Sunday, April 3, 2016

Columnist taps into racist, anti-Obama rhetoric on economy

Heavy winds on Saturday night brought down a tree, damaging at least three cars parked on American Legion Drive, near Prospect Avenue, in Hackensack, a neighborhood of high-rises and garden apartments.

This afternoon, a police officer told a young couple the tree won't be removed and they won't have access to their damaged car (the silver-colored one in the middle) until PSE&G removes live wires. American Legion Drive was closed for the same reason.


The Republican Party appears to be pulling the strings of Staff Writer Mike Kelly, whose Page 1 column in The Record today demonizes President Obama and knocks his record on the economy.

Kelly focuses on "more than 100 people who had recently lost middle-management jobs at New Jersey corporations" who attended "a lecture on how to use social media" (A-1).

Kelly doesn't even mention Obama, the nation's first black president, whose every action has been opposed by the Republican majority in Congress in the greatest display of racial animosity since the end of slavery.

Trump's racism

But the columnist claims deep "social, political and financial tremors" are responsible for "the anti-immigration and protectionist rhetoric of Donald Trump," the Republican front-runner in this year's presidential campaign.

Of course, Trump, Governor Christie and the other GOP clowns clearly have been campaigning against Obama, and distorting the remarkable job he did in bringing the nation back from the recession.

War on middle class

Kelly also doesn't mention Christie or the GOP bully's war on the middle class in New Jersey.

He talks about "wage stagnation," but not Christie's veto of a hike in the minimum wage, or corporations like North Jersey Media Group, owner of The Record, eliminating raises for even the most productive workers.

He talks about "careers upended through downsizing," though not what happened to his newsroom colleagues -- including the food editor and director of photography -- who were shown the door after decades of employment at The Record.

Bad headlines

Today's headline on the Kelly column -- "Is this the end of the American Dream?" -- is especially bad because "American Dream" also is the name of the huge retail-entertainment complex under construction in the Meadowlands.

The words "American Dream" appear in large, bold type above the fold, certain to confuse readers who don't immediately start reading the photo caption or column.

On Friday's front page, a sub-headline struggled to describe the car of a Hackensack man who died the day before in the hospital after a collision with a police cruiser speeding to an emergency:

"Hackensack cruiser
hits unrelated car,
killing the driver"

I didn't know cars could be "related" to each other like humans.

See: Police cruiser pushed victim's car 40 feet

Local news?

North Jersey has so many commuting problems it's a wonder Road Warrior John Cichowski continues to find so many ways to avoid writing about them.

Today, he fills an entire column with horror stories on "roadside trash," employing his trademark exaggeration and hype in an attempt to engage readers or at least prevent them from falling asleep (L-1).

Today's Local front also carries a story on Henry and Mary Shoiket, 97 and 100, respectively -- a rare instance of reporting on seniors who aren't institutionalized or have just died (L-1).

The couple are described as longtime activists, "who have been fixtures at the weekly protests outside the Teaneck Armory for years."

Major error

On the Opinion front today, a caption incorrectly describes the large photo above the fold, and gives a wrong date for the official opening of the new World Trade Center.

The photo shows the interior of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub -- not the "main level of the new World Trade Center."

The date given, March 3, is the official opening date of the transit hub, not the office building.

Also on the O-1 today is a second Kelly column, this one on Atlantic City, that begins, "Once upon another time ...."

Like a fairy tale, this one puts readers to sleep almost immediately.

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