Monday, March 31, 2014

Another crappy column from a burned-out reporter

In Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood and many other towns, as well as on state highways, hundreds of potholes like this one remain unfilled, and pose an obstacle course for drivers.


No. This post isn't about Staff Writer John Cichowski, whose Road Warrior column is known for hype, exaggeration and numerous inaccuracies, which may be caused by the aging reporter's confused state of mind.

This is about Mike Kelly, whose Page 1 column today in The Record is another in a series of unfocused, rambling pieces that is completely devoid of a point of view.

Kelly presents the usual set of observers and experts, publishes the usual quotes and calls it a day. 

Yet, readers have to look at his thumbnail photo's shit-eating grin, as if the reporter knows he is getting away with more crappy writing and reporting.

This "column" is indistinguishable from a news story (A-1).

Sloppy reporting

And he can't even manage to accurately quote the infamous e-mail that blew open the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures, known far and wide as Bridegate, a word The Record refuses to use.

Kelly says Bridget Anne Kelly "suggested 'some traffic problems in Fort Lee.'"

But Kelly, who was Governor Christie's deputy chief of staff, didn't "suggest" anything.

In an e-mail to David Wildstein, who was Christie's crony on the Port Authority, she called for the lane closures in no uncertain terms:

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Blame game

The report on the "internal" review commissioned by Christie places the blame for the lane closures on Bridget Kelly and Wildstein, and clears the GOP bully.

But it was met with widespread skepticism, and denounced as little more than a self-serving whitewash.

Today -- a week after the report was leaked to The New York Times -- Kelly the reporter cites a "debate" over descriptions of the former aide's personal life and her alleged relationship with Christie's campaign manager. 

Is anyone but Mike Kelly debating this? Isn't the real debate over whether Christie has lied about his knowledge and role in the lane closures from the beginning?

And if Mike Kelly is offended by the report's use of personal details, why does he repeat them in his column?

And why doesn't he act like a real journalist and call for Christie lawyer Randy Mastro to go before an ethics panel for dragging Bridget Kelly's personal life through the mud?

No news today

I know Sundays are "slow news days" and Monday's front page is usually filled with scene-setters and other canned copy.

But, really, are trimming trees around power lines so controversial that they are on the front page today (A-1)?

Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza and the other supremely lazy local-news editors have these words on a save/get key:

"No other information was available."

Those words appear today in a photo caption on a fatal accident "early Sunday" on New Bridge Road in Teaneck (L-1).

The 29-year-old driver was killed, but The Record doesn't identify him or say whether he was speeding.

If Teaneck police wouldn't release the information, shouldn't the editors address that and not constantly cheat readers?

Deliberate distortion

In his Road Warrior column last Wednesday, Cichowski focused on a disabled man who lived in Union Township, and claimed he could be served by a proposed car service to get to his doctor in Hackensack.

But the man is in his 50s, and would be ineligible to use the service, which is for people 60 years old and older, according to a concerned reader.

This was no innocent oversight by Cichowski. 

It was deliberate distortion accomplished by omitting from the column both the man's age and the minimum age of people who could use the proposed service.

See the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers:

Road Warrior gives false hope to disabled

See previous post
on Hackensack's new train shelter

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