The Society of American Business Editors and Writers, SABEW, is the professional association for journalists who cover business. While most members I have met are normal, straight-thinking people, as a group they have been led around by the nose by a tiny group within SABEW which covers the hedge fund beat. Because those dozen or so reporters are captured, they have more or less engaged in a cover-up on behalf of the hedge funds who are their best sources (and whose names come up again and again wherever companies are manipulated through phantom stock). Because those dozen reporters on the hedge fund beat derided, spun, and downplayed the issue, the other members of SABEW followed suit, if they mentioned the issue of naked shorting at all. Now that those dozen or so reporters are keeping their heads down, the other members of SABEW across the country seem at something of a loss.
This was not unanticipated. It seemed to me that their analysis would run this way:
A) “If people read DeepCapture and see that we have not responded, they will assume it must be correct. Thus we should answer it.”
B) “If we answer DeepCapture we have to mention it. If we mention it, people will go there and read it. If they do, they will see that Byrne has us dead-to-rights. So we better not mention it.”
Perhaps from indecision and risk-aversion, perhaps as a calculated gamble, they have chosen Strategy B over A.
The surreality of this is in their reaction to Deep Capture (or should I say, their non-reaction). For several years I knew that if I changed the part in my hair I’d see a story on it by at least one of Carol Remond, Roddy, Jim Cramer, Joe Nocera, etc. Herb once wrote a blog about how quickly or slowly I replied to his emails. They would dive after any crumb I dropped and race to be the first to distort or lie about it. Now, however, I am not serving crumbs, but have a smörgåsbord laid out for them. I have created a website devoted to these issues, and written dozens of pages on various aspects of it, and Mark Mitchell has published a novella on the issues raised in DeepCapture. Yet the Cone of Silence has descended. They could write articles trying to distort DeepCapture, of course, but to do so they would have to mention it, and they know they cannot suffer the exposure. Hence, the Cone of Silence No mentions are made of my fight, because at this point, mentioning me without mentioning DeepCapture itself would strain what remains of journalistic integrity among this crew. I really cannot see any other explanation that explains their silence on this now, but their indefatigable attention before DeepCapture came into existence.
As I said, this reaction was not unexpected. I judged it their most likely reaction, and planned accordingly. My plan is to raise the heat on them in their frozen state, slowly, until something cracks.
First, I have barely done anything to get DeepCapture attention: it gets about 700 to as high as 4,000 unique visitors per day. That is starting to be an uncomfortable number of people for SABEW to write off, knowing that they are reading these well-documented deconstructions and hearing no reply at all from the Establishment press. Not only does that raise the heat on them now, the smarter ones among them must anticipate that, any day I want, I can start getting 100,000/day to this site.
Some SABEW members may take comfort in this excuse: “If all of this blows up, and Byrne turns out to be right, I can always say that I had not heard about it.” To forestall that line of thinking, Stormy hired a van to go to a SABEW conference in Baltimore. On its side were revolving signs concerning DeepCapture, asking, “Are you a captured journalist?” The driver of the van talked his way into parking on the front steps of the conference for 2.5 days. That is, for 2.5 days, 2,000 business journalists who walked in and out of the SABEW conference were confronted by that van.
That was to turn up the heat on their dilemma another notch.
And now, la pièce de résistance: here is a video that shows the DeepCapture van at SABEW.
Not everyone in SABEW can be as dopey as, for example, Roddy Boyd sounds. Within SABEW there must be some who understand how this intensifies their dilemma. Simply put, if the claims of DeepCapture prove to be right, then books will someday be written about this scandal. Those books are going to have to deal with the clear evidence that the members of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers were told about naked short selling. The research was done for them, and the data was provided to them. In fact, they had their nose rubbed in it. I can assure you from examining our IP logs that the major news organizations are reading DeepCapture. Yet they refuse to report on it.
To understand the significance of that, imagine if it turned out that for years before Enron imploded, Enron’s malfeasance had been fully understood for years by a group of journalists, but none had reported on it. The profession would be seen as having taken part in a cover-up. Similarly, in this case, the journalists on the hedge fund beat will be seen as having taken part in a cover-up, and allowed to do so by the completely incurious fellowship of SABEW.
Thus, not reporting on this scandal is a dicey decision for members of SABEW to take. A group of journalists refuse to report on a crime, even after it has become widely acknowledged by regulators, legislators, and economists. If they maintain the Cone of Silence, they are making a bet-the-ranch decision that the crime never becomes a widely-understood scandal. Yet if they report on it, they know that the public will begin reading DeepCapture, and will begin making their own evaluation about the work of these shill journalists.
I’m content to let our work here on DeepCapture stand on its own against Cramer, Nocera, Bethany, Herb, Roddy, and Carol. It appears they are not, for they have suddenly acquired laryngitis about me and my “wacky” theories. I do not envy the decision they are their SABEW colleagues face. There must be some among SABEW who understand that saying nothing about DeepCapture, while once the risk-averse bet, now carries with it a higher degree of risk than saying something. We are getting closer to checkmate.
That said, three final moves will bring the coup de grace. Stay tuned.