Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Editors turning your local paper into another political rag

GLOOMY MONDAY: Before the sun came out, rush-hour traffic on Route 4 in Paramus splashed toward the George Washington Bridge this morning.


The word "Democrats" or "Democrat" appears in three of the four paragraphs on Page 1 in today's lead on Governor Christie's latest nominee to the Supreme Court.

As if that isn't enough, Editor Deirdre Sykes of The Record is running another boring Charles Stile column under the banner headline, supposedly telling readers what the nomination of Walter Timpone means politically.

Stile describes Timpone as "a veteran Democratic Party lawyer and insider" (A-1).

WNYC-FM radio called the nominee a "former federal prosecutor."

The Record's intense political focus is a disservice to readers, who have to look elsewhere for reporting on issues.

Nowhere in today's coverage will you find anything on how the state's highest court is regarded as progressive in so many ways, including landmark rulings on product liability and affordable housing.

Gottheimer v. Garrett

On the Local front, Sykes adds fund-raising to the political focus in the story on Democrat Josh Gottheimer of Wyckoff challenging Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, who is seeking an eighth term in a district now dominated by Bergen County voters (L-1).

On Monday, Gottheimer sent an email to supporters attacking "Tea Party Rep. Scott Garrett" for "an absolutely abysmal record when it comes to women's issues."

But you won't find any discussion of that in today's story from Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson, who omits the Tea Party label altogether.

In the past, Jackson has called the race solely based on how much Garrett and his challenger raised before the election.

Fires, crime

Sykes' Local section for Bergen County readers is so thin she had to pad it with crime stories (L-2 and L-3), two photos of minor fires (L-3 and L-6), a long Dean's List and a story on City Council candidates in Paterson's 3rd Ward (L-6).

Artery clogging

Readers who can't enough artery clogging saturated fat should check in with Staff Writer Elisa Ung, the paper's chief restaurant critic and overeater.

Today, Ung praises the versatility of the grilled-cheese sandwich, especially when it is stuffed with bacon and short ribs or slathered with butter (BL-1 and BL-2).

Home delivery

The Record's dysfunctional home delivery operation failed today to bring me the back copies I asked to be held during a week-long vacation.

Instead, the carrier wrote a note on the plastic bag, apologizing and saying he would deliver them on Wednesday.

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