Friday, November 27, 2015

Readers are hoping they'll survive Thanksgiving editions

On Thursday, The Record's useless Sports section joined numerous Black Friday sales fliers in going straight to recycling. The Thanksgiving edition's predictable front page focused on why a handful of people are giving thanks, ignoring the millions of middle-class residents targeted by Governor Christie.


Six years after Chris Christie broke his campaign promise to lower property taxes -- the one that likely got him elected governor -- The Record continues to ignore the millions who can't wait for his reign to end.

Today, Editor Martin Gottlieb devotes precious front-page space to a Wayne man who has overcome a childhood illness to help hold the Ronald McDonald balloon aloft during Thursday's parade (A-1).

Gee whiz. Isn't that heart warming? All our troubles are over.

Covering the few

On Thursday's front page Columnist Mike Kelly apparently could find only two people "who turned a personal tragedy into a rallying call for change."

Meanwhile, Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado interviews a handful of "refugees and asylum seekers" who are marking their first Thanksgiving in the United States.

Couldn't the local assignment editors and reporters find the energy to interview 20, 30 or 40 state residents on what, if anything, they are thankful for in the fifth year of Christie's mean-spirited rule?

2017 election

The Woodland Park daily already has started covering the 2017 election to pick the GOP bully's successor, but today's A-1 story is predictable.

Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi focuses on politics -- Democrats v. Republicans -- instead of issues or what would be good for New Jersey.

He also doesn't mention some of Christie's many failures, including vetoing a hike in the minimum wage (A-1).

For more wasted space, see Staff Writer Jim Beckerman's piece on "Betamax devotees" devastated by Sony's decision to end production of the videotapes in March (A-1).

Tens of thousands of older readers have been shut out by advances in technology -- from smart phones to computers to navigation systems -- yet I have yet to see that story reported in The Record by Beckerman or anyone else.

Traffic on Route 4 east in Paramus just before 8 this morning was much lighter than during the usual weekday rush hour.

One driver received a gift in the parking lot of 24 Hour Fitness in Paramus.

Christie and Syrians

An editorial on the contributions of Syrians to New Jersey is muted in its criticism of Chritie's hate-filled speech in the wake of Paris attacks on Nov. 13 (A-20).

"Christie, who refuses to call out [Donald] Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric, seems totally unaware of the Syrian community's long-standing contributions to this state," according to the editorial.

As was local Editor Deirdre Sykes, who waited eight or nine days after Christie sad he would bar Syrian orphans from New Jersey to assign a reporter to interview law-abiding Syrian merchants in South Paterson. 


Today, a story on the Local front is The Record's annual recognition of the homeless problem in Paterson and Hackensack (L-1).

But more important than the homeless are Thanksgiving Day shoppers, because that gives the editors another excuse to write about the retailers whose ad revenue is keeping North Jersey Media Group afloat (L-1).

Poor editing

Staff Writer Christopher Maag covered Zach Blaifeder of Wayne, who held a line to the Ronald McDonald balloon in Thursday's parade (A-1).

His story begins:

"Walking 45 blocks down the spine of Manhattan, tethered to a giant balloon and surrounded by 3 million people, is an exercise in endurance."

Pretty good. But the editors missed a glaring error.

If any street could be considered "the spine of Manhattan," it's Fifth Avenue, which divides the East Side from the West Side.

Yet, Blaifeder and the rest of the parade never got near Fifth Avenue.


Restaurant critic Elisa Ung deserves some credit for praising "the most flavorful veggie burger I have ever tried" at Zinburger in Westfield Garden State Plaza (BL-14).

But, as usual, her review avoids discussing how the cows who gave their lives for the regular burgers were raised.

When you pay $10 to $15 for a Zinburger, do you get grass-fed ground beef or meat from cows who were fed chicken-coop waste and the slaughterhouse remains of chickens and pigs?

Ung doesn't dare say.

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