By VICTOR E. SASSON
Readers looking for something interesting and informative to read in The Record today are stopped dead by two boring sports columns on the front page (A-1).
On the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski complains NJ Transit's rail service "disappointed [Super Bowl] fans from around the country" -- this from a columnist who in a decade has never reported on the daily disappointment of North Jersey rail and bus commuters (L-1).
And in Better Living, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung is so reluctant to discuss the tough filet mignon and other poorly prepared food at the pricey Zestt in Tenafly, she squanders the first half of her column on the owner's resume and the decor (BL-14).
The abysmal lack of editing is evident in Tara Sullivan's Page 1 column, which declares that a text message from an athlete left her former male coach with "his insides quivering, his heart exploding."
Cichowski's columns swung from non-fiction to fiction years ago, and he has probably committed more errors than any other single staffer in the history of the paper.
There also appears to be no editing of Ung's unfocused columns, as this meandering sentence from today's appraisal shows:
"A light, modern space accented with dark slatted chairs, the 45-seat dining room is laid back enough that you can show up in jeans by yourself or go out with several bottles and friends [italics added] who don't need trappings like tablecloths or multiple hovering waiters."
Maybe, the dessert-obsessed reviewer gets drowsy from all that sugar, heavy cream and butter she stuffs her face with -- such as "an apple tart with a mealy crust" and "French chocolate cake ... a mousse-filled treat."
Cichowski's Sunday column set a new standard for newspaper fiction, according to a concerned reader:
"In his Sunday column, the Road Warrior did a super job in one of his most embarrassing columns of all time with his most outrageously false, senselessly made-up, impossibly fictitious, and crazy, tall-tale descriptions about potential traffic jams on Super Bowl day.
"He repeatedly and endlessly prognosticated about so many traffic jams before, during and after the Super Bowl. He completely ignored all known TV and Internet news reports and predictions that completely contradicted his super flubs since most people going to the Meadowlands stadium were going to use mass transit and not passenger vehicles.
"Road Warrior also made false claims that people should have been worried about traffic jams driving to Manhattan or Newark Airport. He did not realize these people would be traveling four to five hours before game time when there would still be reduced traffic."
See the full e-mail to management and editors on the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers:
Avoiding Road Warrior's Super Toilet Bowl