By VICTOR E. SASSON
In photographs and stories, The Record has pounded home the message that seniors are so ditzy they no longer know the difference between the brake pedal and the accelerator, sending their cars into storefronts or other people with often fatal consequences.
Today, however, Staff Writer Colleen Diskin delivers a beautiful and moving story about a group of "strangers, all volunteers," who comfort and console the elderly and their families as death nears (A-1).
There is so much garbage in today's Sunday edition, but this long, well-written story resonates as an example of what Editor Martin Gottlieb can do, if he just stopped exploiting politics and the sensational to sell papers.
What's he smoking?
Even though no actual federal corruption indictment has been made public, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson is already exploring the potential defense case for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
Ignoring the lessons learned in a string of New Jersey political corruption cases dating to the 1970s and 1980s -- they always take years to resolve -- Jackson claims in his first, idiotic paragraph "the government faces several hurdles that could make a quick conviction difficult" (A-1).
One angle Jackson and other political reporters ignore is how criminal defense attorneys who charge outrageously high legal fees manage to squeeze politicians, ensuring that even if they are found not guilty, they end up broke, stripped of every penny prosecutors labeled illegitimate.
If the jury rejects the defense case, the lawyers will keep the conviction and sentence on appeal for a couple of years, and the defendant will remain free.
Political Columnist Charles Stile has become a favorite of Governor Christie, and now he's traveling with the GOP bully (A-1).
Did Christie's visit to all of those hayseeds at the "first-ever Iowa Agricultural Summit ... for Republican presidential hopefuls" really merit coverage by The Record (A-1)?
Republicans call it a summit in reference to the mountain of bullshit Christie and others throw at farmers.
Why didn't today's Page 1 story on President Obama marking the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" point out right away how few Republicans walked across the bridge with our first black president?
Staff Writer John Cichowski was so disoriented in his last Road Warrior column readers might not trust anything he says in today's lame effort on "roof snow fines" (A-1).
On Thursday, he reported a large pothole disabled 17 cars on Route 95 in Ridgefield Park, the only media account that described the location as being on the approach to the George Washington Bridge.
He also linked two bridges that are miles apart, the GWB and Triborough, with a single ramp.
See the Facebook page for Road Warrior Bloopers for another perspective on the fabricated column:
The biggest hole is in reporter's head
Staff Writer Todd South visited Hackensack again, but couldn't find any municipal or police news, or even write about the city's schools (L-3).
Backing us into a corner
The title of restaurant critic Elisa Ung's Sunday column is The Corner Table, but that doesn't mean she sees restaurants from the customer's point of view (BL-1).
Today, she again focuses her misnamed column on people in the restaurant business. How boring.
The caption under the photos of siblings Jenna and Joseph Cuccia says they are "at work preparing a meal at their catering business in Lodi," but Jenna appears to be only lighting a candle.
Burying the lede
What ever impact Mike Kelly intends for his column on Christie settling for a fraction of the $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil is lost in the endless background that suffocates any reader who gets past the lame headline (O-1).
This story broke just three days ago, and has been everywhere.
The editors must value the long-winded Kelly only for his ability to fill space, because in column after column his copy goes on and on and on, and is the dullest stuff around.
And when are Gottlieb and Production Editor Liz Houlton going to replace Kelly's shit-eating grin with a contemporary thumbnail photo?