CBS DROPS IN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JERSEY

roccaMo Rocca interviewed Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl back during shorts weather for an upcoming piece for CBS Sunday Morning. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

New Jersey, it seems, is always on the defensive. There’s the ‘Jersey stinks‘ stigma, and while we have the small luxuries of pork roll sandwiches and not having to pump our own gas, the Garden State can’t quite get past the perception that it’s a dump with mafia ties and is a breeding ground for ultra-tanned, fist-pumping troublemakers.

In reality, all one really has to do is stop looking at photo galleries glamorizing the bronzed figureheads and TV shows celebrating jaw-dropping indulgence and take a trip to a place without a boardwalk or parkway rest stop.

Like, say, Rumson.

CBS News did, and on an upcoming Sunday morning plans to air a piece showcasing all this affluent community has to offer: shoreline tranquility, a bustling business district, horse-and-carriage rides, speed-boating on the Navesink — you know, the typical wintertime stuff.

But the story is not that CBS made this discovery a half-year ago, nor was it interviewer Mo Rocca‘s yacht club-ish outfit, a pink Oxford and baby blue shorts.

“The story is if you’re not from New Jersey, you probably have the wrong impression with the state,” said Mayor John Ekdahl, who was interviewed for the feature and takes the patently-odd comedian/reporter/personality Rocca on a daylong tour of Rumson.

In a YouTube preview clip, Rocca, who made his visit to Rumson in August, shares a horse-drawn carriage with Ekdahl, feeds horses, has a drink at the Rumson Country Club and soaks in the beauty of the Navesink from the Oceanic Bridge. And at each interval acts amazed that he’s in New Jersey.

“It is very, very pretty,” Rocca says to Ekdahl as they share a view from the Oceanic. “And it’s in New Jersey, right?”

“It’s in New Jersey,” Ekdahl says.

“You’re sure about that?” Rocca asks again.

Ekdahl said the feature’s angle is to show viewers another side of the state by visiting four towns with something different to offer besides night clubs and beaches.

“It’s a big plus, really,” he said. “It’s like a different look at what you can find in New Jersey. That’s the premise, that New Jersey is more than the Turnpike and Snooki.”

redbankgreen will update you on when Rumson will be featured on CBS Sunday Morning as soon the firm air date becomes available.