web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Selective Labeling

The furor over the New York Post’s outrageous coverage of the murder of Menachem Stark, including its repeated and irrelevant references to Mr. Stark’s being a chassidic Jew, focused the community’s attention on that particular story. But similar things regularly slip under the radar.

While the facts underlying those stories don’t approach the gruesomeness of the Stark murder, they all share the element of gross stereotyping. This becomes clear when similarly negative stories about non-Jews routinely omit any ethnic or religious labeling.

Several days after the Post’s Jan. 5 Stark front-pager that elicited so much public criticism, the tabloid ran a story with the headline “Four Orthodox Jewish men arrested for court pix of sex accuser.” Not to be outdone, the New York Daily News headlined its version of the story “Brooklyn Hasid claims fraudster tweeted pic of sex abuse victim.”

What, exactly, did the religious persuasion of the subjects have to do with the events being reported on? Indeed, nothing in the stories provided a clue. And as we noted in a Jan. 10 editorial (“The New York Post and the Stark Murder,”), the Post’s Jan. 5 Stark story began with the introduction of Mr. Stark as a “millionaire Hasidic slumlord.” We also drew attention to an August 2012 Post story headlined “Drug-Cash Rap vs. Hasid Trio.”

Tellingly, a quick Google search reveals a wholly different approach when non-Jews are the subjects. Last October, the Daily News ran a story about someone described as “One of the worst landlords in the Bronx [who] is facing jail time after failing to make hundreds of repairs to an apartment building that has fallen into ‘deplorable’ disrepair.” But there was nothing about the landlord’s religion or ethnicity. Nor was the headline that accompanied the story any help. It read, merely, “Judge orders filthy Bronx landlord to jail.” To be sure there was a picture that accompanied the article, but it was of one of the building in question.

And last week the News ran a story headlined “Brooklyn slumlord, who blocks boiler from being repaired, slapped with jail, $382G in fines.” There was a picture of the “slumlord,” who appeared to be a person of color. But there was no mention of ethnicity or religion in the story which, online, ran to five pages.

There was also a story in the News last April about events on an American Airlines flight from Miami to New York that was headlined “Man charged with molesting sleeping female….” No mention of the ethnicity or religion of the alleged perpetrator, nor was there any in the story itself. (We were, however, provided with the man’s name, which suggested Indian or Pakistani descent, and a picture of an American Airlines plane.)

One would have hoped that the pushback that ensued after the Post’s Stark coverage would have had an effect, and apparently there was some – but only to a point. Last Friday, the Post ran a story about how police now believe Mr. Stark was killed over a $20,000 debt to a contractor. The piece was headlined “Police eye contractor owed $20K in slumlord’s murder.” Gone was the deplorable “Hasidic” reference. Yet the Post seems bent on not letting go of the image of Mr. Stark as some evil tormentor of tenants. Hence the buzzword “slumlord” even in a story inconsistent with the original theory that the murderers may have been disgruntled tenants.

(And it was after the Stark episode that the News ran with its regrettable reference, mentioned above, to the “Brooklyn Hasid” and his claim about the fraudulent tweeting of some pictures.)

However, in sharp contrast to the Post, this is how the News headlined its story on the latest developments in the Stark case: “Despite owing millions to creditors, Brooklyn landlord, Menachem Stark, killed over single $20,000 debt: Police.” Plainly “landlord” is an equally efficient and certainly less pejorative identifying device than “slumlord.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Selective Labeling”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
One of Indicted FIFA Officials Blamed ‘Zionism’ for 2011 Bribe Charge
Latest Indepth Stories
SADNA

{Guest columnist Sarah Manning) Jenny and Sima Solomon are joining with women from all over Israel to swim across the Kinneret to raise funds for Sadnat-Shiluv, a unique program of empowerment for young adults with special needs. Hundreds of religious women are expected to gather on the Kinneret shore for the annual Swim4Sadna women-only sponsored-swim […]

Robert Wistrich (z"l)

Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry

J-Street

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student

NY Times precious front page ink is only reserved for portrayals of Israel as the aggressor.

Although I loved law school, I doubted myself: Who would come to me, a chassidish woman lawyer?

American Jews who go gaga for Obama are first and foremost “Liberals of the Mosaic Persuasion”

“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the BDS campaign”

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

More Articles from Editorial Board

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/selective-labeling/2014/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: