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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

At The Record, more slanted and sloppy reporting on Nov. 7 election, mass transit

In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, left, and Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are going head to head in the Nov. 7 election to replace Governor Christie. Photos: U.S. Department of State and N.J. Governor's Office.



Dustin Racioppi of The Record's State House Bureau must be the last reporter in New Jersey to state flatly that Governor Christie had no "part" in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal.

In a Page 1 preview of tonight's election debate between Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Racioppi continues his slanted coverage in favor of Guadagno.

"Murphy, who has led the contest in all polls, has recently started tying Guadagno" to the Bridgegate scandal, "even though neither she nor Christie had any part in it," Racioppi claims.

In the court of public opinion, Christie long ago was convicted of masterminding the political-retaliation scheme against Democrats two months before he ran for re-election in 2013.

We still don't know if he was named as one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the indictment of two of his allies, who were convicted, thanks in large part to the testimony of the governor's crony at the Port Authority, which owns and operates the bridge.

And Christie spent more than $10 million in taxpayer funds to hire a law firm that issued a widely recognized whitewash of the governor's role.  

Ethanol trains

On Sunday, The Record's transportation reporter alerted readers alarmed over potentially explosive crude-oil trains to another hazard -- rail shipments of flammable ethanol.

But nowhere in the front-page story or on the continuation page did Staff Writer Curtis Tate mention Teaneck, a Bergen County town that has been at the center of the protests after officials learned about oil trains passing through the township.

Amazon bid

On Tuesday, the Woodland Park daily and other news outlets provided major  coverage of Christie's offer of $7 billion in tax incentives to attract Amazon's second headquarters to Newark.

But all of the news outlet failed to mention Newark is a good fit for the e-commerce behemoth, because the city already has an Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market on Broad Street.

Amazon has been cutting prices to make the natural foods supermarket chain more attractive to shoppers.

The Newark store's mission is to improve community and individual health.

Portal bridge

In the past 15 years, the transportation editor, columnist and reporters at The Record have shown an anti-mass transit bias time and again.

No one at the Woodland Park daily has embraced the expansion of mass transit in North Jersey as the only way to cut growing traffic congestion, air pollution and premature deaths from auto emissions.

The editors could be kowtowing to the automakers and auto dealers who buy millions of dollar of advertising every year in The Record and other newspapers.

In a Page 1 story on Saturday, Tate made sure his first paragraph alerted readers to the high expense of replacing the Portal Bridge, a 107-year-old Hackensack River span "that has become a major bottleneck on the nation's busiest commuter corridor."

He reports the $1.5 billion project "could still take decades and tens of billions of dollars to complete, with funding sources yet to be identified."