With Ms. Gershenzon's permission, we have reprinted the correspondences between herself & our magazine in tact.
The Reader Writes
I saw your magazine in one of the bins on the street and picked it up, as I was intrigued and curious as to what Billy Joel's daughter had to say. I sometimes enjoy looking at the pictures of the rich and famous of New York to see what they are wearing and turned to the page of the" 25 New Yorkers to ring in the New Year." I love Jon Stewart.
However, much to my horror as I turned the page the first person that greeted my eyes was David Koch of the infamous Koch Brothers. I don't know if you know who David Koch is, but if you don't, you should. He is undoubtedly one of the richest men in the country if not the world, but, he is also one of the most evil.
The list of evil deeds he has achieved thus far are really too numerous to mention. But to name one, he is chiefly responsible for the funding of the tea party and purchasing as many legislators as possible in order to topple government regulations, if not the government itself, so that he and his brother will have no restrictions on the amount of fossil fuels they can emit into the atmosphere. It also seems their ultimate goal is unrestricted world financial dominance to the sacrifice and raping of all life on this planet.
Posted in the letter by our reader
just watch the first 5 minutes
The Koch Brothers specialize in breaking others for their own interests. You may think I am exaggerating, but sadly, I am not. And this is the man you have chosen to single out and glorify in your magazine. I hope he has not bought you as well in order to acquire this position of prominence. If he hasn't and you put him up there thinking you were posting a great New Yorker, you were not. If he has, I am very sorry for you as you are contributing to everyone's downfall but the 1%. Rich does not mean good. This man is as selfish and evil as it gets.
Do you homework.
Sue Anne Gershenzon
The Resident responds as follows:
Firstly, let me take this opportunity to thank you for writing to us and voicing your opinion as regards an item we had printed in our magazine. While I was not yet present at the magazine when the issue at hand was chosen for print, I am familiar enough with the staff to know that the placement of Koch was in all likelihood not the result of any 'admiration society' but a last minute "It's so bad it's good" insider hipster joke resulting from fatigue and free space.
Based on previous experiences at other publications, I can only imagine that the scene played out something like this:
– …Still missing one.
– What? One What?
– the 25 ring in thing…
– Ring…? Oh that. I'm dead… can't think – how about Kim Jung Un?
– Not a New Yorker. And not funny.
– How about if instead of 'ring in the New Year', we think 'ring their necks' and add David Duke or Trump?
– Klan jokes are so passé and Trump is too funny to make fun of.
– What about if we just put someone like David Koch.
– The idiot Time called the most influential of 2011.
– Isn't that the same guy all over the walls of Lincoln Center and Sloane Kettering?
– Wait. Wikipedia says 'major philanthropist blah blah blah… and I have no patience to read the rest. Hold on. Down here… it says 'Tea Party'
– Now that's funny. Philanthropist and Tea Party …is that like a 'Good Nazi' kind of oxymoron?
– I think it's just basic moron but let's put him in and see if someone gets it.
And that is 'best case scenario'. In the worst case, someone just saw the words 'influential philanthropist lives in NY' and added it the last second. The truth is, no one seems to recall how it got there. Oversight? Tongue-in-cheek? At this point your guess is as good as mine. What I do know, however, is that his presence does not reflect the sentiments of anyone on our staff.
You are right, however, in suggesting that such a devil-may-care attitude can be very misleading and is certainly not journalistically responsible behavior. For that I do apologize whole-heartedly.
To be quite honest, since I focus primarily on arts and culture, I probably wouldn't have noticed his inclusion myself and if I did, I would be too ignorant in that area to recall where I heard the name.
That said; I find it very refreshing that you did notice and even more spectacular that you took the trouble to write a passionate letter citing your disgust.
If it's all right with you, I would run your letter on our website so others can learn from our mistake.
Does that sound reasonable to you?
All the best,
The Reader replies:
Dear Mr. Winston,
Thank you for your quick response to my letter. I give you my permission to publish it on your website. Yes, the public who do not know what the Koch Brothers are about, should. I just hope they don't try to ruin me, not that they would care who I might be. Remaining anonymous would be preferable. Yes, again to my horror I saw Mr. Koch's name on the wall of under the The New York State Theatre. As Lincoln Center was putting the Calder up for hock after 2008, I am sure the Mr. Koch bailed them out with the stipulation of being dubbed philanthropist. The Koch Brothers redefine the words Corporate Take Over . They simply would like to take over everything and the best way is to come in when companies and organizations are in dire straights, and bail them out. I speculate it might be part of their strategic plan for country and world domination. It is easy when you have more money than God. Be sure to watch the link to the movie.
It might be time the people at the magazine did get a little more serious. There are a lot of people in this city suffering so very much. It isn't all glitter and fancy dresses. out there. How about stories about real humanitarians that don't necessarily have zillions of dollars made on the backs of the rest of the population and future generations, which clearly from the speculative dialogue you wrote, are young ones in their 20's and early 30's working for the magazine, and who will greatly suffer from the effects of climate change. We will all need inspiration. I wish you the best of luck with your new direction for the magazine. If you would, I would like to see the inclusion of my article in the web version when it appears.
Thank you for your concern and attention to this matter.
Sue Anne Gershenzon
The Resident replies:
Just to reiterate, i will certainly make sure that your letter is included online and, if you prefer, I can keep it anonymous. I see no problem with that or creating a pseudonym for you instead.
From what I've read since your post, Koch is indeed a very calculating person who seems to time his philanthropy with his destructive tendencies. I will watch the link you sent me.
The one area I have contention with in your letter (which has nothing to do with your complaint about our article but is more a personal response from my part) is your use of words like 'evil' and 'world domination'. While I trust your evaluation of Koch in terms of political affiliation and the damaging by-products reeking havoc on nature because of his profit-at-all-costs agenda, I have an allergy to hyperbolic constructs that are predicated on the notion that there is 'intentionality to harm' as an underlying theme. That his negligent behavior can harm, I have no doubt. That he is a menace because he cares little about the negative by-products of his actions and seeks solely his own interests, i also think is accurate. But that he consciously has set out to control the globe – well, it sounds a bit too close to facile conspiracy theories which link random bad events into a master plan. I have seen such logic lead people to believing in utterly dangerous nonsense like the 'protocols of the elders of zion' which sadly still carries weight in fueling antisemitism.
But I will do my homework and certainly study up on Koch since you definitely have my attention.
As for suffering – yes, you are right there. there a re very many people in this city suffering. And it is an indifferent society. I recently returned from a three and a half year film-related project in Scandinavia and it is a far more caring social system they have there. Americans still have the psychotic tendency of labeling any progressive action or civilly conscious movement as 'anti-American' or communist. It is amazing how much the McCarthy era is still alive today.
The reason I am very sensitive about words like 'evil' or 'world domination' is because prior to my stay in Scandinavia, I worked with several poets and playwrights in Budapest and that place has become one scary place in a very different way. They seem to be tossing proto-fascist terminology at gypsies (regularly threatening their existence) and blaming a "covert zionist conspiracy" for all their financial problems. In short, they are a few steps away from reenlisting Nazism.
So while I do really share your concern for the needy and have spent years writing freely for both Amnesty International and Green Peace, I am very wary about reading motivations into people's negative actions. often evil is the outcome of ignorance or disinterest rather than some intention to cause harm.
Anyway, I just had to let you know how I felt about things because it would be dishonest of me just to fully agree with something I still have some reservations about.
Again, regarding our magazine's mistake… you are 100% right. About Koch… I believe he sucks. But about designs for world domination… well, that's the part I really need to check a lot more about before subscribing to the notion. Of course, I'll watch the film!
The Reader Responds:
Thank you Rory,
I have no trouble with you changing the word evil to something else…. I wasn't planning for my letter to be in public view. I would change it myself, but cannot until this evening I will be out all day….. If you wanted to alter the letter with these two things please send me a draft for my consent. Thank you.
As far as the world domination part…….they certainly want to do what they want without restriction, that is why they are trying to buy our government….very dangerous people. World dominate might be too radical of a statement, I agree. MONSANTO want world domination of the food supply that is for certain. We are living in a very scary time. But, they are another story all together. Watch some Netfix movies on them as well….
have to run…
I feel like I now have an ally….
I would like again to take this time to thank our reader, Ms. Gershenzon, in bringing to our and the public's attention those issues she finds important to address. We will try our best to "do our homework in the future". And we entreat all our readers to write in should they be troubled by our POV. in any given matter.