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July 11, 2018

Why Does Helen Klein Allow Press Release Journalism in The Brooklyn Reporter?



Helen Klein is a fantastic writer, but as the editor of the Brooklyn Reporter, I question how she allowed Bay Ridge to receive John Alexander’s article about Senator Golden and the dead speed camera bill.  This article is incomplete and fails to provide accurate information on the current BILLS, as well as Golden’s history with speed cameras. 


If Senator Golden was serious about the speed camera bill, he would have picked up his phone and called his friend, John Flanagan to vote on Bill S06046C. Instead a press release was sent out to the news. Press release journalism hurts Bay Ridge because it makes it look like a politician has done something, when they really haven’t done anything.  


In the article in the Brooklyn Reporter, John Alexander doesn’t seem to be aware that the NY Assembly already passed Bill A07798C for the speed cameras in school zones.  If he was, then why did Alexander write: “If the bill ultimately passes in both the Senate and Assembly, and is signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the new law would not expire until July 1, 2022.”



It appears John Alexander doesn’t want Bay Ridge to know that Senator Golden backpedaled with a  WEAKER bill – Bill S9123. Thankfully, Julianne McShane from the Courier reported about Golden’s backpedaling weeks ago.  McShane pointed out that Golden’s bill only allows speed cameras for six months and purports that stop signs are more effective than speed cameras. In Bay Ridge, we have all seen how ineffective stop signs are on streets like 80th Street and Colonial Road.


Since John Alexander didn’t name the bills in his article, we have no idea if Senator Golden is backing the original bill that the NY Assembly passed or if he is pushing the bill he, Sen. Lanza and Sen. Felder introduced right before the Senate session ended.


Recently, parent activists protested outside Senator Golden’s office for 24 hours. John Alexander left out how rude Senator Golden was to them.  While Golden didn’t meet with the parents because he had a family funeral, he thought it was appropriate to send them this tweet. Golden wanted the protesters to know that “they didn’t know how to protest” and they should look to Flanagan and Cuomo instead of him. Why didn’t he tell them or send his staff to tell them that the bill will get done?  Senator Golden deleted the inappropriate tweet, but minutes later a similar one appeared on the fake account.


John Alexander’s article failed to provide Bay Ridge neighbors with  Senator Golden’s history of blocking speed cameras. This is the reason why people are petitioning him now.  In 2013, Golden stated that the speed camera technology wasn’t proven. In 2017, a study showed that the technology has stopped people from being second time offenders of speeding in a school zone (page 14).


I find it hard to believe that any editor could allow John Alexander to leave out the real reason Marty Golden doesn’t want speed cameras.  “Golden’s Cadillac has racked up 14 violations for speeding in school zones since 2014, for a total of $700 in fines. Three of those violations have come in the first half of 2018.” (Source).  Golden benefits from this bill not passing.


At the end of June, The Post reported that Senator Golden dodged a ticket for parking in a bus stop on 86th Street in Bay Ridge.  





On June 19th, Brooklyn Reporter writer, Megan McGoldrick reported that NYPD Commissioner O’Neill came to Bay Ridge to speak to Albany politicians. Both Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis  voted against the NYPD Commissioner. The NYPD’s PBA which funds Senator Golden thinks speed cameras will take police officers jobs. The NYPD PBA has given nearly $20,000 to Senator Golden since 2015 (Source).  Why was this left out of John Alexander’s article today?      


I have tried speaking to John Alexander, but he blocked me after I sent him a message. Alexander should recuse himself on this topic as he wrote this in the Winter.


Other reporters gave the whole story and didn’t let the politicians press release stand as THE NEWS – seen here and here. As the editor, democracy sits in your hands, Helen. 






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