Sunday, January 15, 2017

Editors finally acknowledge issues, not politics, matter most

Cartoons from John Cole on Meryl Streep's criticism of President-elect Donald J. Trump , above, and Rick McKee on President Obama's legacy, below.


Though many months too late, The Record deserves credit for launching a series on "15 issues important to North Jersey residents" that could be affected by the administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

No matter that "Trump Tracker" echoes "Christie Tracker." 

That was the Matt Katz series on our very own GOP bully, Governor Christie, that ran for a couple of years on WNYC-FM, the New York and New Jersey public radio station.

And readers also know that if the Woodland Park daily and all of the other news outlets across the country had been focusing on issues during the campaign, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election would have been far different.

Instead, the news media delighted in repeating every sensational, unsubstantiated charge against Democrat Hillary Clinton, and ignoring her decades-long service to families ad children.

Five-part series

Today's "Trump Tracker" installment focuses on immigration, train transportation and health care (1A, 8A and 9A).

Editor Rick Green doesn't explain why the transportation segment leaves hundreds of thousands of New Jersey bus commuters out in the cold (8A).

The other issues -- including homeland security, education, taxes, the environment, social-safety net and infrastructure -- are scheduled to run through Thursday, the day before the inauguration (8A).

Politics as usual

Sadly, it's politics as usual at the bottom of Page 1 today, with yet another Political Stile column on Christie:

"Christie leans left in N.J., 
but keeps door open on right"

Readers also are keeping their bathroom doors open, in case they get the sudden urge to throw up.

Local news?

On the Local front, Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski appears to be telling drivers they have two and a half months to "read, eat, drink, groom themselves and use hand-held devices to ... talk, text or find their way" before an April police crackdown (1L).

In Opinion, an editorial notes Paterson remains "among New Jersey's most violent places" despite an overall drop in crime (2O).

"Homicides held steady at 19, the same as in 2015, while the number of rapes increased" to 57 from 42, according to the editorial.  

The editorial is incorrect in saying rapes "increased from 42 to 57 percent." 

A year ago, another editorial on the overall drop in crime credited Police Director Jerry Speziale while letting him off the hook on curbing gun violence and the drug trade. 

Today's editorial doesn't even mention  Speziale or the undercover state police troopers who have been helping Paterson police.

Korean food crawl

The Better Living cover on a Korean food crawl in Palisades Park should have been labeled, "For carnivores only" (1BL and 3BL).

By using Robert Austin Cho, owner of a Korean barbecue restaurant, as her guide, Staff Writer Sophia Gottfried largely omitted all the great non-meat dishes -- heart-healthy seafood, tofu and vegetables -- served in Korean restaurant in Palisades Park and neighboring Fort Lee, which isn't even mentioned.

And with Cho in tow, Gottfried also managed to keep the secret of the vast majority of Korean restaurants -- they serve low-quality beef and pork raised on harmful antibiotics and growth hormones to boost their bottom lines.

Fewer stories?

Since the November redesign of The Record, many readers have complained there are fewer stories in the paper.

There was a good reason for that on Saturday, when an upbeat Page 1 story explained how teenagers are coping with life in crime-ridden Silk City:

"Paterson students
outsmart crime
through use of 

The story reported these geniuses developed "a cellphone application that would send an alert to school security staff if students diverted from their normal route home from school."

If readers turned to the continuation page (Saturday's 4A) and read the story to the end, they found the entire story was repeated -- all 23 paragraphs.

How's that?

On Saturday's Local front, this headline puzzled many readers:

gets 6 

But the story had nothing to do with the sentencing of a human to jail or prison.

"Manager" referred to a company that manages Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, and the "6 months" is how long its contract has been extended.

This is high-school level journalism, plain and simple.

For that, you can thank the payroll-slashing Gannett Co. -- owner of seven New Jersey dailies -- and the morons employed in a centralized Neptune design center.

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