War of Words Between N.J. Politician and Newspaper Inspires a Cartoon

By: E&P Staff

The hatefest between former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli and The Record of Hackensack, N.J., has inspired a Politicker.com cartoon by Rob Tornoe.

On July 1, Torricelli wrote a Politicker.com column criticizing The Record, which had just announced it would be closing its main office. Among the N.J.-based Torricelli’s comments: “The Internet will eventually destroy most newspapers but the looming death of The Record is still ahead of its time….

“Why?… Somewhere The Record stopped becoming a mirror of the happy suburban life and it became mean. Parents no longer came home to the evening paper and read about community life but were exposed to an endless barrage of columns, editorials, and news articles that exposed everyone as greedy, corrupt, or inept.”

The Record Editorial Page Editor Alfred Doblin responded with a July 4 column about Torricelli. “Being lectured on meanness by the likes of Bob Torricelli is akin to Amy Winehouse leading a rehab retreat for substance abusers,” wrote Doblin.

He added: “The Record will stop reporting on political corruption when there are no corrupt politicians in New Jersey. That’s the problem, Bob. Life in New Jersey is not like the sugar-coated musical ‘Meet Me in St. Louis,’ despite that arresting song, ‘David Chang, Chang, Chang went the trolley.'” (A reference to the businessman who was jailed for allegedly funneling illegal contributions to Torricelli.)

And Doblin said “reports of The Record’s imminent demise are not just exaggerated; they are false.”

Tornoe’s Wednesday cartoon shows a street box selling The Record, a fire hydrant labeled “Torch” (Torricelli’s nickname), and a dog preparing to urinate on the hydrant.

The drawing, as well as links to Torricelli’s and Doblin’s columns, can be seen here.

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