By VICTOR E. SASSON
In New Jersey, the tide of public opinion has turned hard against Governor Christie.
But at The Record of Woodland Park, editors, columnists and reporters today are focusing instead on New Hampshire, where the GOP bully is trying to salvage his campaign for the party's presidential nomination (A-1 and O-1).
Christie finished a dismal 10th in the Iowa caucuses, but last week, he suffered setbacks in and out of court in New Jersey, as The Record reported on Saturday.
They are likely to seal his fate.
The lead story on Saturday's front page reported a federal judge gave defendants in the Bridgegate scandal the power to seek emails and other documents withheld by the law firm that whitewashed Christie's role in the Fort Lee lane closings.
But it was public statements by another judge that helped galvanize public opinion in the Garden State, though Editor Deirdre Sykes did her best to mute the criticism by keeping the story off of Saturday's front page:
Deborah Poritz, a Republican who served as chief justice from 1996 to 2006, took Christie "to task ... for being a 'bully' who has not built a legacy of serving the public after more than six years in office" (Saturday's A-3).
She noted Christie has been "scapegoating public workers" in New Jersey for years, and slammed his budget cuts.
"What is his legacy? Because I don't see any," Poritz said at a Thursday night forum in the Princeton Public Library.
Then, WNYC-FM reporter Matt Katz, who just published a biography of Christie, "American Governor," was put in the uncomfortable position of defending the governor he has exposed in the public radio station's "Christie Tracker" feature.
At the end of Saturday's story, Staff Writer Salvador Rizzo noted in 2013, Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin condemned Christie for attempting to intimidate the judiciary and unseating the only black justice on the high court.
Today's front page is dominated by the last GOP debate before the voting in New Hampshire, and yet another boring Christie column by Staff Writer Charles Stile -- in case readers missed Saturday's A-1 assessment by Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi.
Also on Page 1 today is a long story about Teaneck dermatologist Gangaram Ragi, who had been accused of sexually assaulting two women.
Inadvertently, the headline writer turned off readers immediately by putting the year 2001 in big black type.
This 14-year-old story was written by Jean Rimbach, one of the women in the newsroom who have thrived under Sykes, a plump Mother Hen to her and other female reporters.
Today's local-news section has less Law & Order news than Saturday's, but both are silent on Hackensack, which apparently has no reporter assigned to it.
The section leads with a story on a judge releasing an affordable-housing plan "paid for by 270 municipalities" in New Jersey, but the names of towns are missing (L-1).
Road Warrior John Cichowski compares drivers to doctors and plumbers who update "their training when renewing their licenses every few years" (L-1).
He claims people "drive 3,000-pound machines that dodge traffic at 65 mph or more," and notes he took a driving safety class in Fort Lee, "where a certain Hudson River bridge causes bumper-to-bumper bedlam."
This is journalism? What do traffic jams have to do with driver retraining?
For the second time recently, a photo caption includes an extra "s" in Palisade Avenue, this time in Englewood (L-6).
The photo shows first responders clearing the scene of a "two-car crash at Grand and Palisades avenues."
In fact, one of the vehicles is shown on the sidewalk on Engle Street, the continuation of Grand.
If you doubt The Record soft-pedals the damage Christie has caused in New Jersey, take a look at another ridiculously long and boring column from Mike Kelly on the Opinion front.
The burned-out columnist claims Christie's future hinges on the outcome in New Hampshire, when readers know it's the mean-spirited policies he's rammed through in New Jersey that make residents' blood boil (O-1).
Then, Kelly tries to convince readers Christie "should have been a Democrat" (O-4).
What a moron.