NY Post Causes Major Controversy Over Outrageous Headline Of Murdered Orthodox Jewish Man
A Brooklyn landlord was found murdered this weekend, and many say the New York Post’s headline about the incident was inappropriate.
Menachem “Max” Stark, 39, was kidnapped late Thursday and found dead in a trash bin a day later. His body had burns and bruises and appeared to have been suffocated, according to CBS Local.
The Post reported the victim was a “slumlord” with angry tenants in more than a dozen residential properties. The Post also reported that Stark was deep in debt, having defaulted on more than $30 million in real estate loans and having owed tens of thousands in building violation penalties.
All this made for one controversial front cover reading, “Who didn’t want him dead?”
Backlash Against The Headline
Many are outraged by Sunday’s front cover for the Post, a tabloid long known for being controversial. The corresponding article, titled “Slain slumlord found in trash has enemies list a mile long,” is also under scrutiny.
The article focused on Stark’s long list of potential enemies. It quoted one police officer as saying, “Any number of people wanted to kill this guy.” It centered around tenants and contractors recalling bad experiences with him, rather than focusing on the murder itself.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a public statement that he was in “absolute shock” after reading the article, adding that it “almost justifies his murder.”
Others point to the fact that Stark was a Hasidic jew. The father of seven was well-liked in his tight-knit community, and some people close to him have spoken out. “The motive might be to sell as many copies as possible or it could be that he is Jewish and a lot of people don’t like Jews. It makes you wonder,” Abraham Buxbaum, Stark’s brother-in-law, told CNN.
Rabbi David Niederman told CNN that the Post was justifying the murder and giving people a “license to kill.” He said, “It really hurts that such a heinous crime, instead of being condemned, is glorified.”
New York Post Stands By Its Reporting
The New York Post has defended its cover and article, which many are calling offensive and insensitive. The reporting wasn’t meant to justify the murder, it says, but rather to make a point about how many motives and suspects there could be.
A spokesperson for the Post 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.”