Thursday, April 23, 2015

Readers' eyes are rolling over upbeat Christie coverage

Volunteer jazz musicians entertaining visitors at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center on Wednesday.


Governor Christie was popular as late as November 2012?

That's the ridiculous assertion of The Record's burned-out political columnist, Charles Stile, who continues to try and sell the GOP bully's supposed bipartisanship in yet another Page 1 analysis of the 2016 presidential election. (A-1 and A-8).

What about the loss of $400 million in federal education aid in 2010 -- his first year in office -- followed several months later by Christie pulling the plug on new Hudson River rail tunnels and the biggest expansion of mass transit in decades?

What about repeated vetoes of a tax surcharge on millionaires and hundreds of millions in tax breaks for wealthy business owners?

Or rubber stamping higher tolls on Hudson River crossings operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an agency he packed with his cronies?


A second story that gives a favorable spin to Christie's actions cites "weak economic growth" as the reason Christie "slashed legally required payments to the state pension system in recent years in order to balance the budget" (A-4).

But the governor is personally responsible for that weak growth as well as lagging tax revenues.

An editorial today blames Christie for not honoring the state's obligation to make full contributions to state pensions for teachers and other workers (A-10).

The editorial notes Christie claims making next year's full pension payments "would require raising the 7 percent sales tax to 10 percent or increasing income tax rates by 29 percent."

Of course, what Christie and The Record aren't saying is that a tax surcharge on millionaires would have raised about $1 billion a year for the last several years, making those pension payments and balancing the budget a lot easier.

Page 1

For the second day in row, Editor Martin Gottlieb leads the paper with a rabid coyote or possibly two (A-1).

The poor man. 

After years of practicing journalism for The New York Times, probably the best newspaper in the world, Gottlieb must find the suburbs really dull.

That likely explains his frequent slide into sensationalism.

Food promotions

The job description for food editor and food writer at The Record calls for someone who is willing to wildly exaggerate the greatness of restaurants and other food businesses that advertise in the Woodland Park daily.

That's the only explanation for why Food Editor Esther Davidowitz would call Callahan's a "legendary North Jersey hot dog restaurant" (A-1 and BL-1).

Maybe, she is referring to legendary heartburn or diarrhea.

Her Better Living cover story carefully omits describing the harmful preservatives, antibiotics and hormones that go into Callahan's deep-fried beef hot dogs.

Jon Hanson

I didn't see anything in The Record on this report from International Business Times:

"New Jersey rules require Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration to cancel investment contracts with firms whose officials raise or donate money to the governor’s political campaigns. But his administration has paid more than $16 million in pension fees to the financial firm that was led by Christie’s chief fundraiser and top donor, Jon Hanson.
"The money -- far more than previously disclosed -- flowed to Hanson’s company, Prudential Financial, and its related funds that the state pension system has invested in. The new information, obtained through an open records request by International Business Times, comes as the Christie administration is facing a government investigation into whether it has fully disclosed all fees paid to financial firms -- some of whose executives have made donations to GOP groups backing Christie." 

Hanson is a close friend of the Borg publishing family, which owns North Jersey Media Group and its flagship daily, The Record.

The real estate company Hanson founded recently backed the sale-leaseback of NJMG's printing plant in Rockaway Township, a deal worth about $30 million.


  1. Judge Bonnie Mizdol new Head Judge for Bergen County Courthouse starts May 1 2015.What's your opinion of this Mr. Sasson?

    1. I don't know that judge, but I'm sure she is qualified.

      Of course, the judiciary isn't planning to do anything about escalating legal fees that deny access to the courts for all but the wealthy.


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