Monday, December 31, 2018

An Open Letter to Steven M. Craig -

Steven M Craig was not a journalist.  He wrote restaurant reviews and faxed them to the willing from his home fax machine.  It is likely, however, Steven was a recepient of aid from the Alterman - Fund Fund for Employment-Challenged Journalists. 

An Open Letter To Steven M. Craig

Dear Mr. Craig,

            I received a copy of your faxed newsletter from a third party.  Even though I am continuously mentioned, and I might add, libeled, you did not see fit to contact me in advance of publication.  A curious omission. 
            You have violated the usual standards and practices for journalistic endeavors in so many particulars that I am somewhat at a loss to know where to start.  But I will try to be as brief as possible given the obvious constraints. 
            First, I know you only from four or less phone conversations all of which took place last summer or autumn.  I talked to you because you expressed concern for Morgan and positioned yourself as a friend of hers who wanted to protect her from behavior on John’s part that was inappropriate.  You were never contacted as a journalist. I always believed you were Morgan’s friend, not a journalist looking for a quick sale. 
In the last conversation we had you expressed concern that John was trying to create the appearance of fraud on Morgan’s part.   You asserted this many times with great detail as to how it could be accomplished, why John was both capable and likely to do so.
 Morgan was handling the house finances as John had asked and you warned both her and myself of the possibility that she was being set up by John Fund, who is frequently characterized as the individual most responsible for the various ‘dirty tricks’ that so exercised the liberal media during the Clinton Presidency.    You forcefully urged me to make sure that Morgan documented every transaction.  John Fund, you said, is a dangerous man who will stop at nothing.  This chain of events, very clear in my mind, certainly, makes your ‘article’ even more outrageous.  
You touched on one issue that strikes everyone.  Why did John Fund allow Morgan to move in with him, remain, and continue to handle his affairs?  Why did the doyen of devious devisings do what he did?  All chains of causality link to the real nature of the participants. Through their actions people tell us who they are behind the smoke and mirrors, if we possess the insight to really see. 
We will soon see, of that you can be sure. 
Back to the subject. 
            I will itemize your specific untruths and misstatements so that you can recant and publish a retraction in an orderly fashion. This retraction should include a written apology to myself along with a list of  those to whom this idiocy was faxed.
            First page, second column, line 27 – 37.  “When it was learned that he not only had an affair with Morgan’s Mother while he babysat for young Morgan but later impregnated her when she came to New York as an adult, it caused a shudder in the right wing community.”
            John never babysat any of my children.  He lived in Sacramento; I lived in the Los Angeles area. He was in their presence once or twice. I keep hearing this story and still wonder where it came from.  As to the reaction of the ‘right wing community,’ I would not know.  I know lots of right-wingers, but most of them are entirely oblivious to this drama.  As I have frequently told John, he is not as important as he thinks he is. Most people neither know nor care who he is.  But everyone who knows about it who is a friend of mine is just appalled.    Are you intimating with your comment that somehow left-wingers believe it is open season on the children of their friends?  What a curious world you inhabit. 
First page; 3rd column ;line 8 – 18.  “There was even the possibility expressed by Morgan herself that Fund was her Brother’s sire.” 
First, you should not capitalize brother.  You are not u sing it as a proper name. A simple glance at my youngest son leaves the viewer with no doubt as to his parentage.  I was very sure of the matter and, in fact, knew that no other genetic combination could have been possible except that which is acknowledged. This may surprise you, so brace yourself.  Women generally know these things.  Certainly I did.  Biology, unlike politics, has laws based on physical reality.  If Morgan told you that was a possibility then she was mistaken. Morgan’s relationship with the truth used to be problematical.  She is much improved in the last year, having had to deal with the continuous lies of Mr. Fund.  Now she understands how totally aggravating it is to slog through unending mires of mendacity.   
First page: 4th column; line 39 – 41 to Second page; 1st column; Lines 1 – 9   “Her Mother, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, during this time was in the campaign and had sent off e-mails to executives of the Journal and even to Laura Bush, or so she claimed to me, disparaging Mr. Fund’s character.  She oddly, however felt he should do the “right thing” and marry her daughter when he was her ex-lover, Family Values Libertarian Style. (She is a prominent and well known spokesperson for the cause.)”
Campaign?  I write a letter asking people to let them alone to deal with their problems and I am interfering. But if I had done nothing I would have been neglectful.  Rock and a hard place, don’t you think?
Morgan is my daughter.  Parents don’t abandon their children even when those children do stupid things.  I did not want them to marry.  But I could not get Morgan to leave.  I was hoping you were wrong about John and that these two troubled people could work things out.  We all entertain hopes on the way to reality.   Parts of the story were invisible to me, living as I do 3,000miles away.
When is a mother deemed to be absolved of the bindings of motherhood?   Short answer:  Never.  Morgan is a woman grown and of mature years.  I cannot order her.  I can only attempt to persuade and to point out the inappropriateness of behavior revealed to me either by her or by others.   I never stop hoping.  Not an easy job, rest assured. 
I have never sent a letter to Laura Bush regarding this matter nor did I tell you I intended to do so.   I am sure the First Lady keeps accurate records so you could ask her office.  I cannot imagine what writing to her would have accomplished.  This is not a problem with literacy, presumably. However, I did go to tea at the White House last spring before this all happened.  But the event, while not public, was on behalf of Federated Republican Women.  I am a member of Federated Women.  In fact, I am First Vice-President for Santa Barbara County this year.  I am also a regent for Federated and attend lots of their events.  This leads me to the next point. 
I am not a spokesperson for the LP.  I am sure they would reel with horror at the suggestion.  I reregistered Republican in 1988, joining Federated soon afterwards.   Surely 14 years is a long time, even to someone as inexact as you seem to be.  I have donated to Libertarian candidates from time to time; helped out here and there when asked by a friend.  I have occupied no office. 
If you know many Libertarians you know that they harbor opinions on issues pertaining to “Family Values’ on pretty much the same range of outrageous and sublimely horrible as do individuals in other parties.  Individuals within that party have also been known to act in ways that contradict their expressed opinions.  That is one of the problems with all collectivism. It uses specifics to ignore ranges of behavior.  As individuals, most Libertarians are as responsible as Reps. and Dems; or Greens, for that matter.  You get stinkers in every bunch. 
I did write a private letter to Paul Gigot asking him to intervene at one point. That was after Morgan was being battered.   John’s behavior underwent a salutary change for the better immediately thereafter.  Unfortunately, it did not stick. 
Page 2; 1st column; lines 9 – 21    “It there fore came as no surprise when Page Six of The New York Post ran an item in January that they were engaged and that invitations were sent out.  The very next day there was a retraction with a comment by Morgan that her mother should in effect mind her own business.”
I would be very interested to see any material that backs up any part of this assertion.  First, I grudgingly agreed to host a small private wedding after a conversation with John and an e-mail that indicted to me his wish that they marry.    I begin the very moderate and private arrangements for that wedding immediately since the date loomed.  Even small weddings take time. I e-mailed updates and questions to John and Morgan regularly.  I was especially worried about John’s family’s ability to eat the fish I planned for the reception, as I remember.  John’s one comment was on the program I planned to give attendees.  The twenty invitations to what I insisted must be a small and very private wedding are still sitting in a pile in my office. None were ever mailed.  I e-mailed two people with the artwork for that invitation before retracting it.  Those two people were, surprise, Morgan and John.  One of them sent it onto various people, evidently.  I did not.  I sent an e-mailed copy to Lloyd Grove afterwards at his request.  I didn’t consider the matter confidential. Just not interesting to non-family members. 
            Page 2;column 3; lines 26 – 34.  “Her mother, coincidently happened to come to New York while all these recent activities were taking place and presumably is lending moral support to her abused daughter. 
            I made plans to come to NY when asked to attend the American Theatre Critics Conference by my friend Michael Grossberg. Michael and I have been friends for 25 years.  He is a theatre critic for the Columbus Dispatch and active in the organization.  He will confirm what I have said.  I do not doubt that Morgan has been abused.  She was shaky and distraught when I arrived.  John Fund had decamped just minutes before I walked in. He is over six feet tall.  Morgan is 5’1” in height.  John denied being there.  The security at the door later affirmed that he had been. I have and will testify that I believe Morgan was abused, then and earlier.  I do not lightly commit myself on such matters. 
            Morgan has been known to lie.  That is why she taped John in the first place.  I still ask her for documentation when ever possible. She gives it to me.  John never would. 
            You can send your retraction to me care of Morgan’s attorney, William Cobb.

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