|The U.S.S. Ling on the edge of North Jersey Media Group's old Hackensack headquarters. The brick elevator and stairwell tower of The Record's old building, left, was once the site of a well-known newsroom tryst between an editor and a secretary.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
What message is Publisher Stephen A. Borg sending to readers by juxtaposing a carpet-sale ad with a Page 1 news story about a Catholic priest who confessed to sexually abusing a teenage boy?
The ad wrapped around The Record's main section today is supposed to appear seamless above the fold, with the date, price, and parts of the Sports section teaser and masthead printed on it.
More Christie B.S.
The ad wrap also hides a front-page story by one of the paper's star reporters, reflecting the influence of Governor Christie's full-court public relations campaign to blunt charges in the Bridgegate scandal (A-1).
Why is this story on Page 1?
The cute headline leaves a bad taste in my mouth by attempting a play on the central allegation -- that Christie allegedly caused the "backup" at the Fort Lee end of the George Washington Bridge as a way of punishing the borough's Democratic mayor for not endorsing him last year.
"Bridge" standing alone in the main headline shouldn't be capitalized.
More black history
The ad wrap also hides a report on a Sundance Channel television series about the Ramapough Mountian People, who live in Ringwood, Mahwah and neighboring towns in New York State.
The Ramapoughs aren't a federal recognized Native American tribe, yet the first sentence calls them the "Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation" and "the tribe."
The Ramapoughs have been victims of decades-long racism at the hands of Ford Motor Co., whose paint-sludge dumping polluted their Ringwood enclave; the legal system, Hollywood and the media, including The Record.
This story may be part of the Woodland Park daily's Black History Month coverage, which is about the only time of the year minorities who haven't committed crimes appear on section fronts (see L-1 today).
As usual, Local doesn't have very much news about municipalities, and the assignment desk again falls back on a drive-by accident photo (L-1) and the Dean's List (L-3) to fill out its pathetically thin report.
An L-3 story on a Ridgefield man killed crossing Route 17 on foot Thursday night doesn't answer why the victim, 59, "was apparently a guest" at a motel in Ramsey.
Time to kill?
If you have a lot of time to kill today, see columns by Road Warrior John Cichowski (L-1) and Mike Kelly (O-1), the latter complete with his dated, unflattering, shit-eating-grin column photo.
In his Friday column, Cichowski quoted a "Maryland-based crisis management consultant" on NJ Transit's need to "apologize" for keeping tens of thousands of Super Bowl fans waiting for hours to board a train after last Sunday's disappointing game.
That's like asking the befuddled Cichowski to apologize to readers for the thousands of errors he has committed in the past decade or to say he's sorry for hysterically misreporting traffic paralysis on game day.
You won't find Staff Writer Elisa Ung using her Sunday column for any serious reporting on the dozens of appealing Korean restaurants in Palisades Park.
But you will find her detailing her obsession with fattening, artery clogging desserts that a majority of her readers try to avoid for health reasons (BL-1).