Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another Sunday edition bores readers with politics on A-1

Inside Mr. 4 Hand Car Wash on Route 4 west in Englewood. At The Sheffield across the highway, below, new luxury apartments are being built in response to complaints from prospective tenants that the existing buildings are too far away from traffic noise and fumes.

The construction of hundreds of luxury apartments on both sides of Route 4 in Englewood hasn't had much of an impact on the fortunes of downtown restaurant owners and other merchants. Empty storefronts are common, though you are unlikely to read about that in The Record.


The so-called commuting columnist is wringing his hands over parents who leave children in cars when temperatures soar over 90 degrees (Local front).

Meanwhile, the New Jersey columnist is rehashing an analysis that appeared on Thursday's front page about who will pay for new Hudson River rail tunnels to ease a commuting crisis (Opinion front).

Welcome to another boring Sunday edition of The Record, where Editor Martin Gottlieb fills Page 1 with boring political stories, putting readers to sleep. 

Today, the only relief is a gripping tale about a "professional wingwalker," a stunt woman who rides atop a biplane, thrilling spectators below (A-1).

"You're not making any money. The food is crap. The hotels are terrible," Carol Pilon, 46, told Staff Writer Christopher Maag. "But I get to do the thing in the world that makes my heart sing with joy."

For a change, the headline sings, too:

"Walking in the clouds
and flirting with death"

Heavy politics

Gottlieb leads today's paper with a column on the "comeback" of Robert G. Torricelli, the disgraced Democrat and former U.S. senator (A-1).

The column, NJ/DC, usually runs on Mondays, so does that mean Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson gets to bore us two days in a row this week?

At the bottom of Page 1 is a story about wealthy onetime backers of Governor Christie betting their money on Jeb Bush becoming the GOP presidential nominee in 2016 (A-1). 


Local news?

On the Local front today, Road Warrior John Cichowski seems to be saying a woman left her infant "to roast in a car" in Hackensack, when no such thing happened (L-1).

In fact, the infant was rescued long before it "roasted," thanks to an alert employee of Costco Wholesale.

Tunnel vision

Meanwhile, what is Columnist Mike Kelly doing writing about Hudson River rail tunnels, a commuting issue Cichowski has sorely neglected?

Kelly has been banging away at a typewriter and computer for more years than readers care to remember, but he still comes up with some of the clunkiest lead paragraphs in the history of journalism:

"Governor Christie plans to visit Newark on Tuesday [and] ... will likely be campaigning, but it won't be for a change of address to the White House" (O-1).

The lead is wrong on so many levels, especially because Christie isn't "campaigning" for an expansion of mass transit; he's the one who killed the tunnels that were being built in 2010.

And in another major embarrassment for six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton, some moron in the newsroom used a photo of the Lincoln Tunnel, not a rail tunnel, on the continuation page (O-3).


If you're looking for stories about our struggling downtowns, skip today's Business section, just as you've been doing every day (B-1).

And if you thought no paper cold be edited as badly as The Record, take a look at the 4-page USA Today Personal Finance insert the Business editors use as a crutch every Sunday.

On B-3, the word "in" was dropped in the fifth paragraph of the story on car options. Under "Fancy Wheels and Low-Profile Tires," the word "are" should have been edited out.

For years, the Sunday insert came from the Wall Street Journal. 

Using inferior USA Today stories is another example of the dramatic decline in quality at the Woodland Park daily since Publisher Stephen A. Borg took over.

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