Sunday, January 12, 2014

In other news -- other sections -- there isn't much

Englewood would do better urging visitors to patronize downtown merchants and restaurants, not visit the city's Web site. The Record has consistently ignored whether Main Streets in Bergen County have recovered from the recession, focusing instead on national retailers who buy full-page ads in the Woodland Park daily, as the editors do on the Business front today.


Readers are in danger of overdosing on Bridgegate coverage in The Record today.

Nearly the entire front page and Opinion section -- editorial, columns and a dozen letters to the editor -- are devoted to the Christie administration's politically inspired plot to tie up traffic in Democratic Fort Lee (A-1, O-1 and ad nauseam).

Page 1 carries a story comparing Watergate and the Christie scandal, but the latter is referred to as "the George Washington lane-closure investigation" -- a clumsy stand-in for Bridgegate.

Road is clear

Since Dec. 1, the befuddled, error-prone Road Warrior, Staff Writer John Cichowski, has been limited to two pieces a week, compared to three or more since he took over and destroyed the commuting column more than a decade ago.

Readers breath a sigh of relief Cichowski doesn't have a column on the Local front today (L-1).

Obesity news

What they do find is a rare story on a support group for over-eaters after years of censorship by obese local editors (L-1).

A positive story on gadflies, including Hackensack's Kathleen Canastrino, now the city's deputy mayor, is in contrast to past stories and columns portraying them as crackpots and mentally unbalanced (L-1).

Funny business

As usual, local merchants get short-shrift in the Business section, which is chock full of stories about big retailers, small businesses in other states and a 4-page Wall Street Journal insert (B-1 to B-8).

Better Living is really unappetizing today with two columns by the unfunny Bill Ervolino, but no column from Elisa Ung, the restaurant reviewer who should join that over-eaters support group on the Local front (BL-1).

More Bridgegate

If you're looking for any non-Christie news on Page 1, all Editor Marty Gottlieb has is another sports column on Alex Rodriguez (A-1).

The first of two Mike Kelly columns on the widening Christie scandal appears on the front page, but it's artificial, as the headline clearly shows:

"Unlikely pair emerges as Christie adversaries"

What's "unlikely" about state Assembly members John Wisniewski and Loretta Weinberg, and haven't they been Christie adversaries long before Bridgegate?

Opinion front

Better is Kelly's second column on the Opinion front, where the reporter with the shit-eating grin says:

"This is Chris Christie's moment .... What happens in the coming months ... will likely determine whether his gubernatorial career will take him to the White House or the dog house" (O-1).

Still, Kelly is much too wordy and sorely needs editing -- a skill that appears to be lacking on the local assignment desk run so ineptly by Editor Dan Sforza or the copy desk under six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton.

'Not a bully'

Also on the Opinion front, a Bloomberg News columnist says Christie's "I am not a bully" will come back to haunt him, just as "I am not a crook" did for Richard Nixon (O-1).

Today's "Storm at the Port" editorial reveals The Record's anti-mass transit bias.

The bi-state Port Authority is described as "a vital organization that oversees bridges, tunnels and airports" -- completely omitting the PATH commuter rail system and bistate bus operations, including two terminals in Manhattan (O-2).

Misses the train

Staff Writer Shawn Boburg, who covers the agency, hasn't written a word about the crying need for a PATH expansion and the addition of a second bus-only lane into the Lincoln Tunnel.

I laughed when I saw the Margulies cartoon, but a Democrat like Jon Corzine isn't much of a consolation prize after more than four years of Christie, a Republican who is the worst governor in the state's history.

Corzine and Buono

The Jon Corzine billboard in the cartoon reminds me of The Record's highly critical coverage of every Democratic governor going back to James Florio (1990-94), and the adoring stories about Christie.

And given the outrage expressed in the letters to the editor (O-3), supporters of state Sen. Barbara Buono can only speculate about the outcome, if The Record and other media had uncovered Bridgegate in the nearly two months before the Nov. 5 general election.

Remember how one of the newly revealed e-mails between Christie's close aides and his Port Authority cronies referred contemptuously to schoolchildren delayed by the early September traffic jams as the kids of "Buono voters"?

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