Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Page 1: Dead and dying politicians, murder and mayhem

In the Fort Lee Public Library, a display on the bitter World War II battle against 21,000 Japanese troops dug in on Iwo Jima notes that "256 men [U.S. Marines] went up to Mount Suribachi to place the flag on top" and "only 22 men came back down."  In the 2010 census, about 1,300 Japanese residents were counted in Fort Lee.


Nearly the entire front page of The Record today is devoted to dead and dying politicians, a motorcyclist who lost part of a leg on a poorly engineered highway and a businessman murdered in South Hackensack.

What was Editor Martin Gottlieb thinking when he assembled this schlomozzle?

I can certainly see the obituary for Gerald Calabrese of Cliffside Park, New Jersey's longest serving mayor, as front-page news (A-1).

But it doesn't look like his death will bring to end the Calabrese family dynasty that continues to rule the borough, and that point isn't made forcefully enough.

Look what a sorry mess the Zisa family made of Hackensack, where reformers struggle to repair the damage to the city's treasury from defending and settling lawsuits filed against a corrupt police chief and former state assemblyman.

But what about the lawsuit over a poorly engineered stretch of S-curves on Route 23 in West Milford, where Jim Smetana crashed his motorcycle and lost part of his left leg (A-1)?

Why is that on Page 1 today? 

Ditto for another boring Charles Stile political column, this one on twice-failed former presidential candidate John McCain, a war hero long past retirement.


Two major editing errors are corrected on A-2 today. 

In one, the lame assignment and copy editing staff couldn't get right the name of a kid who donated his organs to three others after his death in October.

Local news?

Most of the stories on  the Local front today are from the courts or the police blotter (L-1).

Instead of according Mayor Calabrese a privileged place on A-1 today, the editors could have given better play to the death of actress and director Judith Malina, whose credits include "Dog Day Afternoon" and "The Sopranos" (L-1).

You'll find more Law & Order news inside the local-news section.

Hard landing

As an example of how out of touch the editors are, a photo caption on L-3 today of a corporate jet landing at Teterboro Airport notes low aircraft are "an all-too-common site for motorists."

But it's homeowners in Hackensack, Teaneck and other towns near the airport who endure the noise of those jets around the clock, a quality of life issue The Record has ignored for many decades.

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