Media Colludes (Again) in Cover-Up of Media Scandal
The following comment regarding the persistent harassment and death-threats by a New York Times staffer against author Abbe Diaz, for unveiling Times/Gawker journalistic misconduct, was removed from New York magazine’s feedback section:
"This might seem like a strange, mafia-ish argument to a non-JOURNALIST, but within the small world of MEDIA — particularly within the even smaller world of younger, less job-secure JOURNALISTS — it makes sense for at least two reasons."
"… all of us who have had such concerns remain liars by omission."
"… the fraud could have been uncovered sooner, potentially forestalling a great deal of the disruption it inflicted on various careers and on JOURNALISM as a whole."
I hope you’re paying attention New York Times (and New York magazine). Because when your media scandal finally emerges in the mainstream, it’s probably gonna look a lot like this.
New York Times Staffers Continue Cyber-Harassment Against Bestselling Author, for Unveiling Alleged NY Times Impropriety
By the way, is there a "cesspool… 4chan of" the Media? Asking for a friend.
The above commentary was deleted from New York magazine’s comment section, under the article, "How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered a Huge Scientific Fraud."
It was originally posted as the last and topmost comment within the public discussion and was screen-captured immediately following its submission. It garnered attention from New York magazine’s readers, bringing a signifcant amount of traffic to this website before New York magazine deleted it, in under 24 hours.
It’s worth noting that when New York magazine deletes a comment, it usually leaves a message in its place reading, "This comment has been removed by moderators for being inappropriate." No such notification was given in this case.
This is not the first time that New York magazine has engaged in censorship toward author Abbe Diaz:
– In 2008, Diaz’s rebuttal was deleted from the comment section of its Grubstreet blog despite Diaz being the main subject of a flagrantly biased and disparaging report.
– In 2013, Diaz’s responses were also deleted from libelous New York magazine "reportage" that blindly reiterated a reprehensibly erroneous New York Post article regarding the businesses of Diaz’s husband. It was the second time that New York magazine had mistakenly reported gross inaccuracies, completely ignoring the facts contained in official New York State and federal court transcripts.
It’s also worth noting that Diaz’s second book, PX Me – The Sequel to PX This, contains cogent evidence that New York magazine commissioned author Jay McInerney to pen a multi-page "damage-control" essay in favor of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, immediately following the release of PX This, Diaz’s published diary and exposé of Vongerichten’s enterprise. [Jean-Georges’s organization was later implicated in the misappropriation of workers’ tips, resulting in a class-action lawsuit and court settlement of $1.75M].
McInerney’s essay, which blatantly attempted "practically line for line," to dispel Diaz’s multiple allegations of wrongdoing perpetrated by Jean-Georges’s organization, failed to mention and/or acknowledge the existence of PX This, despite the essay’s obvious intent to mitigate Diaz’s implications. McInerney’s reportage without proper context constitutes a glaring journalistic ethical violation. The resultant cover story "advertorial" in favor of Jean-Georges, which appeared in New York magazine, was not disclosed nor delineated as such in any way.
PX Me also contains other examples of journalistic misdeeds on the part of New York magazine, including the falsification and misrepresentation of information presented in its regular and special feature stories.
** UPDATE **
New York Magazine essentially admits it censors comments regarding Abbe Diaz and the Gawker/ NY Times misconduct.
[ Here’s the screen-capture, just in case, cuz we alls know how stuff like this has the tendency to just kinda disappear at New York magazine.]
• • •
The complete timeline and apparent motives behind the “media scandal” referenced in the aforementioned censored commentary are as follows:
• In late May of 2004, Abbe Diaz publishes her first book, titled PX This – Diary of the “Maitre d’ to the Stars” [née Diary of the Potted Plant], chronicling over four years of her experience within the fine-dining industry, in its original dated and time-stamped daily journal format.
[It’s worth noting that in the four-plus years it took Diaz to write and publish her daily journal, never had there been any such “star-studded” publication by a front-of-house restaurant worker.]
• In early June 2004, Diaz advertises PX This on Gawker for two weeks.
• On July 11 2004, an article appears in the New York Times titled, “The Hostess Diaries: My Year at a Hotspot,” ostensibly written by “Coco Henson Scales.” It describes several incidents involving such celebrities as Naomi Campbell, three former first daughters of the United States, and Monica Lewinsky.
The owner of the “hotspot,” Karim Amatullah, later asserts that quotes attributed to him were never confirmed for veracity, the essay was never fact-checked by the Times, and that certain events narrated in the damaging essay “never happened.”
Additionally, the article fails to disclose in any way that “Coco Henson Scales,” the ostensible author of the pejorative essay, is the daughter of a New York Times staffer.
• On July 12 2004, Choire Sicha, the head editor of Gawker, praises and lionizes the Times essay on the media-centric blog, calling it “required reading.” He states that he has checked the identity of “Coco” and that she is indeed a “real person,” as confirmed by “somebody who used to work in an office with her.”
Sicha further promulgates the essay on his own blog, choiresicha.com, and deems Coco Henson Scales “the people’s hero.”
Sicha fails to disclose in any way that “Coco Henson Scales” is the daughter of a New York Times staffer, nor does he disclose his own romantic relationship with Frank Bruni, the foremost restaurant columnist for The New York Times.
• Immediately, multiple fans of PX This send e-mails to Gawker comparing the “required reading” essay to Diaz’s book, with at least one noting that PX This had been advertised on Gawker mere weeks prior.
• On July 15 2004, Choire Sicha e-mails Diaz asking for the “campaign” to “stop.” He calls himself a “big fan” of Diaz.
• Diaz responds to Sicha with a link to a just-published July 15 New York Daily News article announcing the release of PX This. Sicha responds, “mmm hot,” but does not publicly acknowledge the existence of PX This in any way, nor its obvious similarity to his “required reading” essay— despite PX This having been advertised on Gawker less than four weeks prior.
• Over the following years, Diaz is subjected to journalistic transgressions and unethical deeds of varying degrees on multiple accounts— including libel, censorship, and unwarranted denigration— by Gawker, The New York Post, New York magazine, Eater, etc. It’s notable that Eater’s founder is a former managing editor of Gawker, and that at least one New York magazine editor is a former head editor of Gawker.
• In March of 2008, the dubious New York Times essay by "Coco Henson Scales" is published in a collection of short stories edited by Ira Glass, titled The New Kings of Nonfiction. The book fails to disclose in any way the relationship of the "essayist" to a New York Times staffer.
• Starting in 2010, Diaz [still unaware as to the relationship of Coco Henson Scales to a NY Times staffer] attempts to hire a freelance journalist to pen an objective investigative report on “how, against all odds, a 4200-word semi-fictional essay by a fledgling (and now, seemingly non-existent) writer with admittedly very little expertise and no upper-tier title in one’s field, came to be published in the venerable New York Times as a substantial nonfictional feature— particularly without any ‘questions asked’ nor ‘arguments clarified’ nor ‘factual errors caught’ (as per the Times’s Op-Ed submissions page).”
In the six years since the publication of the 2004 essay, Coco Henson Scales, a “king of nonfiction,” writes nothing further. Absolutely no online presence exists for Coco Henson Scales.
• In 2012, Diaz offers the writers of Slacktory the investigative reporter challenge. Nick Douglas, the owner of Slacktory responds, "ATTENTION SLACKTORY WRITERS: Any of you who take this job will be summarily fired, and your health insurance retroactively revoked. I have orders straight from Nick Denton, [owner of Gawker] for whom I still obviously work."
• In July 2014, Abbe Diaz releases her second book, titled PX Me, detailing her decade-long experiences. Within it, mounting evidence alleges that Choire Sicha, Frank Bruni, and Coco Henson Scales colluded to misappropriate her work in order to garner a “book deal” and/or “screen option” for themselves.
Diaz speculates that the dubious essay was in actuality ghost-written by Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni (seemingly buttressed by the corroboration of writing stylometry software developed by Drexel University academicians) and was then subsequently lionized on Gawker by Choire Sicha, Bruni’s former romantic partner.
Diaz also discovers the relationship between Coco and Jeffrey Henson Scales, a New York Times photographer/editor, and the current whereabouts of “Coco Henson Scales” aka Coco Tigre Phillips.
She further asserts that Gawker owner Nick Denton colluded in the suppression of the mounting evidence detailed in PX Me, by threatening to blacklist freelance journalists.
• The New York Times and its Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, are contacted via e-mail three times over a period of several weeks, requesting comment/clarification on Diaz’s published allegations. The Times does not respond.
• In August of 2014, Jeffrey Henson Scales writes in his Tumblr blog (created June 2014) revealing Times “essayist” Coco Henson Scales as his daughter. He further attempts to clarify that the dubious essay in question was commissioned by NY Times Art Editor Barbra Graustark.
This, ten years later, is the very first disclosure of the relationship of the “essayist” to a Times staffer; it is the very first disclosure that the disparaging and damaging essay was specifically commissioned by an editor of The New York Times.
• Starting in October of 2014, “troll” messages by "Wanda Smith" and user-handle "til8x8x8is4" begin to appear on Abbe Diaz’s websites. They state such things as:
"Abbe is a moron- a hostile, filthy, moron. Let’s not worry. She’ll be gone soon, like every thing she’s attempted to ‘rite’."
"I hope ALL that parfum helps to cut that nasty stank emanating from your STD ass. You are the WORST. Bitch. Ever."
They are oddly reminiscent of two 2004 e-mails sent to Diaz by a "William Diggs" immediately following the publication of Coco Henson Scales’s essay— despite the NY Times and Gawker never having acknowledged/publicized the existence of PX This. [In 2004, Diaz’s book and website were primarily considered "esoteric."]
"You must be a horrible disappointment to yourself to call Coco such horrible names. Somewhere in you, you must know that your restaurant job isn’t"moonlighting"; that you’re a total failure. I know her, and she’s great. You, clearly, are much less than that. One thing, though– I didn’t know they had maitre d’s at Burger King. Are you volunteering, or what?"
“You have so little class (unlike Coco), and are obviously so beneath EVERYone, I don’t think I’ll bother with you anymore. You’re nothing but an under-educated foul mouthed wretch. You’ll be on the sidelines cursing at your betters forever. Tata, loser.”
• On November 18 2014, a threatening message is left on Abbe Diaz’s website:
“Your head is so far up your ass. Because YOU haven’t a scintilla of talent, you assume coco is (puke) like yoour nothing ass.
Let it go. She wrote it. She didn’t like the writer’s life, and lives happily with her husband and daughter.
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 shit. That’s you.
I hope you die soon. I’ll keep my eye you, cunt.”
The IP address is the same as those responsible for the prior malicious messages.
• On November 26 2014, the Time Warner RoadRunner IP address behind the malicious and threatening messages is online-traced and cross-referenced to a location one-half block from the residence of Jeffrey Henson Scales, in an unusual section of Manhattan. The assumption of Jeffrey Henson Scales’s innocence constitutes a statistically impossible coincidence.
• On November 28 2014, a report was filed with the New York Police Department, who deemed it Aggravated Harassment. On this website, the perpetrator of these threats was warned against further contacting Diaz, this website, nor any of its affiliates using a concealed identity.
• On December 19 2014, another threatening comment, signed "Meg Henson" was left on this website. It reads:
"… But now? I’m coming for you. Watch out, whatever you are. I don’t stop, and I don’t lose. Say ONE more lie about my wonderful TALENTED daughter, don’t make this pile of shit page disappear, and I guarantee you. You will regret it. What?!? You’re garbage and you know it, clap your hands? Clap them nasty things. I will have EVERY law enforcement agency on your nothing else SO quick. Ask around, it. You need a job! This ain’t one. Married a millionaire, my ass. NO ONE would marry you, or even befriend you. Why? Because you’re a liar, an EDP, and you need to be institutionalized. When I get your highly hidden name; it will become the prejorative for cowards. That’s what you are. Self publish, it. NO one wants you. No one. Except the police. At this point, I officially acknowledge that you are a threat to my life, and that of my family. And I WILL stand my ground, you nasty piece of nothing. Yes. I am here for you. Come find me! Let’s see what happens then, fugly mind, soulless, unwanted, it. Come get some. File this under BYE! You’re gone."
It was followed hours later by another message stating:
"Your failed life sounds miserable. Turning tricks for old men,deluding yourself into thinking you’re a writer? Please. Just kill yourself. Make the world a better place."
Diaz considers the blatant psychological projection of the continuing messages "disturbing" and "alarming."
• On December 20 2014, the evidence of continuing harassment and threats was filed with the New York Police Department.
• On February 1 2015, MORE threatening and abusive messages were left on Abbe Diaz’s other website. They include malicious sentiments such as:
“you keep that shit lies about Coco? you fucking bitch. you twat. wannaget raped?“
“Keep talking about Coco Henson Scales. You must think actions doon’t have consequences. But you are a sychopath. Arent you?“
Unlike all the prior messages, they have been posted with the use of a free server proxy which distorts IP address locations and masks the identity of the online service provider. These latest messages have been traced to an empty field in a remote rural area of Utah.
• On February 14 2015, another threatening message was left on this website. It reads:
“if you don’t take your shit about Coco?? You WILL lose the bullsit you have… ll change your mind. Keep an eye on your front and your back: WHORE.
You disgusting piece of smegma. I’d go to the electric chair laughing, if I only got to kill you.”
• On April 17 2015, Meg and/or Jeffrey Henson Scales reconfirm their cyber-harassment by leaving more messages via Facebook.
• On May 18 2015, Meg Henson Scales continues the cyber-harassment of Abbe Diaz by emailing this website via Gmail. Henson’s email address has been online traced to the same residence as the original IP address under which the harassment began.
• UPDATED on August 31, 2015:
A new “hidden” message was left on the PX This website via its “search function.” It states:
“Your lies are getting ready to cost you, nobody.”
The Time Warner Roadrunner IP address behind this message, despite being different from the IP address under which the harassment began, was online traced to the same general Manhattan vicinity as the prior original messages.
• The New York Times has been contacted at every update but to this day has not responded.
** UPDATED **
New York Times Staffer Death-Threatens Author, for Unveiling Alleged NY Times/ Gawker Impropriety –
NY Times’s Lawyer to Times Staffer: Hide Misdeeds from Google –
Gawker’s Nick Denton Threatens to Fire/ Blacklist Any Journalists Tasked with Reporting on Misconduct
[ A complete, updated, and “mobile-friendly” summary/ timeline is available HERE. ]