NY Times Staffer Cyber-Harasses/Threatens Author …

December 4th, 2014 by Steven Wilson



New York Times Staffer Cyber-Harasses and Threatens Author for Unveiling Alleged Times Impropriety

“… I will tell you this, though. IF I ever find your twisted weave within reachin’ distance of me, I will likely break your neck- if you have one, you no-necked piece of filth.

Coco has something you lack- talent,looks, personality, and a life that isn’t buried beneath a pile of [sh#t]. That’s you.

I hope you die soon. I’ll keep my eye you, [c#nt].”


The IP address behind the cyber-harassment and physical threats by “Wanda Smith” aka “til8x8x8is4,” against author Abbe Diaz, has been traced to the residence of Jeffrey Henson Scales, current New York Times photographer and editor, at the center of the controversy detailed in Diaz’s latest book. An Aggravated Harassment report has been filed with the New York Police Department.

The New York Times has been contacted and has not responded.

** UPDATED 1/21/2016 **
The apparent motives, details, and timeline of the cyber-harassment and threats have been outlined in a “mobile-friendly” summary HERE.

• • •

Let’s face it, we here at PX This — having witnessed and experienced journalistic transgressions and unethical deeds of varying degrees on multiple accounts over the years— don’t exactly think all that highly of the media in general. So when this latest whopper of a wrongdoing on the part of a New York Times staffer fell into our laps, we can’t exactly say we were shocked.

This type of unscrupulous behavior by journalists is so unremarkable to us, we’re pretty sure we have nothing left to remark. But lest you think we are prejudiced against all journalists (some of our best friends are journalists!), we decided to ask a professional journalist to comment upon this latest dire media misconduct for us.
So, without further ado:


Steven Wilson (PX This): Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions [albeit under the stipulation of anonymity]. Now that you’ve had a chance to go over all of our documentation, what’s the first thought that pops into your mind?

Journalist: Well, it’s very unlikely that anyone at the Times will ever acknowledge any wrongdoing, but this is a certifiable mess. That’s why they keep sweeping it under the rug.

SW: And just to clarify, this issue is a serious violation of the ethical code of professional journalists, correct?

J: I think that’s obvious. It’s not just unethical; because of the aggravated cyber-harassment, technically it’s criminal. That’s another reason you won’t see journalists clamoring for this scandal anytime soon. It’s like the [corrupt] police or the mafia; nobody likes a snitch, especially from the inside.

SW: Yeah, I read Nick Davies’s Flat Earth News and Hack Attack. Dat sh#t cray.
Isn’t that a bad image for your industry though?

J: Absolutely, but journalism has been suffering a lack a credibility for awhile now. Jobs in journalism are withering up, and traditional media has one foot in the grave.

SW: What do you think is going to happen to Jeffrey Henson Scales?

J: Well, according to what you’ve shown me, it seems like Scales contacted somebody at the Times [immediately following his comment threatening Diaz]. Any rational person should have then warned Scales not to ever visit [PX This] again, and certainly never leave another comment like that.
[PX This administrators confirm that Scales’s IP address has not returned to the website.updated, see below]

I would imagine the Times is now crossing its fingers that this information isn’t further or widely spread; I mean, they’re certainly not about to do anything to publicize it. If it remains under the radar, Scales will probably get to keep his job, unless he does something more stupid. If they do decide to terminate him just based on the risk or mild attention, they’ll do it quietly…
Many people have been fired or asked to resign for infractions less than this over the furor from viral social media backlash.

Have you considered a civil case?

SW: Of course, but we’re not the litigious type. We have about as much faith in the legal system as we do the media.
We’re actually hoping that Jeffrey Henson Scales sues us for revealing his identity in this whole sordid scandal. But we doubt he can afford it financially. What are the chances the Times lets him use their undoubtedly multiple attorneys already on retainer?

J: Not very likely.
Your documentation tracing the IP address to Scales’s residence is a statistically impossible coincidence were he innocent. But there is still a tiny, tiny shadow of a doubt that remains. If Scales or the Times sue you, that would give you the opportunity to subpoena Time Warner, proving yourselves right beyond any doubt. That would be incredibly stupid, not to mention expensive and time-consuming.

SW: Uh, doesn’t exactly look like we’re dealing with rocket scientists here, though. Just saying.

J: These are mostly people who majored in Communications, don’t forget— not the Sciences or Mathematics. Haha oh god, I’m glad this is anonymous.

SW: Here’s another media question:

PX Me contends that the newspaper violated basic journalistic ethics by failing to disclose Coco Henson Scales’s relationship with a New York Times staffer, particularly since she disparaged her boss, Karim Amatullah, and her place of employment, ultimately leading to its demise. The Times also failed to fact-check and/or confirm any of the allegations in Coco Henson Scales’s essay, which also defamed several celebrities and mocked three former first daughters of the United States. That would seem to implicate certain editors of The New York Times in transgressions [as well as the other journalists specified in PX Me].

We couldn’t help but notice that a full decade since the publication of "The Hostess Diaries: My Year at a Hotspot," Jeffrey Henson Scales suddenly created a Tumblr blog— right around the time that PX Me, which detailed the Times‘s alleged improprieties, was released in July of 2014. Lo and behold, Jeffrey Henson Scales promptly attempts to clarify on his new blog that his daughter’s sole writing endeavor was commissioned by an art editor at the Times, Barbara Graustark.

Is that common? An art editor commissioning an article defaming multiple people and a business enterprise that has nothing to do with art, for a completely different section of the newspaper? And then failing to disclose at all that the disparaging essay was commissioned, that the disdainful writer is the daughter of a Times staffer, and that the scornful essay was never fact-checked?

J: Even if it is common, and I really hope it’s not, that doesn’t make it right. And it definitely doesn’t make it ethical.

SW: Thanks, we didn’t think so.

J: Look, this is a bad scenario. Some pretty awful injustices were perpetrated on the part of way too many journalists. If any journalist tries to tell you otherwise, that person is being an ass#ole. Unfortunately, that’s what journalism has become, filled with way too many ass#oles.

I’m sorry this happened, and I wish there was more I could do to help, but there’s too much at risk. That is the dilemma that journalists are facing. It’s a real "us" [the good guys] vs "them" [the ass#oles] mentality, but until journalists have the courage to prove there’s really a difference between the two, journalism will keep suffering. That’s why so many of us are jumping ship.

I wish Abbe Diaz all the best with her book. It’s brave, cogent, engaging and funny. If it’s any consolation, that’s exactly why it’s prickling so many people.






** UPDATED 1/21/2016 **
The apparent motives, details, and timeline of the cyber-harassment and threats have been outlined in a “mobile-friendly” summary HERE.

Nearly 300 journalists and/or bloggers who specialize primarily in Journalism and Media reportage have been contacted regarding the ongoing harassment of a best-selling author by a New York Times staffer, for unveiling an alleged Times impropriety. Only ONE reporter (from Poynter*) responded; he’s “not sure how [he] can help.”


* Poynter is “dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists. Promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses.”



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6 Responses to “NY Times Staffer Cyber-Harasses/Threatens Author …”

  1. Jackie Says:

    Imagine if you could keep collecting a salary for being too afraid to do your job? Cowards.

  2. Dick Johnson (PX This) Says:


    Worse, these journalists have the gall to persecute Abbester for doing the job they’re too cowardly to do.

  3. Dishwasher Says:

    NY Times steals story from author, commissions NY staffer’s daughter to “re-write” similar essay, passes off fake story as non-fiction, then threatens original author for unveiling wrongdoing???!!!!


  4. Alien Says:

    Hi from reddit.

    A redditor did this ELI5 for you. You might want to add it to your post, because it’s a lot of info to absorb to get what’s happening.

    • Indie author publishes book 10 years ago.
    • Few weeks later, similar but dubious essay pops up in NY Times.
    • Over the years, author gets victimized by press, Gawker, etc.
    • Fed up, author tries to hire freelance journalist to “pen investigative report.”
    • Owner of Gawker threatens writers NOT to accept writing job offer, “under threat of termination/blacklist.”
    • Fast forward to now (10 years later)– author publishes second book, detailing everything she has been through at hands of media, NY Times, Gawker, etc. Includes evidence that NY Times and Gawker colluded to steal her story.
    • Current NY Times staffer “at heart of controversy” cyber-harasses and physically threatens author for “unveiling alleged New York Times (and Gawker) impropriety.”

    • P.S. Seems like the Gawker/Times “collusion” to steal author’s story came about because a head editor of Gawker was (gay) dating a columnist for the NY Times.

    You should also maybe consider doing an AMA.

    Good luck with everything!

  5. Steven Wilson Says:

    It’s worth noting that TheVerge just TWICE deleted a comment I left on their website referring to this article.

    And then they threatened to ban me.

    Full details forthcoming.

  6. Alien2 Says:

    Ok this is really weird. Just wanted to let you know that your link keeps getting deleted from /r/inthenews, even tho it has been getting upvotes. I sent a message to the mods the first time it happened but got no answer, so I thought it was a glitch. Posted it a 2nd time, and now that’s been deleted too, but it has 17 upvotes in a couple of hours.

    This 1st one got deleted in a matter of minutes but it had 3 upvotes.

    I’ve heard that Gawker has Reddit sock-puppets? But now I’m wondering if they are also buying moderator user accts? So weird.

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