Monday, February 10, 2014

Lawyers are getting much richer, taxpayers poorer

Euclid Avenue in Hackensack.Warning: One-lane road ahead.


The sensational charges in the Bridgegate scandal have devolved into the kind of ponderous process story The Record loves to tell.

Weeks after discovery of the explosive e-mail -- "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" -- the story now involves subpoenas, document production and pissing matches between high-priced lawyers, each one spouting another legal theory (A-1).

Flawed column

Today, on A-3, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson doesn't do any heavy lifting in his NJ/DC column that purports to explore whether taxpayers will foot the bill for all of the lawyers involved on both sides of state and federal investigations.

Jackson says Governor Christie has the public picking up the $650-an-hour tab for attorney Randy Mastro, and David Wildstein is trying to hit up his former employer, the Port Authority, which isn't supported by taxes. 

But that's it from Jackson, who doesn't mention eight other figures in the probe, including former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly, who sent that infamous e-mail, or whether taxpayers are on the hook for their private lawyers (A-10 on Sunday).

Marty defends Chris

On Sunday, The Record's front page was dominated by a story that seemed planted by Christie's public relations machine:

The alleged "bromance" between the GOP bully and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin called Giuliani "his [Christie's] biggest advocate."

Half the story

But Akin's story failed to mention that Giuliani told a radio interviewer there is a "fifty-fifty" chance Christie was aware of the Kelly discussions that led to George Washington Bridge lane closures.

Geraldo Rivera's interview of Giuliani was reported on Jan. 30 by The Huffington Post.

The early September gridlock in Fort Lee may have been political payback for the refusal of the borough's Democratic mayor to endorse Christie for a second term.  

No editing

"Fifty-fifty" is far from The Record's portrayal of Giuliani in that Sunday takeout by one of its so-called stars:

The former mayor is Christie's "staunchest defender," "Giuliani's voice has been loudest" in Christie's defense, and "Giuliani's staunch advocacy."

In fact, the story is way too long and awfully repetitive, more evidence of the abysmal lack of editing and fact-checking at the Woodland Park daily, which has been run for the last two years by former Timesman Marty Gottlieb.


  1. Please write more about people not digging out the snow in front of their houses and parking in the middle of the street. Coming down Euclid is dangerous to begin with.

    1. No town seems to enforce sidewalk clearing, and I continue to see people walking in the street. You and I seem to be the only people to notice.


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