Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christie: Vindictive leader or totally in the dark?

Fort Lee Borough Hall, where Governor Christie apologized to Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich on Thursday afternoon for four days of politically inspired gridlock at the George Washington Bridge in early September. The visit by Christie and a media flash mob closed streets and caused traffic mayhem in the borough.


Three more pages of Bridgegate coverage in The Record today is missing even an attempt to answer the biggest question at the center of the growing scandal.

Are we to believe that Governor Christie remained in the dark until this week -- despite hundreds of e-mails  circulating among his top aides and cronies at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (A-1, A-6 and A-7)?

Christie, the GOP bully who seems more suited to the roll of vindictive leader, claims he was lied to by a top aide and only learned about the plot to tie up Fort Lee traffic from a media report on Wednesday morning.

A victim?

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields, a commentator on PBS, said Friday night that Christie portrays himself as a "victim" in the Bridgegate scandal.

Shields recalled how Christie, on Aug. 26, 2011, was totally in control when he ordered Jersey shore residents to get the hell off the beach before Hurricane Irene hit.

Now, Shields said, Christie expects us to believe he was "detached, he was disengaged, he didn't know" anything about the plot to cause gridlock as a form of political payback to the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.

Lack of concern

"He didn't once express real, genuine, authentic Chris Christie concern for the lives of people whose lives were disrupted [by the gridlock]," Shields noted.

Shields called the GWB lane closures "a ruthless act, a cheap political trick."

Don't you wonder why the editors, columnists, reporters and editorial writers at The Record aren't expressing the same concerns?

Another big error

Thanks to another major screw-up by six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton, a Bridgegate editorial on A-11 today is a real mess:

The headline and sub-headline are broken -- headline words appear over and under a photo of former Port Authority bigwig David Wildstein -- and text is cut off in mid-sentence at the end (A-11).

Ex-clerk is engaged

In Hackensack news, residents learn Debra Heck, the former city clerk, is the fiancee of school board lawyer and former municipal attorney and prosecutor Richard Salkin, an ally of the Zisa political dynasty (L-3).

The story by Staff Writer Hannan Adely quotes from e-mails by City Councilwoman Rose Greenman, a member of a reform slate that swept the Zisa team out of office this year.

Salkin is now representing Heck, who has said she intends to sue the city, claiming her removal was based on her "perceived political views."

Editors' snow job

In Friday's Hackensack Chronicle, two photos reveal what a terrible job municipal crews did in cleaning up after the Jan. 2 snowstorm.

One shows a pedestrian trying "to figure out how to cross the Anderson Street Bridge [between Hackensack and Teaneck], which was snow and ice covered."

In decades of weather coverage in The Record, I haven't seen a similar photo from any one of the 90 or so towns in the daily's circulation area. 

Gritty and slimy

Yet another restaurant reviewed by Staff Writer Elisa Ung bombs.

What else would you expect from Biggie's in Ramsey, where fresh clams are fried and seafood is served on pizzas or covered in a pink cream sauce (BL-14).

You know the food is just awful when Ung devotes the first third of her review to history, decor and service.

The dessert-obsessed reviewer was even repelled by the "tooth-hurting" peanut butter pie and "slimy" cheesecake. Ouch.

Yet, she doesn't rate it "Poor." Go figure. A waste of money and a waste of our time.


  1. By the way, did you see [Record Columnist] Charles Stile on the Rachel Madow show last night -- he was at the very end of the show, the last five minutes.

    If you did not see it if am sure that you can find it on msnbc or youtube. I was embarrassed for him.

    He was standing outside in the rain and could hardly put two sentences together -- he did not really go after Christie and really added nothing -- try to get a look at it.

    1. No surprise. Stile is embarrassing in print as well.


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