By VICTOR E. SASSON
Readers looking for relief from the 24/7 coverage of Pope Francis get hit over the head today by another crappy baseball column on Page 1 of The Record.
That's played next to a Washington Post story on the partisan political paralysis in Congress, now dominated by conservative Republicans (A-1).
The piece at the bottom of the front page on the gender gap in coaching youth sports seems like an afterthought (A-1).
And it raises questions about why Editor Martin Gottlieb doesn't commission a similar story on the gender gap in print journalism.
Pope in Philly
The A-1 story on Francis in Philadelphia is the ninth straight day his Cuba and U.S. visits have been played on the front page of the Woodland Park daily.
It's doubtful anyone in power is going to act on anything he said in New York or Philadelphia.
Three U.S. Supreme Court justices -- Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, all conservative Catholics -- boycotted Francis' speech to a joint session of Congress.
Many conservative Republicans basically said Francis should mind his own business instead of urging the eradication of poverty, reforming immigration and slowing climate change, among other issues the GOP refuses to budge on.
On Saturday, Mike Kelly's A-1 column on Francis in Manhattan appeared under this sub-headline:
Today's Road Warrior is like so many written by Staff Writer John Cichowski, who hijacked the commuting column a dozen years ago (L-1).
His piece on traffic deaths is filled with mind-numbing statistics, and sheds no light on the daily nightmare North Jersey commuters face, whether they drive or take a bus or train.
The Local front is dominated by a big photo and story on a motorcycle accident that injured rap star Fetty Wap in his hometown of Paterson (L-1).
On second reference, he is referred to as "Fetty Wap," not just "Wap," in contrast to normal practice.
The small photo and caption on naming of a footbridge to honor Harold Bloom, former principal of Hackensack High School, is the first coverage of anything to do with schools in the city for at least a year, if not longer (L-1).
The Business front today reports on Volkswagen drivers who feel betrayed by the automaker's illegal diesel engines, installed in 11 million cars worldwide (B-1).
The story comes six days after The New York Times did the same reaction piece to heavy air pollution from so-called clean diesels, interviewing former Record photographer John Decker, among others.
Business reporter Richard Newman managed to interview another former Record staffer, Olga Wickerhauser of Fleminton.
Business is eight pages today, but readers find only only one other staff written story, which makes you wonder what the section editors do all week for their inflated salaries.
On the Opinion front, I got a kick out of hidden meaning in the headline over yet another Kelly column on Francis: