Sunday, July 12, 2015

What are the editors waiting for? Let's impeach Christie

From Hackensack to Trenton to Washington, D.C., The Record's editors, columnists and reporters are addicted to writing almost everything in terms of partisan politics.


Could Editor Martin Gottlieb of The Record actually be as boring as the front pages he assembles for North Jersey readers?

This Sunday edition brings the usual tedious mixing and balancing of local, state, national and international news -- much like what Gottlieb's former paper, The New York Times, does every day.

Today, the big photo on Page 1 is from Srebrenica, which I'm almost sure isn't one of the 86 towns in Bergen and Passaic counties (A-1).

The lead story is about improved on-time performance at Newark Liberty International Airport -- of little interest to readers who might take a flight once or twice a year (A-1).

The "local" story is about a deaf athlete at Hackensack High School who is too old to play football and baseball in his senior year (A-1).

Impeach Christie

To add insult to injury, the obligatory political column on Governor Christie's presidential campaign doesn't even explore the possibility of his being impeached in New Jersey (A-1).

Nor does an Opinion column on Christie by Brigid Harrison, a political science and law professor at Montclair State (O-1).

Harrison may be a good professor, but I'll bet her five books on American politics will put you to sleep faster than The Record's front page today.

Good cop, bad cop

And because she apparently gets no editing, her column today is perplexing:

First, she says a bill by Democratic leaders in the state Legislature -- to require Christie to resign from office because he is running for president -- "sounds like a good idea" (O-2).

Then, she notes the state has "suffered" as Christie panders to conservative Republicans, and has been pushed to "the brink of a fiscal cliff."

"The governor has maintained he is always available by cellphone [!!!] to deal with state issues," Harrison says with a straight face. "Yet 71 percent [of New Jerseyans] think Christie can't effectively govern the state and run for president."

After that buildup, Harrison calls the Democratic bill a "joke," denounces it as a political stunt and declares it is legally flawed.

In Constitution

But she never mentions that according to the New Jersey Constitution, the state Assembly can bring impeachment charges against Christie, who would be tried in the Senate's "court."

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, brought up the possibility of impeachment in January 2014, if investigators found a direct link between Christie and the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

That link still may come at the federal trial of Bridget Anne Kelly, the close aide Christie fired after her email to the Port Authority -- "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" -- emerged.

More errors

The ugly head of the Queen of Errors rears up at least twice today:

On Page 1, six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton should have insisted on affiliations under a double byline on the story discussing a new novel by Harper Lee (A-1).

And in the TV Times tab, the cover story is on Page 5, not on the indicated Page 3.

Better Living

Elisa Ung, the paper's chief restaurant critic, isn't about to tackle two major issues that impact the bottom line of wealthy owners -- the broken tipping system, and menus that don't list whether the meat and poultry served are raised naturally (BL-1).

Today, her column, The Corner Table, asks if people who go out to dinner "want TV in the background."

Which raises a natural question: How do we turn her off?

Travelers' photos

The Record continues to run a full page of photos readers take on vacation, as long as they are shown holding up a copy of the Travel section (T-2).

Putting aside how that cuts down on consumer-oriented travel news, how long are we going to be treated to the spectacle of overweight readers going on all-you-can-eat cruises?

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