|Welcome to the lower level of the George Washington Bridge, where closure of a single lane on Monday made an 11 a.m. trip to Manhattan feel like the rush hour. Many native New Jerseyans refer to the lower level as Martha Washington.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Saying to hell with their pretense of objectivity, The Record's editors today kicked off Governor Christie's unofficial campaign for the White House.
Close to half of today's front-page is devoted to mini profiles of "Team Christie" -- a lawyer, public relations and campaign strategists, and others who helped him get elected in New Jersey.
The story is by Staff Writer Melissa Hayes, whose unabashed affection for the GOP bully during his recent campaign for a second term has many readers thinking of her as the Bride of Frankenstein (A-1).
Hayes claims these Christie loyalists won't talk about anything -- "even their success in helping him win twice in a blue state."
That's probably because Christie's campaign, and especially his TV ads, were filled with half-truths, omissions and lies, and The Record and other media winked at what a lousy job he has done since he took office in January 2010.
That can be seen is another story on Page 1 today, reporting New Jersey may be able to collect $200 million in annual sales tax revenue from Amazon.com and other online retailers (A-1).
But given Chirstie's voodoo economics, $200 million is chump change that will do nothing to lift the state out of its fiscal mess.
The only glimmer of hope for Democrats is that Michael DeHaime, Maria Comella and other Christie loyalists once worked for such GOP turkeys as John McCain, Sarah Palin and Rudolph Giuliani.
More space is wasted on A-1 today for a sports column by Tara "The Vagina Monologue" Sullivan.
Not Pat Nixon
On A-2, the editors acknowledge another major screw-up, this time in the photo caption on Sunday's Better Living front.
Chef Claude Baills is shown with former President Richard Nixon and the chef's wife, children and mother, but the caption identified the mother, Therese, as "Pat Nixon."
You'd think six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton would have caught the error.
On A-3 today, Christie has a point that Democrats in the Legislature, including John Wisniewski and Loretta Weinberg, seem to "have nothing to do" except complain about the closure of Fort Lee toll lanes on the upper level of the GWB in early September.
The story reports Fort Lee has three toll lanes to the bridge, but there is a fourth to the lower level, which was unaffected by the September closures.
I'd like to see Weinberg and Wisniewski and other Democrats get their act together, especially after their shameless lack of support for state Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, in the gubernatorial election.
Bitch about this
Democrats shouldn't be bitching about the closure of a few toll lanes.
They should be slamming Christie for rubber stamping exorbitant toll hikes, killing the Hudson River rail tunnels and failing to push the Port Authority to expand mass transit.
Readers only have to take one look at the enormous photo of Ridgewood's Christmas tree on L-1 today to know they'll find little local news in the section.
I guess Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza didn't have much left after giving Editor Marty Gottlieb a story on huge payments to municipal workers in Hackensack and other towns for unused sick and vacation time (A-1).
The Record's Local section has ignored Main Street in favor of lavish coverage of mall retailers on Page 1 and in the Business pages.
In the adoring Sunday profile of Claude and Dolores Baills of The Chef's Table in Franklin Lakes, Staff Writer Elisa Ung notes North Jersey's "dwindling supply of classic French restaurants run by old-school chefs."
What she doesn't explain is that classic French cooking -- with its reliance on butter, heavy cream and other unhealthy animal fats -- has been largely repudiated by the majority of restaurant goers seeking healthier food.
Does anybody feel sorry for Kevin and Cheri Smith, who squandered $3.8 million of a $5 million windfall to build a home in Franklin Lakes, only to lose it to foreclosure (Sunday Real Estate cover)?
With so many other New Jersey foreclosures to choose from, why pick this couple?
The Road Warrior column on finding a Black Friday parking space at the mall said nothing about the opening of a new, high-tech garage at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus.
Signs and green lights tell drivers where to find vacant spaces in the four-deck structure, according to a Dec. 11 story in The Record.
Staff Writer John Cichowski not only re-used anecdotes, quotes and advice from a similar column in 2012, he quoted drivers saying the stupidest things.
Conrad Macina of Mount Arlington is quoted as saying he "won't even go to the malls to buy gum during the Thanksgiving holidays." Who would?
Teaneck's Jane Abraham prefers to spend, what, $25, $30 or $40, even with discounts, to park and shop in Manhattan?
Is she out of her mind? Does she also prefer to pay sales tax on clothing in Manhattan?
What these and other readers who pepper Cichowski with e-mails have in common is that they love to see their names in print.
For that, other readers have to suffer their insufferable advice, because Cichowski refuses to do the legwork he should be doing for his silly column.