Thursday, December 15, 2016

Editors start screaming only after Christie threatens profits

Before-and-after photos of Aleppo by Hannah Karim show the ravages of the Syrian civil war. Despite Syrian immigration to North Jersey dating to the early 1900s, The Record of Woodland Park continues to downplay the death of civilians and Russia's role in the destruction of the country's largest city.


Chris Christie lied repeatedly during his 2009 election campaign about providing more tax relief to homeowners than his Democratic opponent, Gov. Jon Corzine.

And after he took office in January 2010, he began to wage a war against New Jersey's middle and working classes that continues to this day.

Yet, only now are The Record's editors screaming bloody murder because the governor wants to end the requirement for the publication of legal notices in newspapers -- cutting into the profits of Gannett Co. and other publishers.

Chutzah and profits

The story has been on the front page of the Woodland Park daily since Sunday, and an editorial today savages Christie for "a punitive hit on state newspapers," as well as his bid to profit from a book deal while in office:

"The governor's chutzpah is remarkable.... The most unpopular governor in recent memory should not be in a bargaining position for anything -- let alone a deal that benefits not the people of New Jersey, but only the singular constituency of Chris Christie" (18A).

Wednesday's editorial, referring to ending the publication of public notices, said:

"The absence of this revenue stream will deeply affect the bottom line of some -- if not all -- of the publications, including The Record, The Herald News and [Gannett-owned] North Jersey Media Group's portfolio of 30 community publications.

"Stripping hundreds of thousands of revenue dollars from print media companies assuredly affects jobs."

But Gannett and the Borgs, who sold NJMG to the nation's biggest newspaper publisher in July, started downsizing their staffs and reducing local news coverage years ago.

Just last month, Gannett executed plans to cut more than 200 jobs at NJMG, and reduce the number of its weeklies to 30 from 50. 

Promoting HUMC

Also on Page 1 today is another story promoting Hackensack University Medical Center -- a tradition dating to when former NJMG General Counsel Jennifer A. Borg sat on the hospital's board (1A).

HUMC claims to be a non-profit, thus skipping out on $10 million in property taxes in Hackensack, and shifting the burden to home and business owners -- a story The Record has long ignored.

The photo with the hospital story shows a smiling Robert C. Garrett, a co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health Network.

In 2012, Garrett was paid $2.72 million, according to

Diabetes special

Today, the Better Living front is calling all diabetics and readers watching their cholesterol.

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz reports a coffee shop and bakery in Rutherford uses "high-quality ingredients," including Valrhona chocolate and Cabot's butter.

Davidowitz doesn't mention how much sugar is used in the "baked treats" at Erie Coffeeshop and Bakery, but I'm sure many readers -- whether they're watching their weight, cholesterol or sugar intake -- won't go near the place.

'Aleppo's destroyers'

A story about Aleppo, Syria, appears on Page 13 of The Record's A-section today, but I can't recall the editorial page condemning Russia's role in the death of innocent civilians during the civil war.

An editorial in The New York Times today appears under this heading:

"Aleppo's Destroyers: 
Assad, Putin, Iran"

"In 2011, President Bashar al-Assad ignored the demands of peaceful protesters and unleashed a terrifying war against his people.

"More than 400,000 Syrians have been killed while millions more have fled.... Mr. Assad could have never prevailed without the support of President Vladimir Putin of Russia.... 

"That is a truth that President-elect Donald Trump, a Putin apologist who is surrounding himself with top aides who are also Kremlin sympathizers, cannot ignore.

"During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump praised Mr. Putin for being 'a better leader' than President Obama.

"This would be a good time for him to persuade Mr. Putin to end the slaughter.

"Mr. Putin's bloody actions -- the bombing of civilian neighborhoods, the destruction of hospitals, the refusal to allow non-combatants to receive food, fuel and medical supplies -- are all in violation of international law."

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