Thursday, May 06, 2010

In coverage of Goldstein move, the New York Post lies and Forest City Ratner (apparently) displays its vindictiveness

Evidence suggests that Forest City Ratner is still trying to be vindictive to Daniel Goldstein, and the tabloid press is a happy partner. The New York Post's Rich Calder, diminishing his integrity, wrote, in a blog post yesterday headlined It's game over for Nets Arena holdout Goldstein:
Here’s Brooklyn’s new $3 million man packing up his belongings and fleeing his longtime hood to pave way for Nets basketball.
Two lies, one sentence. He's not close to being a "$3 million man," given the cost of legal fees, taxes, and a replacement apartment. (Forest City Ratner's gained far more value from the override of zoning.)

And Goldstein, who's moving a short distance away, could hardly be said to be fleeing, after living alone in his building with his family for more than five years.

Who let the photographer in?

Calder continues:
Daniel Goldstein, the longtime Atlantic Yards project holdout who last month accepted a $3 million settlement from developer Bruce Ratner that allows an NBA arena to be built, freaked out today outside his now-former Prospect Heights home after the Post photographed him watching movers pack his belongings into two large vans.

Goldstein, while holding his young daughter Sita in a baby carrier, got so furious that he yelled, "It’s a private street! Get off, or I’ll call the cops," said photographer Benny Stumbo. However, Stumbo said he had already gotten permission to shoot in front of the soon-to-be demolished condo complex at 636 Pacific Street from a security guard watching the fenced-up block for Ratner.
Well, it is a private street, so why was photographer Benny J. Stumbo allowed? Did FCR tell the guard to let the photographer in? Does the Post really think that a picture of someone's baby is fair game?

Goldstein's response

I asked Goldstein for comment and he responded:
"The photographer was shooting right out on my street and shooting me. I do not know how he knew I was moving at that precise moment, but I have my guesses. When I told him to leave me alone and he wouldn't, we had a heated exchange (one in which I explained to him the street was private and residents and their visitors were only allowed, and he did not want to believe me despite a big sign saying so at the entrance to the street), ending with him telling me 'Put down your baby, take off your glasses and I will beat your ass.' It was an idle threat, but out of proportion to anything I did. I certainly did not threaten him in any way.
Misattribution and lack of credit

Calder writes, without a hyperlink:
The blog Atlantic Yards Report has reported that $600,000 of Goldstein’s profits will have to go towards paying off legal fees.
Actually, I wrote:
Thus, the attorney's fee would be either $622,500 or $821,700.
And I didn't call the money "profits."

Some perspective

Why was this more important news than any analysis of, say, the Development Agreement that sets 25 years as a deadline to finish the project?

Because the Post, like so many in the media, doesn't think its job is to hold public agencies accountable. Its job is to grab a few eyeballs, at whatever the cost to its reputation.

2 comments:

  1. I wonder whether the security guard would have been just as accommodating and let in photographers, (videographers, whatever) whose perceived agenda was to give Ratner, Prokhorov and Barclays bad press. I wonder this whether or not Goldstein would, himself, have been entitled to have invite such supportive members of the press in as his guests. The fact is that Ratner had now taken control as Mr. Goldstein’s defacto landlord. It must be very frustrating when someone who has seized (many would stress illegally seized) control of you property uses that control to selectively facilitate your harassment.

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York
    http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/

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  2. and further, it's testimony to what the future holds for Brooklynites who want to experience Ratner's definition of "open space." "Open" only after an interview with a security guard, that is. This is the first instance of many wherein Ratner will get to decide who comes in to Prospect Heights, and how does not.

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