Sunday, March 20, 2016

Editors allow partisan politics to shape Trenton coverage

In Englewood, Mayor Frank Huttle is pushing the City Council to buy a building next to a Korean supermarket and develop it as a community center, The Record reports today. The plan comes many years after the city dropped plans to buy the shuttered, 100-year-old-plus Lincoln Elementary School for a community center, eventually selling the land and building to an apartment developer.


The Record's editors and owners refuse to provide the leadership readers are looking for as Governor Christie butts heads with Democrats over an "extensive" list of problems facing the state.

As they did after Christie took office in early 2010, the editors continue to focus on the nasty partisan politics dividing the conservative governor and the Democratic majority in the state Legislature (A-1).

Today, The Record announces a groundbreaking "tracker graphic" as key issues move through the Governor's Office and the legislative process in 2016.

Of course, the original "Christie Tracker" was started by WNYC-FM, which told listeners where Christie was traveling as head of a GOP governors group or when he was campaigning.

Real estate mogul Jon F. Hanson, left, is a top adviser to Governor Christie, and a personal friend of Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg, chairman of North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record.

He said, she said

But if the past is any guide, Editor Deirdre Sykes' bad-hair days will mean bad-news days for readers, who will have to slog through endless he said/she said stories on such issues as transportation, public worker benefits and taxes.

Since she took over in January, Sykes has failed to provide any editorial leadership in Woodland Park, repeating the same failures readers know from the many years she ran the local-news section.  

Seven other daily papers in New Jersey called for Christie's resignation after he endorsed and campaigned for racist Donald Trump. 

But the Woodland Park daily didn't even report the state's biggest daily, The Star Ledger, and the other papers want the GOP bully to leave Trenton for good.

Readers' eyes roll

Charles Stile, the biggest Christie apologist on staff, today has readers' eyes rolling with a front-page column on the Republican Party in New Jersey more than 50 years ago (A-1).

Meanwhile, as limp as they are, the last four lines of Mike Kelly's Opinion front column on Christie should have been the first four lines (O-3):

"He says he's 'back to work'. Yet, he skips a state trooper's funeral for a political campaign.

"He's the butt of belittling jokes.

"He thinks this is all just a good time."

And on the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski is writing about "us older folks" who don't buckle up in the back seat (L-1).

Mazel tov

Congratulations to Hackensack Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr., who became a grandfather twice on Friday (L-1).

Flay's burgers

Food writer Elisa Ung has been a big fan of Bobby Flay ever since she reported a decade ago "chef's quality" beef is used in the hamburgers sold at his Bobby's Burger Palace in Paramus.

Today, the sell-out continues to blow smoke in another elaborately promotional piece on Flay and his burger restaurants (Better Living front).

Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. Flay uses Certified Angus Beef, which is raised on harmful antibiotics and who knows what else.

Stick with the salads, if you know what's good for you.

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