Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Christie is a master at deflecting criticism, blame

Jazz musicians volunteer to play in the lobby of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center on Tuesdays. Today, two more jazz musicians and a pianist are scheduled to perform.


The Record's editors are flummoxed by Governor Christie's refusal to raise the motor-fuels tax that funds road repairs and mass-transit improvements.

Even though Christie grabbed more than $1 billion in rail-tunnel money to fix the Pulaski Skyway, an editorial today says increasing the low tax is "not an inviting option" for reviving the insolvent Transportation Trust Fund (A-10).

What a joke. 

Why can't Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin get behind the simple concept that repairs should be financed by taxes on the people who use the roads -- drivers, and bus and trucking companies?

Motorists could easily defer a hike of a few cents in the gas tax by buying more-efficient cars, and lead-foots can save lots of gas by obeying the speed limit.

An old story

Christie has been getting away with this since he took office in January 2010.

He dismissed John E. Wallace Jr., the only African-American justice on the state Supreme Court, arguing the panel was "too liberal, and in nearly every follow-up for a year or more, the editors conveniently forgot to identify Wallace as black.

The state blew $400 million in federal education funds, Christie blamed that on a clerical error by bureaucrats and his education czar took the fall.

He killed the Hudson River rail tunnels -- the biggest expansion of mass transit in decades -- explaining his overweight wife complained she would have to walk too far to the subway, and the editors rolled over and played dead.

Blame game

And, recently, he put taxpayers on the hook for the $1 million it took to hire lawyers who produced an elaborate whitewash on his role in the George Washington Bridge lane closures in Fort Lee, and blamed four days of gridlock on underlings.

Now, state legislators investigating charges of political retribution are sniping at each other (A-1), deflecting the biggest question of all:

Why doesn't Christie -- the central figure in the Bridgegate scandal -- testify under oath?

More poor editing

Tuesday's Page 1 story on Verizon was not only obscure, it required a clarification today (A-2).

A story on A-3 leaves long-suffering commuters wondering whether Ronnie Hakim, NJ Transit's new executive director, will add more seats to rush-hour trains or help cut the long lines at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Record continues to cover mass transit in the laziest way possible -- driving to NJ Transit meetings in Newark -- and forcing commuters to suffer in silence or vent in letters to the editor.

Mystery crash

On the Local front, another story about Nick Romano, 17, of Wayne, who was killed in a crash, continues to keep readers in the dark about the cause, even though another 17-year-old was driving (L-1).

The reporter interviewed a Wayne police lieutenant about the investigation, but apparently didn't ask if the teen driver was speeding or texting (L-2).

Lost restaurant

In Better Living, Chef Hal Elkady of high-end Zestt in Tenafly says, "You get what you pay for; the quality of the food is extremely important" (BL-2).

But the "COFFEE WITH THE CHEF" feature not only doesn't back that up with any information about the beloved roast chicken he serves, some editor screwed up and a heading says the restaurant is in "Englewood."

On the Better Living cover, a line referring to interview also says the restaurant is in Englewood, but the address is given as 10 W. Railroad Ave., Tenafly (BL-2).

This feature is written by none other than Food Editor Esther Davidowitz.

Also on BL-2, "FYI" or "What's new, what's happening, what's trending in the North Jersey dining scene" appears to have been put out by public relations people working for the featured food and liquor businesses.

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