WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
A Gross Disrespect for the Truth
You should know that the law usually allows people to call names and say all kind of things about elected officials and public figures. You can call them crooks and just about anything – as long as you don't fall into something called a gross disrespect for the truth, or in legal terms, "a reckless disregard for the truth." This means that if you knowingly state or publish false statements to damage someone's reputation, it can be a liability for individuals and for news media.
In 1993, when I served as a Commissioner for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, my lawyer, Christopher Lynn filed a lawsuit on my behalf against El Diaro la Prensa newspaper, based upon allegations that they committed a gross disrespect and reckless disregard for the truth about me. The paper published an apology and we settled for an undisclosed amount of money that I am not permitted to state or disclose here or anywhere.
With that in mind, you should also know that there are some people who, when they fall in love or feel envious, may easily feel rejected. Any real or perceived rejection could bring them to the edge of absurdity. Sometimes they even become liars. This seems to be true in the case of Mr. Gerson Borrero, a reporter, who has issues with me. If you read or hear Mr. Borrero’s writings or commentaries about me, you might think this individual has a deep obsession with me.
You should know that as soon as I started writing my What You Should Know column – and Mr. Borrero saw how well my column was received – he immediately started writing a column under the title Para Que Lo Sepas (For You to Know). You should also know that Mr. Borrero’s column went straight to the bottom of the heap, while my What You Should Know is flourishing! Many people ask me to put them on my email list so they can receive it. Columnists even tell readers to get on Senator Diaz’s email list. It seems like everywhere you go, my What You Should Know is being talked about!
Mr. Borrero’s envy of and obsession about me has taken him to the extreme. He’s clearly in the pits, and he can’t seem to stop himself from throwing poison darts at me. He refers to me as Satan, as Lucifer, as a viper, and has even asked if I am homosexual. Whoever listens to him might get the impression that he is in love with me.
This past week, Mr. Borrero traveled all the way to the Senate Chamber in the State Capital in Albany with a group of people and reporters from the city to show their support for the nomination of Ms. Jenny Rivera, a Puerto Rican woman whom Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated to fill a vacancy in the New York State Court of Appeals.
Ladies and gentlemen, you should have seen Mr. Borrero. Not only is he trying to imitate me in his column with his writings, but also – walking through the New York State Senate hallways with a cowboy hat perched on his head – he’s now trying to imitate my dressing style! I guarantee you that his obsession with me made him the laughing stock of Albany when everyone in the Senate came running to me to tell me: “You have to go outside and see for yourself how Borrero is trying to be like you!” and “Borrero’s trying to imitate you by wearing a cowboy hat!”
Finally, my dear readers, you should know that Mr. Borrero has reached one of his lowest points of desperation (and absurdity) when he – with full knowledge and premeditation – lied straight into the TV camera this week, directly into the eyes of the public who were watching the NY1 program Road to City Hall. This past Wednesday, February 13th, Mr. Borerro not only called me a viper, but also lied on two times about me during that segment.
First, he said that in my speech during the Senate Confirmation hearing for Ms. Jenny Rivera, that I named some Hispanic judges who were better prepared than Ms. Jenny Rivera, and that I did not mention a single woman – that I only mentioned men. (I, in fact, mentioned several qualified women.) Mr. Borrero was there, he listened to my speech, and I am including a youtube link to my speech so you can judge for yourself and see what a liar this guy has become. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-sL6ZFjZJA&feature=share)
As for lie number two for that day, Mr. Borrero said that I was the only Democrat who voted against Ms. Jenny Rivera. In the official Senate video, I never said that I was voting against her. She won, and since the vote was a voice vote, nobody knows who voted for and who voted against. There is a clear difference between a voice vote and a roll call vote. It’s time for someone to try to educate Mr. Gerson Borrero and tell him that it was a voice vote and not a roll call vote, and suggest to him that the next time, he should pay less attention to his obsession with me, and more time to what I actually say, and what I write.
My advice to Mr. Gerson Borrero and to some news media that allows this kind of thing to happen in their newspapers and other forms of media, be careful!
This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.