Thursday, June 19, 2014

Editors surrender to Christie on taxing the wealthy

The Engine 5 Firehouse on Main Street in Hackensack is one of the most distinctive around.


Democratic lawmakers are renewing the debate over taxing wealthy residents and corporations to balance the state budget at the end of the month, but The Record's editors have already made up their minds.

How can Editor Marty Gottlieb run today's front-page story on a plan to avoid Governor Christie's drastic cuts in the state contribution to the pension system (A-1)?

Only six days ago, an editorial called a millionaires tax "a political non-starter" (A-18 on June 13).

Is this objective journalism or are the editors just taking their marching orders  from the GOP bully and the wealthy Borg publishing family?

Don't expect Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin to revisit the viability of higher taxes on the wealthy, especially if he can't find a Broadway show, book or song to compare them to.

Christie-proofing budget

Today's Page 1 story reports the proposal by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg would generate $1.6 billion, "which is the same amount Christie has proposed cutting the planned state pension contribution for the fiscal year that begins July 1" (A-4).

A Christie spokesman referred to millionaires as "overburdened New Jersey taxpayers," and said "raising taxes drives businesses and citizens out of New Jersey and makes our problems worse."

Who in their right mind would move out of New Jersey, which is just across the river from the financial and cultural capital of the United States?

Animal farm

Today's edition is dominated by animal news -- on Page 1 and L-3 in Local.

The A-1 story reports the suspension of mail delivery for more than a month to four homes in Rochelle Park after a dog attacked a mail carrier, "leaving six severe bite wounds up the man's arms."

Why not put down the dog and fine the owners so it doesn't happen again?

Roast duck

Good luck trying to follow the story on "a mama duck and her four ducklings" in Ridgewood (L-3).

A big photo shows four ducklings, and the smaller photo shows a large duck, presumably the mother, and only three ducklings.

But the text says "the mama ... couldn't be found."

This is typical of the sloppy editing under six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton and her sleep-deprived staff.

The village could have saved taxpayers money by alerting the many downtown restaurant chefs and letting them take care of the ducks.  

Another story on the same page reports a house fire in Saddle Brook killed seven cats and an eighth cat is missing.

Pat who?

Meanwhile, more poor editing on the Local front likely puzzled tens of thousands of readers (L-1).

A photo caption reads, "June Nakayama wiping away a tear after Pat Kinney presented her with a bouquet on Wednesday."

Readers learn Nakayama was being thanked for starting a "Pre-Mom Club for young Japanese women who move to North Jersey with their businessmen-husbands."

But Kinney is never identified.

Of course, newsroom veterans know Kinney as a freelancer who once wrote the "Neighbors from Japan" column for The Record.

Consumers lose

Staff Writer Elisa Ung does a poor job representing consumers in her fine-dining restaurant reviews.

So why did the editors think she would do any better on supermarket purchases (BL-1)?

Today, she touts pricey bottled pasta sauce made by Jon Bon Jovi's father, but doesn't mention that you get only 24 ounces for $5.99 or barely enough for a half-pound of dried pasta.

I found the same bottled Bongiovi Marinara, Garden-style and Arrabiata on sale today at the Paramus ShopRite for a more palatable $2.99. 

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