Thursday, December 23, 2010
Politicians Praise Riverdale Review But Fail to Disclose Conflicts
In this week's Riverdale Review, five politicians (BP Diaz, Councilman Koppell, Congressman Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Dinowitz and State Senator-elect Espaillat) took a not-too-subtle stance on the community boycott raging against the Riverdale Review. They all took full page ads (although I am sure Andy Wolf did not charge them the full freight) to congratulate the Review on 18 years in business. Of course, what 3 of them did not disclose is that they have major conflicts of interest concerning the paper. As previously reported in the Riverdale Press, it was Congressman Eliot Engel who along with Councilman Koppell who helped Andy Wolf acquire the paper 17 years ago by assisting him with obtaining financial support and legal assistance to complete the transaction. So when Councilman Koppell says in his ad "A free press is the hallmark of a great community" he is being about as hypocritical as a politician can be. Before he goes around pretending that the Review is a unbiased newspaper, he should disclose that he was instrumental in making sure Andy Wolf could purchase the paper and he has benefitted greatly from that assistance. The same goes for Congressman Engel. There should be no mystery why Mr. Wolf supports these politicians given this history. The same also goes for Mr. Diaz. One of his top aides is John DeSio, who wrote for the Review for nearly a decade. Just as telling is that when Diaz first ran for BP, Andy Wolf created a blog called Bronx Press Politics that was written almost entirely by -- guess who -- John DeSio. As you can see by checking out the blog (until they take it down), it reads like a Diaz campaign website. So is it any wonder why the public is so cynical about politicians and their motives? And finally, while all these politicians were patting Andy Wolf on the back for his "18th year fighting for better schools and a stronger community" (as Diaz put it), in the very same issue he was busy once again attacking P.S. 24 in 3 of his articles and an editorial. I guess this is what they are referring to as a great service to our community?