Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Behold Editor Martin Gottlieb's three-ring circus on Page 1

On Monday afternoon, road work on Main Street in Hackensack, above, and traffic restrictions on nearby River Street, had this Elmwood Park police officer looking for directions on how to get around the mess.


An unflattering photo of Governor Christie on Page 1 of The Record today shows he is doing a good imitation of a circus fat man.

Flanking that is the Vanity Fair cover of Olympian Bruce Jenner, 60, who has been transformed by surgery, makeup and airbrushing, but apparently still has his male sex organs (A-1 and A-5).

Truly grotesque.

The third ring of Editor Martin Gottlieb's A-1 news circus is the spectacle of greedy hospitals, doctors and insurance companies trying to stop reform of surprise medical bills.

The story with Christie's photo is even more disturbing than the notion he's been able to defeat the weight-loss surgery he had in February 2013:

The 30 state troopers assigned to his Executive Protection Unit have rung up $975,000 in American Express credit card charges for food, lodging and travel since 2010 (A-6).

That was revealed not by The Record or another major newspaper, but by the New Jersey Watchdog Web site and its reporter, Mark Lagerkvist.

In fact, the story The Record carries on the front page today appears to be a rewrite of what was posted on that Web site on May 28.

Lagerkvist puts the credit card charges at "nearly $1 billion."

Crash story

The glowing tribute to Clifton newlyweds Jose Calderon and Ana Maria Perez makes no attempt to explain how they were killed in Sunday night's Route 3 crash (A-1).

Six reporters worked on the story, but apparently none asked investigators if Calderon was speeding or if his car aquaplaned in heavy rain before leaving the road and hitting a tree (A-6).

Were the newlyweds wearing seat belts? Your guess is as good as mine.

Local news?

Local editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza forgot to tell a layout editor that the obituary of Rochelle Shoretz, 42, of Teaneck, founder of a cancer support group (L-6), should have appeared on L-1 -- or even on A-1 in place of the "Caitlyn Jenner" farce.

Instead, on the Local front, readers got a gee-whiz, drive-by photo of a pickup truck and moving van collision in Rutherford, but absolutely no information on the possible cause or whether any summonses were issued.

I guess the editors wanted to make sure readers saw the sparkling photo over line:


The real news is that the unnamed driver was freed and apparently survived, not that he was trapped.

On L-3, some idiot wrote a caption for a photo of a goose walking in a parking lot, telling readers that it was "making the best" of the flood.

A human might make the best of a flooded lot, but a goose can fly over it or even float on the water, so what's the sense of that description?

Real gamble

Given New Jersey's disastrous experience with casinos in Atlantic City, why would anyone in their right mind approve a ballot question to build three more in North Jersey (L-1)?

Although Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton has covered the controversial expansion of The Valley Hospital for many years, she omits a crucial fact in today's story on a lawsuit filed against the village of Ridgewood, as she has in past stories (L-1).

The hospital's plan to "double in size" would be contained within the borders of its existing campus.

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