Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reagan's trickle-down lies and Christie's voodoo budget

The large number of empty storefronts in Englewood, above and below, is a story local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza of The Record refuse to tackle, even though both at one time covered Englewood as reporters. Today, the weekly reporter assigned to the small city discusses a heating project at the high school (L-7).


Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down" tax and budget policies as president were discredited years ago as "voodoo economics."

In fact, in the 1980s, The Record did a series reporting the conservative Republican's budget was balanced with deep cuts in social programs, including those for children.

Is there any mention of that in today's Page 1 report on Reagan's "legacy" as a "master of compromise" that Governor Christie is trying to resurrect in his pursuit of the White House (A-1)?

Stile lies

Editor Martin Gottlieb loves putting Charles Stile --the Trenton-based political columnist who long ago sold out to Christie -- on the front page, but the way his flattering report is played today raises troubling questions.

The headline appears above the fold with no indication to readers that an opinion column appears below or that it is written by Stile, a reporter who is one of the GOP bully's lap dogs.

The word "Opinion" should appear on Page 1, maybe even over the headline itself, to tell readers this is more of Stile's selective reporting.

The one question Stile doesn't address is how could Christie, who has executed 350 vetoes in New Jersey, hope to sell himself as a compromiser, if he decides to run for a nomination he is unlikely to get?

Now, Christie is trying to balance a state budget and reduce taxes on the wealthy, forcing him to grab at money that should go into state pension funds, affordable housing, cleaning up the environment and other programs.

Sex trade

Except for the sex trade on Route 46 in South Hackensack, here is another Sunday edition with a global and national perspective (A-1).

I wonder if Gottlieb will ever lead the Sunday paper with news that police departments in Tenafly and other wealthy communities have stemmed the high number of house burglaries or that the lame Paterson department is winning the fight against street shootings.

Instead of reporting on struggling downtowns in Englewood and Teaneck, Gottlieb gives us an Associated Press story on chain stores in Manhattan, where he lives (A-4).

Photo puzzles

A photo on A-12 today raises a question that isn't answered by the caption:

Do guests of Route 46 hotels in South Hackensack have to worry their car's wheels and tires will be stolen?

On L-3, a photo of an architectural tour in Paterson doesn't identify the early 20th century building shown.

Local news

Today's Local news section gives readers a much stronger municipal report than in recent days or weeks, and, lo and behold, no crime news appears on L-1.

There is even a story on the Hackensack school board race, but none of the candidates are asked to address the low-quality of food service at the high school (L-3). 

Ferriero editorial

The only thing worth reading in Opinion today is an editorial that states in no uncertain terms that despite a mixed verdict, former Bergen County Democratic Party power broker Joseph Ferriero "was still found guilty" and "justice was served" (O-2).

Contrast this with Columnist Mike Kelly and other reporters falling all over themselves to lay out legal arguments from the losing defense attorney, Michael Baldassare, who plans to appeal the conviction and whatever sentence is imposed.

That assures the lawyer of tens of thousands of dollars in additional legal fees.

Table this

I got a good laugh from the Elisa  Ung column on North Jersey's hard-to-get restaurant tables (L-1).

I actually once got one of them, a spacious booth in Chakra's romantic dining room, which manages to silence the roar of traffic on Route 4 in Paramus.

But the toughest tables to find are those where grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free poultry, organic vegetables and other premium ingredients are served, because few restaurant owners want to give up profits to benefit customers.

Ung, the paper's restaurant critic, wouldn't know anything about that, blinded as she is by her food obsessions and a love of artery clogging heavy cream and butter.

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