Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Editors see U.S.-Cuba 'division' despite their shared history

In the 100-block of Euclid Avenue in Hackensack's Fairmount section, this homeowner has defied attempts by city officials to have him repair his front steps and clean up his eyesore property since at least August 2007, when I moved into the neighborhood.


Over today's Page 1 photo of President Obama listening to the U.S. national anthem in Havana, an unnamed editor wrote:


Even after reading the caption, The Record's readers will continue to guess at why the word "division" was used over the photo until they see the full story on A-7.

That's where an Associated Press report leads with the divide over "human rights" and the U.S. economic embargo.

The U.S. and Cuba have more in common than the media usually report, including a history of slavery, violent revolutions and the execution of people who were loyal to the losing side.

Until the 1959 revolution, Cuba was virtually a colony of the United States, and racial discrimination was strictly enforced in both countries.

It's appropriate that Barack Obama, our first black president, broke with the past, visited the island and met with Cuban leader Raul Castro.

The media also play up "political prisoners" while ignoring the many positives on the Caribbean's biggest island:

Free education and medical care, and an absence of school shootings and other gun violence.

Local news?

What are the editors of Local saying when they lead their section with another sensational crime story, the same one that ran on Page 1 both Sunday and Monday (L-1)?

And if the story of a Bergenfield couple whose 11-year-old son found the bodies after a murder-suicide is not sensational enough, turn the page.

Why is the story of a Wayne man who killed his girlfriend's dog in their house trailer given so much space (L-2)?

Those stories are a sure sign the local-news report is as weak as it was before Deirdre Sykes was made editor in January.

Cutting remarks

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz really disappointed readers on Monday when she didn't call out millionaire celebrity Chef Marc Forgione.

Still, it's not surprising that the chef at an expensive steakhouse is a male chauvinist pig who treats women as if they are just another cut of meat.

Davidowitz notes his new Englewood Cliffs restaurant has more fish and more salads on the menu than at his Manhattan location -- "'for the ladies,' Forgione said, who he believes are more health conscious" (Monday's BL-2).

What an antiquated notion (not to mention awful editing).

As in The Record's earlier promotions of Forgione's American Cut Bar & Grill, Davidowitz doesn't say whether the steaks served there for up to $126 are naturally raised.

Second look

Sykes, the editor, led Saturday's paper with a deal on the expansion of The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

"It marks the third time the issue, which has dominated village politics for a decade and consumed countless hours of public meetings, will come before the Planning Board," Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton reported.

Still, there is no explanation why Layton doesn't tell readers the hospital would expand within its own campus, and wouldn't be clearing homes and other property, as in the expansion of Hackensack University Medical Center.

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