NOTE: Though DeepCapture.com publishes on a blog platform, this site is first and foremost a work of journalism. Consequently, we rarely engage in the kinds of back-and-forth exchanges of jabs that tend to define our deeply-conflicted and drama-addicted blogging critics.
Today, I make an exception.
In a recent post, I offered a theory as to why the reporting on a specific incident – DeepCapture contributor and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne’s filing of a defamation lawsuit against short-selling hedge fund Rocker Partners – was so undeniably polarized. In short, regional and non-business press reported very objectively on the suit, while the New York financial press coverage was overwhelmingly pro-Rocker Partners and anti-Byrne.
My theory cited Facebook friend relationships (information which is, according to Facebook itself, considered public) to demonstrate that with very few exceptions, the authors of the adversarial reporting all have close personal relationships with a certain hedge fund manager or his friends, and in some cases, with his family members.
I questioned how these reporters can be expected to do their jobs when these relationships exist between them and those they are supposed to be covering. I also pointed out that no political reporter would dare be “friends” (Facebook or otherwise) with an elected official he or she was tasked with covering, for that would inevitably cloud their journalistic integrity.
I’m not the only one who sees the world this way. Recently, judges and attorneys in Florida were prohibited from being Facebook friends with one another, since “online ‘friendships’ could create the impression lawyers are in a position to influence judge friends.”
As for my video, never once did I refer to “naked short selling.”
Nor did I use the word “conspiracy.”
This is a simple case of supposedly objective business journalists and bloggers being too close to their subject and allowing the relationship to affect their reporting. Period.
Those who are claiming that I was painting a larger conspiratorial picture either didn’t watch the video, or are attempting to intentionally deceive their readers and cloud this issue. I’m not sure which is more shameful.
I should also point out that those who are claiming I was painting a larger conspiratorial picture are – not coincidentally – directly tied to the subject or his friends. The resulting stab at journalism (in name only) is hardly a conspiracy; it’s human nature and in the case of these writers, very poor form and an even more poorly-kept secret.
In anticipation of this response (what could be more predictable?) I preemptively uploaded a spreadsheet documenting the extended – and publicly available – relationships connecting these folks, which I invited DeepCapture readers to examine in order to spot additional links which might explain still more instances of questionable journalism in support of bear raiding short sellers.
Some are trying to spin this as an “enemies list”, but as anybody who took the time to watch my video knows, that’s just a frantic attempt at damage control by a bunch of blushing writers.
Finally, I want to address the most unhinged reporting on this of all: that of Gary Weiss, a blogger initially hired to attack critics of illegal short selling on behalf of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation.
Of all the disjointed untruths Gary has spewed in our nearly four-year old battle, the best – or should I say the worst – came out today. Weiss writes:
I found that somebody — gee, I wonder who? — hacked into my Facebook account and uploaded photographs of “guilt-by-association” presentations Bagley has drawn up over the years, one of which was made the picture associated with my account. Now that ain’t legal either, obviously. And yes, I will prosecute.
Weiss, and all those who believe any of this (public) Facebook data was acquired via hacking, give me much more credit than I deserve. Cracking a site like Facebook would be just about impossible. No, there was no hacking. Some users might hide their friend lists from their profile page, but that doesn’t make them go away. If you want proof (and have a Facebook account) go ahead and peruse the not-so private Facebook friend lists of Gary Weiss, Sam Antar and Tracy Coenen.
But be warned: doing so will get you labeled a “hacker” by them.
As for this nonsense about hacking into his account in order to upload images to it: what Gary, a Facebook newbie who’s a little too quick to believe the first convenient notion that pops into his head, is probably seeing are images that somebody (not me nor anybody I know of) has uploaded to their own accounts and tagged with his name. These would appear under his photo tab in a section dedicated to “Photos of Gary”, which is distinct from whatever images he might upload. If that bothers him, Gary has the ability to un-tag himself from any user’s photos. If you need help with that Gary, just let me know. I’ll walk you through it.
But, consistent with his mandate, despite an easy explanation, Gary decided to take the libelous route, as have the usual members of his entourage.
I only hope their apologies are published at least as prominently.
(Those of you who enjoy reading about Gary Weiss’s sockpuppeting misadventues will take great joy at the post I intend to publish later today.)
Judd, I am not able to see the friends list of Gary Weiss, Sam Antar and Tracy Coenen. I am taken to a Facebook login page.
Is a Facebook login needed to see this information?
Yes, you do need to be logged-in to Facebook to see their friend lists.
All too funny. The technical incompetance of some people never ceases to amaze me. Gary Weiss is a repeat offender on the technical incompetance front, which is why I’ve been able to dig up a big of dirt on the fart.
Isn’t it amazing he hasn’t embarrassed his handlers enough so they cut him loose? What kind of people are these?
Who actually believes Patrick Byrne is the cause of all the world’s problems? Who doesn’t believe these boobs aren’t the cause of some of them?
lenofus.. Actually I believe the DTCC has stopped using psycho Gary Weiss as a matter self-preservation. At some point most realize that hiring goons and clowns to promote their lies will fail eventually but it is always amusing to watch the carny when it comes your way.
Its really funny that Weiss has his blog posts “moderated” but he has never posted a message critical to his own perspective. That isn’t “moderation” — its censorship. Lets see if he changes his tune now that he’s been called out on it….
I also find it quite funny that a post supposedly from “Donn Vickrey” of Gradient was allowed in response to his blog:
Three years ago a friend of mine showed me facebook and said I should join… “it’s a cool business networking tool,” he said. I looked at it, ran a few google searches, and found his friends list in about 5 min. I wrote him back and said, “, given my current situation, this would be a great way for Patrick Byrne to identify all of my friends and family members. So, I think I will pass.” So, long story short, I find this story very ironic.
P.S. For those of you who have just experienced your first incidence of “issuer retaliaiton,” get used to it. Realize that its costly in economic and personal terms. And realize that it will likely get worse before it gets better. But, as Patrick Swayze said to Sam Elliot in Road House, “it’s nothing I’m not used to… but it’s amazing what you can get used to.”
P.S.S. If the script writer could do it over again, I think there should have been an expletive in there, right before the word “amazing”… as in “it’s amazing what you can get used to…”
Donn Vickrey | Homepage | 12.11.09 – 3:44 pm | #
Are you kidding? If it is Vickrey, how stupid to hang out with someone who is sinking faster than he and his firms reputation?
No one ever said crooks have to be intelligent…I mean, take a look at Antar and Weiss(dumb and dumber)
lol u hit the nail right on the head here.
Thank you for not censoring the story comments like Gary Weiss. I’ve tried to comment many times on his blog and each time he refuses to allow the post to be public (through the “moderator” feature). I’ve never used profanity or anything offensive other than facts on the comments, but he still refuses to allow the posts to go through.
I’m glad you’re willing to take any criticism along with compliments on DC.
Keep up the good work.
There are two things not permitted in deepcapture’s comment section: references to obscenity and religion. Lately, only two people have had their comments moderated as a result: one is a guy who keeps making an inappropriate reference to Bethany McLean, and the other is Sam Antar, who insists on making religion part of most everything he writes. In Sam’s case, I didn’t have to moderate his comments…the filter did it for me.
I sort of feel sorry for the tortured existence of Gary Weiss. He says such irresponsible things, and then runs away from, or blocks any effort to hold him to account.
It’s funny, but I bet my greatest dream is his absolute worst nightmare: the opportunity to debate him, for three to four hours, in a widely publicized, on-the-record setting from which he cannot flee. I guarantee you, he would not consent to such a meeting for any amount of money, while I’d be willing to pay much more than I can afford to have the opportunity.
Hmmm…maybe that ought to be my next project.
In the history of the world, the most evil of people all share a similar trait, that being they seek to censor criticism of their stated position, or political view. Such Weiss disdain for any public factual debate or dissenting discourse places the odds of a Weiss/Bagley debate slightly less than zero.
Weiss is to journalism what Maddoff was to fiduciary responsibility.