Sunday, January 10, 2016

With cowardly reporters like Mike Kelly, Christie can't lose

A photo of Record Columnist Mike Kelly from his own Web site. The veteran reporter's introspection doesn't include why he is unable to state clearly and forcefully his opinion on the terrible job Governor Christie is doing in New Jersey while the GOP bully chases his White House dreams.


Page 1 of The Record and the important Opinion section carry columns from Mike Kelly on public officials who are or plan to divide their time between their New Jersey duties and other states.

But if you plow through several thousand words, you will come no closer to whether the veteran opinion columnist thinks Governor Christie and Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale really stink (O-1 and A-1).

Kelly has been writing a column for The Record for more than 20 years, but he is no Jimmy Breslin or Pete Hamill.

As the headline on the O-1 Christie column shows -- "Is Christie relevant to us anymore?" -- the reporter hides his opinions behind rhetorical questions, a device he has been using for decades.

And look at the lame headline on the front page:

"Top cop's new beat covers two states"

That's inaccurate -- it should be "two cities" -- but still is what copy editors try to avoid at all costs, a dull headline that is little more than a label.


Kelly just can't bring himself to state clearly and forcefully that all of the time Christie is spending campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination in New Hampshire, Iowa and other states is an impeachable offense.

Nor is he able to slam Speziale for wanting to take a part-time job in Hazleton, Pa., given all the gun violence, deaths of young people and drug dealing under his watch in Paterson, New Jersey's third-largest city.

Pure and simple, Speziale running a police department 115 miles away from Silk City is criminal and a dereliction of duty.

As a so-called journalist, Kelly has been guilty of dereliction for decades.

Governor Cuomo

Talking about officials who divide their time between two states, tens of thousands of readers are hoping New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would do just that in New Jersey.

Cuomo's budget proposals include road, mass-transit and airport projects; a phased-in $15 minimum wage; and addressing corruption and homelessness (A-3).

Contrast those initiatives to Christie's war on the middle class, and his 430 vetoes (and counting) of any progressive legislation.

Hit-run death

In today's Local, I can't seem to find any word about the surrender on Saturday of Stalin Kappil of Teaneck in the Christmas Day hit-run death of a homeless man at Cedar Lane and Garrison Avenue in downtown Teaneck. says Kappil lives a dozen blocks away from where he allegedly ran down Steven J. Leitgeb, 59, who died later at a hospital. 

Jerry DeMarco reports Kappil, 62, is of Asian Indian ancestry, as is acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, who announced the arrest.


On L-1 today, Road Warrior John Cichowski's first paragraph oxymoron has readers shaking their heads again.

Even at normal speeds, driving on unlit or poorly lit highways is challenging, and drivers regularly curse officials.

But Cichowski is desperate to get readers interested in a subject he's written about too many times before, so he exaggerates the danger by writing:

"Here's something to consider while you're hurtling home from work at night [italics added] ...." 

Which drivers are "hurtling" during the rush hour, when traffic congestion is at its worse?

An even bigger problem are poorly lit intersections in Hackensack and other towns where drivers have a hard time seeing pedestrians at night, such as the one at Passaic and First streets. 

Big portions

For some comic relief today, see Elisa Ung's Sunday column bemoaning large restaurant portions and penalties for sharing (BL-1).

The paper's chief restaurant critic is so obsessed with dessert and enormous steaks she could be a member of Overeaters Anonymous.

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