Sunday, November 13, 2016

Was 2016 presidential election the 'closest' in half-century? Hillary Clinton said to win popular vote by 2 million-plus

The New York Times front page on Saturday reported President-elect Donald J. Trump "cast aside" Governor Christie as the head of his transition team. On this rack at Starbucks Coffee on the Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne, below, The Record of Woodland Park is displayed at the bottom.

Editor's note: This post has been expanded to discuss the departure of the restaurant reviewer as part of the biggest downsizing in The Record's history.


The Record's front page today declares the presidential election was "America's closest ... in more than half a century."

But on Friday, The New York Times reported Hillary Clinton won the popular vote "by a substantial margin."

"By the time all the ballots are counted, she seems likely to be ahead by more than 2 million votes and more than 1.5 percentage points ...," Op-Ed Columnist David Leonhardt reported.

"She will have won by a wider percentage margin than not only Al Gore in 2000, but also Richard Nixon in 1968 and John F. Kennedy in 1960."

Clearly, America's electoral system is broken, contributing to Clinton's defeat in the antiquated Electoral College.

As unprecedented protests continue in Manhattan and around the country (A-1), you won't find any discussion of the broken electoral system or voter apathy in The Record.

Instead, the paper has been filled since Thursday with story after story trying to explain why people voted the way the did, and speculating on what President-elect Donald J. Trump will do once he takes office on Jan. 20.

Today's paper

The editors ran not one but two columns by the insufferable Mike Kelly, who goes on and on about "my own journey to listen to ordinary voters" (A-1), and how in March, "I set out to interview ordinary voters who had been out of work for more than a year" (O-1).

In his Page 1 column, Kelly says last Tuesday's election was "America's closest ... in more than half a century."

But how can anyone call an election close when 4 of 10 voters or more stayed home?

CNN reports working-class whites gave Trump the White House, but that voter turnout hit a 20-year low. 

In fact, the wacko racist billionaire -- who has inspired more than 200 hate incidents since the election (A-1 and A-10) -- got fewer Republican votes than Mitt Romney, John McCain and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, according to CNN.

Voter apathy also affected Clinton, who got fewer Democratic votes than the party's previous presidential nominees going back to 2000, but did just barely beat her husband's turnout in 1996.

CNN says its vote totals were valid as of Thursday, but will be higher by the time all vote counting is completed in mid-December.

Governor Christie

As The Record has done since Governor Christie took office in early 2010, Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi tries to put a positive spin on the latest setback for the GOP thug -- his being demoted to one of Trump's vice chairmen for the transition (A-1).

Racioppi, who is assigned to cover the governor, once did a story on how many vetoes the GOP bully used to thwart the Democratic majority in the state Legislature.

At the time, it was more than 300. But he never did a follow-up, even after Christie passed 500 vetoes. 

Fat lady sings?

Staff Writer Elisa Ung tells readers today she is "moving on" after reviewing 400 restaurants in the last nine years, as well as writing a Sunday column and an unknown number of items that promoted -- not dissected -- restaurants (BL-1).

Her Corner Table column today confirms Ung wrote about restaurants superficially, and rarely bothered to find out whether the food she sampled and recommended to readers was naturally raised and free of antibiotics, growth hormones and other harmful additives.

Her last review on Friday was a rare exception. She reported Viaggio Chef Robbie Felice serves pork from Berkshire pigs and free-range chickens.

Squid with butter

She claimed she was giving Wayne's "new Italian spot" the highest rating for a Passaic County restaurant in her nine years at The Record (3.5 stars out of 4 stars), because it presents food "as it's cooked in Italy."

But she puzzled readers when she praised the seemingly inauthentic fried calamari served "with a lemon-butter sauce."

And as in nearly every one of her 400 reviews, she raved about a few of Viaggio's desserts, though in her column today she tells readers, "Don't order dessert," which she noted "is almost always underwhelming and, too often, gross."

The biggest laugh line in that last review was her complaint about "hard metal chairs that dig into your sides."

After eating so many high-calorie desserts, many the problem is Ung's sides, not the chairs.

Ung is one of The Record staffers affected by the biggest downsizing in the 121-year-old paper's history, put into motion by the Gannett Co.

Editor's column

In his first message to readers, The Record's new editor, Rick Green, discusses changes that will take place next week (O-2).

But he doesn't confirm Gannett Co. is following through on a Sept. 15 layoff announcement affecting half of the 426 employees at North Jersey Media Group -- publisher of The Record, Herald News, (201) magazine, weekly papers and 

A notice on the front page of the weekly Hackensack Chronicle told readers the paper will continue to be published, but Gannett is folding the Teaneck Suburbanite.

Green also disclosed he has "settled into a great apartment in Nutley" instead of one in Bergen County, the heart of The Record's circulation area.


  1. From a reader in Hackensack (via email):

    Victor -- There was another error in the paper yesterday. The new editor [Rick Green] wrote a column about the future of the paper. He said that he was living in Nutley, which was the town where Martha Stewart was born. Anyone who knows, knows that she was born in Jersey City. He might not have known this, but the copy editor should have.

    By the way where is Bridget Callaghan Harrison's Sunday column -- is she gone?

    1. Sadly, the copy desk never recovered from a major downsizing in 2008, and will probably take another big hit this week, when Gannett is scheduled to show the door to more than 200 employees of North Jersey Media Group.

      The editor's column ran in the usual place for Harrison's column. I've just look at the revised website and don't see the usual listing of columnists, so don't know the answer to your question.


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