Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stale Cuba reporting distracts from Christie's 'dictatorship'

11:30 a.m. FRIDAY: Getting a new driver's license at the state motor vehicle agency in North Bergen took about an hour from when I got on line behind a dozen other people, above, outside the building in a shopping center at 90th Street and Bergenline Avenue. Last Tuesday, I went to the Lodi agency, but was told the wait was at least 2 hours.
12:10 p.m. FRIDAY: I waited on an even longer line inside the building to have my documents checked, then was in sight of the camera, above. After my photo was taken and I paid with a credit card, I had to wait about 10 minutes more for the making and laminating of the license itself. The clerk said I may be able to renew by mail when my 4-year license expires in 2019. 


When a pope visits Cuba, Editors like Martin Gottlieb of The Record and reporters like Mike Kelly always manage to find a long-suffering island resident who complains about the lack of free elections and yearns for democracy.

Yet, on the third day of Kelly's stale reporting from Cuba, The Record is silent on how special-interest money, a gullible media and voter apathy have made a mockery of free elections in the United States, including New Jersey.

Despite inheriting a Democratic majority in the state Legislature, Governor Christie has managed to get his own way and wage war on the middle class by executing more than 350 vetoes since early 2010.

And despite all his bluster, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat from Camden County, has failed to overturn a single Christie veto.

The GOP dictator won his first term by promising to lower property taxes and save millions through consolidation of inefficient local governments, but accomplished neither.

Page 1 news?

Local readers don't find much to interest them on Page 1 today unless they are Catholic or Rutgers football fans (A-1).

From Havana, Kelly files a rewrite of the stories The Record published when other popes visited Cuba.

The first pope to visit Cuba, in 1998, was John Paul II, so what it meant by the use of "historic visit" in front-page coverage today of Pope Francis' trip to the biggest island in the Caribbean?

Pope Benedict XVI also visited the island in 2012.

Local news?

Why does a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts get such big play on the Local front today?

It's because they staged their "rappelling fundraiser" in the same Woodland Park building where The Record and Herald News rent space for a newsroom and executive offices, though there is no mention of that (L-1).

That meant the lazy local assignment editors didn't have to move a finger to send a reporter and a photographer to cover "the big story."

After The Record moved to 1 Garret Mountain Plaza from Hackensack in 2009, the number of stories and photos on nearby Route 80 accidents and other neighborhood happenings rose dramatically.

Missing pages?

Today, the Business editors publish a "reporter's notebook" on the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's first business summit (B-1).

Staff Writer Hugh R. Morley managed to cover a dozen speakers, "some saying the state faces an emergency situation, and even a 'crisis'," without once mentioning Christie.

Did Morley lose pages of his notebook or did the Woodland Park editors sanitize his story on B-1 today?

Opinion columns

On the Opinion front, don't bother with a second rambling Kelly column on the pope's visit to Cuba, but do turn to Brigid Harrison's piece under the headline:

"Christie learns where pandering gets you"

"The man who spoke about putting the country's domestic house in order occasionally comes home to New Jersey to a ransacked and ramshackle state, with little vision for how we can get our own house in order," Harrison says of Christie on O-2.

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