Sunday, May 24, 2015

Editor says publisher's pal tipped paper on Bridgegate jam

Drivers of three municipal waste tractor-trailers taking a break in front of a cemetery on Hudson Street in Hackensack on Sunday afternoon.


On an episode of Carpe Diem, Editor Martin Gottlieb of The Record praised staffers -- several by name -- and said that despite "our share of cutbacks," "the quality of the product comes first."

Gottlieb appeared on the weekly half-hour magazine show produced by Montclair State University some time before indictments were issued in the George Washington Bridge political-retribution scandal on May 1.

The editor praised "traffic reporter" John Cichowski, but noted a friend tipped Publisher Stephen A. Borg about a massive traffic jam at the Fort Lee end of the bridge on the first day of the lane closures in September 2013.

Borg "passed it on to me and I passed it on to Johnnie," Gottlieb said, referring to the Road Warrior columnist.

Borg family

Gottlieb noted the Borg family, owners of North Jersey Media Group, "still live in Bergen County."

Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg visits the Woodland Park newsroom occasionally, and everyone wants to hear what he has to say, the editor said.

He praised Jennifer A. Borg, vice president/general counsel of North Jersey Media Group, for being active in asking courts to disclose documents officials are trying to keep secret.

The newsroom, he said, is filled with "awfully talented people," including Port Authority reporter Shawn Boburg, political Columnist Charles Stile, Sunday Cartoonist Jimmy Margulies and Alfred Doblin, editor of the Editorial Page.

Gottlieb didn't mention Columnist Mike Kelly.

To see the interview with Gottlieb -- whom the moderator called "one of the most influential journalists in the region" -- click on the following link:

Carpe Diem: Editor Martin Gottlieb of The Record

Today's paper

Five years after his first column on Governor Christie's political image, could Stile possibly have anything new to say (A-1)?

One has to question Gottlieb's judgment on what readers find interesting. Politics is the all-time most boring subject for the front page -- or any page -- of a general-interest newspaper.

The focus should be on what a crappy job the GOP bully is doing as governor of the Garden State, not on his chances for the presidential nomination in 2016.

'Traffic reporter'

For his Sunday column, Cichowski, the paper's traffic reporter, is writing about bicyclists and how much room drivers should give them (L-1).

For the third day in a row, Memorial Day notices appear on L-3, telling readers local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza must have taken a three-day weekend.

Junk-food trucks

Restaurant critic and Sunday Columnist Elisa Ung is tireless in reporting on the unhealthiest food available in North Jersey.

Today, she leads the Better Living section with a breathless column on a food-truck festival produced by Exposure, a division of NJMG, the publishing company that employs her and pays for all of those artery clogging desserts she crams down her throat (BL-1).

It's hard to understand her enthusiasm for food-truck hot dogs filled with antibiotics, preservatives and other harmful additives.

Other sections

Business, Opinion and Real Estate contain little of interest today.

Travel carries an Associated Press cover story praising the charms of Dominica and Barbados, two small Caribbean islands.

Meanwhile, Jamaican-American readers in Bergen County are wondering when the AP or any other American news medium is going to report on their native island's rampant gun violence.

Every Jamaican living in the United States knows someone on the island who has been robbed or killed by "gunmen" armed with weapons shipped there from America. 

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