Long ago, there was a day that Newsday was a paper that was honorable; that between those partisan lines, it strove for what was newsworthy and important. That this, informing Long Islanders, was its creed and nothing else. Sure, once upon a time it had a strong leftist editorial board. But, the news itself was pertinent, helpful, if not necessary for Long Islanders.
That day is long gone. A new black mark sits on its pages in how it has handled many a story. One proof positive of this papers absolute and total failure is the news that the Town of Hempstead beat writer, once a highly respected and award winning journalist that in the last year became either became disinterested in her job, out of touch, or at worst…. a lazy, slanted, ineffectual reporter, basically “mailing it in” until making a jump to an employer she was partially covering.
She even did a Mangano-focused piece ONE week before accepting a job to be Communication Director for the new Nassau County Executive.
If you are not privy to this story, please read my blog from yesterday about it.
The blemish, and slap of the face of Long Islanders, will be one that does not rub off for a long time. To NY Islander fans, it might be a stain forever. It certainly is a black mark on Ed Mangano. And the guy just started. Not good.
Newsday has fumbled Long Island hockey fans and concerned citizens through fat-buttered-fingers and gravy-grease for years. From lying to it’s advertisers on circulation numbers a few years back, to the shell of itself being sold to the Dolan’s Cablevision; the result seems to be journalism unraveling itself before our very eyes.
Forget the ill-thought out and looming failure of the Cablevision “bright idea” of a pay wall. Newsday needs to answer Long Islanders who went for to them as a source of information and only got a biased and half-stories as one of the beat reporters seemed to bang a drum to a different tune.
The tune is making a move to the body politic, and in doing so, the very fact people were questioning her work for months and months becomes a flaming torch scalding Newsday’s credibility.
Newsday’s editors must speak out. Newsday must say something here.
Then there is the credibility of Eden Laikin’s and Ed Mangano’s own decisions. The Nassau County Executive has just taken office and let of a series of head-scratchers. The decision to hire Laikin isn’t sour grapes or just “Isles-Centric” outrage. It brings forward many questions, and dips the paper she worked for into black pitch.
As an Islanders blogger who has caused both the Lighthouse Project and the Town of Hempstead to pull out their hair, I feel I am in a unique position to heap this criticism. You certainly see some soft hands handling Charles Wang and even Newsday over on some other sites.
None here. I owe nobody favors.
I could work for the NY Islanders, the Town of Hempstead or even Newsday tomorrow and still stand behind my body of work. My Lighthouse expert counterpart here and on his own site, LetTheBeLight(house), Nick Giglia, could say the same.
Laikin can not. Not even close.
And she was the journalist.
This simply boggles my mind.
Perhaps I’m just bitter. But in following this story over a year, putting heart, soul and effort into it, I am outraged, aghast, and just frustrated with the lack of anything cohesive from the one mainstream press paper that does follow the Islanders and the Town of Hempstead. Not in that she is working for Mangano. I couldn’t care less. But that her body of work over the last year was factually incorrect, incomplete, slanted, missing information, skewed, lacking any depth… and I could go on and on.
A source disagrees with my (and many others assessment) on Eden Laikin:
“Good move with Eden Laikin. She was a good investigative reporter and knew a lot of the b.s. that went on in the ToH. Now someone with have to start from the ground up on the ToH beat. It takes some of the pressure off the ToH administration with her gone. We’ll see who the replacement is. In my 10 years at the ToH, there have been about 4-5 different reporters. Too much turnover.”
My guess on the disparity is my source is not an Isles fan. Nor are they ToH. So it does become a head-scratcher.
One theory is that Laikin didn’t quite with the Newsday corporate changeover. Per one source: there is virtually a battle going on there in the news room.
In one piece over the summer, upon complaints, she cited Newsday’s Editors as the issue. But for a paper that was calling out the ToH on it’s editorial pages, suddenly the editors were curtailing work in the other space? It does not equate unless Newsday internal structure was in complete disarray.
According to one Democratic source: Laikin has said that she did not believe that the Lighthouse Project would get done.
Is that just a hard-line from observation or a personal belief that had spilled over to her work (and lack thereof) over the course of the year?
Ok, so I am not making friends with the Mangano campaign. So what? I am certainly not a pal of Newsday, who wanted to talk to me about doing some hockey blogs on the site earlier this summer. I chose to make HockeyIndependent instead.
In doing so, I have chosen to glean truth and desiring to remove the innocuous, subtle spinning that other blogs or mainstream sites have done.
Whether it hurts or hinders me in the long run, I will not change who I am. Newsday and Eden Laikin, however, cannot say the same. Good luck with the new job, Eden. Hope it was worth it.
As for Newsday…they owe Long Islanders, besides NY Islanders fans and concerned parties, a huge apology.
The long litany of questionable work from Laikin and Newsday over 2009-2010:
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About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.