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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Times: Trump again wrongly claims that illegal immigrants cost him popular vote

Cartoonist Mark Streeter of the Savannah Morning News is referring to President Trump's counselor, Kellyanne Conway, using the phrase "alternative facts" to defend falsehoods by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Stung by charges his loss of the popular vote and meddling by Russia make him an illegitimate president, Donald J. Trump again lashed out at illegal immigrants.

A Breaking News alert sent out by The New York Times reported:
"President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to gripe about his loss of the popular vote, falsely telling the lawmakers that he would have won a majority if millions of illegal immigrants had not voted against him."

Trump claimed 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, echoing Republican governors and legislators who cited similar allegations of fraud to enact voter-suppression laws in recent years.

No evidence of widespread voter fraud has ever been produced.

An editorial in The Record today cites so-called voter ID laws in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to defend "the right of all citizens to vote," but doesn't address Trump's preposterous claim that millions of illegals voted illegally for Clinton (8A). 

'Alternative facts'

A Page 1 story in The Record today reports New Jersey native Kellyanne Conway "has become the target of mockery" ... "after saying it [the new administration] used 'alternative facts' about the size of the inaugural crowd."

Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary, on Saturday accused the media of lying about the size of the crowd "and insisted, with no factual basis, that it was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe" (1A).

More layoffs

More "job losses" have been announced by Gannett's North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, 30 weekly papers and (201) magazine (5A).

The story describes "a restructuring" in several departments at NJMG "to meet the growing digital demands of readers and advertisers while responding to changes in the publishing industry."

By the end of the week, 141 employees will receive notices required by state and federal law "when significant layoffs are planned by private employers," according to NJMG.

Last September, Gannett announced half of the 426 employees left at NJMG would see their jobs end in mid-November, but never disclosed how many actually departed.

The enhancement of NorthJersey.com and the addition of smartphone apps have been of little use to the overwhelmingly older readers of the print edition, many of whom don't use computers or smartphones.

Many readers, commenting on the paper's Facebook page, have slammed the November redesign of the Woodland Park daily, including a decline in quality, accuracy and the number of local stories.

Crazy headlines

Gannett moved production of The Record from Woodland Park to Neptune, where the company's six other New Jersey dailies are put out.

Editors in the Gannett design center lay out text and photos on computers, and write headlines, resulting in some of the weirdest I've ever seen.

On Page 1 today, for example, is this incomprehensible headline:

"Issues
hit day
laborer
support"

The "issues" are listed in the sub-headline as "safety, policy, funds," but how can "issues" hit "support" for day laborers in Palisades Park?

A reader of The Sasson Report who works in Hackenack cited a headline on Monday's Local front:

"Faithful
seek a 
role with 
Trump"

"Nonpartisan gathering
aimed at healing divides"

But the "faithful" aren't Republican Party faithful, and no one mentioned in the story is seeking "a role" or job with the new president.

The story reported nearly 100 Christians, Jews and Muslims gathered last Friday, after the inauguration, to start the process of healing after a bitterly divisive presidential campaign.

Here is the comment from the reader:


"Victor: Like the new site.  Two issues -- my wife commented that the new Record appears to have a lot more pictures -- not only do they have more pictures, but they are big ones that cover over half a page. "Also, I could not believe the headline on today's Local section front: 'Faithful seek a role with Trump.'  
"I thought that the article was about Trump supporters who were looking for some form of job or at least a local organization. 
"No. It was about a Friday event of people of faith.  What does the headline have to do with the story, and why report a Friday event on Monday?"

Here are a couple of possible answers:

Running many photos or big photos usually means the layout editors are desperate to fill space, because the newsroom didn't produce enough news stories, features or columns.

Running a Friday story on Monday likely meant it was held to accommodate coverage of the inauguration by staffers sent from New Jersey that appeared in the Saturday and Sunday editions.