Tag Archive: NJ Spotlight

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board Continues To Make Stuff Up

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman. UPDATE: Trust me, you need to read what Bob Braun, who spent decades at the Star-Ledger, has to say about all this.

I don’t care if you are a news reporter or an opinion columnist: if you write for a newspaper, your first priority is getting your facts correct.

And yet, once again, the Star-Ledger’s editorial board just makes stuff up:

Especially in larger districts like Newark, which lose hundreds of students each year and therefore need fewer teachers, seniority is a major impediment to a school’s ability to hang on to the best people.

We see the repercussions every time a standout teacher gets a pink slip – like the “Teacher of the Year” for the Sacramento City Unified School District, or New Jersey’s own Christina Passwater, an award-winning literacy teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Camden. [emphasis mine]

Is it true? Was an award-winning teacher really let go by the Camden City Public Schools? When I first read this, it didn’t smell right; claims that seniority ends the careers of dedicated teachers quite often turn out to be exaggerated when you start looking at the facts.

So I did what Tom Moran, head of the S-L’s Editorial Board, should have done before he put this into print: I checked out the truth of the claim.

It took maybe a total of 15 minutes of my time. I emailed the offices of the NJEA (of which I am a member) and asked if they could find out if Passwater was still teaching in Camden. A few back-and-forths later, I learned the truth:

Christina Passwater is currently teaching in Camden, and is looking forward to teaching there again next year. The Star-Ledger editorial page got her story completely wrong.  

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man by Katz & Bernstein: Read it, bookmark it, share it.

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man

by Matt Katz & Andrea Bernstein

NJ Spotlight & New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC

I flagged this for you this morning in the News Roundup, but I wanted to pull it out again before the end of the day. This is superb reporting, and more detail than we knew before about how much Chris Christie was in a position to know about the intentional Bridgegate lane closures. And what contact Christie had – directly or through his closest political advisors – with David Wildstein, the political operative who helped mastermind the intentional traffic snarl on the busiest bridge in the world. And for whom was created a high-paying job at Port Authority. Christie has portrayed Wildstein as a rogue employee isolated from the Governor, who Christie insists he barely knew in school, who nevertheless long before the scandal was described as Christie’s “eyes and ears” inside Port Authority.

Wildstein A/K/A the anonymous insider “Wally Edge” who founded and ran for 10 years the site that became PolitickerNJ, had “more extensive contact” with Christie’s inner circle than the Governor has acknowledged, Katz and Bernstein found.  

QotD: Climate Change Edition

“Noah was not a scientist, but got the message to prepare for future floods.”

John A. Miller of NJ Association for Floodplain Management at a forum on how well New Jersey is prepared to deal with climate change, today in Trenton.

NJTV broadcasting Bridgegate hearing live

Just a quick heads-up:

NJTV is broadcasting live the legislature’s Bridgegate hearing and the testimony of Christina Genovese Renna, who worked under Bridget Kelly in the inner sanctum of Gov. Christie’s executive office. It is EXACTLY what they should be doing, and I hope you will tweet your thanks to @NJTVonline.

At work? No TV? NJ Spotlight is live-streaming NJTV’s feed – here.

Right now, Loretta Weinberg is questioning Renna about how mayors they were trying to get Christie endorsements from were tracked in her office.  

Quoting from Media Reporting on GWB

There has been some top-quality analysis over the last several days about the developing George Washington Bridge scandal, some of it Jersey-based, some national. I just want to flag some of this for you, because it sheds light on how what may be a massive abuse of power could happen in an agency with a budget larger than 26 of our states, on a bridge carrying 300,000 cars a day, and also on the conduct of Gov. Christie and the loyalists he surrounds himself with, and what they might have been willing to do in service of the man with his eye on the White House.  

Buono responds back to Christie: “A Record Like That”

We’ve said it before, and newspaper editorials have too. Christie’s success floats on YouTube moments, donut-eating on teevee and spider smashing with the cameras whirring. The blur of propaganda for this Governor is sophisticated and professionally managed, designed to look like it’s not even being managed. And he scores like a TV star. But his argument for re-election utterly falls apart when you examine his record on the metrics of New Jersey’s economic condition, particularly in the issue that New Jerseyan’s care about most, our property taxes. And property taxes up nearly 20% with 400,000 out of work doesn’t look good no matter how hard your spinners are spinning.

The video below from the Buono campaign is a response to Chris Christie’s negative ad on Buono. At :07, it cites Mark Magyar’s widely-read analysis at NJ Spotlight of the spike in property taxes under Christie (read it here). Christie’s response to Magyar’s piece? An attack on Magyar personally (read that here). Following that within hours, was the Ledger’s Tom Moran and his sharply critical piece defending Magyar’s good journalism (at a rival publication, which was a classy thing for Moran to do) and pointing out that for all Christie’s stomping around (my term) Christie has been unable to produce different numbers (Moran’s must-read, here).

Here’s Buono’s video. What do you think, Blue Jersey?