Tag Archive: Star-Ledger

Where’s the beef for the Ledger?

The Star-Ledger sees no reason not to vote, and makes the point by comparing to other events:

Would you turn down free tickets to the seventh game of the World Series or a Bruce Springsteen concert because you heard it might be crowded? How about skipping a great sale because you know other shoppers will show up?

Actually, I’d take a pass on all of those.  You get a better view of the game on TV.  The last time I went to a concert I almost threw down with a security guard who kept blocking my view of the stage.  And I do the majority of my non-grocery shopping online.  I hate crowds.

But I plan to vote on Tuesday, if for no other reason than to vote against Mayor Healy’s principled power grab.  There’s also an unopposed county office on the ballot.  I’ll write myself in because I hate gimme elections.  Two good reasons for me.

But all of that is just a sideline to the main feature of the S-L post – their strange “recap” of endorsements.  Make the jump.

Weekly Top Three

Here we go folks, the semi-weekly weekly countdown of the most important news of the week.

Number Three:

 Aaron wants you to know that some guys have all the luck (yeah, I know, that isn’t a Springsteen song, but he’s not even two – give him a break).  

Fresh on the heels of our senior senior Senator dusting up the all-but-dead news-cycle, we find out that the Sports and Exposition Authority held a whole buttload of tickets in reserve for VIPs.  One of the VIPs is an unnamed Broadway theatre employee (probably not in the chorus line) who promptly listed the tickets on Craigs List.  

This isn’t as bad as it could be – at least people were paying for the tickets:

More than 150 tickets went to sports authority commissioners, including Michael Neglia, who bought a total of 52 tickets to the three shows, and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, who purchased 48 tickets for tonight’s concert.

For the money quote of why Jersey is so screwed from stem to stern, we go to Gary Bongiovanni:

“You want to take care of people as much as you can, within reason,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar, a concert industry magazine. “It’s just easier to say yes than to say no.”

Wasn’t that Sharpe James’ re-election slogan?  Which brings us to…

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo? Make That 11!

From the diaries — Juan

Let the “Scarlet Fever” begin. Ugh. So Rutgers football opens its season today against the esteemed Buffalo University. It’s wall-to-wall coverage on Nj.com, including a piece in the package called “Ten things you didn’t know about Buffalo.” Seeing that I had an interesting little tidbit of my own about Buffalo, I thought I’d check out the article and see if we both included it.

Guess what?

We didn’t.

After discussing the team’s lack of winning in reason #1, reason #5 is where it gets interesting for me.

“5. They don’t back down. Instead of scheduling other bottom-of-the-barrel teams to increase their win total, the Bulls faced Auburn and Wisconsin last season and will play Rutgers and Penn State this year.”

You know why?

Because they get paid cash money to play good teams and lose. It’s a fact that Nj.com and all its affiliated papers would seemingly like to forget (maybe because they make $crill off of selling lame-ass Rutgers “magical season” books) — Rutgers originally paid Buffalo $225,000 to play them last year. Buffalo backed out, largely because they run such racket on this shit that they had too many other big-walleted suitors. But they agreed to play this year, for only $25,000 more. So this game — and likely win — will cost those beloved Scarlet Knights $250,000.

Ah, ain’t victory sweet. I’m sure some of those laid off profs and adjuncts without health insurance hangin’ around the county clinic for meds think so.

Cross-posted at JonWhiten dot com

Marbles for Mulshine: A Community Appeal

If you go shopping sometime this week, be sure to buy a nice big bag of marbles and send it to Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine. I don’t know how many marbles he started with when he began his sinecure as Winger-in-Chief of the Ledger op-ed page, but on the basis of this genuinely freaky column he’s definitely running short.

The springboard for Mulshine’s musings is not, I’m relieved to say, something that happened in New Jersey, but could easily happen on the Turnpike or Parkway one of these days. Last month along an interstate highway in Michigan, 39- year-old Bernadette Houghton Headd found herself being tailgated by a lunkhead in a looming Dodge Ram pickup truck while on her way to work. Many of us have found ourselves in similar situations, and our reactions, depending on our nerviness and level of irritation, run the gamut from slowing down and frustrating the oaf to sending a salute up the one-finger flagpole. Ms. Headd chose a different course of action: She hauled out a 9 mm pistol and fired off a round at the road in front of the offending driver’s tire, or so she told police.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop?

Cross-posted from City Belt

Climatechange

The headlines screamed out, like manna from heaven for gas-guzzlers, McMansioners, and Bush administration "scientists" alike:

"Scientists: Global Warming Can’t Be Stopped."

"Scientists Say There’s No Way To Stop Climate Change."

This morning, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their widely-anticipated report on global climate change. The report (available here as PDF) found, among other things, that, "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level." The group of experts also said, with over 90 percent confidence, that human activity has been the main driver of said warming.

So what’s New Jersey’s largest news portal, home of the award-winning Star-Ledger, to do with such a drastic report?

If you guessed, "Misrepresent its findings," you’re the big winner — we’ve got a Hummer in the mail to you.

The Star-Ledger/Nj.com report, authored by Kitta MacPherson, leads by calling global warming "a runaway train that can’t be stopped," before half-heartedly adding, "at least for a while." What the IPCC did in fact say was that we’ve fucked ourselves over for at least 30 more years of global warming as a result of our selfish actions, but, as the New York Times put it:

"The warming can be substantially blunted by prompt action."

So, it turns out there actually is a way — many ways, actually — to stop climate change. While my fellow City Belter Elizabeth recently took An Inconvient Truth to task for saying as much, there are personal actions that, if replicated on a grand scale (perhaps incentivized by government), can help stem the tide of global warming. But she was right to say that our ever-business-friendly federal government deserves most of the blame, and it is indeed killing us.

Rather than giving up, and encouraging everyone else to do so, perhaps Nj.com should help us understand how we can create change. Perhaps with an afternoon to put it all together, the report in tomorrow’s paper will be a little less cynical — and a little more correct.

The Man Who Lost His Way

I was only a kid when the Newark race riots exploded during the summer of 1967, but even so, I still remember the pall of fear they spread across the state as other cities smoldered and sometimes ignited as well. Toward the end of the summer, the death of a relative required my father to head into Newark to straighten out some real estate business. The work required him to spend a lot of time going through old accounts in a pretty rundown office building somewhere in the city, and there were several times that I had to accompany him for one reason or another. Even though I was going insane from boredom, I was under strict orders never to leave the building. After a relatively quiet period, I was allowed to venture out to a nearby candy store, but twelve times never could I walk around the corner, out of sight.

As a white kid growing up in a dumpy bone-white suburban town, I didn’t have the faintest notion of what caused the Newark riots, but I learned plenty years later when I read No Cause for Indictment, a blood-boiling work of reportage by Ron Porambo that excoriated the city power structure and the police for their manifold abuses of Newark’s black citizens. The title grew from Porambo’s decision to interview witnesses and reconstruct events surrounding 22 civilian deaths linked to police or Naitonal Guardsmen, cases in which the grand jury each time had found “no cause for indictment.” Needless to say, Porambo found plenty of cause. The book remains the definitive account of the events that turned the Brick City into the Sick City, which would remain an economic basket case for decades.

FYI, “How They Voted” Column Is Back.

Just to follow-up, the “How They Voted” column was back in the Star-Ledger today.  It’s in the “New Jersey” section, on page 26.  I was extremely surprised, and am hopefull that it will be continued on a weekly basis.  Thank you, so much, to all who wrote to the editor for the inclusion of this very important column.  It was not so much for those of us who are computer literate, that I was so concerned, but for those who do not have access to the computer.  Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we all be politically informed.  For some, the newspaper is the only means of obtaining that information.  The Star-Ledger does a real public service by publishing that information, and we should be most appreciative.

The Star-Ledger’s Cracked Crystal Ball

You could almost hear the television networks scream in relief as the JonBenet Ramsey murder case reappeared, just in time to spare them the ordeal of covering actual news. It’ll be AllDay JonBenet for the rest of the month — what else would you expect?

But it’s sad to see real newspapers join in the bottom-feeder frenzy, and particularly sad to see the Star-Ledger giving big play on its Web site to this grossly underreported and under-edited story about a crank from Nutley who did a “psychic sketch” of the murderer. This sketch, posted next to a photo of the man who just confessed to the killing, convinces me of nothing beyond the fact that this “psychic” — who died in 1998 — found a way to tap into the budgets of various police departments. (The Star-Ledger story says she bills only for “expenses,” content to leave it at that. Expenses for what — crystal ball maintenance?)

Are You Feeling … Watched?

If you feel you’re being watched, it may be because Jackie Corley, known to some of you as the Bayshore Journalista, has just fired up her Jersey Blog Beat column at NJ.com. Her initial selection of links to demonstrate “the eclectic blogging community” in New Jersey lists heavily to starboard: the only avowed portside blogs are Sloppydawg and The Opinion Mill, both of which ran  “Support Freedom of the Press” buttons when Jackie’s old employer, The Courier, was getting guff from a property developer.

Meanwhile, we get five winger blogs, notably BenightedNJ, the anonymous GOP blog that spent the election pretending to have a videotape of Jon Corzine saying unspeakable things.

We also get a link to the estimable Baristanet, a legal blog that exhibits center-right tendencies (I’m open to being surprised on that one), Gigglechick and the “Jersey Side” blog run by the guy who recruited her. Nothing about BlueJersey, the smoking hot political blog that’s about to make a killing in the T-shirt business, but I guess that’s coming soon. Rght Jackie? Jackie? JACKIE??