly's specialty, but without them, his columns are nothing more than news stories, stringing together quotes from such sources as lawmakers, and state and university officials.

Columnists are supposed to have voices and strong points of view -- damn the attribution -- not ask questions, such as this one in his second paragraph today:

"Why did so many allegedly smart academics seem so clueless to the significance of the coach's abuse and what they needed to do about it."

I need some caffeine.

Editor Marty Gottlieb runs two columns about Rutgers on the front page, and a news story inside -- the fifth day in a row of over-the-top coverage that leaves most readers searching for some other news.

Dissing Hackensack

The Page 1 story on towns holding April school elections makes no mention of Hackensack, where officials censored public questions at a recent forum for candidates and where a school board member is running for a seat in the May 14 City Council election.

In today's Local, the big Hackensack news apparently is the first report about the March 22 closing of a wing at the Fanny M. Hillers School, but the story assumes all 45,000 residents of the city know where it is (L-3).

Second look

On Sunday's Business front, Your Money's Worth Columnist Kevin DeMarrais praised Whole Foods Market's decision to list genetically modified ingredients on labels, and made a rare mention of organic food -- more than 30 years after the chain was founded (B-1).

Travel Editor Jill Schensul completely ignored the American Littoral Society in her Sunday cover story on volunteers flocking to restore the Jersey shore after Superstorm Sandy (T-1). 

The ALS is based in Highlands.

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