Thursday, January 21, 2016

On politics or weather, North Jersey is bracing for hype

These images are part of an art exhibit in the dingy, Ninth Avenue end of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan.


I've heard so many forecasts for this winter's first big storm I don't know what to believe.

They range from the "moderate" snowfall reported by WNYC-FM radio this morning to the "7+ inches" in a front-page headline in The Record today:

for the

Winter's first
big blast could
drop 7+ inches

Buried by hype

When it comes to the weather and campaigns for the major party's presidential nominations, North Jersey readers have learned to brace for hype and other media exaggeration.

Making the the next general election seem like a horse race, which the print and electronic media have tried to do for well over a year, serves two purposes.

Burned-out editors, reporters and columnists -- weary after so many years of covering political conflict and swallowing candidates' lies and B.S. -- now only report contested elections.

And without hype and exaggeration, how are you going to sell newspapers to readers so apathetic they often refuse to go to the polls, especially in North Jersey's local contests for council and school board?

Political stories

On Tuesday's front page, Editor Martin Gottlieb led with the contest between Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination.

The Washington Post declared their last debate a defining moment for the party.

Left unsaid in this and other media reports is that either would make a great president, and preserve the Affordable Care Act and other accomplishments of the Obama administration.

And in the November election, either would certainly blow out of the water any of the clowns/racists/fear mongers/failed leaders and other trash put forward by the mean-spirited Republican Party.

In fact, many Democrats would love to see a Clinton-Sanders ticket or his appointment as her secretary of health and human services.

Gottlieb led Wednesday's paper with Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump, as if that moron can help the billionaire businessman get elected in November (A-1).

500+ vetoes

Wednesday's front page reported another "five dozen" vetoes executed by Governor Christie on a one-day break from his doomed campaign.

One bill would have prevented "convicted carjackers, gang members and others from buying guns," and another would require that "smart guns" be sold along with traditional handguns.

The new vetoes surely bring Christie's total to more than 500, set a record for any New Jersey governor and give a lie to all of the Charles Stile columns that have portrayed him as a compromiser who could break the legislative logjam in Washington.

Readers are still waiting for The Record to publish an editorial or column labeling Christie the worst governor in state history -- which has been evident to readers for many years.

Talking heads

Today's pathetic Mike Kelly opinion column rehashes news stories on the gun bills and vetoes, and goes on and on quoting Trenton lawmakers from both sides of the aisle speculating on whether Christie was motivated by his desire to win in Iowa, New Hampshire and other conservative states (A-1).

Nowhere will you find Kelly's opinion of Christie. 

Local news

Nearly the entire front of the local-news section today is filled with sensational court and police news or stories about the police (L-1).

A story on the bomb hoax that led to school evacuations "across North Jersey," and a second story on a terrorism-awareness conference discuss in great detail how police officers do their jobs.

More crime news appears inside as local Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza continue their boycott of any stories about Hackensack.

Aleppo pepper

The Better Living editors worship at the feet of chefs whose restaurants advertise in the Woodland Park daily.

No cooking method, condiment or food gains credibility unless a chef uses it in his or her restaurant.

That seems to be the only conclusion readers can draw from Food Editor Esther Davidowitz's Wednesday column on Aleppo pepper, which has been used by home cooks in New Jersey for ages, including a sizable community of Syrian Jews.

Her take: 

"The bright-red condiment that for years was barely known in the U.S., except by a few immigrant communities, has captured American chefs' admiration, thanks to its unique flavor."

Sadly, Davidowitz reports the pepper is "yes, named for Aleppo, the ancient city in Syria," but makes no reference to the civil war that has seen the country's rulers try to bomb it back to the stone age.

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