Celia Farber has scored another major knockout
The trainers are applying smelling salts and ice packs and oxygen to her opponent; it’s a great night at Madison Square Substack
Here it is. Read it. Read it in full. I’m not going to describe it. The headline gives you a sufficient clue.
“Former JP Morgan Exec Jes Staley, With Close Ties To Epstein, Was Central To The World Of AIDS Charities, Big Money And His Brother’s Fame As An ACT UP Pioneer; ‘All Roads Lead To Staley,’ JP Morgan Chase Attorney To Judge”
THATpiece is what I mean when I talk about a WRITER who does journalism.
And there’s something else. In the wake of Celia’s revelatory 1998 Esquire interview with OJ Simpson, she could have gone on to live a different life.
A life that eventually would have landed her, say, at the top of the line at 60 Minutes, or the New York Times—along with visiting professorships at Harvard, Yale…
A life that people who never get within sniffing distance of fame can reject out of hand—but they never actually experience the temptation. They never see that big-time future spreading out in front of them. They never have the chance to step out into that future.
Celia had the chance.
She turned it down.
She had other fish to fry. In a kitchen where the heat was high.
She stayed in a world of investigative reporting that was destined to make her an enemy in the eyes of the establishment.
It’s easy to be that enemy when you were never inside the gates of the establishment. But she was. And then she exited.
That gets people riled up. That’s like a doctor turning on other doctors.
So there’s that history.
When Celia brings the hammer down in one of her major pieces, she’s IN the piece. Try it sometime. You’re in and you’re out at the same time.
She’s not inventing that paradox. It’s the way she experiences the reality of what she’s writing about.
In the process, she doesn’t short change the facts she’s uncovering. Try THAT.
How does she pull it off? I think the answer is clear. She’s a WRITER. Meaning she naturally experiences and creates and investigates and perceives simultaneously.
You can’t separate and pick apart the qualities of a writer.
She always wanted to be a writer. And that carries implications. She couldn’t shrink the dimensions of what she was covering to fit a formula. She couldn’t cut herself off from experiencing the truth, no matter where it led. She couldn’t settle on one acceptable style of writing.
I’ve read a few reporters’ attacks on her. They can’t hold a candle to her talent. They’re little mites trying and failing to bring her down. Especially the men-mites, who basically hate women.
A few of those mites appeared within her own camp, when she took on the AIDS scandal. They viciously blasted her reporting at every possible turn. They failed. They disappeared back into the fog. She endured.
She went back to work. She sees people suffering and dying needlessly at the hands of criminals and predators in HUMAN terms. She writes about this dying in a way that, for the reader, is VIVID.
And for most journalists, that is not permitted. That is not supposed to BE. I mean the journalists themselves don’t want to see that from one of their own.
Because I’m an old boxing fan from way back, I’m going to come in with that metaphor to describe what I think Celia’s doing at her Substack page. She probably doesn’t see it this way—so, just take it as a riff.
A lot of the time, she’s at her training camp in the mountains, in the Catskills. It’s a place boxers go. She’s doing roadwork every morning. She’s sparring in the ring. She’s lifting weights in the gym and breaking logs with an axe out on the field next to her cottage. She’s eating well, but not too well.
All these activities—they’re important to a fighter. They mean something. So she reports on them to her readers. Short pieces. She writes short pieces.
In reality, she’s gearing up. Getting ready. Putting her mind right. Sharpening her reflexes.
THEN…comes the big night.
She’s at the top of the card at Madison Square Garden.
She facing a major opponent. No more short pieces.
This one is for the championship.
And that’s when her talent shows up in full from every possible vector.
That’s when her readers get the piece I’ve linked to above.
That’s when her opponent folds under a withering attack. That’s when he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. That’s when he goes down.
When you review the tape in the aftermath of the knockout, you see a curious thing. She’s done enough to take him out. No question about that. But she hasn’t piled on cruelly. She’s shown you what she needed to do in the ring, in order to win decisively. She could have done a lot more. But some part of her has exercised prime-cut intelligence. She’s gauged the necessary and sufficient degree of damage to be inflicted. It’s right, it’s true, and it’s inescapable.
And that’s a bottom line, because all those men-mites who go after her and fail miserably? They can’t stand her INTELLIGENCE. She’s not supposed to have that. She supposed to—at best—be able to deliver her human reactions.
The mites are dizzy and flailing. Because she’s smarter than they are. Much smarter.
I laugh at that one. I’m sitting at ring side, I watch the fight, but I also watch the gaggle of reporters. Their faces are ashen.
They see her mind at work, in the action, and they’re going to their default position: hit a local watering hole and get drunk and try to forget the whole thing.
It’s moment of happiness. For me.
I like unusual events.
-- Jon Rappoport
Episode 45 of Rappoport Podcasts --- “How ‘THE VIRUS’ is used as a CIA-type cover story. The fake story conceals enormous crimes; people still don't get it; I break it down” --- is posted on my substack. It’s a blockbuster. To listen to this two-part podcast, click here and here. To learn more about This Episode of Rappoport Podcasts, click here.
Jon, I'm speechless.
I know that the words "thank you" are almost beside the point, as you didn't write this to be nice. Yet the gratitude on my end is profound. I've gotten by without "confidence" but with a kind of blind compulsion. You raise many difficult and important issues: What happens to a writer who becomes an object of derision? They're supposed to admit defeat and stop writing.
I have spent most of my career, since late 80s, ducking and shielding from blows aimed at my worthiness as a journalist, and being a target for fear and loathing. From intra-office coup attempts, to pharma paid (I am certain) federal court cases, to occult blood rituals placed online to death and murder fantasies, to a 20 year stalker campaign from "our" side seeking to punish any *other* journalist who takes me seriously at all. (They hear from him in all caps, screaming his head off.)
This person, around 2007, aimed shrapnel at me in a public forum with words that almost did cause me to quit. "Atrocious" on "the science," an "embarrassment to all HIV dissidents," and "embarrassment" to the gay community, and my Harper's article 2006 an abysmal failure, not even fish wrap. Not only because it didn't include The Perth Group. A little bit of minutae: It DID. They requested to be removed from the article. You get my point: I could NOT WIN. I was never "safe," never skidding into home base, with a "good enough" feeling of any kind. I should "get the hell out," of the arena. I was making everything worse for the ones who were smart, could think, were good on "the science." It was to be a matter of the Grand Prize being carried off by people who can with Talmudic accuracy describe shadows of shadows of the shadow virus HIV and detail precisely HOW that which does not exist does not exist.
When I could breathe and see the screen through tears of humiliation, I defended myself on grounds I am not competing as a science writer. I said I am trying to be a writer-writer, and tell human stories. Tell of scientist's lamentations and mother's losses and whistleblower's shocks. The Gallo/Fauci AIDS Inc landscape.
Silence. I literally stumbled away from the screen, thinking I might fall dead.
I lit a candle, and called Robert Crumb, who sat with me on the phone until I could speak in coherent sentences again. But a major series of living wounds had been inflicted, regardless of how I might try to intellectualize or "consider the source." Elias Canetti calls this "the sting," and he describes, in "Crowds and Power" how it becomes a living thing, with a memory, trying to "reverse" itself and exit the flesh.
Every time I try to write about the extreme bullying, I delete it. I may even delete this comment.
Self pity is the worst. How to avoid it and be true to the record? Never mention it? I wanted to *understand* it.
But the thing is, Jon, you are not ever just writing about what you seem to be writing about. The light comes out from dimensions not so apparent at first glance.
The world is consumed with psychosis about "gender." I arrived in the US from Sweden in 1984, "gender leveled," by the social engineers over there. Neither male nor female. Only when the blows landed did I ponder the possibility that I was not the right thing.
But today you have allowed me to swim to the surface, like the Japanese goldfish 10 years ago who hid in an aquarium filter since it was thrown into the tank as pirhana food as a baby, and fed on falling scraps. When it was rescued, it had no "gold." The gold on the scales develops from sunlight.
Japanese tourists came to visit the pale fish, it became a symbol of something everybody understood. I wrote about the Japanese fish, in yet another passage I hid or deleted.
As for the boys club of media, truth is I was never truly invited, not even after OJ, except briefly. Esquire asked me for one more piece after that. Would I be willing to write a tortured essay about my body—kid you not. I'll spare you further details, and I was never one to whine about misogyny. I just wanted to work.
And finally, finally, Substack arrived like the cavalry. I found my readers, my exodus from the sunless filter, all the hiding and surviving. We meet here, around this campfire, and all our intermediaries are elsewhere.
Sunlight still feels uncomfortable. Praise and attack can feel the same—one should believe neither. But to have one of the greatest living writers describe what he sees in my work, this feels like an antidote to all of it, a way to shed it all, and move forward, and close the portals with all the screeching gargoyles. Maybe even laugh.
Thank you, Jon. You didn't need to do this but you did.
If I don't use it as a healing moment, I'm only helping our shared opposition.
ps. I might delete this. This isn't how a winning Boxer speaks. Or is it?
when one has the chance to join the "private club" that George Carlin often referred to, but turns it down flat, that is something to be admired. kudos to both you and to Celia.