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In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German

They say print is dead and local news is dying. But in the little speck of lower Manhattan that is Greenwich Village, there are four local newspapers vying for supremacy. Print is very much alive here.

And local news is vicious.

This is the story of a grumpy 95-year-old publisher, an ambitious caregiver, a rogue staff, a 9/11 conspiracy theory, a liberal neighborhood, and a group of dedicated writers willing to work for nothing.

“Are you ready for this?” asked George Capsis, who has run the monthly for the past 20 years WestView News from his townhouse in the Village, which he now navigates with a walker. He leaned forward in his swivel chair, his eyes sparkling. “I’ll tell you stories you won’t believe,” he said. “Reporting about newspaper theft – not so easy at all.”

In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German, Crypto Trading News

A Village View staff meeting, including from left: Joy and Brian Pape and Kim Plosi, at publisher Arthur Schwartz’s townhouse. NATALIE KEYSSAR/The New York Times

Mr. Capsis, who Sarah Jessica Parker once dubbed the “Godfather of the West Village,” is perhaps best known for hitting a cop and then suing the police for using unnecessary force — or for hitting a Senator, Brad Hoylman. Signal. Or for a long but unsuccessful crusade to save a village hospital.

On a recent afternoon at the house, he described what he called a conspiracy by his staff to steal his newspaper. Seven minutes after our interview, he hit me.

“I have so many great stories to tell you,” he said. “Maybe you should do a bigger piece.”

The punch was to the knee to emphasize a point. The point was, “Arthur Schwartz is a rat.”

Arthur Schwartz, a self-proclaimed “guerrilla litigator,” has been a political writer for the past decade WestView News, and saw himself as the successor to Mr. Capsis. Mr. Schwartz, 70, is a veteran of local progressive causes and democratic politics, the district leader in the village.

When he represented Mr Capsis in his lawsuit against the police in 2013, he struck a deal with the publisher under which – if certain conditions were met – he would eventually take control of the newspaper.

Nothing came of the deal for years. Mr. Schwartz wrote columns; Mr. Capsis published them.

“Was it my goal in life to have a newspaper?” Mr. Schwartz asked in his cluttered law office, which was devoured by stacks of legal documents, on a recent morning. “Does this office look like I have nothing to do?”

Enter the caregiver.

Dusty Berke, 61, an interior designer, lived in the neighborhood but didn’t read WestView News, she said because she didn’t care. “There was no fashion, no family stuff,” she said.

In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German, Crypto Trading News

George Capsis, left, who has run the monthly WestView News for 20 years, leaves his Greenwich Village townhouse and Dusty Berke in Manhattan on February 14. NATALIE KEYSSAR/The New York Times

But in 2016, she came to Mr. Capsis’ door to write about a neighborhood memorial with hand-painted tiles commemorating the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Capsis did not publish her article, but soon gave her a place to stay.

“She was divorced,” he said. “I said, ‘There’s plenty of beds upstairs if you want to sleep on them.’ She just stayed.”

Mrs. Berke, who entered the room with a mug of cinnamon-ginger soup for Mr. Capsis, balked at the suggestion that she was Mr. Capsis’s attendant or nurse.

“I’m his right hand man,” she said. “I’m not a nurse but I help George because he needs help. I am a housewife mother personality. I do everything. I make coffee.”

Along the way, she also struck a deal with Mr Capsis to buy the newspaper, she said.

In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German, Crypto Trading News

Aurthur Schwartz, who launched Village View at his Manhattan townhouse home on Feb. 23 after a falling out with WestView News editor George Capsis. NATALIE KEYSSAR/The New York Times

Mr. Schwartz accuses Ms. Berke of trying to take the newspaper from an old man. Ms. Berke and Mr. Capsis say Schwartz is the thief.

Ms. Berke apologized to Mr. Capsis for talking so much.

Mr. Capsis rolled his head back. “Yes, you make me sleep,” he said.

WestView News is a small neighborhood newspaper that is handed out free of charge on people’s stairs once a month. Editors worked for US$10 (351 baht) an hour; Contributors worked for free. But in his doors the passion for the newspaper ran high.

Ms. Berke, who began selling advertisements, became increasingly involved with other facets of the newspaper.

“Well, Dusty has other views,” Mr. Capsis said diplomatically.

In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German, Crypto Trading News

Tiles of children commemorating 9/11 kept by Dusty Berke at the home of George Capsis in Greenwich Village. NATALIE KEYSSAR/The New York Times

In 2018, Ms. Berke invited a group called the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry to the home to present the case that World Trade Center Building 7 was brought down by pre-placed explosive devices rather than planes.

Despite staff objections, the newspaper began publishing articles about the theory, including two by members of groups promoting it.

Ms. Berke also contributed articles by Diane Sare, a Senate candidate for the LaRouche Party, a far-right group.

“She was a caustic force,” said Liza Whiting, who worked as the newspaper’s traffic manager for about 10 years.

“She seems reasonable. But everyone, if you spend more than half an hour with Dusty, you can tell she’s a little crazy.”

Barry Benepe is a longtime friend of Mr. Capsis and was a regular contributor to the newspaper until last summer.

In a nasty newspaper war – Crypto News Aktuell in German, Crypto Trading News

The Village View staff, including Liza Whiting, left during a meeting in Manhattan on February 18, 2023. NATALIE KEYSSAR/The New York Times

Mr. Benepe, 94, is the founder of New York’s Greenmarkets and was known as a horsefly in a lavender tweed jacket. He said his access to his friend decreased and then disappeared altogether as Mr Capsis’ health deteriorated.

“She acts as a shield over him,” Mr. Benepe said, referring to Ms. Berke. Although she had no official editorial role, he said: “Behind the scenes she controlled the newspaper.”

Another regular, Roger Paradiso, added a charge of heresy in the village: “She tends on the spectrum of Trump MAGA.”

Ms Berke said she was a conservative but did not vote for Donald Trump. “Anything you can say to a liberal villager to ruffle his hair, they say about me,” she said.

It all fell apart last fall.

Ms. Whiting and Kim Plosia, the newspaper’s editor, either resigned or were fired.

With Schwartz and the majority WestView News Contributors, they started their own newspaper and put together the first issue in 10 days. You named it New WestView news. Both newspapers published articles denouncing the other.

Enter a third paper.

Lincoln Anderson began The village sun three years ago, after 20 years at another local newspaper, The villager. For Mr. Anderson the fight between WestView News And New WestView news — between Mr. Capsis and Schwartz, two well-known local figures, with Ms. Berke thrown in for added spice — was pure catnip.

“I’ve written about 10 articles about it,” Mr. Anderson said.

Mr. Capsis threatened to sue Mr. Schwartz for copying his newspaper’s name and design, as well as general rattiness. Mr. Schwartz threatened to sue Mr. Capsis for defamation. where did they threaten

In The village sun. When Mr. Schwartz’s 100-year-old mother called Mr. Capsis to complain about a missed job, that too was settled The village sun. (The villagerMr. Anderson’s former employer, stayed out of the fray.)

“It was fun and it got a good response from readers,” said Mr. Anderson. “They’re important figures in the Village scene.”

Mr Schwartz said that after one issue he called Mr Capsis with an offer: “Just keep Dusty out of the paper and everyone will come back.”

But it wasn’t a sale. So New WestView news changed its name to New west viewand then to The village view.

Mr. Capsis remained attentive and engaging, often passionate, only occasionally repetitive, throughout a three-hour interview.

“You’ll be gray when I’m done,” he said, beginning a long tangent. “This story I am telling you is a great story. And you will tell them for the rest of your life from now on.”

He rolled forward. He rolled back.

“Suppose you lose your job,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be fun to work for this newspaper?”

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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