Saturday, October 3, 2015

Editors' big buildup of Hurricane Joaquin, Christie fizzles

Judging from the wait for PSE&G's boiler turn-on service ($25), the suddenly cooler weather took hundreds of North Jersey homeowners by surprise. As of Friday, the earliest appointment I could get is this coming Wednesday morning. My boiler may have been affected by a burst pipe and flood last winter.


The Record today doesn't mention that almost half of Friday's front page was devoted to hyping Hurricane Joaquin and praising Governor Christie for leaving the presidential campaign trail and riding to the rescue of shore residents.

Now, Joaquin, Christie and his transportation chief have fizzled, but lots of space today is devoted to officials who "saw value in preparing for the worst" (A-1).

Gee. Where were they before Irene and Sandy savaged New Jersey?

Christie and Fox

The governor's pick for state transportation chief was James P. Fox, a former United Airlines lobbyist who may have had a role in arranging a flight to near the vacation home of a close friend, Christie mentor and then-Port Authority Chairman David Samson.

But since Fox took over in September 2014, he has done little to resolve the crisis with the state Transportation Trust Fund, reduce traffic congestion or improve mass transit.

Now, he has resigned amid questions about his agency forgiving a $104,000 potential penalty against United (A-1).


The only difference between Republican Anthony Coppola, Christie and Tea Party members of Congress is that the onetime councilman wrote a self-published book expressing his racist, homophobic and anti-senior citizen views.

First, Coppola withdrew as a state Assembly candidate, and now, he has resigned from the River Edge Borough Council (A-1).

The title of his 2003 book is "Outrageous."

On Friday's L-1, The Record reported:

"Cappola, in 223 pages [of his book], offers a near constant stream of racial slurs and offensive sexual slang, detailing stereotypes of minorities, men, women, gays and lesbians."

Among his targets, the story reported, was Pope John Paul II.

Warning signs

The Record and other media still haven't explained why anyone is surprised that a 26-year-old who owned at least 13 guns and "studied mass shooters" finally snapped and killed nine of his fellow college students (A-1 and A-9).

We may see the end of mass shootings when anyone who owns more than one gun raises alarms from neighbors, the police and the media. 

Local news?

Three large photos of non-fatal accidents -- all by Staff Photographer Tariq "Crash" Zehawi -- appear in Local today (L-1, L-2 and L-3).

Zehawi specializes in drive-by photos, and the desperate editors who run them are so lazy the captions tell readers nothing about the possible cause or answer other questions.

What do you expect? The photos are meant only as filler, not news. 

Was the Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid Zehawi saw in a ditch run off Route 3 in East Rutherford by the resentful driver of one of those enormous, gas-guzzling SUVs (L-1)?

Was the Teaneck police officer on the way to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts when his cruiser was involved in a collision with a big pickup truck at Cedar Lane and Palisade Avenue (L-3).

Did the pickup driver receive a summons? Was the police cruiser responding to an emergency with lights flashing and siren operating?

Why does the marked cruiser appear not to have emergency lights on the roof?

Lazy editing

The over lines used on two L-1 photos show a complete lack of imagination, and amount to little more than labels from a bored editor:



Both are obvious to the reader. 

Is that the best this once great local newspaper and its overpaid editors can do?

Brain food

The feature on North Jersey seafood restaurants is a welcome antidote to the relentless consumption and promotion of unhealthy food by The Record's Elisa Ung, and other reporters and editors (BL-1).

But why does the paper's chief restaurant critic devote most of the space and all but one of the photos to the most expensive places? 

Maybe, it's because those places advertise in The Record or Ung is so spoiled by the paper paying for meals costing hundreds of dollars that she no longer knows the value of money.

Varka, which gets top billing today, charges an outrageous $49 a pound for Dover Sole, $50 a pound for Tiger Shrimp from the Atlantic Ocean and $59 a pound for Langoustines from the Mediterranean.

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