Tag Archive: Courier-Post

Gannett Going Down the Tubes

Gannett is going to start charging for people to read the online version of their 80 local newspapers.  That includes the Asbury Park Press, Courier News, Courier-Post, Home News Tribune, Daily Record, and The Daily Journal.

It’s not bad enough they’ve gutted their local reporting, removing any non-bleeding news from New Jersey’s communities of less than 50,000 residents.  Or that they’ve essentially merged the editorial boards of papers with each other.  Or shrunk the papers by more than half of what they used to be.

No, now they are going to start charging money for us to read their ad-laden websites where it takes multiple clicks through ad-laden pages to get to the ad-laden story you might want to read.  It’s not like the articles are that well-written or informative to start with

I can’t imagine this is going to do anything but erode their reader base the way their home-subscriber base has eroded.  I mean, if they aren’t going to report on my home-town unless there is scandal or murder, why would I pay extra money to read it?

The result will be less money from advertisements, more staff reductions, and the decimation of most of New Jersey’s newspapers.

It’s time for a new model to grow.

Courier-Post Gives Conflicting Accounts of George Norcross

promoted by Rosi

Cross-posted on Swamp Watch


An alliance with a powerful person is never safe. – Phaedrus

Long time readers of the Courier-Post were surely surprised to read the February 11th printing of the paper. On the front page was an amazing sight, a flattering portrait and headline of a man the paper had railed against and investigated for the past 20 years – exposing his corruption and decrying him as a “machine boss.” The portrait, headline, and subsequent story of February 11 bore no resemblance to the man previously reported on. He was no corrupt machine boss, but a civic minded benefactor, nay a visionary. The piece was titled “George’s Grand Vision: Norcross Sees Camden Rising”

Within the article are a series of statements that are directly contradicted by established facts, many of which were reported by the Courier itself and other Gannett publications.

The story was written by Jason Method whose byline lists New Jersey Press Media not the Courier, the story also ran in other Gannett publications like the Asbury Park Press. It is not surprising that a Courier reporter was not the author of this story given the reporter the Courier had previously assigned to cover the machine, Jane Roh, had been fired from the paper principally for conflicts created by the Norcross Machine who demanded her firing on a continual basis – at one point with the threat of legal action.

This is actually not a new tactic by the Norcross Machine regarding reporters whose coverage it disliked, as recounted by Philadelphia Magazine:

Other journalists have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with Norcross behind the scenes – he shovels them dirt on his opponents, they get a few days of copy. Reporters who are perceived to betray Norcross are dealt with in kind. His cordial relationship with the Courier ‘s Alan Guenther ended when Guenther wrote a revealing three-part series calling him “Boss Norcross.” This was followed by a smear campaign aimed at Guenther and his father, a local architect whose firm donated more than $11,000 to the Camden County Democrats. Always standing in the background, Norcross let his lawyer do the dirty work, sending the newspaper a seven-page letter that attacked Guenther’s father for “solicitation of no-bid contracts” and other offenses, while outlining the reporter’s “conflicts of interest” and “vigilante tactics.” Guenther declined to comment on the matter, and despite Norcross’s efforts, he remains at the Courier .

Guenther is no longer at the Courier. Though the story itself received a Public Service Award from the Philadelphia Press Association.

Contrast of Two Politicians: Work Ethic & Responsibility to New Jersey

Reporter Jane Roh picks up on an interesting contrast between Governor Christie and Gloucester Senator Fred Madden, in each man’s decisions regarding a Florida vacation. When presented with an obvious work requirement in the form of a snow emergency, Gov. Christie chose to go on vacation, while Sen. Madden, presented with a work requirement in the form of a vote on Christie’s tool box, chose to stay in New Jersey (which apparently cost him some $$ bucks) and do what we hired him for.

Add to this contrast in sense of responsibility …

… Madden is one of 40 Senators. Christie is NJ’s CEO.

… Had Christie changed his plans to handle work, some or all of his costs might have been paid for by us, the taxpayers. Sen. Madden likely paid out of pocket for his missed vacation.

Quoting now, from Jane’s piece today in the Courier-Post:

No one begrudges Christie, his wife and four children a winter getaway, but Madden was among a number of critics who wondered why the governor did not hang back for a day or two to keep an eye on storm cleanup across the state.


“It makes no sense that they’re both out of the state at the same time,” Madden said.

“I was supposed to be in Florida for four days with my wife for a family wedding this month. Then I was called for Senate votes on the tool kit bills. I ate the tickets, ate the trip and my wife went by herself.”

Business as Usual? Or time to Rage Against the Machine?

If you haven’t heard about the purported Tea Party candidate/”plant” story that broke today in South Jersey, welcome back to the planet. It’s not especially pretty. Courier-Post:

tea-plantCamellia sinensis. (It’s Latin for Tea Plant)

On a balmy evening last May, about three dozen members of the South Jersey Young Dems convened at the Camden County Democratic Committee HQ (where) Freeholder Jeff Nash warned the assembled crowd of party volunteers and legislative aides that the sour economy would make the coming election season difficult…. To give (incumbent Congressman John) Adler an edge, (CCDC) recruited a then-unidentified man to run as a third-party candidate. That candidate would act as a conservative spoiler… But first he had to get on the ballot. With the filing deadline just weeks away, CCDC needed volunteers to hit the streets and collect signatures — fast.

For what it’s worth, I happen to live in NJ-3 and cast my vote (by mail) for Adler which I don’t regret it. Also, I was a staffer on the historic 2008 campaign when Alder became the first Democrat to represent this district in over 125 years.

But I still have an uneasy feeling about how this story emerged. It’s not illegal or uncommon for candidates to enhance their chances at the polls by helping get 3rd party candidates on the ballot. Mother Jones:

Republicans have a long history of such shenanigans, typically propping up the Green Party in recent election cycles. In Arizona, a Republican operative was particularly brazen in recruiting three homeless people to run for state office. And in Texas, Republicans spent a half-million dollars in an effort to put the Texas Green Party on the ballot in the state race-backed by sketchy operatives who also tried to help Ralph Nader in the 2004 race.

t’s my personal philosophy that you win campaigns by whatever legal means you have at your disposal. If you don’t use every legal tool you’ve got, you should be fired for campaign malpractice. So I guess I am glad they hatched this plan because I think Adler’s opponent would be infinitely worse choice. You can bet your entire Franklin Mint red ceramic elephant collection the BurlCO GOP would do the same thing if they thought it’d give them an edge. Both play hard and play to win; Politics isn’t tiddlywinks.

I would however deduct a few style points for how this plan was executed. If you’re not gonna be totally discreet about your strategy you should at least own it right?

Consider this an open-thread. How does this look/smell from your perspective?

Andrews Crushing On The Newspaper Vote

Rob Andrews continues crushing on the editorial pages, taking the nods from the Jersey Journal (from North Jersey) and Courier Post (South Jersey) today.

The Jersey Journal, as noted above a Northern Paper, endorses Andrews essentially because he is from South Jersey:

Hoboken’s Robert Menendez is already a strong representative for the Garden State in the Senate and his partner should be a well-rounded, driven individual capable of achieving results.

For these reasons, The Jersey Journal endorses U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews for the Senate to replace incumbent Frank Lautenberg. Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello, a third Democratic candidate, is not under serious consideration here.

The Courier Post rips the two leading candidates for sucky, negative campaigns but gives their support to Andrews:

In New Jersey’s Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, it appears the leading contenders have received the same memo on how to grab voters’ attention: Hammer away with negative soundbites that shrink the opponent to a one-dimensional caricature. U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews has attempted to make the age of 84-year-old incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg a negative. Lautenberg, in turn, criticizes Andrews for voting in favor of going to war in Iraq, although Lautenberg indicated during his run for office in 2002 he would have made the same decision. …

On issue after issue, Andrews offers a detailed, thoughtful response unmatched by his opponents. He is the best choice for the Democratic Senate nomination.

I, for one, can’t wait for Tuesday at 10 p.m.  🙂