Saturday, April 6, 2013

An emphatic two thumbs down for Roger Ebert

More than 10 NJ Transit bus routes were disrupted by the closing of the Anderson Street Bridge between Hackensack and Teaneck due to emergency weight-limit restrictions, above. Since the September closure, The Record hasn't interviewed a single bus rider on how their commute has been affected, but has carried the Road Warrior's endless hand-wringing over every tiny inconvenience faced by North Jersey lead-footed drivers.

With greedy publishing families like the Borgs and scandals involving fabricated quotes and even entire stories at such prestigious publications as The New York Times and Washington Post, you'd think Hollywood would have exposed the dark side of newspapers long ago.

You'd be wrong, of course, and critic Roger Ebert spent more than 45 years analyzing films without ever mentioning how directors have done exactly the opposite -- they go out of their way to glorify the press.

Hollywood might shy away from blasting the press because critics like Ebert, who worked for a big newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, could make or break them.

And you know the only reason Editor Marty Gottlieb put Ebert's obituary on the front page of Friday's paper is because he was a fellow newspaperman.

The Record's Friday entertainment tabloid once carried Ebert's reviews, but they ended several years ago, in an apparent cost-cutting move.

He's no Jeff Page

Gottlieb also seems to be indulging another fellow newspaperman, Staff Writer John Cichowski, whose Road Warrior columns are paved with inaccuracies.

On Friday, the Road Warrior's annual pothole column appeared on the Local front -- symbolizing the deep whole he continues to dig for the paper's credibility.

Local yokels

Five pages of Friday's Local was devoted to higher-education news, but head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes still needed a photo of a non-fatal accident to fill the local-news section (L-7).

Her deputy, Dan Sforza, spent the day out of the office, measuring potholes for Cichowski.

Rutgers brouhaha

Today, for the third day in a row, Gottlieb presents more screaming Page 1 headlines and blanket coverage of Rutgers University and its abusive basketball coach, Mike Rice.

Meanwhile, readers have had to listen to WBGO-FM radio news or search for stories on Trenton budget hearings to find out how Governor Christie intends to screw the middle and working classes again by short-changing mass transit and affordable housing. 

Crossing readers

Today's story on a Fort Lee crosswalk ticket blitz took readers by surprise -- coming after a March 22 Road Warrior column that warned about the use of plainclothes officers in a similar Teaneck crackdown this month (L-1).

But so far, drivers haven't seen any such blitz on Cedar Lane.

Sykes and Sforza couldn't find room for Hackensack news today, but did find space for the Dean's List; photos of a minor SUV and car fire, and a motorboat being pulled from a river; and for a story on road repairs in Edgewater (L-2, L-3 and L-6).

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