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Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Torch" gets burned

It was good to see Bergen Record editorial writer Al Doblin tear disgraced former Sen. Bob Torricelli a new one this week, after the "Torch" launched a full-fledged assault on The Record upon learning that the fine newspaper was closing some of its offices in Hackensack.

Mr. Torricelli wrote a rather ridiculous column about how The Record's closing of offices was caused by business problems that resulted from the newspaper resorting to "mean" coverage.

By "mean" coverage the disgraced politician meant the great work of the newspaper's staff in writing about the scandals and corruption that plague New Jersey, like the scandal that brought down Mr. Torricelli's political career.

That's right.

A notoriously scandal-ridden politician who withdrew his name from the ballot in the middle of a contentious senate campaign due to charges that he received tainted campaign contributions from a now-imprisoned political operative with ties to North Korea took it upon himself to attack the Fourth Estate.

On the occasion of the Record closing some offices - which Mr. Torricelli took as some sign that the paper was finished - the disgraced official attacked the venerable old paper, which provided such detailed and high-quality coverage of the scandal that brought down Mr. Torricelli.

Corrupt public officials have no friends here, but Mr. Torricelli deserves even more ill will due to his involvement with Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer and the numerous sweetheart real estate deals he has received here in New Jersey's capital, which have brought nearly nothing into the city for the average resident.

And for the rest of New Jersey's corrupt political elite - as Mr. Doblin said - journalists will stop writing about corruption when corrupt public officials stop violating the public trust.

For officials tainted by such transgressions to revel in the perceived downfall of a valuable media outlet that holds people accountable is quite simply, ridiculous.

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