Close this search box.

Op-Ed: The Media Should Apologize For Their Reporting On The Menachem Stark Murder

starkThree years ago, 38 year old chassidic father of SEVEN young children, Menachem Stark, A”H (may he rest in peace) was abducted one snowy night, when leaving his office in Williamsburgh and, R’L, his body found 17 hours later partially burned in a garbage bin in Great Neck.

At the time, the despicable media splashed pictures of him on their front pages and without any cause or justification heaped on seemingly libelous speculation as to the motives for his murder, and calling him various libelous names due to his occupation.

I will not repeat them here to give them any further “life”.

As the case unfolded those speculations by the despicable press proved completely baseless. This senseless and brutal murder, R”L, (mercy be spared) turned out to be nothing more or less than an abduction and extortion plot gone awry.

Why I mention this today, almost three years later is that as I am drinking my morning coffee, and reading my morning newspaper, there is a small item on the bottom of page 14, that a fourth man has been indicted in this crime. But as they describe Menachem Stark, the (very visually Jewish) victim today, at the bottom of page 14, they write “…charged with the abduction and murder of….38 year old real estate investor…a Hasidic man with seven children…” far cry from the derogatory description of three years ago, that I remember quite vividly. All of sudden now, he is simply an innocent victim, the same innocent victim that he was three years ago, though you would have never known it from the press.

It turns out that one of the perpetrators had done some work for him and saw an opportunity to extort some money. How paradoxical that the victim was presumed “guilty” ab initio while perpetrators are guaranteed a presumption of innocence.

Why do I even bring this up today? Because at the time of the crime there was a wife and children and presumably parents and siblings, who were in intense pain at the unsurpassed agony of losing their husband, father, son, brother etc. in a senseless crime. Imagine the magnification of that pain by the felonious postings of the “news” media.

Yes I understand the concept of freedom of the press, but that is NOT what happened here. The constitution does not grant free reign to the media to viciously speculate with a devil may care attitude. Their task is to report the news, and most importantly to report it honestly. Yes I am not naive, Journalistic Integrity is dead, if it ever really existed, and its all about selling the paper. The proviso “if it bleeds, it leads” , however, still assumes that there is real blood

The media (in my somewhat less than humble opinion) owes the entire Stark family, especially his widow and children, (maybe even the entire Jewish community) an apology, an apology as public as their offensive, unfounded and certainly untrue speculations. In my opinion, they owe much more and should be made to feel it in their bottom line, because we all recognize the reality that without financial risk and loss, there is no hope for any responsibility.

B. Lisa Neuman


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

4 Responses

  1. I also felt that the ny post went beyond the pale and they should be called to account. But let’s not hold our breath

    R”L (The Merciful One should spare us) from the malicious and malevolent press.

  2. The author has not told us which media were despicable. The only despicable report about Mr. Stark’s I can recall is the New York Post. (There may have been other despicable reports, but the Post report is the one I remember.) To ask “the media” to apologize is nonsense, because “media” is plural, and many news mediums were not despicable in their reporting on Mr. Stark’s tragedy. I would go so far as to say that complaints about “the media” without naming specific publications is despicable.

  3. Very sad. They did make it look like tyere was someone who was owed a lot of mobey. Many real estste developers and contrsctors and people who service landlors have taken extra security measures after this and are still very saddened by the senseless loss/ carnage

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts