If You Think the NY Post Was Mean to Slain Slumlord Stark . . .

Menachem Stark NY Post front page headlineIf you think the New York Post was mean to slain slumlord Menachem Stark when it ran a story with the front page headline, “Who didn’t want him dead?” check out the conduct of other newspapers owned by tabloid mogul, Rupert Murdoch. The Economist  describes Murdoch as “inventing the modern tabloid”, as he developed a pattern for his newspapers, increasing sports and scandal coverage and adopting eye-catching headlines.”

According to his Wikipedia entry, “On acquiring… [the Sun in the UK, Murdoch] appointed Albert ‘Larry’ Lamb as editor and… told him: “I want a tearaway paper with lots of tits in it.””

Besides being a vulgar sensationalist, Murdoch is notorious for his exploitation of  victimized families, most famously the family of murdered English schoolgirl, Milly Dowler as carried out by his UK tabloid, the News of the World.

Police had found evidence suggesting that the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire collected personal information about the family of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, following her disappearance in March 2002 and the subsequent discovery of her murdered body six months later. According to the paper, journalists working for the News of the World had hired private investigators to hack into Dowler’s voicemail inbox while she was still missing. It was alleged that they had deleted some messages, giving false hope to police and to Dowler’s family who thought that she might have deleted the messages herself and therefore might still be alive, and potentially destroying valuable evidence about her abduction and murderer Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of Milly’s murder and jailed for life in June 2011 – he had already been convicted of two murders and an attempted murder which all took place after Milly’s disappearance and the discovery of her body.

The entire world knows that Murdoch is a nasty piece of work. Thinly veiled hostile portrayals of Murdoch have showed up in TV and movies. According to his Wikipedia entry:

It has been speculated that the character of Elliot Carver, the global media magnate and main villain in the 1997 James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, is based on Murdoch……

Michael Fleisher created Rupert M. Dockery, a villainous newspaper mogul, for his run on Spider-Woman.

At the end of the day, the ultra orthodox Jewish outrage about the headline “Who didn’t want him dead” is misplaced. If they really care about tabloids which are insensitive to the public they should regularly protest, regardless of who he targets. Moreover, Murdoch was attacked for anti-Semitism when he tweeted ““Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?” However, the mainstream Jewish establishment gave him a pass and continued to honor him because he is usually pro-Israel. He has been honored and given high-profile awards by the ADL, the Simon Wiesnthal Center, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, retired British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and Aish Hatorah.

According to Eric Alterman, in the Nation:

It’s worth remembering that Murdoch’s employees at Fox News have been known to engage in some hateful Jewish stereotyping as well. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly once told a Jewish caller to “go to Israel” if he found himself offended by public Christmas displays. Glenn Beck, while a Fox employee, slandered George Soros as America’s “puppet master,” an old anti-Semitic canard, and even displayed the image of a Star of David while doing so.

Complaints about the allegedly Jewish-owned media are supposed to spur organizations like Abe Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League into action. But Murdoch is not only a powerful right-wing publisher; he is also a billionaire who funds quite a few of the right-wing Jewish publications and organizations he does not own, picking up awards (and apologists) from them like lint on a cheap suit. I didn’t make it to the ADL International Leadership Award dinner honoring Murdoch, or the Simon Wiesenthal Humanitarian dinner, the Museum of Jewish Heritage Award dinner, the American Jewish Committee National Human Relations Award dinner, etc., though I did once attend a United Jewish Appeal-Federation “Humanitarian of the Year” ceremony for the guy.

Looking at the big picture, it is clear that Rupert Murdoch, and by extension, the New York Post, one of his many tabloids, is totally OK to most Jewish leaders, except when his nasty traits happens to land on their head. In short, the outrage is hypocrisy.

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9 thoughts on “If You Think the NY Post Was Mean to Slain Slumlord Stark . . .

  1. Okay Mr. Lopin. Most of us don’t know who you are, but if we’ll get to know, and expose something wrong that you’ve done, and on the basis of that, negate all of the good things you’ve done, and write a nasty article about you, we’ll see if you’re a hypocrite because you’re bothered by your own blood-spill more than about somebody else’s.

    We are brothers aren’t we? Do you not say Acheinu Kol Bais yisroel? So you complain that we are more hurt by shame being mercilessly poured upon our brutally slain brother, than about some other wrong that doesn’t directly touch any of us. So therefore I challenge you to feel as much pain about some Rupert Murdoch thing as your own personally tragedy. Or is a fellow Jew not our brother? And if he sinned, is he then not our brother. Do you skip the verses in the Yomim Noraim Tefillos which say Bain Kach Ubain Kan Nikroim Banim Lamokom? It’s there for our benefit, so that Hashem should judge us favorably. So to ask for this on our own behalf, but to make Menachem Stark out to be a villain worthy of the brutal punishment he got, is hypocrisy.

    Menachem Stark has been totally put to shame in the worst way on your blog, and all of the good deeds that he has done which are reported in other forums whose biases differ from yours, are totally ignored and even denied. You have no basis to deny his good deeds, because how could anyone assert what an individual has not done, and many are reporting some amazing good deeds done by Menachem Stark. These are reported by people who claim to know first hand. But you deny this. You refuse to acknowledge that there was any redeeming value to this person. Instead you are figuratively dancing on his grave with a victorious AHA!. Apparently, your cause is better served by vilifying this Satmar chassid.

    • Your brain is so infected with a sense of privilege and paranoia that you cannot even see clearly what I say.

      1. My previous post, “Speaking of the Dead” clearly spoke of his good deeds and the tragedy for his family and community.

      2. Of course it hurts to be criticized but that does not make the criticism unfair or entitle you or anyone to demand that people lay off on the criticism.

      3. I am quite clear that Murdoch is a nasty piece of work. I find his headline in this case offensive. I merely made the point that it is narishkeit to think it was motivated by antisemitism or should be criticized for that trait. However, I did say, those who criticize him for this should be consistent and stop supporting him as a great defender of Jews and a humanitarian.

      4. Sadly, I see very ugly facts about Stark that I would have skipped commenting on until a decent period passed but then we got this absurd claim he was a tzadik and the whole world had to rise to defend against this vile campaign of antisemitism. When people play this sort of nasty, high-profile PR game they are playing with fire. Have you considered how much antisemitism this campaign will generate, especially if the end of the story implicates Stark and his associates in more ugliness. Consider how much harm Satmar caused to Jews by their high profile defense of Weberman. As a matter of menschlickeit and common sense they should have privately raised enough money for him to pay a lawyer to negotiate a decent plea bargain. It would have ended up as a minor story on the back pages of the local newspapers and a sentence of just a few years. But no, the new chutzpah of Satmar, which keeps on telling us behave like we are in golus, is to behave like they are the kings of Brooklyn. They confuse the malchus of the Rebbes and their influence on a few local politicians with so much power that they can be arrogant. Satmar’s Weberman shenanigans ended up hurting the reputation of all Jews and landed him in prison for life.

      The problem is not the NY Post, however trashy and vile they may be. The problem is the misperception and arrogance that is catapulting this into a story that will come to haunt the reputation of decent frum Jews.

      Don’t blame the messenger.

      • 1. This is the total extent of your generous comments there or anywhere for stark.
        He had a wife, children, siblings, and other relatives who were heartbroken. He was part of the Satmar community where he gave charity to both factions and regularly hosted fundraisers
        This is not really very generous at all, and isn’t by any stretch speaking nicely of him and whatever bit of prise you could extrapolate from your stingy words is Batul B’eleph in all of the bad mouthing.
        Your commentators agree with me in the way I see your Shita, and find this a comfortable forum to bad mouth Stark and all of Satmar. The comments back and forth, including yours by all means, are full of hatred to the above. You aren’t speaking like a brother who painfully must deal with the sins of his brother. You are speaking like an enemy.

        You say it hurts to be criticized. That’s not what i’m hurt about. I have taken criticism many times with integrity.

        I totally agree with you about what you are saying about the Weberman story, and I felt way throughout. But here, while it is customary(Al Pi Halacha) to eulogize the dead, you do the opposite. I agree that it is foolish to call everything antisemitism. So it seems that some of the hurt brothers have a mistake with this and this is the way they are used to venting their pain in such a story. How are you venting the painful murder of a brother. By chastising him and taunted anyone who cared for him?!

        In Shulchan Oruch it says to enhance and slightly exaggerate the good deeds in a eulogy. You do the opposite by minimizing the amount of Chessed that he has done and by saying that the Chesed that he has done is worthless because he allegedly had dishonest business dealings.

        Your Ahavas Yisroel needs some improvement.

        • Is it tzedkah if it isn’t your own money? I think not. Believe it or not, there are many more bad things that I could have said but didn’t. I understand the rules for eulogies and wrote about them in my post, “speaking of the dead” but also made the point that the police have a different responsibility. They are charged with finding the murderer. Sometimes the story of the murder reflects badly on the victim, but justice demands we prosecute the murderer and reveal unpleasant facts if that is necessary.

          As for his chesed, kol hakavod to him for all real chesed, but most of it involved tzedakah via money. How can anyone who is bankrupt with unpaid coivos give someone else’s money away and how should that be reckoned as tzedakah. Even if there was not a penny of theft, there are unpaid choivois and there is an obligation, al pi halachah, to pay them off before spending the money on tzedakah. Otherwise it is not even mitzvah haboh b’aveira. It just isn’t a mitzvah. Slight exageration is not something I am objecting to. It is outrageous distortion.

          BTW, I completely agree that eulogy should not be about negatives. But that is not a heter for outright sheker.

    • this guy defaulted on $30mm in loans from a Mob connected bank in Chicago. a mob connected bank that then went bankrupt. if he was doing “good deeds”, by which i assume you mean charitable, he was doing it with Other Peoples Money, not his own.

      Further he was a slumlord, as seems to be well documented.

      Being found in a dumpster, it was probably a mob hit.

  2. Joel Kestenbaum , Fortis Properties and ODA was first eyed as a suspect in Menachem Starks murder because of his motives in acquiring all the properties that he purchased the defaulted notes on from the banks and wanted to avoid lengthy legal battles with stark, Now the suspect is a local contractor that was stiffed for $20gs,then we heard its the Greek family that lost their Bank after they loaned Stark and Israel Perlmutter money and his wife divorced him when money ran out when the FDIC shut National Bank down, then it was a Ohio van, then a Boro park van now its a Brownsvill van. Is this all a smokescreen? Are they going to can a poor guy from the hood because there is pressure to make an arrest and say he killed Stark? This is how it all sounds . chow

  3. Nothing anti semitic about asking a question about a criminal slum lord who is a member of the Saint Mary cult the openly promotes criminal behavior.

    Glenn Beck is a great friend of Jews. I guess you didn’t notice him running a major rally in Israel for Israel.

    As opposed to MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN which all keep running stories about the poor oppressed Palestinians and the illegal Jewish settlements in Jerusalem etc Fox News has Sean Hannity regularly condemning Obama’s anti Israel attacks.

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