Sunday, December 1, 2013

Columnist re-used anecdotes, quotes from a year ago

Work continues on the NJ Transit train station on Anderson Street in Hackensack, above and below. When completed, the station will have the first waiting room for city commuters in many years.

How much did NJ Transit save by using a smaller sign that required the abbreviation of Anderson Street? Now, commuters freeze their you-know-whats off while waiting in bus shelters, below.


A seemingly innocent Record column with advice about getting a Black Friday parking space at the mall hid a multitude of journalistic sins.

Chief among them is that Staff Writer John Cichowski lifted the people, quotes and advice in Friday's L-1 column from a year-old Road Warrior piece on the same subject.

Hello again, Amy

The veteran reporter took several short cuts to avoid actually leaving the office and interviewing shoppers for their experiences and advice.

On Friday, he reported the experience of  "Amy Strauss and her cousin," whose car was blocked by two drivers competing for her space -- just as he did in his 2012 column.

Even the quote from Strauss was lifted word-for-word from the year-old column.

On Friday's continuation page, he cited a study on which car colors are most attractive to thieves -- in the Netherlands, not mall-rich Paramus.

All of the flaws in Friday's column are revealed on the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers in The Record.

Stale Road Warrior column given new life

A concerned reader's e-mail listing the errors, distortions and other problems has been sent to everyone from Vice President/General Counsel Jennifer A. Borg to Editor Marty Gottlieb to Cichowksi's assignment editor to the addled reporter himself.

Another recipient of the e-mail is Production Editor Liz Houlton, the six-figure copy and news desk supervisor whose job it is to fact-check Cichowski's columns. 

Today's paper

The only items on today's front page of any real interest to readers is a brief reporting truckers hit with big toll hikes on the GWB and other crossings "may no longer be willing to take runs through the New York metro area" (A-1 and L-1).

I can't wait. Good riddance to all those lead-footed truckers who seem intent on rolling over your car, if you dare drive only 5 mph or 10 mph over the limit on Route 80 and other highways.

Other stories on Page 1 -- on the Affordable Health Care Web site, the decades-old protest by religious crackpots at an Englewood abortion clinic, and Governor Christie's laughable tax-cut plan -- are the kind of manufactured controversies the media specializes in.

Check out the correction of Thursday's A-1 screw-up the editors missed (A-2). LOL.

More bad journalism

Cichowski is back on the Local front today with his second column on road projects, which somehow escaped his attention until last week (L-1).

In contrast to the millions of words The Record's editors commission on shopping malls and big retailers, a story on Small Business Saturday was written by a single reporter interviewing shoppers in one downtown, Englewood (L-3).

Sorry, Charlie, the wealthy Borg publishing family tells downtown merchants in Hackensack, Teaneck and other towns, if you don't advertise with us, you can go to hell when it comes time for news coverage.

Another Kelly turd

What would Sunday be without another column from the desperate Mike Kelly?

Today's Opinion front piece is Kelly's third attempt to link poor Richard Shoop of Teaneck to the mass shooting that killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. (O-1).

Shoop, you'll recall, is the 20-year-old pizzeria worker who took advantage of the pathetic lack of security at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus on Nov. 4, and committed suicide.

Before he shot himself in the head, he fired randomly, but wasn't aiming at shoppers.

Don't make Kelly's column the last thing you read in today's Sunday edition.

If you do, you won't be able to get the column photo and Kelly's shit-eating grin out of your mind.


  1. Did you see the the Record is now selling Sports Memorabilia and autographs -- there were four pages of items today. I collect and deal in Sports Memorabilia and their prices are outrageously high and worth your exploring. First of all, they are using Steiner Sports which charges notoriously high prices and then there is a markup. You can go to ebay and find these items or items close to them by the person whose autograph and you'll see how high the price is .

    1. The ad appeared in one of the news sections, not in Sports.

    2. With sports memorabilia, especially autographed items, it is often hard to find the exact same item. However I went to e bay and saw autographed hockey pucks swelling for half what is in the ad.

  2. In the Friday Road Warrior column the quote from George Reskakis also was lifted from a previous year's column.

    1. Thanks. I'm sure there were others. Cichowski's faculties have been failing for years, and since he doesn't actually cover commuting issues, he has become increasingly desperate to come up with three columns a week.


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