Saturday, August 29, 2015

Editors bury gun-control plea, restate obvious on Page 1

At Bergen Town Center in Paramus, an employee uses this fully electric vehicle to collect litter at properties on both sides of Forest Avenue.


The Record today buries a plea for gun control from the father of the Virginia reporter who was shot and killed on live television.

The placement of the story on A-4 suggests the media are partly responsible for why, as The Associated Press says, "winning such measures has proved nearly impossible in the United States."

Meanwhile, leading the paper at the top of Page 1, is a Mike Kelly column that simply restates the obvious -- "the inherent randomness of gun violence in America today" (A-1).

Where does Kelly think readers have been in the past decade or more as The Record and other media have reported one random shooting after another where children and adults gather?

Without warning, innocent people have been slaughtered in schools, churches, movie theaters, malls and on the streets of impoverished cities like Paterson (L-1).

What is remarkable about the piece from Kelly -- who has written extensively about 9/11 and the proposal for a mosque near Ground Zero -- is that this may be the first time he has had anything kind to say about Muslims.

Cheap gas

Also on the front page today, the editors promote cheap gas without pausing to consider the impact of more driving on air pollution, traffic congestion and climate change (A-1 and A-10).

Staff Writer Melissa Hayes, who has been traveling with Governor Christie in his doomed bid for the presidency, is back on A-1 today with another upbeat story, "even though he's a second-tier candidate who ranked ninth" in a poll released Thursday (A-1).

Editor Martin Gottlieb even gave the obscure "clam shrimp" better play (A-1) than Andy Parker's decision to fight for gun control.

3 corrections

Three corrections today suggest Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza, and Production Editor Liz Houlton, failed again in their responsibility to deliver a completely accurate local report (A-2).

One of the corrections notes that in his Friday column on A-1, Road Warrior John Cichowski mistakenly killed a 13-year-old who survived a Route 80 crash -- adding to the hundreds of errors that have cemented his reputation as the most inaccurate reporter in the newsroom.

Local news?

The large number of Law & Order stories today could mean Sykes and Forza took a three-day weekend, leaving it to the police and court reporters to fill their thin section (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).

On the half shell

For a good read, see a story on the comeback of the Delaware Bay oyster industry and the succulent Cape May Salt by freelancer Shelby Vittek (BL-1).

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