Sunday, May 29, 2016

Columnist ignores Hackensack -- the capital of voter apathy

After the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor went out of production at the end of 2011, the automaker introduced the Police Interceptor Sedan, above, based on the sixth-generation Taurus. Safety defects in the old model may have killed officers in Teaneck and Paramus: Did Crown Vic kill two police officers?


The Record's front-page column today largely avoids focusing on North Jersey's local elections, where voter apathy is at its worst.

In fact, Columnist Mike Kelly seems horrified that "in some ... towns, voters [are] asked to cast ballots in a school board election in April, a council election in May and the primary on June 7" (A-10).

Of course, Kelly doesn't tell readers they can apply for mail-in ballots that allow them to vote in any election -- from school board to president of the United States -- from the comfort of their own homes.

He quotes an expert saying voters are turned off by "the increasingly negative tone of politics" (A-10), but doesn't acknowledge The Record and other media report little else.

Family rule

In Hackensack, Cliffside Park, Englewood Cliffs and other towns, apathetic voters have allowed one family to rule their towns for decades.

In April, a tiny minority of the 20,000 registered voters in Hackensack -- once known derisively as "Zisaville" -- elected two Board of Education candidates backed by former four-term mayor Jack Zisa and his brother, Ken, the disgraced former police chief.

No one from The Record, including Kelly, reported on the issues in the election or bothered to identify the Zisas as the backers of "Team Hackensack."

A total of 1,300 residents voted in the Hackensack school election. Municipal elections usually are decided by about 3,500 voters -- this in a city of 44,000. 

Wacko Donald Trump

Readers still are confused over whether Kelly is a reporter, opinion columnist or just burned out after decades of pounding a keyboard.

Today's column is way too long, and, believe it or not, Editor Deirdre Sykes publishes a second Kelly column on the presidential election on the front of Opinion (O-1).

In the Page 1 column, Kelly refers to Donald Trump as "the developer and reality television star" (A-10).

Carl Golden, a former mouthpiece for two Republican governors in New Jersey, seems dazzled by Trump's apparent success in winning the GOP presidential nomination (O-1).

Neither acknowledge the billionaire candidate is tapping into the deep-seated racism that has been most evident during the presidency of Barack Obama. 

In praise of Muslims

The Local front today carries another story on Syrian Muslim refugees who have succeeded in North Jersey (L-1).

Staff Writer Hannan Adely seems to be saying Muslims aren't the monsters they are made out to be by Trump and Governor Christie.

Adely's story describes "a large Syrian neighborhood known for its ethnic stores and businesses," but she doesn't tell readers she is referring to Paterson's vibrant South Paterson section.

Unhealthy food

Today and Saturday, The Record's food editor and writers continue to promote some of the unhealthiest food on the planet (Better Living section).

Readers see little reporting on whether the food Elisa Ung and others rave about is naturally raised or grown.

And they seem to be saying sugar, butter, full-fat cheese, bacon and other ingredients are really good for you.

On Saturday at least, Ung included veggie and shrimp burgers as she gushed over White Manna and other low-quality hamburgers.

Why was she writing about burgers on Saturday?

It was her Pavlovian response to "National Hamburger Day" -- an event that probably was created by the nation's irresponsible beef industry.

Obama in Japan

On Saturday, over a front-page photo of the president hugging a Japanese survivor of the atomic bomb, The Record declared:



That's not news. Japan and the United States became  "allies for peace" decades ago.

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