Friday, June 3, 2016

To sell house without driveway, reporter exaggerates its size

Paterson's South Paterson neighborhood of Middle Eastern restaurants, bakeries and coffee houses continues to show signs of renewal, including a mobile telephone store and a three-story commercial building under construction at Main and Gould streets. 


A Page 1 story in The Record today raises troubling questions about an error-prone reporter who has blurred the lines between journalism and real estate promotion.

And in Local, the Woodland Park daily reports for the first time that a Hackensack University Medical Center doctor played a key role in landing a Fox News interview with the mother of the first New Jersey-born baby affected by the Zika virus.

After the interview was aired and The Record's reckless editors published a Page 1 photo of the deformed baby, the woman is asking for privacy (L-2).

Property grows

In today's follow-up to his first front-page column, error-prone reporter John Cichowski grossly inflates the size of a Midland Park property that has proven to be a hard sell, because it has no driveway and overnight parking is supposedly "banned."

On A-8 today, Cichowski, also known as the Road Warrior, reports town officials "appeared unmoved when [owner Ken] Klabouch noted his 12,000-square-foot property was the only lot in the borough too small to accommodate a driveway" (italics added).

That's four times the size Chichowski cited in his original column on Tuesday, when he reported Klabouch's lot "measures slightly less than 3,000 feet."

The house itself is "1,200 square feet," he said on Tuesday.

Six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton completely missed today's wild exaggeration, as did all of the news, layout and copy editors under her supervision.

The embarrassing "12,000-square-foot" screw-up also appears on North, The Record's Web site.

Provide plate number

More troubling is that Cichowski has ignored the custom and practice in most towns, where residents and renters can call police with the license-plate number of a guest, and get permission for overnight street parking.

I called Midland Park police on Wednesday and confirmed this also is the practice in the borough -- for guests as well as homeowners who park on the street overnight.

Zika baby

On L-2 today, The Record reports Dr. Manny Alvarez played a pivotal role in landing an interview at the bedside of a Honduran woman who contracted the Zika virus and gave birth to a deformed girl on Wednesday at Hackensack University Medical Center.

But for the first time, Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reports the woman is Alvarez' patient. 

The doctor is "chairman of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive health" at the medical center, as well as "senior managing editor" at Fox Health News.

In today's story, Editor Deirdre Sykes appears to justify why The Record invaded the unnamed baby's privacy by publishing her photo on Thursday's front page.

"Labeled an 'exclusive,' it [the Fox News interview] included a video of the baby in a hospital bassinet" (L-2).

Heart-attack food

Readers are wondering why Elisa Ung's review of American Cut Bar and Grill is far more subdued than two elaborately promotional articles The Record published in the months before the expensive steakhouse opened in Englewood Cliffs.

Today, Ung says the service reminds her of  "a family chain," not "a fine-dining restaurant" (BL-14).

She gives the steakhouse -- which advertises in Friday's Better Living tabloid -- 2.5 stars out of a possible 4 stars.

Photos with her review show only heart-attack inducing food -- a steak burger, biscuits with cream cheese, hanger steak and a sundae -- but none of the fish and salads promised "for the ladies" by the celebrity chef owner in a December interview with Food Editor Esther Davidowitz.

Ung sampled the "prime dry-aged porterhouse for two" ($115), but doesn't tell readers whether the beef was naturally raised on grass.

"Prime" only tells readers its the fattiest cut of beef among USDA grades: Prime, Choice and Select.

After noting entrees cost up to $54, Ung says American Cut isn't appropriate for "anyone on a budget."

She must think her readers are dolts.

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