Monthly Archives: January 2011

New York City Blizzard, January 26, 2011

Another great snowstorm for New York, this one was definitely more substantial than the last one. I went out to Chinatown, NoHo, and Nolita to see the flakes come down and was lucky I didn’t lose a finger to frostbite. You can see all my Winter 2010-2011 photos in my Flickr set.

A bizarre letter gets past the NJ Clifton Journal’s copy editors

(update: It’s not clear if this is some joke by someone impersonating Mr. Bernascone…someone by his name does exist in Paterson, NJ, and has left a noticeable Internet trail well before this bizarre letter…or if he is just having fun with the paper…)

Wow, either the newspaper is experimenting with having the online standard for letters be the same for their actual print content, or someone didn’t have/pay the copy editors (though the bracketed paraphrase indicates that someone read at least the first paragraph). From reddit WTF:

Clifton Journal Letters to the Editor

Just in case you think it’s a fake, as I did, Google cache captured the letter as it appeared (and was apparently removed today) in the Clifton Journal, a New Jersey paper.

Bernascone has written to the paper before. One of his other letters, apparently on bear hunting, was referenced in a letter, by a Ms. Baurys, right below his playing-with-stepkids-underwater letter on the website:

Clifton-Journal-Jan.-7,-2011---NorthJersey Google Cache. Click to enlarge

This is Bernascone’s letter re: bear hunting, as it was published on the website on Dec. 31, 2010, just a couple weeks ago. He makes an impassioned argument against modern bear hunting, that hunters today “are sorry excuses for hunters, especially when they also went out and killed babies in cold blood. All they wanted was something to hang in their immature trophy room to boast to other immature little boys.”

OK, cares for bears, likes relaxing by the lake…Maybe someone from the bear hunting lobby trying to impersonate Bernascone? If the editors aren’t checking closely for content, they probably aren’t requiring ID (or a phone call) before printing the letters…In November of this year, he wrote a letter railing on the “greed” of high-salary earning superintendents.

Another reddit user found another letter…this one, and the one about bears and superintendents, are a lot more…political and civic-minded than the one about playing with his stepkids to relieve stress.

Whatever he thinks of his stepchildren, he loves his wife. He wrote this online memorial for her. Here they are in this networking profile, where he describes himself as “‘an easy going, laid back, funny and comical person. Comedy keeps me sane, otherwise I’d be insane in the membrane.”

“We are detectives for the people” – Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett’s Final Column

Legendary reporter Wayne Barrett filed his last column for the Village Voice this week. It reads like it’s from someone who has muckraked for nearly 40 years and has had a lot of time to think about his job:

When I was asked in recent years to blog frequently, I wouldn’t do it unless I had something new to tell a reader, not just a clever regurgitation of someone else’s reporting.

My credo has always been that the only reason readers come back to you again and again over decades is because of what you unearth for them, and that the joy of our profession is discovery, not dissertation.

There is also no other job where you get paid to tell the truth. Other professionals do sometimes tell the truth, but it’s ancillary to what they do, not the purpose of their job. I was asked years ago to address the elementary school that my son attended and tell them what a reporter did and I went to the auditorium in a trenchcoat with the collar up and a notebook in a my pocket, baring it to announce that “we are detectives for the people.”

…It never mattered to me what the party or ideology was of the subject of an investigative piece; the reporting was as nonpartisan as the wrongdoing itself. I never looked past the wrist of any hand in the public till. It was the grabbing that bothered me, and there was no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the loot.