Monday, April 6, 2015

Why are editors building a defense case for Menendez?

What looks like a World War II-era poster in Hackensack's City Hall shows that the benefits of whole grains have been known for many decades.


The Record's lead story today is yet another attempt to build a defense case for Sen. Bob Menendez, who faces a federal trial that is probably more than a year away (A-1).

That means Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson and reporters in the Woodland Park newsroom likely will regurgitate these same arcane legal arguments in the days before New Jersey's senior senator goes before a jury on bribery charges.

The best story on Page 1 today reports that Exxon Mobil regarded the wetlands around two refineries in New Jersey as little more than waste receptacles (A-1).

It's unclear why Editor Martin Gottlieb led with the third or fourth story defending Menendez, and not the Exxon Mobil expose.

Even putting pollution  aside, Exxon's Bayway Refinery in Linden has irreparably damaged New Jersey's reputation with the hundreds of thousands of out-of-state motorists who have driven by the smelly complex on the turnpike. 

Robs readers

For every positive Menendez story, Gottlieb is robbing readers of some hard-hitting reporting on the corrupt campaign finance system and public officials who think nothing of repeatedly violating the public trust.

Gottlieb devotes a huge amount of front-page space to the Germanwings tragedy for the second day in a row, even though readers have tired of the story (A-1).

Local news?

A story about a small goat found roaming Paramus streets (L-1), and a long, wire service obituary on the creator of the Pet Rock (L-6) are clear indications the poor editors who got stuck working on Sunday weren't able to find much local news.

The goat headline and the plays on words attempted by the reporter all fall flat.

One unexplored scenario is that the animal escaped being curried for a family's Easter dinner.

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