Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Asbury Park Press Is Self Destructing

TheStateNJ.com once said that The Asbury Park Press editorial policy was influenced by this blog. If that was ever true, those days are over.

The paper which could once be counted on to accurately report day old news has lost its way.

The front page today is dominated by a "report" by failed restaurant reviewer Andrea Clurfeld under the headline "NJEA showdown backfires on gov". Like Clurfeld's restaurant reviews of old, the article is more of reflection of her biases and mood swings than it is of reality.

I can only imagine what Clurfeld did to get tenure at Gannett. Management really has to find something else for her to do. I'd suggest covering Little League games but someone would accuse me of advocating child abuse. Maybe spell checking on the 4 pages of classifieds would keep her out of trouble.

Clurfeld's article is about a Monmouth Unversity poll that by my analysis shows that New Jersey voters think more of Governor Christie's handling of the state than they thought of former Governor Corzine at a similar time in his term. The poll, which has a +/- 3.5% margin of error indicates that voters are pretty much evenly divided with the approval of Christie, as 42% approve and 44% disapprove.

Maybe Clurfeld couldn't actually read or understand the questions and the numbers of the Monmouth/Gannett poll and got thrown off by the formerly reliable Patrick Murray's anti-Christie spin of his own work. You can read Murray's slanted spin and his data here.

Asbury Park Press Graphic

Clurfeld and Murray's spin of the numbers have little relationship to the numbers as graphed by the APP. 22% of those questions said they were satisfied with Christie's budget. 31% said they could live with it. From my point of view that's 53% favorable, not a backfiring showdown with the NJEA.

But what about the 45% dissatisfied? How many of those responders think Christie is doing a great job but are not satified with the level of cuts? Had I been questioned I would have answered that I am not satisfied. We're not cutting enough to my liking, but I believe Christie is doing an amazing job in the current political environment and given the history. The types of changes required do not happen quickly. I have two minds about hearing Christie saying, "there doesn't have to be job losses if the NJEA agrees to a pay freeze and contributes 1.5% of their health care premiums." Politically I think it is brilliant. From a policy perspective I am glad the the teachers unions are not taking the bait and that there will be structural cuts. We will find that we can get by with a lot less people which hopefully will lead to lasting change, not temporary change as Christie's "out" implies is possible.

On a day that Christie had the left leaning commentators on MSNBC and CNBC eating out of his hand, it is a shame that Monmouth and Ocean County readers of the APP are subject to such distorted dribble as Clurfeld's spin of Murray's spin.

On a day when the Wall Street Journal is comparing Christie to President Reagan it is a shame that the APP, which sometimes does great work, like their TAX CRUSH series, their Fort Monmouth Series and even their Club Monmouth Series, is self destructing before our eyes.

Maybe that is why traffic here keeps growing. At least we're honest about our biases here.


Thats Right said...

I love how they include the third answer "school boards" to skew the results. When you add the union and the school board, the percentage is greater than those who blame Christie. I don't know, but if you asked just a two-answer question, it'd be damn close as to who people blame more for the layoffs.

Good piece.

Anonymous said...

APP is a liberal newspaper, rarely reports the real truth. I hope it goes bankrupt. I starting subscribed to the paper again when they endorsed Christie, now I'm cancelling it. Everyone I know, the Donkey's, Jackasses and Indi's alike, LOVE OUR GOVERNOR. The only hater's are NJEA lover's. YOu don't change your reporting style, Bub-BYe APP

Anonymous said...

The other stupid thing that shows this was a cheap poll is that it is of "registered voters" rather than "likely voters" which is all that matters in the end of the day, but that would actually cost the APP some money to do a more reliable poll. The same paper that complains about government waste but then lobbies to maintain requirements for the purchase of legal ads by government entities that costs tens of thousands per municipality per year that absolutely nobody reads. In this day and age all legal ads should just be online for free--that is an unfunded mandate that would save millions in Monmouth and Ocean Counties alone, but you don't see the press writing about that.

Anonymous said...

What I love about the APP is how schizophrenic they are.

They scream about property taxes and then again when somebody tries to fix it.

Can't happen soon enough said...

may they go out of business PRIOR to the Nov. election!.. they stink, and it's their turn to go down..their consistent jaded and left-leaning mantras are boring, and the lack of follow-up and checking of facts is embarassing, given how long they've been in business: as with all things liberal, let's be sure to drop everything and everyone down to the lowest common denominator, to "equalize" it all, to the new, low standards!..