On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, Marie Garvey, flanked by the Hilton Skyscraper Initiative masterminds, came to our city Council to blast me for the content of my most recent installment of The Hilton Chronicles. Marie Garvey, waving the "civility" flag, was trying to paint herself as a "victim of bullying."
As a PR flack, Garvey is sometime in the business of putting words in other people's mouths. On Tuesday she was at it again in full force by suggesting that I had called her a "whore." As I immediately responded at the time, that's her word, not mine. If I had wanted to use a specific word, I would have. In fact, I wrote there are a "few choice words," viz. plural -- not a single word - to describe her actions and I intentionally left it up to people to use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks however they see fit. I'm not even going to try to speculate as to why she came up with that one, though a psychologist would likely have a field day.
The absurdity of Marie Garvey's claims that she is a victim will not be lost upon those who know what has been going on around town and how the Hilton and its proponents have been acting, which in many cases is the very opposite of "civil."
Garvey claims that I indicted her integrity "just for doing her job." The answer is simple: no, I'm not indicting her integrity for "just doing her job." There is nothing wrong with being a legislative advocate or PR person. There is, however, something wrong with misrepresenting the truth, lying and trying to deceive people; and Marie Garvey is spearheading a campaign which is trying to trick people by doing just that. The Seven Strikes article, along with other articles in the series, details this meticulously.
In playing the gender card and trying to portray me as a chauvinist she is not only engaging in a false personal attack on me, she is also simultaneously attempting to paint the picture that I myself am unfairly attacking anyone for simply disagreeing with my position. Nothing could be further from the truth. I respect people who have differing points of view and who are willing to engage in fact-based and rational discussions about the merits and demerits of whatever position might be at hand.
However, I am indeed taking people to task - in this case the thin-skinned Garvey -- for the manner and way in which they are attempting to deceive, mislead, misinform and misrepresent Measure HH, the Hilton Condominium Tower Initiative, to our residents. The cynical spin is a true attempt to insult the intelligence of our residents and a blatant attempt to turn all of us into suckers. I will not simply remain silent in the face of such attacks upon our Community.
Marie Garvey is an instrumental piece of this multi-million dollar machinery and as such she deserves to be called out for her role. It's not about doing her job, but it's about the way in which she does it. And, yes, make no mistake about it and feel free to quote these words: I feel there is a major problem with integrity and there is an utter lack of moral behavior in the way they are trying to quench their insatiable greed.
Playing the gender card and trying to portray me as a chauvinist -- and herself as a victim -- is both false and absurd. Of course, Garvey was trying to put words in my mouth. The quote which she repeated out of context at the council meeting included, ironically, her own words which I had turned against her when she unfairly, with a dose of dog-whistle xenophobia and latent racism, was trying to attack the motives of a competitor. Of course, she didn't mention that the words she was quoting me as having said were in large part a direct quote from herself.
Marie Garvey, in addressing the entire Council except for me, said that I don't know her. This actually, for a change, happens to be a true statement. I neither know nor care to know Marie Garvey. For all I know she is a wonderful dancer and has many great qualities. Not my concern. Not my business.
My comments very clearly only relate to her professional activity. Of course, a true ad hominem attack against her would be completely unrelated to the matter at hand, which is a tactic that Hilton proponents themselves have used and are continuing to use, directed at those who take issue with their scheme, including City commissioners and myself. But when it comes to her professional activity, which in my opinion is fair game, I am indeed questioning her integrity because of her role in spreading false, deceptive, misleading factoids and information.
Marie Garvey chose to use the word "whore". That was her interpretation, not mine. She attempted to put a word in my mouth which never had emanated from it. But if you must hear a few "choice words from the English language", then I will say that I feel she is professionally "a hypocrite and a sell-out." And I would say that regardless of her gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. The suggestion that it makes me a chauvinist simply because she happens to be a woman is just as absurd as suggesting that her Council chamber tirade against me is anti-Semitic or Swedophobic.
Garvey also fed her narrative to the Beverly Hills Courier's Laura Coleman, who herself is ethically and journalistically challenged when it comes to the truth (click here for some specific examples). Coleman, who generally seems to print Garvey's talking points verbatim, doubled down on Garvey's gender card attack in an unhinged rant in her paper after she called me earlier in the week me to whine that I had blocked her on Facebook (and in that conversation she unsuccessfully tried to get me to admit I was intending to refer to Marie Garvey as a "whore"). Of course, the Courier has been bought - figuratively, but perhaps also literally - by the Hilton and bids fair to make Pravda in the glory days of the Soviet Union seem like The New York Times. The Courier has become the Skyscraper Initiative, Measure HH's personal propaganda machine (in the Courier's case, the HH seems to stand for "Hysterically Hysterical," an accurate description of its coverage of the measure), so I probably shouldn't take Coleman's personal attacks personally. Or perhaps, by her own "logic," she's just a raging anti-Semite...
Marie Garvey mentioned that she has told her daughter never to give into bullying. Far be it from me to tell her how to raise her child but at least that is one thing we have in common.
But not only have I told my son not to give into bullying, I've also taught him not to be a bully, to be truthful, not to lie and to stick to the facts.
In a textbook case of "master suppression technique," Garvey pointedly addressed the other individual Council members, pointedly ignoring me, trying to make me invisible, the very first and most obvious master suppression technique (withholding information and heaping blame are two other master suppression techniques she used on Tuesday). Of course, in the Jewish religion, failure to acknowledge someone else's existence is also an insult to G-d.
I am always happy to meet people with whom I disagree for fact-based and rational discussion. I was prepared to engage in a neutral, city sponsored town hall, which would have been moderated by the League of Women Voters and in which Marie Garvey, or any supporter - paid or otherwise - of the Hilton Skyscraper could also participate.
Yet in an unprecedented act of arrogance, the Hilton's Ted Kahan, who was part of Garvey's support team on Tuesday, made demands for participation in the town hall, which included the right "to approve all speakers on behalf of the opposition to Measure HH." Effectively, he wanted to turn what was supposed to be a neutral, balanced forum into a Harlem Globetrotters match with the ability for the Hilton to decide who would be allowed to play for the Washington Generals.
Considering the millions and millions of dollars the Hilton supporters have at their disposal and have used to spread false and misleading information, considering the bullying of the Hilton machinery to try to dictate the terms of a neutral forum, and so much more, the thought that their PR mastermind, Marie Garvey, is somehow a "victim" is nothing short of laughable and perhaps her biggest attempt at screwball spin yet.