Featured Post

Choking on internal-combustion engines, but yearning for simplicity, quiet of EVs

A NEW LEAF: Inside the second-generation, all-electric Nissan Leaf. Switching on "e-Pedal" brings the four-door hatchback to a...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

President (Fake News) Trump apparently is winning a titanic battle with the media

Cartoonists Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, above, and Daryl Cagle commenting on the news media's seemingly insatiable appetite for President Trump's tweets, most of which are filled with lies, exaggerations and empty boasts.




-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Almost every day in our long national nightmare, President Trump attacks or tries to dismantle another accomplishment of the Obama administration.

On Monday, Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah, hoping to open the land to more development.

Now, his commerce secretary is recommending three marine national monuments should be reopened to fishing.

Meanwhile, the Senate version of Trump's tax break for the super rich would end health insurance for 13 million Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

One estimate said Trump personally could save more than $1 billion, if the GOP tax plan becomes law.

Tweet storm

However, the news media haven't confronted Trump, and asked him whether he stands for anything except targeting the legacy of our first black president.

Instead, they parse or broadcast every single idiotic tweet from the Liar-In-Chief, even though, as far as I can tell, they have absolutely no obligation to do so.

In a letter to The Record, my local daily newspaper, Michael Konsevick of Vernon says of Trump's offensive tweets:

"The true danger of the ... Trump presidency is the tendency of much of the media to accept his aberrant and irrational behavior as somehow the new norm.

"Although he constantly harangues the mainstream media, Trump's free exposure through that same media helped him vanquish his many Republican opponents during the 2016 election cycle." 

Cartoonist Nate Beeler on Trump's controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Fake news?

In the past year, Trump has tweeted about "fake news" more than 150 times, and on one day in September, he did so eight times, in apparent frustration over coverage of his administration's response to the hurricane devastating Puerto Rico, The New Yorker says.

"And, of course, Trump regularly invokes 'the fake-news, Russian-collusion story,' as he named it last summer," one of the dozen-plus times he has attacked coverage of the Russia investigation on Twitter, Steve Coll reports.

Trump boasted on Mike Huckabee's talk in show in October that "one of the greatest terms I've come up with is 'fake,'" Coll notes, but the phrase "fake news" has been around for more than a century.

Hackensack news?

Three cheers for Deputy Mayor Kathy Canestrino and Councilman Leo Battaglia, who voted against paying $775,000 to settle a lawsuit by former Hackensack City Clerk Debra Heck, a longtime political foe of the reformers elected in 2013 and again this year.

But the council OK'd the settlement in a 3-2 vote on Tuesday night, Staff Writer Rodrigo Torrejon of The Record says today (1L).

On Wednesday, Torrejon reported the City Council approved $142,382 in retirement payouts to Vincent Riotto, the former commander of a police narcotics unit whose misconduct led to the dismissal of eight criminal cases.

Pearl Harbor

In a Page 1 column today on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Mike Kelly writes about a Maryland trucker who stopped at the Richard Stockton Service Plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Outside a building with food concessions and restrooms, a plaque memorializes the 2,403 service members who died that day.

Is this any reason to write a front-page column that continues on 9A and 11A?

Kelly is so desperate to fill space, his column rambles all over the place:

"As he got out of his truck," Kelly writes of Ray Malone, "a wind blew across the parking lot and the smell of manure wafted off of a nearby farm."

How appropriate. Kelly has been churning out shit for more years than readers care to remember.

Restaurant review?

On Page 2 of Wednesday's Better Living section, an over-the-top appraisal of Trattoria Giotto is labeled "Restaurant Review," but it's missing a rating, prices, a telephone number or even the town where the Italian-American restaurant is located.

The writer is Joyce Venezia Suss, who has been stuffing her face on North Jersey Media Group's dime for many years.

On Twitter, @joycevsuss calls herself a "communicator extraordinaire."

What a joke. I'd call her a B.S. artist extraordinaire.

On the cover of the section, a four-course winemaker dinner at the Saddle River Inn is described in great detail, but the story doesn't say if or when it is being served, and how much it would cost.

Finally, the Better Living cover story on Wednesday urges Jewish readers to throw a latke-vodka party to celebrate Hanukkah. 

Throughout the paper, Gannett Co. editors have bylines appearing over a fictitious publication, "North Jersey Record."

Can't cancel

On NorthJersey.com, readers of The Record complain they've tried unsuccessfully to cancel their subscriptions:
"They have the worst customer service. All I want to do is cancel my subscription and on hold on phone for 30 minutes, then on hold for chat. Then they won't take cancellation over the chat but will take new subscriptions just horrible." -- Sharon Gorey Fanning