QUESTION: IF THE NY POST DOES NOT KNOW THAT RICHARD GEPHARDT IS
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER AND THAT HE IS NOT A SENATOR, HOW DO THEY
KNOW WHAT BARBRA STREISAND THINKS AND WHAT SHE IS DOING?
Answer: They DON’T!
It seems from a flurry of fabricated stories about Barbra Streisand
in the conservative New York Post that this publication feels that
freedom of the press only applies to those who own the presses.
This concerns the latest in a series of defamations.
On the final day of election campaigning (Nov. 4, 2002) The New
York Post created one more viciously false story to try to malign
Barbra Streisand’s support of Democratic candidates and Democratic
issues. Richard Johnson, in his Page Six column, headlined a
ludicrous concoction that must have defied even his credulity-or,
certainly, that of his readers. The story asserted that Barbra
Streisand had advanced a “paranoid conspiracy theory” in respect to
the tragic air crash that took the lives of Paul Wellstone and
seven others. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Johnson
went on to offer the similarly ridiculous lie that Ms. Streisand
had presented this idea in a letter to “an audience of interior
designers bidding on a chance to decorate” her new addition. Page
Six further asserts that she told them they had to concur with her
Ms. Streisand never advanced “a paranoid conspiracy theory” in
any letter (there is none) to 5 candidates bidding for a job to
decorate her home since she is her own decorator. The Page Six
story was yet another Post article attempting to discredit this
vocal Democrat with baseless charges.
Now, let’s consider the amazing irony of the November 4 story in
which the New York Post identified House Minority Leader Richard
Gephardt as “SEN. Dick Gephardt”… it established a new context
for the Post’s repeated castigations of Ms. Streisand for a
misspelling of Gephardt’s name (this was in a memo DICTATED BUT
NOT READ BY HER). Presumably it was Mr. Johnson or one of his
two credited co-writers who wrote “Sen. Dick Gephardt.” It was
published, unchallenged, after inspection by highly paid and
knowledgeable New York Post editors. It is significant only because
Mr. Johnson holds others, very belligerently, to standards with
which he himself cannot comply.
Of course he erred. Why? Not because he is stupid, but because
he is human. It is why even so prestigious a paper as The New York
Times has a corrections column every day.
But while inadvertent errors are human and should be accepted as
such and not ridiculed, the writers of calculated falsehoods
designed to detract from intended content and aimed only to shame
and defame people, should accept their responsibility and be held