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Sunday, April 23, 2017

In Trump, we got an Emperor With No Brains, but news media still humor him

Essex County kicked off the 41st annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park in Newark today, above and below. The event has blossomed in recent years, adding entertainment, demonstrations of Japanese cultural traditions and vendors selling everything from bonsai trees to barbecue.



Did you see the one-on-one TV interview with President Trump, who enthused about a piece of chocolate cake he was served moments before telling his interviewer about a missile attack on Iraq?

The reporter was taken aback, but corrected the president, as she would her doddering uncle, reminding him the cruise missiles were launched against Syria, not Iraq.

Early reports quoted officials saying Syrian warplanes were destroyed by the April 6 missile strike, which was in retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 people.

But later it came out that none of the missiles hit runways, allowing the Syrian government to resume the attacks the next day.

Of course, Trump was mocked on the Internet for the chocolate-cake reference, but I didn't see much push back in the news media, including The Record of Woodland Park. 

Now, Trump appears intent on bringing us to the brink of a nuclear confrontation with North Korea.

This is a president whose grasp of world affairs, economics, health care, the environment and so many other issues is infantile.

He acts as if he is still running "The Apprentice."

Entertainment at the Cherry Blossom Festival included the James Moody Jazz Orchestra, teens who have dedicated themselves to learning the art of jazz under the auspices of the New Jersey Performing Arts Cener.
Other events included demonstrations of how to wear a kimono and how to prepare sushi.
Vendors set up their tents on the parking lot of the park's welcome center.

The media

On NorthJersey.com, Columnist Mike Kelly's reaction to all the madness in Washington is to hit the road with a photographer "to assess President Trump's first 100 days in office," which includes "a report on how divided our nation is now."

That sounds like old news to me, but none of his interviews with "ordinary people" in four states has hit the print edition yet.

On Page 1, Staff Writer Paul Berger brings us yet another report on the region's rail system, which he insists is "at a breaking point" (1A).

This is basically a regurgitation of Berger's story on the front page just three days ago.

And the big photo of wrong-way Amtrak CEO Charles Moorman looking out the back of a train is barely distinguishable from the one that ran on Thursday's 1A.

Where was The Record's outrage in 2010, when Governor Christie unilaterally canceled work on two Hudson River rail tunnels, which were scheduled to be finished next year?

Saturday's lead story quoted former Vice President Joe Biden taking a swipe at the GOP thug for shutting down the project, noting, "There's still purgatory."

Local news?

What was a story about Quest Diagnostics' 50th anniversary doing on the Local news front on Saturday?

Inside, there were two especially bad headlines:

man accused
of posing as 
cop in court"

No. The suspect posed as a sheriff's officer during an attempted robbery, not while in court. But he did appear in court to face the charges on Thursday.

"Ringwood woman wanted
for disposing of body found"

Actually, the woman was "found and arrested," according to the lead paragraph of the story, so the headline should have said:

"Ringwood woman held
in disposal of dead body"

Malik Williams

An editorial today claims a lump sum payment of $180,000 by Bergen County, Garfield and two police officers means Malik Williams "is finally put to rest," according to the headline on 2O.

On Dec. 10, 2011, Williams, 19, who was black, was shot five times by two white police officers who fired a total of nine rounds inside a garage where he was hiding -- a shooting that "still seems unjustified," The Record's editorial board says.

But the news story and editorial never report whether the Williams family will get all of the $180,000.

Under court rules, the family's lawyer is entitled to a third or more of the settlement -- or at least $60,o00 -- so that would leave only $120,000 for the survivors, including his girlfriend and young son.

Bergen news?

Seven news stories from Passaic County appear in the Local news section delivered to Bergen County readers today.

Inexplicably, the closing of a Wayne restaurant is reported on the first page of the section (1L).

One of the 7 Bergen stories in the section reports on deer-population control in Saddle River, a wealthy suburb that has successfully limited the number of blacks and other minorities living there (7L).