top of page

Everything wrong with publishing: The New Yorker, the sealed door, and the gossip wheel

Friday 10/22/21

The New Yorker had the gall to phone me last night for fact-checking purposes, after years of abuse, lies, and discrimination. Which I am now prepared to document in full on here. This was for a piece by someone who simply gets hooked up. For all of the wrong reasons. A piece about Boston monuments from a person who knows nothing about Boston, who has been in Boston for five minutes. (No knock on them personally. It's just true.) So fact-checking called me.

When is enough enough? When do you stop taking it? How many years does that have to be? How many decades? How much evidence and proof--both completely clear and undeniable--do you have to have before you say, "that's it. I am not taking this any more"? Enough, for me, has come because I have ruled out every last atom of a possibility for what is happening that might be on the up and up. Not out of supposition. Experience. And proof. It's like an experiment done 100,000 times over. I've made sure to that last atom that I know what I know.

Here's one of The New Yorker things I was thinking about, from the other day. A New Yorker editor received two stories from me in spring 2018, shortly after I'd had fiction in Harper's. This editor, as with most editors, will only put forward the right kind of person, and you can go through years of fiction in The New Yorker and hardly find a single story from a straight, white male in his thirties or forties, and that's before we get into the hate, fear, envy that I engender. Further, I can break down--and we can do that in here--the reasons why each person who is in there is in there. It's all surface. It's never about the writing. They did not even think it worth looking at the emails with my stories all of that time ago. Not for literary reasons. Rather, because of who wrote them.

But you want to know something sick? They kept the emails nonetheless. Why would you do that? Do you put them in a bad person folder? Then, when news of my "crimes"--that is, saying the truth about how this industry really works (because the gossip wheel has been turning fast of late), which is plain to all with what I've been writing, with absolutely no defense of any of it--reached them, they thought it worthwhile to dig up the emails they had kept from 1200 plus days ago. And only then.

This would be a guy named Willing Davidson. That's what you're dealing with. Is there any truer proof of discrimination? Why'd you keep it? No intention at all of taking the work. No intention of even reading it. There wasn't going to be an honest, fair chance. But knowing who that person was, stashing it aside. And like a middle school child, getting the gossip, and then searching the inbox for what Fleming sent, years ago, that had been filed away the second it came in, because of who it was from.

That would be the tip of the iceberg with what I know and have proof of with The New Yorker. I can go all the way up the chain there in documenting what has happened. That's the extent of my experiences, and the amount of my evidence. I have proof of my work being stolen. You'll love seeing who did that. I've been verbally abused, and I have those emails. I know when I've been lied to, when there has been an attempt to handle me. I'll take it as far as I have to take it until I am treated as I deserve to be treated, which means the work, which is on a different level than the work out there, is treated as it deserves to be treated.

This isn't some one and done, what has been happening in these pages of late. I am not going away. I will do this as long as I have to do it until justice is served. I am here to listen. Treat me the way I deserve to be treated. Everyone has my number (obviously). And I'll say it again: knock it off. Do the right thing. You're not going to keep me down and beat me in the end. It's just a matter of how I'm going to get where I am going. And that can look a lot of different ways for other people on their end. They can look good, or they can look bad. And everything that comes with each.

bottom of page