Becca Tucker and the Decline of Straus News

The Warwick Advertiser is facing declining readership, forcing owner Jeanne Straus to terminate multiple employees and reduce the paper’s content.  Many Warwick residents have called Straus News’s office repeatedly to demand that the paper cease sending copies to their homes.  Why?

A long-time Warwick resident reached out to The Warwick Watch to share his encounter with Straus News.  He had made multiple calls to stop the delivery of these papers, without success. He speculated, “They refuse to stop sending papers because they need to show the businesses who advertise with them that they have a larger circulation than they actually do.  They are cooking the books in an apparent calculated move to charge a higher rate.”

What would be the cause of the paper’s decline in readership and the need to manipulate its distribution numbers?

A Warwick Volunteer Firefighter surmised that many of the Advertiser’s woes stem from its hard turn to the ideological Left – a turn which corresponds specifically with journalist Becca Tucker.  Tucker, who is Jeanne Straus’s niece, provides much of the investigative content for Straus publications.

 Race Baiting

“Becca found a way to import the racial conflict unfolding nationally, related to the death of George Floyd, into Warwick,” the aforementioned firefighter said, referring to an article entitled Residents See ‘Coded Racism’ In Firehouse Sign, which was published in July 2020.  When a local Warwick firehouse posted the text “We support the police, Stand for our flag, Kneel for God,” the firefighter asserted that Tucker “leapt at the opportunity to stoke the flames of division and make our town look really bad.”

In the piece, Tucker editorialized her suspicion that the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department might be racist because it was “entirely White.” The Firefighter continued, “Well, this is the caliber of her so-called ‘journalism.’  We have people from different ethnic backgrounds here, so that was a lie. We are also a volunteer Fire Department.  Anyone can come and apply. We need the help. But she wasn’t interested in that.  She’s really a rotten journalist, if you can even call her that.  I wrote four letters to the Advertiser to correct the record, and they wouldn’t print a single one.”

Another former Warwick Advertiser subscriber commented, “Becca attempts to inject racism whenever and wherever she can.”  The individual referenced a piece in Tucker’s DIRT Magazine.  In an article from March of 2021, titled A Heavy Toll, Tucker explores the reasons why people are gaining weight during the pandemic. Tucker asserts that “weight is such a loaded topic – steeped in misogyny, fat-shaming, systemic racism, mental health issues & food apartheid.”  She continues “There’s the racism-infused diminishment of bodies that don’t fit the narrow standard handed down from on high.”

The Florida, NY resident continued, “Becca’s got a pathological obsession with race and racism.  Like so many people on the Left, division has to be manufactured, when it isn’t there.  Becca excels at that.  But, it’s really negative for our area.  It makes us look terrible.”

Ms. Tucker’s journalistic missteps are not merely confined to ideology, but also activism.  In the Spring of 2021, former Warwick Board of Education President Sharon Davis had attempted to bring a Critical Race Theory platform into the Warwick school district. The platform was named “Culturally Responsive Sustaining Education,” a highly racialized framework encouraged by the NYS Department of Education.   A father of two children in the district wrote to the Board of Education to object, expressing his view that, instead of teaching how we live in a “deeply biased and unjust nation,” we should instead “teach the history that is the foundation for our great American culture, .. a culture that facts will demonstrate as the most diverse, most benevolent in the history of the world.”

Doxxing Private Citizens

Ms. Tucker contacted this man by phone to ask for an interview.  The man declined, citing Ms. Tucker’s “reckless and divisive hit piece” on the Volunteer Fire Department as the reason she should not be trusted.  In retaliation, Ms. Tucker and The Warwick Advertiser published the man’s name and the name of his employer in an April 2021 article  “Outcry Over Indoctrination as School District Dips Toe Into Equity Work.”   “What journalistic rigor Ms.Tucker does possess was used vengefully by doxxing me, and other parents,” said the man.


He continued, “Her intent is to chill discourse. Who is going to write letters to the Board of Education if the threat is there that she (Tucker) and The Warwick Advertiser are going to publish those comments and reveal to the whole town who your employer is?  And that article went through all of Straus’s publications, including the ones in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

The article also falsely accused another Warwick parent, who likewise refused to speak to Ms. Tucker on account of the same poor journalistic practices, of being a member of The Oath Keepers.  The man said “That was an entirely false claim. I know a few guys who are, and they are men of great character, really good people.  But I’m not a member of that group and have never been. I’m not even on the local bowling team.   Where she cooks this stuff up, I can’t imagine.”

In that article, once again, Tucker notes that this was all happening in the “predominantly white town of Warwick.”

Becca’s Sources

A Pine Island resident who contacted The Warwick Watch surmised that a great majority of Becca Tucker’s reporting entails her mining the chatter of the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) activist Facebook page and writing articles based on the posts she finds there.  “BIPOC, like Becca, looks to racialize everything, everywhere, all the time.  And, if you look at the most vocal and divisive people who post on the BIPOC page, those are the people who become Becca’s lead interviewees for Advertiser articles.  And its people who have long track-records of insisting that Warwick is a rotten, racist town, like Gregg Gallucio, Susan Miller, Patricia McMillan and a handful of others.” 

Damage Control

Becca Tucker recently derisively described parents of the Florida, NY school district as “angry” when they objected to the presence of an illustrated book in the public school library which depicts two boys engaged in oral sex and contains a picture of a man with an erect penis kneeling in front of a young boy.  A March 2022 piece, entitled Latest Front in the Culture Wars: School Library Books, includes quotes from Florida BOE President John Redman where he dismisses the concerns of these parents as residual “pandemic stress” and  asserts that “yanking” such a book off the shelf would be a “slippery slope.”  “It’s a real non-issue at this point,” he said.

Though Becca Tucker frames the article mostly around Redman’s dismissive attitude towards concerned parents, she concludes the piece with the quote “These bans are a weak disguise for racist and homophobic beliefs.”  A Florida resident wondered “Can Becca Tucker write about anything else? Why won’t she investigate all the anti-White, anti-Christian views (Florida Schools Superintendent) Larry Leaven has?  He has multiple grotesque social media posts expressing his disdain for White Christians.  It’s well known.  Where is Becca Tucker to be found on this issue?  Nowhere.”

Even in a seemingly benign article about going out for Karaoke in Warwick in January of this year, The Advertiser found a way to make a story about “racism.”  

Deceptive Reporting

In a recent March 2022 piece, The Advertiser reported on the “anti-mask mandate” protests at the Warwick Schools in a way that many parents felt was highly manipulative.  One parent commented “Lauren Vitkovsky, who is an official in the Warwick Democrat party, sent blatant lies over a popular Facebook parent group, saying that anti-mask protesters had gotten INSIDE the school building and were yelling obscenities.”  The parent continued “That lie freaked a lot of people out.  Vitkovsky yelled ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.  Parents got really upset.  So, the district had to send out an email immediately saying that none of what Vitkovsky had said was true, that everything had been calm and civil.  So, what does the Advertiser do?  It changed the facts of the story.”  

The parent added “The paper reported, instead, that Vitkovsky said that parents were OUTSIDE the building but still yelling profanities, allowing her to change the blatant lie she told.  The Advertiser never challenged Vitkovsky on her lies, or the chaos she caused.  The Advertiser is complicit in shifting the narrative, allowing Vitkovsky’s allegations to stay relevant in the public space.  Nor did it ever report on how entirely peaceful the rallies were.  The Advertiser is a complete disgrace.”  

The Warwick Volunteer Firefighter theorized, “When local businesses discover that Straus News has been over-inflating their distribution numbers, they may be angry.  But, when they see how vindictive Becca Tucker and The Advertiser have been to so many good and decent people in our town, making false accusations of racism and bigotry at every opportunity, well, they may very well pull their ads from the paper. I mean, The Advertiser has become the CNN of Warwick, and look what happened to that network.”

Becca Tucker’s mother, Diane Straus (sister to Straus News owner Jeanne Straus) was the daughter of Ellen Sulzberger, the cousin of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the former publisher of The New York Times.  The Straus family has owned, operated and edited multiple mediums of information for many decades.

The Warwick Watch will be producing articles on journalistic malpractice, as it relates to any of our local newspapers: The Warwick Advertiser, Straus News publications in general and The Warwick Dispatch.  If you have examples of lies, willful distortions and bad practices that you have discovered in these outlets, please contact us at