Sunday, July 31, 2016

Conventions are over, but not mindless political coverage

On a sweltering Thursday, we boarded NJ Transit's No. 165 Express in Hackensack and arrived in midtown Manhattan in about 30 minutes. The regular round-trip fare in $9, but seniors pay only $4.10.


Just when you thought all the shouting at the political conventions was over, The Record continues to waste the front page on boring politics.

If Charles Stile's column on Hillary Clinton's New Jersey supporters doesn't have your eyes rolling, a USA Today story on Donald J. Trump should really put you to sleep (A-1).

The news media keep on trying to make the wacko racist New York businessman sound intelligent, but try as they might, he keeps shooting himself in the foot.

Trump -- who has never served in the military, but wants to ban all Muslims from the U.S. -- complained about the speech at the Democratic National Convention made by the father of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq.

Khizr Khan said Trump has "sacrificed nothing for his country" (A-1).

Trump's rebuttal is that he's "made a lot of sacrifices" by building "great structures" and creating construction jobs.

None of the reporters interviewing Trump asked how putting up buildings is a "sacrifice."

Local news

Editor Deirdre Sykes' front page does have two local stories today.

The main element is a plan to remove a traffic bottleneck on Kinderkamack Road in Emerson, but there are so many other traffic nightmares in Bergen County the paper's so-called Road Warrior columnist has ignored for more than a decade.

The second local story is the obituary for a Clifton woman who was such a big fan of Amelia Earhart that she moved to Atchison, Kan., the aviator's birthplace.

Bergen County readers find five major stories from Passaic and Morris counties in today's Local section, and a column about a "momentous" event in Paterson on the Opinion front.

Hackensack readers looking for news about their city should take a look at what the Hackensack reporter was doing on Saturday -- covering police news in Butler (L-1).

Lying down on job

Readers who wonder whether there is a dress code in the Woodland Park newsroom find the answer today on BL-3, where a photo shows Staff Writer Jim Beckerman lying down or at least semi-reclining on the job.

I guess the veteran feature writer was just taking a load off as he gathered information on "Bergen County's long-awaited dine-in multiplex" in Fort Lee (BL-1).

The Better Living cover is The Record's third and most elaborate plug for iPic, which hasn't even opened yet, so it's no wonder the owner has got a big, fat smile on his face, as readers can see from another photo on BL-3.

Aircraft noise

Saturday's front-page story -- "Flight-path test sputters" -- is the latest in what has to be one of the most bungled and biased reporting jobs in recent memory.

Residents of Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood have been complaining about noise from Teterboro Airport for years, but that was rarely, if ever, reported in The Record.

Then, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a new flight path for business jets that would prevent them from flying over Hackensack high-rises and the nearby medical center to land, starting in April.

The shift of the flight path over Route 17 communities had them howling, and The Record quoted their officials extensively on the front page and elsewhere in the paper.

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