New York Times Staffers Continue Harassment of Author via Social Media

July 10th, 2015 by Steven Wilson



New York Times Staffer Death-Threatens Author, for Unveiling Alleged NY Times/ Gawker Impropriety



It appears that Jeffrey Henson Scales, a New York Times photographer and editor, and/or his wife Meg Henson, also a former New York Times staffer — despite being warned not to contact Diaz nor any affiliates of this website in accordance with the Aggravated Harassment report filed with the Detective Squad of the New York Police Department — have continued their online harassment, this time via social media website Quora. It was deleted by administrators in accordance with Quora’s policy against inappropriate usage and inapplicable anonymity. [Abbe Diaz is a Quora "2014 Top Writer" with over 2.6K followers.]

There is an obvious similarity of syntax and sentiment between this e-mail and their other more blatantly harassing messages, which were originally posted as comments to the PX This website under such pseudonyms as "Wanda Smith," "til8x8x8is4," and "Jesus Palacios." Those past messages included remarks such as [entirely sic]:

“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.”

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"

Married a millionaire, my ass... Turning tricks for old men… Please. Just kill yourself. Make the world a better place.”

Their latest missive in its entirety is as follows [all sic]:

Abbe Diaz, whoever the fuck IT is, cannot accept that it is a random nobody. If it spent nearly as much time trying to learn it’s place in the world – it would be better off. It is a true psychopath – driving pleasure from inflicting pain on others. I hope it gets put out of its misery- eiter self-induced or choked on its own poisonous drivel. It should STFU, because the wheel turns. It turns slowly,but it does turn.

• • •

The apparent motives and complete timeline of the cyber-harassment and physical threats 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,, 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 were posted with the use of a free server proxy which distorts IP address locations and masks the identity of the online service provider. These 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.

• On June 17 2015, the aforementioned message was left on popular Q&A website Quora in response to the question, "How does a false story get into The New York Times?" The “answer” was promptly deleted by Quora administrators upon its discovery, and anonymity privileges were revoked against its registered user to prevent further abuse of the social media platform.

• 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 on numerous occasions but to this day has not responded. This story will continue to be updated as it progresses.

New York Times Staffer Death-Threatens Author, for Unveiling Alleged NY Times/ Gawker Impropriety



See also:
Should I pay $10,000 for this writing assignment?
Journalists = Rocket Surgeons
Freelance Writer Wanted


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5 Responses to “New York Times Staffers Continue Harassment of Author via Social Media”

  1. Quint Says:

    What the! The Scales people are sick.

  2. virgo Says:

    the scales are obviously sick, but the media’s reaction is even more reprehensible. gawker and the times should acknowledge and apologize, and the rest of the media shouldn’t cover up the scandal just because it makes the media look so bad.

  3. Quoran Says:

    Just saw the notice that the book is free this weekend.

    Looking forward to it! Thanks!

  4. Nancy Imperiale Says:

    Wow, this is some major BS you’ve exposed about Gawker and the NY Times and all the malignant little trolls therein. Keep up the great work!

  5. Steven Wilson (PX This) Says:

    Thanks, Nancy! :)
    We will.

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