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.)