Between 2009 and 2017, under incredibly adverse economic conditions, I founded and ran a New York City based Architecture firm, John Fotiadis Architect, PLLC (“JFA”).
At its peak JFA employed 12 people in addition to myself, sponsored at least one very talented immigrant for a US visa, and dutifully paid taxes – federal, state and local ALL in the United States of America.
JFA was a small but powerful dynamo of a firm. I was proud of the fact that between 12 employees we spoke as many languages. A testament to the firm’s multicultural and international character. A character I had created, built and nurtured.
Instead of being congratulated and lauded for having the guts to take risks, to be an entrepreneur and to put deserving and talented people to work, and then to sell and export that work to foreign markets, as DESIGN TALENT AND “KNOW HOW” MADE IN THE USA, partisan hacks working for NBCUniversal and its subsidiaries MSNBC and CNBC, instead, decided to imply that I was a criminal. Why you may ask? Because it fit their pathetic politically driven narrative – really “propaganda” masquerading as news.
They chose NOT to attribute my success to the sheer tenacity, audacity and drive I demonstrated by tirelessly travelling tens of thousands of miles a year to foreign markets to keep my firm going and to keep my designers employed. They chose NOT to acknowledge my knowledge and abilities in languages, cultures, geopolitics, and history (let alone design talent), and my use of those skills to create bridges that spanned continents, found common ground, and built trust with clients at home and abroad. Instead (probably by drawing from their own pathetic shortcomings and inconsequential lives), they incorrectly surmised the ONLY way I could have achieved ANY of this was by illegal means. Small, unimaginative (and untalented) minds – but especially malleable and vindictive minds whose misguided fervor reveals their predisposition to bias and gullibility – tend to think that way.
One of those hacks, Rachel Maddow, rolled out the red carpet to another hack, a third rate reporter I’d never heard of, named Christina Wilkie, to come on to Maddow’s show and present an “expose” of me implying I went into hiding when she tried contacting me. A slanderous and defamatory fiction. Wilkie’s appearance on Maddow’s program – bordering on the comic – revealed far more about her than the vacuous proclamations about me that spewed out of her rather large mouth. She was out of her depth, and very clearly out of her league, but sadly, not out of focus. Suffice it to say I doubt she has had many TV appearances since.
Am I still angry about this? Damn right I am. I don’t forget. NOR do I forgive. NOR do I give up. People who know me, know my tenacity. I’ve moved mountains in my life, and have turned the most unlikely ideas into designs and from designs into realities. In other words, I have made things happen – especially in the very difficult profession of Architecture – through sheer will. Wilkie and Maddow obviously didn’t research that part of me. Nevertheless, I am sure they will learn all about it in the long run. Another virtue I posses is patience.
I recently wrote an email to Maddow and CC’d Wilkie and MSNBC. Of course, as I predicted, they didn’t reply. Here it is:
Hello Rachel –
Remember me? It’s your favorite “disappearing architect” here, John Fotiadis.
I’m rather shocked (but not surprised) that there is still video of this ridiculous episode of yours LIVE on MSNBC’s website (and I assume their servers), discussing my alleged “disappearance” which we BOTH know was, and REMAINS a LIE. I recently joined facebook and saw it there through a link.
Here is the Episode I am citing (in case you forgot): https://www.msnbc.com/…/key-architect-in-trump-deals…
When I first saw this episode, the outright lies and insinuations spoken about me, shocked me. You’ll have to forgive me if I come off a bit naive. I don’t watch much TV. I consider it a waste of my time. Maybe slander on TV is de rigueur these days? What do I know?
Nevertheless, as I continued to watch, the snide arrogance, the condescension, and the bloated self-importance exuded by both you and Wilkie – demonstrating what cheap propagandists you really are – told me everything I needed to know.
Clawing rabidly at anything even remotely related to Trump (the way monkeys will be drawn to the odor of an over-ripe banana or a shiny object), and trying to desperately declare yourselves “relevant” while no doubt drowning in an ever growing sea of abject journalistic mediocrity, it’s quite obvious you failed miserably. No other media outlets even bothered pursuing this laughable “story of my disappearance”. No agents of the US Government or Mueller’s team EVER contacted me, let alone took an interest in me (as Wilkie shamefully, and FALSELY stated in her tweets). “Pathetic” and “tragi-comic” were the words that first came to my mind while watching this, but also reckless, if not dangerous. Of course I’m sure you know deep down inside that you’re doing your profession a gross disservice, by bringing the work of honest journalists (yes, I believe there are still one or two left – namely friends in the media who came to my defense and recognized this politically motivated sham for what it was), into question. By the way, they don’t think too highly of you.
The corporate media entities like NBCUNIVERSAL, and its subsidiaries MSNBC and CNBC that allow this partisan tripe to be broadcast and presented as “objective reporting” and worse yet “objective truth” are not only letting the public down, they are insulting the public’s intelligence. The public is being lied to. YOU are lying to them, Rachel.
I’ve asked myself many times, why? “Cui Bono?” (who benefits?).
When I tried to confront you and Wilkie on twitter to ask the same, you never responded, but my accounts were soon unceremoniously suspended. Fascinating. Once so curious about my “disappearance” – a false narrative which Wilkie wholly invented and you promoted – I don’t doubt that you now wish I really WOULD just disappear. Unfortunately, no such luck. Regardless, this tells me that not only are you and Wilkie frauds, and far less intelligent than you present yourselves to be, not only do you have nothing but utter loathing and contempt for your audiences, seeing them as gullible lemmings willing to swallow whatever fictional propaganda you throw at them, but you’re also feckless cowards, eschewing all responsibility and accountability for your actions.
In any other field, had an employee acted with this much recklessness, this much brazen disregard in presenting conjecture as fact, they would’ve been summarily fired. But not here. Instead you and Wilkie acting like the self-congratulating charlatans you are, a pair of arrogant, self-appointed “arbiters of virtue”, gleefully lauded each other as brave warriors willing to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the truth, while smearing me in the process. What a load of BS! You may have fooled a lot of people, Rachel, but you didn’t fool me.
If honest, hardworking journalists with integrity wonder why they’ve become such objects of disdain, why they’ve been vilified and are largely viewed as biased and paid propagandists to either shill for or scandalize some worthless politician or other, why their motives are now questioned and viewed with suspicion, rather than the admiration they rightly deserve, the proof is right here. They need do nothing more than tune into your show.
As long as pretend journalists like you and Wilkie put dogma ahead of the facts, and remain profoundly undisciplined and emotionally driven in your desire to bend the truth into narratives that will suit your ideology (as well as your paymasters’ – whoever they may REALLY be), and present it as “NEWS” with a straight face, you will continue to strip out what little credibility is left in your profession.
You can read more on this farce in the blog posts below. Yes, I have a website that I repurposed for my creative work outside of architecture .
RACHEL, I AM GOING TO ASK YOU THIS ONCE – Please speak to your paymasters and take this libelous and defamatory fiction down.
And by the way, no one ever called me a “cockroach” before. that was a new one. Oh and one more thing, I noticed the SECOND time you had Wilkie on your show (considering I got her on twice, she could have at least sent me a fruit basket), you ALLUDED to me, but curiously, you didn’t mention me by name. Hmmm, I wonder why? Maybe you finally had what I suspect was a long overdue conversation with your legal department? Then again I can only speculate. I’m an architect after all, not a lawyer like you.