Thursday, May 8, 2014

Road Warrior column should be labeled 'FANTASY'

The Johnson Public Library on Main Street in Hackensack.


There are plenty of news stories on Page 1 and elsewhere in The Record today, but on the Local front you'll find the musings of a madman who has to make it up as he goes along just to fill space.

The Record has been printing Road Warrior columns by Staff Writer John Cichowski based on false premises and false information for years now.

For more than a year, a retired engineer has been sending e-mails to everyone from Vice President Jennifer A. Borg on down with the results of his fact-checking, and posting those e-mails on a Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers.

Few of the hundreds of errors, distortions or omissions detailed in the e-mails have ever been corrected, and the columns are as cockamamie as ever.

Nut on the loose

Today, Cichowski puts himself in the head of a reader who heard about the loose wheel and tire that smashed through the windshield of a bus on Route 17, and wondered "what your chances are of being killed this way" (L-1).

Frankly, I didn't, but did wonder why news stories about the bus passenger who was critically injured by the flying wheel didn't say why it came off a fairly new car, a 2009 Lexus.

Still, Cichowski can't answer the question he poses, and can't find many examples of fatalities "in our own backyard."

Fast-food fatal

He goes all the way back to 1994 to find a high school senior killed by "a 200-pound tire that sailed off a tractor-trailer," but the victim wasn't in a vehicle.

He was walking into a McDonald's in Paramus. Thus, Cichowski inadvertently confirms many readers' belief that fast food can kill you.

(In the column, headlines and photo captions, "tire" is used interchangeably with "wheel," but, of course, he must be referring to a tire mounted on a wheel in nearly all instances.)

The next example of a flying wheel in Paramus didn't kill the driver.

And then Cichowski finds himself citing a fatal accident in Syracuse, N.Y.; and a double fatality all the way out in Indiana.

Lost in the woods

Then, having run out of fatal wheel-tire incidents, Cichowski reports on a smashed window at a car dealership, and a pickup's loose wheel and tire that rolled into the woods in Sussex County.

If it's possible, his column last Sunday on the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan was even worse, because Cichowski left out a crucial piece of information that would have exposed the addled columnist.

Cichowski dashed commuters' hopes that there is any relief in sight for them, if they use the obsolete bus terminal.

But he never mentioned a major, Port Authority funded study that began in mid-2013 to recommend plans for expanding or replacing the crowded terminal.

He also got the age of the bus terminal wrong and in one instance, the number of commuters who use it.


Road Warrior John Cichowski is obsolete 

Hey, Editor Marty Gottlieb.

It's time to start labeling Cichowski's columns "FANTASY," if you are not going to force the turkey to retire.

Another loose nut

None other than Food Editor Esther Davidowitz is the author of a long, promotional story about Callahan's unhealthy hot dogs, now sold from a truck by Daniel DeMiglio, the third generation (Better Living cover).

Here is one editor who needs editing to stop her from cramming so many words and facts into one sentence.

She describes DiMiglio as "the dark-haired, super-energetic, currently Old Tappan, soon-to-be Fort Lee resident, who bided his time working in the NBA's entertainment division ...."

Sounds like a woman north of 60 who has the hots for a guy half her age.


  1. The politically correct description of the Road Warrior columns is fantastically creative and imaginative reporting, in other words "fiction".

    Great expose on a very sad situation.

    1. Thanks. I am running out of alternatives for factual reporting. "Fiction" works fine.


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