When I decided to return to blogging, I was hoping to ease into it, I wasn’t expecting to be thrown into the deep end on day one. Silly me should have known better. So what’s on my mind today?
If you live in New York or are a member of the Hasidic Jewish community living anywhere on the planet you’ve most likely head the horrific story of the Hasidic Jewish businessman who was abducted, murdered and burnt in a dumpster.
A quick recap: Menachem Stark, 40, a Hasidic Jewish businessman, father of 8 children, was kidnapped by two assailants late Thursday night as he left his office on Broadway. He was grabbed by two people and shoved into a van as he left his office in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. His body was found Friday afternoon in a dumpster at a Great Neck gas station.
As with any story of its kind conspiracy theories tend to run like wildfire and this story is no different. What is different in this case is how some in the media have chosen to justify the killing for the sake of making a quick buck.
The Culprit: The New York Post
To say this headline was heartless would be a compliment to the Post, it would suggest the writers there actually have a heart. This headline and the story that goes along with it is no less horrific than the killing of the father of the now eight innocent orphans.
Who didn’t want him dead? Let’s see: His wife, his eight children, his friends, his 50,000+ community members, and of the 8,500,000 people living in New York I would say at least 8,400,900 didn’t want him dead. There are the 100 that did: evidently the two assailants and by their own admission the staff at the New York Post.
Regardless of what one thinks of Mr Starks business dealings, shady or not, he did pay the ultimate price. This headline was obviously intended to embarrass him, but in case the NYP missed it, he’s dead he can be embarrassed no more. All this did is add salt to the wound of an innocent widow and her eight broken children.
The post then proceeds with accusations and unconfirmed allegations by anonymous “sources” and to justify the disgraceful headline they shrink even lower by suggesting Mr Stark was paedophile.
Let the record state that Mr. Stark was never convicted ofanything.
I knew Menachem, albeit not on a personal level, but I know him. I do not know much of his business dealings much less of his investments and debts. What I do know is that Mr Stark lived a very simple life. Sure he had a nice car, a decent house but he didn’t live an extravagant lifestyle, he wasn’t a high flyer that walked around throwing money around. What he did do is help people in need. If you needed some money to feed your family, Menachem was the first person you would call. If you were marrying off a child Menachem would call you to offer his assistance before you even thought of asking anyone for help. Charity organizations and religious institutions know they could turn to Menachem for help with any financial shortfalls. So yeah, there are many people who did not want him dead.
The people who actually knew him, the people he helped and was there for are his friends, his neighbours, his community. Those people are not anonymous those people will gladly tell you their names. It is those who speculate, conspire and blow things out of proportion and take things out of context that usually hide under the cover of “unnamed” and “anonymous”.
The post wrote an entire article attacking Mr Stark accusing him of shady dealings just to make a quick buck, the irony is that by using this headline and writing this article the post did exactly that: A slum headline, shady journalism just to make a quick buck.
Here is a suggestion should the Post wish to make amends. In your article you claim Mr Stark was deep in debt which would suggest he left a widow and eight children with nothing to fend themselves, how about as a gesture of good will you donate all proceeds from this issue to help the family in their time of need? Nah I didn’t think so, would make the entire headline pointless, wouldn’t it?
UPDATED: New York Post spokeswoman Suzanne Halpin said in a statement:
“The Post does not say Mr. Stark deserved to die but our reporting showed that he had many enemies, which may have led to the commission of this terrible crime. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of loss.”
You did NOT say he deserved to die? Did you READ your headline? How do the words “Slumlord found dead in dumpster – Who didn’t want him dead” not imply that he didn’t deserve to die? While you didn’t say it outright the headline clearly implies that he had it coming.
Are we now supposed to thank you for your prayers? Where were those thoughts and prayers last night when you decided to destroy a mourning widow and the eight young orphans? Were you praying they won’t read your paper? That prayer may be answered pretty soon by 1000’s of your readers.