User-agent: * Allow: / Trenton Butcher Block: The Trentonian, It's What Trenton Wakes Up To

"Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Defend."

Commentary on national and local events from the standpoint of a Trenton city resident and state worker.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Trentonian, It's What Trenton Wakes Up To

This is the front page from The Trentonian from November 3, 2010.  In addition to the standard post-election reports, the paper also sports a headline across the top which says "K-9 Masturbation".  That says just about everything to explain that The Trentonian is not just another newspaper.

Mercer County is the smallest market in the nation that is still served by two competing daily newspapers.  What I mean by this is not that Trenton has two morning papers, but they are each under separate ownership.  How can both keep going at a time when newspapers all over the country are in bankruptcy.  Readership is down and advertising has fallen off as the readership migrated to the Internet.

The Trenton Times is a staid publication like most others everywhere else.  It reports the news in a straightforward, inoffensive manner.  It is the type of paper that would put Casper Milquetoast to sleep.  That probably explains why they have to practically give it away to keep the circulation high enough to  justify its existence.  Its newsstand price is twenty-five cents, something that's unheard of in this day and age.

Then of course, there's The Trentonian, which is smaller, thinner and costs fifty cents.  Why would anybody pay extra for a paper that has less news in it?  Well, because it is a different kind of paper.  Let's say it's real different.

Trenton is a place that is down on its luck.  The factories that have been the area's economic mainstay for over a century are nearly all gone.  Unemployment among city residents is rampant.  If you got rid of welfare, social security, pensions and SSI, the place would probably starve to death.  That's what a lot of people that live in the city do for money.

True, the State of New Jersey is the city's largest employer.  It is also the state's largest single employer, counting both the public and private sectors.  In the northern end of the county we have Princeton and the Route 1 Corridor with its extensive array of stores and offices.  Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals are also important employers in the county, but most city residents don't qualify for work at these places. 

You guessed it, highbrow most people here are not.  The newspaper readership doesn't get most of their news from listening to NPR or reading the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.  We prefer publications that are simpler and easier to read and deal with topics we understand.

Enter the Trentonian.  Big on sports and pictures.  A publication which regularly features the results of football games on the front page rather than the sports page.  It has the Page 6 Girl pinup as a regular feature.
It is staunchly Republican and anti-union.  I don't know who holds those views here, but it provides good entertainment even if it treats the Governor like a god.

Then there's the stories about blood, guts and gore.  Once we had someone walk in front of an Amtrak train in Bristol, PA.  The Trentonian covered this suicide by showing picture of what looked like a piece of meat laying on the ground and the caption said it was part of the person that just got smashed by the 120 mile per hour train.

We had a stabbing this week in broad daylight this week in front of City Hall.  The Trentonian was there and ran a picture of blood running down a gutter.  It described the stabbing as happening in front of the 10 Commandments monument which sits on the front lawn of City Hall.  It said the victim was a homeless man named 6-8 on the street because he is six feet 8 inches tall.  It said the stabbing was over the attempted collection of a two dollar debt.

The next day the paper ran a headline which said Cops Spared.  The mayor announced he would not be laying off any more cops or firemen and that recent crimes in the city had something to do with his decision.  No Duh!  You just had a stabbing in broad daylight in front of city hall.  Perhaps you need more police protection, not less.  He hasn't said how he plans to pay for the police or firemen.  The governor isn't interested in giving him any more money.  He says he wants to get grants from the federal government.

Great.  We'll keep the cops and hope for handouts from the Great Black Father in Washington.  That's a real sound plan.

Back to dogie masturbation.  The paper claims that City Council President George Muscal believes the mayor is circulating rumors that he jerks off his retired police dog, Ars.  Not that the dog is around to tell the truth.  Muscal recently had the 14 1/2 year old pooch put down because he was getting old and feeble.  Muscal owns a local laundromat and is a retired city police officer.

No proof was offered about the dogie sex acts or that the Mayor actually accused Muscal of engaging in lewid conduct with animals.  However Muscal says that the mayor's brother has been stalking him and taking pictures of him without his permission.

Trenton politics at a new low.  What a way to sell papers.  Here is a copy of the article as it appeared in the paper.

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