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Monday, January 23, 2012

Riverdale Review Editor Finally Admits that Congressman Engel and Councilman Koppell Helped Him Acquire Paper




Chris Bragg over at City Hall blog managed to get an answer to a question that people have been asking for nearly a decade -- who helped Andy Wolf acquire the Riverdale Review nearly two decades ago? The answer confirmed the long-standing rumors that Congressman Eliot Engel and Councilman Oliver Koppell were instrumental in his ability to acquire the paper. Earlier today Andy Wolf "acknowledged that in the mid-1990’s – when he bought the Review – Engel made a phone call to a Elias Karmon, a local businessman, in an effort persuade Karmon to give Wolf a loan that would allow him to buy the paper. Wolf declined to say how much the loan was worth. Wolf also acknowledged that Koppell, an attorney, did some pro-bono legal work on his behalf that helped complete the transaction. " For years it has been whispered that these elected officials made it possible for Wolf to acquire the paper, and it appears they have been rewarded handsomely with two decades of favorable coverage. Not surprisingly, despite being asked in another local publication about their involvement, neither has ever acknowledged any role -- but that may change now that Wolf has come clean.

56 comments:

  1. Wow . . . that explains a lot. Sounds like a conflict of interest for him and the pols.

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    1. It is UNETHICAL and DISGRACEFUL for elected officials to secretly solicit and steer money to a politically motivated newspaper in exchange for supportive coverage of themselves and negative propaganda about their opponents.

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    2. As always, just follow the money!

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    3. This is classic Political Corruption!

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    4. So in the case of the Riverdale Review, the elected officials used other people's money to solidify their hold on a local news outlet. Such a secret and shady deal is a flagrant conflict of interest as well as an egregious breach of the public’s trust.

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    5. For the congressman, it suggests a breach of the House rules governing gifts.

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    6. this is really disturbing

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    7. This does make clear so much for me. And not in a good way. But at least I know now.

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    8. So that's why the Riverdale Review's content has always been so strikingly one-sided in favor of lackluster politicians like Eliot Engel, Oliver Koppell and Jeffrey Dinowitz.

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  2. Finally we know without any doubt exactly why Andrew Wolf attacks the people he attacks and praises the people he praises.

    Mr. Wolf has no journalistic credibility. He is just a hired gun, bought and paid for by two unethical legislators.

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    1. It's a damning admission.

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  3. This is a stunning admission. Wolf is a total hypocrite!

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    1. a totally replusive man

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  4. This sounds like a death-bed admission from Andy Wolf.

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    1. Wolf falls victim to himself.

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    2. Now, that's how to run a boycott!

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    3. So far, for the boycott this has been the Best Week Ever!

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  5. The Riverdale Review is basically, by Andy Wolf's own confession, the in-house organ of the Ben Franklin Club. Dinowitz must have known about this. The real question is: HOW LONG DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS JEFF?

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  6. This is proof that the Review is a newspaper in the lap of the local politicians. And it delegitimizes anything Wolf writes about them and their political opponents.

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    1. Exactly right. The Riverdale Review is NOT a real newspaper. It's a paid mouthpiece created by and serving a gang of local elected officials.

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    2. How absurd and how absolutely disgraceful.

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  7. So now the truth comes out about why Congressman Eliot Engel, Councilman Oliver Koppell and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have never really taken on Andy Wolf for the Riverdale Review’s biased, false and destructive reporting over all these years. The secret deal is just disgusting.

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  8. This admission clears up several things and brings others into question. For example, now we know why Wolf so vehemently opposed Laura Spalter when she ran against Koppell for city council in 2001. Wolf exploded an unending barrage of lies about her, printing complete fabrications and demonizing her. He was working for Oliver!

    It tells us why he also demonized the long-time political opponent of the Ben Franklin club and publisher of this blog, Tony Cassino. Cassino was attacked by Wolf the moment he appeared on the political scene because the Ben Franklin club knew he was a formidable opponent and, of course, Wolf was their lap dog.

    It also shows us why Dinowitz even now supports the Review financially by continuing to place full-page ads in that rag. His actions in support of the Review show us that he too is part of this unholy alliance and he should be asked, "what did he know and when did he know it?"

    It is awful to contemplate that 18 year ago these three local politicians, Engel, Dinowitz and Koppell created this creature of hate. This yellow journalist who served their political ambitions, destroyed the reputations of political opponents and deeply divided this community.

    Their continued support is shameful and they should come clean

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    1. You forgot to mention Hockert.

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    2. Larry Hockert, one-time community board 8 chair, is alleged to be another Review financial backer. The allegation is that at that 18 years ago he had political ambitions and loaned money to Wolf.

      However, Hockert never entered the political fray, and unlike the unholy three (Engel, Dinowitz and Koppell), he never provided fodder for Wolf to destroy anyone's reputation.

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  9. Elias Karmon, the guy who actually loaned Wolf the money, was on the board of Ponce De Leon bank. Now we know why a bank that purports to serve Hispanics continues to place full-page ads in a paper that trashes them. Disgusting. There is nothing legitimate about the Riverdale Review.

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  10. So the truth is out now.

    The question is what are we going to do about it? Is it really surprising that politicians lie, cheat and steal?

    The whole charade with the Living Wage and the Kingsbridge Armory is only a tactic being used by those in power to keep the poor POOR for the sole purpose of the persons in power to enrich themselves by stalling a desperately needed development project that would lead to more than 1200 permanent jobs for the neighborhood. The politicians in Riverdale and their cronies in the Borough Presidents office are all waiting for sweet deals for their construction company owner friends and pay offs from businesses that would be willing to fatten the pockets of the greedy pigs in office at the expense of the very people who needed the jobs in the first place.

    What a bunch of lowlife scumbags we have running the show in Riverdale.

    Engel/Koppell/Wolf/Dinowitz all need to be sent packing.

    Take them down Tony.

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    1. I agree that Engel Dinowitz and Koppell all suck big time, but this is a pretty serious allegation you make. Please back it up with hard evidence please. Where have you proven that they have taken money from developers and construction companies? Please cite the sources and please post a link to any article or lawsuit that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what you allege.

      It is all well and good to hate on politicians. I hate them all too. But it is far better for your argument to stick to what you know rather than what you believe.

      Maybe a good place to start is looking at where federal earmarks get spent. A few years ago, Engel was giving millions to Orange county businesses that supplied stuff like blankets and other goods to the army. This may be a good line of inquiry.

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  11. JUST STOP,,, I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT

    It would be journalistic suicide for Andrew Wolf (or any newspaper editor) to admit what this reporter said he said. Most likely, the reporter simply misunderstood what Mr. Wolf was saying. Otherwise, it's just insane.

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    1. Yes, maybe he's just insane!

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    2. Don't believe everything you read in the media

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  12. Just wait until his advertisers find out what a fake he is.

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  13. I just heard that Brendan McHugh, one of Wolf's two main yellow-journalist hacks, is leaving the Riverdale Review for greener pastures.

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

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    1. Shrinking staff, shrinking advertising, shrinking circulation . . . The writing is on the wall!

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    2. thats frickin sweet!

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  14. What a difference a good boycott makes.

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  15. The funny thing is that Wolf claims to be "independent"!!! How can a hired mouthpiece be indpendent?

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  16. I just perused the latest issue of the Riverdale Press and not a mention of this story! Perhaps the editor, Kate Pastor, hasn't had enough time yet to properly develop what is certainly a front-page story. I await next week's issue. However, if it doesn't appear by then, she should be denounced for being in cahoots with the "unholy 3".

    Three local politicians in a conspiracy for almost 20 years to control the local news is something all Riverdalians should know about. Ten years ago the former publishers of this Pulitzer-prize-winning newspaper first shined a light on this conspiracy, and now we have an admission from one of the conspirators. If the Riverdale Press doesn't print this that would be some come down.

    Either way the Riverdale Press ain't what it used to be.

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  17. He and his poltician friends are just gross. The situation they have created is so wrong.

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  18. What did Jeffrey Dinowitz know, and when did he know it?

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  19. Here's the thing with Diaz Jr.:

    Koppell, Dinowitz and Engle all take turns putting their hands up Diaz Jr.'s ass to make him say what THEY want him to say and do what THEY want him to do. Explains why Diaz Jr. is always jumpy or bouncing around. He can feel their hands in everything he does. Does that make him a man or does that make him a fool?

    The bottom line is, Diaz Jr. is a ventriloquists dummy for the Riverdale Trifecta: A lying resident of Maryland who voted in favor of indefinite detention of those suspected of "terrorism"; a Queen who nearly was trampled and stomped at the Paradise on the Concourse (he put on quite a performance, clutching his pearls and what have he); and a Walking Corpse who has had one too many facelifts and far too many connections to developers and landlords.

    If Diaz Jr. used at least one of those electric sliding feet to take a stand against that stronghold the Riverdale Trifecta has on Bronx politics maybe we would be able to get more accomplished. Until then, he is just a shucker and jiver for the ventriloquists that use him. What a shame.

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    1. This is absolutely the single FUNNIEST and MOST ACCURATE posting I have ever seen about Bronx politics.

      Whoever you are Mr. Anonymous, please keep commenting early and often!

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    2. It' true ... these guys are highly mockable.

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  20. OMG ... this is the smoking gun we've been waiting for. I can't believe that it was Wolf who confirmed it.

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    1. Calm down! It's not like Wolf has a reputation for truthfulness and decency to begin with.

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  21. He claims the the Riverdale Review is an independent newspaper, but the reality is clear: Andrew Wolf has spent nearly two decades dutifully serving the politicians who are his paymasters.

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  22. You idiots in the Bronx got some crazy shit going on with your newspapers and congeressmen

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    1. yeah ... it's called UNETHICAL and a CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

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  23. To me, ThE Riverdale Review is basically three things .. malicious attacks .. shitty writing .. bad fact checking

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  24. You people up in Riverdale are idiots for tolerating this stuff.

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    1. Wolf is a hired gun who is all about personal attacks and intolerance.

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  25. Everybody is screaming about the Riverdale Review, but honestly, I haven't seen a copy of this glorified toilet paper in months!

    There used to be a free stack at my doctor's office every week but no more -- not in months. Are they even still in business?

    My guess is that if a pile shows up somewhere, somebody immediately 86s it.

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  26. He's obviously cutting back on his distribution and staff.

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    1. It is now clear for all to see that Andrew Wolf's mouth is taking a big bite out of his wallet.

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  27. The admission by Andy Wolf explains in no uncertain terms exactly why his weekly tabloid has been getting the local news so wrong for so long. I'm glad people are finally calling him to account. They also need to hold the elected official responsible for this dirty dealing.

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  28. I don't think he can combat what seems to be a steep decline in readership, advertising and profits. It's time for the boycotters to finish off that rag.

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