Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christie's State of the State address is no longer Page 1 news

"Trump Hackers" from cartoonist Steve Sack. New York businessman Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States in just 10 days.


Did you miss the teaser at the bottom of The Record's front page today on Governor Christie's State of the State address?

From the State House Bureau, Dustin Racioppi tries to predict what mood Christie will be in when he delivers his annual address to the state Legislature today (3a).

Most of the focus is on whether the GOP thug will be "combative or compassionate," not on such issues as the "worst-funded" public employee pension system in the country.

By the time the actual speech hits The Record's front page on Wednesday, it will be old news to anyone who watches the TV coverage or follows the governor on Twitter (@GovChristie).

How's that again?

The editors made a mess of Staff Writer Christopher Maag's overwrought story on the 100th anniversary of "one of the largest acts of foreign sabotage ever committed on American soil" (1A).

The man shown in the big photo on Page 1 isn't identified by name, though he's called "Bergen County Fire Marshal" in the caption.

Bryan Hennig of Lyndhurst is planning to celebrate the heroism of Tessie McNamara, who stayed at the telephone switchboard of the exploding Kingsland munitions factory on Jan. 11, 1917, to warn others to evacuate.

No one died, so readers are not sure why so much space is devoted to this anniversary. 

Judging from the dull headlines, the copy editor must have been lulled to sleep by the overly long story, and forced to write the main headline minutes before deadline:


In the story, Hennig is identified as a 35-year veteran of the Volunteer Fire Department in Lyndhurst, but not as a county fire marshal (6A).

The reporter stops short of comparing the German attack on the Lyndhurst shell factory to Russian sabotage of the 2016 presidential election.

Local news?

In his 14th year as the so-called Road Warrior, Staff Writer John Cichowski continues to give the cold shoulder to all of those long-suffering NJ Transit commuters and even drivers stuck in growing congestion at the Hudson River crossings.

I'm not sure what anyone's reaction to painting a blue line in the street to honor police departments has to do with transportation (1L).

Page 3L of today's Local section speaks volumes about the poorly executed redesign of the print edition by Gannett editors holed up in the Neptune design center.

The page is a mass of type, with only a thumbnail photo and a few headline words to break it up.

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