‘Daily News’ rails against Jay Z Barneys deal, plans a party at his Flatiron club

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'Daily News,' and the 40/40 Club. ()
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The Daily News has been on a roll with its aggressive coverage of alleged racial profiling at Barneys and Macy's, and an unlikely villain has emerged in the paper's articles and opinion pieces on the matter: hip-hop icon Jay Z.

But while the News has given voice to calls for the Brooklyn-born rapper to nix his upcoming business collaboration with Barneys, it has also been planning a party at Jay Z's Flatiron District sports bar.

At Barneys, the high-end Upper East Side department store, two black teenagers were wrongly busted for purchasing pricey merchandise with debit cards that the store suspected of being stolen, but which actually belonged to the innocent shoppers. Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has a deal with Barneys for the holiday season in which the store will promote clothing inspired by him and donate some of the proceeds to his charity, the Shawn Carter Foundation, as well as working with him on window displays.

The News, which broke the Barneys story last week, splashed Jay Z across its Friday front page, declaring: "Jay Z under pressure to drop his business deal with Barneys or else he'll have ... ZERO RESPECT."

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The tabloid has also run at least two editorials on the matter in recent days.

"Two words cry out to be heard from Jay Z ... Deal off," reads one from Friday's edition, while Sunday's piece really twists the knife: "In the aftermath of the racial profiling revelations, the public looks into the soul of a peevishly egotistical man who appears to have erased from memory his long-ago address in Brooklyn’s Marcy Houses. ... The smallness of a big man is most shocking."

Awkwardly, it was just a couple hours before the paper published its first scoop on the Barneys scandal Tuesday afternoon, and two days before the Jay Z narrative really took off, that employees received an invitation to the 2013 holiday bash for the News and its sister publication, U.S. News & World Report, at Jay Z's 40/40 club on W. 25th Street.

Asked if the News might consider changing the location of the Dec. 4 event in light of its recent anti-Jay Z crusade, a spokesperson for the paper declined to comment.

But a News veteran pointed out that the company has held its holiday party at the 40/40 club in the past.

For his part, Carter took to his website over the weekend with a statement about the media uproar.

He said he's "waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys." He also took a swipe at the News: "Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?"