Sunday, March 16, 2014

Christie, editors oppose direct sales of electric car

On Friday around 4 p.m., this is what rush hour looks like on River Street in Hackensack, where the lack of turn lanes causes even more congestion, frays drivers' nerves, wastes gasoline and aggravates air pollution. Despite a relentless focus on driving, The Record continues to ignore Bergen County's antiquated road system.


Governor Christie is no fan of Tesla, the maker of revolutionary all-electric sedans whose direct sales in New Jersey are being blocked by car dealers and state bureaucrats.

And that's OK with The Record's editors, whose mistake-filled coverage of the controversy has been pretty routine.

They haven't bothered to take an editorial position on the controversy or get comment from the GOP bully.

Ad revenue is king

That's no surprise, given all the advertising revenue the Woodland Park daily receives from members of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, a powerful lobbying group.

The editors -- and the wealthy Borg publishing family -- are not about to bite the hand that feeds them. That's why it's called the "journalism business." 

Really, car dealers are hated by just about everyone. Their reputation is even lower than some of the reporters and editors at The Record.

Why pad price?

The Tesla Model S is expensive enough. Why make them pricier by allowing dealers to mark them up and sell them as deceptively as they do ordinary cars?

Today, no editorial on Tesla appears in the paper, but two letters to the editor support the electric-car maker.

One, from the New Jersey Sierra Club, accuses the Christie administration of siding "with 'Big Oil' and the Koch Brothers over innovation and clean technology," and hurting the New Jersey economy and environment (O-3).

A letter from David Brown of Wyckoff says "New Jersey's regulations on car sales seem archaic, especially in today's direct sales environment" (O-3).

"This is one more example why New Jersey ranked 32nd in Forbes Magazine's 2013 Best States for Business survey," Brown writes.

The photo caption with today's letters says the Model S shown costs $91,000, but a story on Saturday reported "Tesla cars sell for about $60,000 each," and a previous story ran two photos of a discontinued Tesla roadster.

Today's paper

What a front page.

Columnist Mike Kelly rehashes the criminal career of murderer Charles Williams, who hid his past until he was arrested a couple of weeks ago in a drug sweep in Hackensack (A-1). 

An "ANALYSIS" breathlessly reports the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey "works under its own set of rules," according to the ho-hum headline (A-1).

A third story -- on belated oversight of the state's dysfunctional electric utilities -- is notable for a rare byline, Staff Writer Jean Rimbach, likely the least productive reporter on the entire staff (A-1).

Cheering speeders

On the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski again goes to bat for drivers who run red lights, carefully omitting that most of those caught by cameras are speeders who think nothing of killing or maiming law-abiding motorists (L-1).

Cichowski regurgitates the hysterical argument of critics that red-light cameras are an "invasion of privacy."

Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza needed another non-fatal accident photo to fill out the thin local-news report today.

But the caption doesn't say whether Chinese restaurant syndrome caused by the kitchen's use of MSG triggered the crash into Ridgewood China King (L-2).

Saturday's L-2 also carried a non-fatal accident photo with a caption that provides little information about what caused a Fair Lawn collision.

N.J. nightmare

On Saturday's front page, The Record ran another long story about the American Dream retail-entertainment complex in the Meadowlands without telling readers what they want to know most.

When will that behemoth off the turnpike get a new paint job?

The story reported the site has been idle since 2009, but that Christie has championed the complex as "an engine for economic development."

No wonder New Jersey is in such sad economic shape.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Victor. Your 3/14/14 discussion of current confusing coverage of Christie confirms me in the opinion that The Record occasionally will print an opinion or two that differs from the paper's official line on one thing or another, but there is absolutely no tolerance of any negative reaction to what is supposed to be editorial acumen. I e-mailed a letter to the editor that was acknowledged late with an apology that it had been lost during snowstorms and a commitment that it would be used. It never was. It follows with the hope that it will reach at least one reader.

    February 9. 2014

    Letter to The Editor

    The Record

    Intense analysis of politics and political scandal in The Record seems not destined to increase turnout in elections.

    The Feb. 9 Opinion section illustrates why.

    For example, the column by Brigid Harrison details scrupulously minutiae unseen by the average voter in North or South Jersey. Well-oiled machines are running perfectly. No need to vote if you don't already.

    Columnist Dan Balz's tiresomely long piece on Mitt Romney's possible threat to Chris Christie's presidential aspirations trails off in a breathless conclusion that it is “unlikely” that Romney presents a real threat to Christie.

    Mike Kelly's analysis of Bridgegate suggests that investigating legislators are more interested in reforming the Port Authority than in revealing possible malfeasance. Oh well, the US Attorney is the one with the task of applying RICO law considerations if necessary.

    This stuff may not encourage us to vote, but it does make us feel that we know better the insiders who are portrayed, and maybe even more like insiders ourselves.


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