|"Trump in the Toilet" is from political cartoonist Darly Cagle (Cagel.com).|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
You have to feel sorry for Kevin Wright, who is described in a Page 1 headline today as the "passionate defender of Bergen's history."
Not only did the River Edge historian die prematurely at 64, according to Staff Writer Jay Levin of The Record, but he got upstaged by a goddamn bear, which was killed in a state-sanctioned bow hunt.
Jeez, what does a prominent North Jersey resident have to do to get his obituary above the fold on the front page of the Woodland Park daily?
The bear's photo and obituary get much better play than those for Wright, who is described as "a quintessential and indefatigable champion and protector of New Bridge Landing, Bergen County's cherished Revolutionary War site" (A-1).
To add insult to injury, animal lovers gave a name to the "tall-walking bear," and started a Facebook page, making the animal "an Internet sensation" (A-1).
Pedals -- that's the bear -- gets the same play as a big photo of We Mcdonald (a local minority student who is a contestant on "The Voice"), and Governor Christie signing into law an unpopular 23-cents-per-gallon hike in the gasoline tax.
Poor focus, editing
More than three months after Gannett Co. bought North Jersey Media Group from the Borg family, The Record remains one of the most poorly focused and edited newspapers in the state.
Stories about dogs, cats, bears, geese and other animals often get far better play than those about the mistreatment of humans.
NJ Transit decline
The fatal Sept. 29 crash of an NJ Transit train in Hoboken unleashed a flurry of analytical stories and columns in The Record.
But none focused as relentlessly on Christie's anti-mass transit policies as did a New York Times story that ran on Thursday under this headline:
a Cautionary Tale of Neglect"
According to the story, "Under the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, the state subsidy for the railroad [NJ Transit] has plunged by more than 90 percent.
"Gaping holes in the agency's past two budgets were filled by fare increases and service reductions or other cuts.
"Plans for a new tunnel under the Hudson River -- one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the country -- were torpedoed by Mr. Christie, who pushed for some of the money to be diverted to road-building projects."
In fact, Christie's name doesn't even appear in today's story on the state Legislature launching a wide-ranging investigation into NJ Transit operations (A-4).
Christie's hostility toward mass transit was reflected years earlier in the pages of The Record, which published takeouts listing the so-called negatives of extending electrified light-rail passenger service to Bergen County.
A Page 1 story also questioned why NJ Transit doesn't make a profit.
And in the past 13 years, Staff Writer John Cichowski's Road Warrior column has virtually ignored the declining quality of NJ Transit bus and rail service.
Same story twice
The news and business editors apparently don't talk to each other, judging from identical A-9 and A-10 stories on the U.S. lifting a $100 limit on Cuban cigars and rum.
Today's Local front carries another story on "elder abuse" from Staff Writer Colleen Diskin, who continues to ignore the health and welfare of tens of thousands of well-off seniors in North Jersey.
Although heart disease is the No. 1 killer of seniors in the United States, The Record's food writers can't help but promoting some of the unhealthiest food available.
Get a load of the photo of artery clogging "Sharkfin pie" ($5.99 or $8.99 to share), one of the highly recommended dishes in Staff Writer Elisa Ung's review of Mitchell's Fish Market, an expensive seafood restaurant in Edgewater (Friday's BL-14).
Seniors might fare better in a swimming contest with a real shark than eating this heart-attack on a plate (peanut butter, chocolate and ice cream).
White Maple Cafe
A week earlier, Ung praised "the enormous ice cream sandwich" ($7) at the White Maple Cafe in Ridgewood, and said a fish fillet was worth ordering because the salty skin reminded her of "pork rind."
Despite the word "cafe" in the name, Ung notes unnecessarily:
"That White Maple sees itself as a cafe, not a fine-dining restaurant, is either a selling point or a reason to avoid it, depending on your expectations."
Which might lead readers to look at Ung in a similar way:
The so-called restaurant reviewer's dual obsessions with sugary desserts and enormous hunks of aged mystery beef are ample reasons to discount or simply ignore her appraisals.