Apparently, anti-Semitism is no worse than a technical foul
when it comes to the National Basketball Association. New York Knicks guard
Charlie Ward is getting away with a slap on the wrist for contemptible
anti-Semitic remarks he made recently to The
New York Times Magazine . Compare the light-handed rebuke Mr. Ward received
from N.B.A. commissioner David Stern with the $50,000 that Dennis Rodman was
fined after making derogatory comments about Mormons, and the $25,000 that New
Jersey Nets coach John Calipari was fined after slandering Mexicans. Apparently
Mr. Stern, who is himself of the Jewish faith, was concerned about appearing
too Jewish, and so let Mr. Ward off the hook.
Mr. Ward’s statements to The
Times were of the standard, lunatic anti-Semitic variety. He said “Jews are
stubborn,” that they persecute Christians every day and that Jews “had blood on
their hands” for the death of Christ. Teammates Allan Houston and Mark Jackson
have leapt to his defense, with Mr. Jackson saying, “I wish there were more
guys like Charlie Ward in this league, in this world in general.” Where did Mr. Ward and his teammates learn that
anti-Semitism is acceptable? One can surmise it comes from “role models”
such as Jesse Jackson and Louis
Farrakhan, who weave anti-Jewish messages into their appeals to young
Leaving aside for a moment Mr. Ward’s bigotry, one must also
question his intelligence: He plays in New York City, home to the largest
Jewish community outside of Israel. Did he think his comments would fall on
deaf ears? And when the Knicks guard took
the floor in Sunday’s game, he had written Biblical references-”Romans
16:20″-on his sneakers, as if to reinforce his bizarre mental state.
Joining Mr. Stern in
coddling Mr. Ward are Charles Dolan, chairman of Cablevision, which owns
the Knicks, and David Checketts, president of Madison Square Garden, neither of
whom has shown the courage to strongly condemn Mr. Ward’s comments. Likewise,
the would-be candidates for Mayor have been conspicuously silent. Equally
reprehensible was a column by The New
York Times’ William C. Rhoden, in which he essentially dismissed Mr. Ward’s
behavior as just a case of “boys will be boys,” rather than the virulent
anti-Semitism that it really is. Mr. Rhoden’s subtext was that winning is
everything and erases anything so minor as anti-Semitism.
Mr. Ward is responsible for his ugly words, but it is the
refusal of so many others, especially those in positions of power, to stand up
to those words that is truly shocking.
N.Y.U. Makes a
During the past 30 years, as New York University has
transformed itself from a commuter school into one of the world’s largest
private universities, it has also uplifted the surrounding area. There remain
those, however, who cast the university as a villain whose growth threatens
Greenwich Village. The New York Times
recently reported on activists who have been fighting the construction of
dormitories and a student center. The irony is that those who oppose N.Y.U.
would likely have fled the Village years ago, had it not been for the
university’s profoundly positive impact on the area’s cultural life, public
safety, cleanliness and livability.
with Greenwich Village is a case study in how an institution of higher learning
can not only elevate the lives of its students, but also enrich a city’s
economic and intellectual life. The university, which has more foreign students
than any other U.S. university, is a tremendous force for diversity: Fifteen
years ago, 50 percent of the N.Y.U. freshman class was from the city; today,
only 18 percent are from New York. The 50,000 undergraduate and graduate
students at N.Y.U. often remain in the city, replenishing our talent
base by working in the arts, sciences, finance
and the media. And the quality of incoming students is only increasing: In
1991, the acceptance rate was 65 percent of applicants; now, it is 28 percent.
The university literally saved its neighborhood. Washington
Square Park was a drug-infested,
crime-plagued mess until N.Y.U. and the New York Police Department began
working together in the 1970′s to clean it up. And by housing more than 2,000
full-time and adjunct professors in the Washington Square area, N.Y.U. has created a dynamic intellectual
community in the heart of Manhattan. All New Yorkers who take pride in
the city’s status as a powerhouse of culture and intellect owe a debt of
gratitude to N.Y.U.
Let Murdoch Keep His Post
Not for the first time, the Federal Communications
Commission may force Rupert Murdoch’s News
Corporation to sell the New York Post
before it will approve his acquisition of a New York–area television
station. Have you heard this one before? Yes, you have.
When Mr. Murdoch bought
WNEW–Channel 5 in the 1980′s, the F.C.C. demanded that he give up the Post , because the rules barred ownership
of a television station and newspaper in the same market. He did as he was
told, and the Post nearly folded
twice before Mr. Murdoch was given a waiver and allowed to buy back the paper. Clearly, only a company like News Corp., with its
vast resources, can support an enterprise like the Post.
Mr. Murdoch once again requires an F.C.C. waiver if he buys
WWOR–Channel 9. The waiver should be granted; indeed, it should not even be
required. New York is not a one-newspaper town, nor is it at risk of falling
under the influence of a single media mogul.
In fact, it is diversity that will be served if Mr. Murdoch retains
ownership of the Post . Under his
stewardship, the Post has provided
views that a past generation of New York’s journalistic gatekeepers would have
suppressed. Its columnists, reporters and editorials offer opinions that are
available in no other media outlet.
The New York Post
under Rupert Murdoch has become an invaluable, vibrant part of New York City.
The paper and its owner should be left alone. Indeed, the Post should be celebrated as an example of media diversity in