Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Best editors can do is an all-Trump, all-infrastructure A-1

In a front-page story on Monday, The Record hailed the 25-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act, but didn't discuss the widespread misuse of parking spaces reserved for the handicapped. Spaces at 24 Hour Fitness on Route 4 in Paramus, above, often seem to be filled by drivers who bound out of their vehicles and seem able bodied. Of course, their handicap could be mental.


Even if you ignore today's all-Trump, all-infrastructure front page, you'll find a story about La Guardia Airport on A-3 and another on the federal highway bill on A-4.

All of this infrastructure news helps Editor Martin Gottlieb of The Record reinforce his reputation for long, dull stories.

And even if you read between the lines, it won't be clear that conservative Republicans like Governor Christie and the party's elite in Congress are the ones standing in the way of expanded mass transit, as well as rebuilding roads and bridges (A-1).

The Record's story on Donald Trump's business interests in New Jersey is being upstaged today by a report from Bloomberg that the presidential candidate is worth $2.9 billion -- not the $10 billion he claims.

Scott Garrett

One of those opposing the federal highway bill is Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, the Tea Party idol whose fundraising received more scrutiny on Monday's front page than it has in many years.

In a column, Staff Writer Herb Jackson reported Garrett raised nearly $1 million in both 2012 and 2014 election cycles from "employees and PACs tied to banking, insurance, securities and real estate interests."

Garrett is chairman of the subcommittee that reviews legislation affecting those industries.

Today, a story on the Local front reports protesters at Garrett's Glen Rock district office on Monday called for his resignation (L-1).

They cited Garrett as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, "which would offer protections to people and groups who cite their religious beliefs when declining services to same-sex couples seeking to marry."


How believable is this headline on L-1 today?

ATM workers
lose $150,000
left on lawn

The word "lose" should have been written in quotation marks.

And doesn't it sound like police should be exploring whether the ATM workers and a man in a white van who took the bag of cash are working together?

Yet that possibility isn't raised in the story.

Political plum?

Another story in Local has so little information it's pathetic.

The report on retired North Arlington Police Chief Louis Ghione doesn't explain how he got a plum Port Authority job, "security manager at ... One World Trade Center" (L-3).

Ghione, who was chief since 1982, will receive roughly $200,000 in accumulated vacation and sick time from the borough, an annual pension of $131,000 and the Port Authority salary, which is missing from the story.

His age also isn't given, and readers aren't told whether he will be able to get a second pension from the Port Authority when he retires from that job.

'Pending' suit

Editing lapses like that have become commonplace -- fallout from continuing economies in the newsroom that began in 2008, and ineffective, six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton and her minions, including the supervisor of the copy desk.

Is there a difference between a "lawsuit" and "pending lawsuit"?

I'm not a lawyer, but I doubt it.

Yet, in a story leading Monday's Local section, no editor seemed to notice that Staff Writer Minjae Park said a lawsuit is "pending" three times in the first five paragraphs (Monday's L-1).

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