Smarmy Jeff Mathews Helps CNBC Refine the Cover-up

In the week after the Miscreants’ ball call and that day’s interview with Ron Insana, I was invited to appear to debate Jeff Mathews. Jeff is a deacon in his church and a four-flusher who published atrociously false statements about a female co-worker of mine (statements which Deacon Mathews quietly made disappear, without apologizing, once he learned he had misspoken), and a crony of David Rocker. Evidently Jeff appeared without any preparation, and judging from even Insana’s reaction, had his head handed to him (if I say so myself).

More interesting than Jeff’s smarmy squirming and Ron Insana’s reaction thereto, however, is Ron’s spinning, which has become more heavy-handed than it had been the previous week. Evidently the goal was to make unthinkable the simple truth that the lawsuit concerned illegal acts sworn to by witnesses and participants, and the broader claims about naked short selling concerned the health over hundreds of firms, the jobs and savings of millions, and the fragility of the capital market: thus, Ron seems to have been following instructions to insist upon a Party Line that “Byrne is suing because he is mad these people say mean things about Overstock, but if only he focused on his business” blah blah blah. As should be clear by now, that became the doctrinal truth that CNBC journalists, Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera, and Roddy Boyd were to reinforce in subsequent months with great fervor, so as to preclude the public from reaching any substantive understanding about the claims made or issues at stake.

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CNBC's Ron Insana and the Miscreants' Ball - August 12, 2005

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