|From cartoonist Adam Zygus of The Buffalo News.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
I'm sure I'm not the only one who winced when illegitimate President Trump used his inaugural address to describe the "American carnage" he says he's inherited.
I also was bewildered by his claim he is "transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to ... the people."
Those words are among what Trump describes in his book -- "Art of the Deal" -- as "truthful hyperbole."
He both defends and praises it as "an innocent form of exaggeration," but by definition "hyperbole" is not true, according to The Philosophers' Magazine.
As a promoter, candidate and now president, he has used the technique extensively.
The American people have always had the power over Washington, Trenton and their towns and cities -- it's in their vote.
But voter apathy has reached epidemic proportions in a nation that refuses to make voting mandatory.
In the 2016 presidential election, voter turnout hit a 20-year low, according to CNN. More than 90 million eligible voters stayed home.
Only about 58% of the eligible voters went to the polls, and Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million.
He was saved only by the arcane, outmoded process known as the Electoral College, which was established in 1757.
The Record of Woodland Park and other news outlets are responsible for much of the voter apathy with their relentless focus on partisan politics, conflict and controversy -- instead of issues.
The Record's inaugural coverage today, Saturday and Friday was overwhelming -- few readers could possibly do more than scan headlines and look at photos, especially if they watched hours of TV coverage from early morning and into the night.
Little or no editing meant reporters and columnists went on and on and on.
Weak front pages
On Friday's front page, the lead story was a so-called analysis reporting Trump needed "a spectacular inaugural address," because his approval ratings had fallen since the Nov. 8 election.
The USA Today story said "the real-estate mogul and reality TV star" would be sworn in "just after noon on Friday" -- when it should have said "noon today."
Saturday's front page carried a label headline parroting Trump's "America First" theme in his inaugural address.
Hasn't American always been first? After all, the United States is the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.
More appropriate for Page 1 of a local daily newspaper would have been interviews with North Jersey residents that were published in that day's Local section.
Reporters said residents watched TV coverage of the inaugural with emotions ranging from "great hope" to "sadness" and "even ... fear."
And when is The Record going to print editorials on Page 1?
On Saturday's 11A, the paper's editorial board said:
"In fairness to the new president, his speech was faithful to his campaign rhetoric.
"But his naivete about how our government works and America's role on the international stage is troubling."
Today's front page carries another wooden label head over a story about the Women's March on Washington:
A story on the Local front leaves readers in Hackensack wondering whether their property taxes will be affected when Hackensack University Medical Center finishes a 300,000-square-foot tower on Second Street (1L).
HUMC claims to be a non-profit, meaning the complex doesn't pay about $10 million in property taxes every year, shifting the burden to home and business owners.
Will the new tower add to that burden, leaving neighborhood residents to deal with higher taxes, more traffic congestion and being disturbed at all hours of the day and night by ambulance sirens?
In today's section, another story describes the battle between Pequannock and Chilton Medical Center over an outstanding $1.1 million property tax bill (7L).