by WorldTribune Staff, November 20, 2022
Big Media watchdogs of the cryptocurrency industry were seemingly caught off guard by the extent of the collapse of FTX and the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried, who some pundits had crowned the next Warren Buffet.
Were they really?
According to a Nov. 15 report by Tablet magazine’s Ashley Rindsberg, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried “dispersed investments, advertising dollars, sponsorships, and donations to key news outlets — including ProPublica, Vox, Semafor, and The Intercept — with extraordinary effectiveness.”
What did SBF’s bankrolling of Big Media outlets buy?
Plenty of glowing coverage and a hands-off approach to SBF’s sketchy empire, Rindsberg writes:
“With all of the puff pieces from the press, there was apparently little interest in investigating SBF’s web of interlocking firms. A number of high profile outlets best known for investigative reporting took money from Bankman-Fried — in some cases money earmarked to fund investigative journalism — and yet did little, it appears, to investigate the source of those funds.”
Rindsberg cited a $5 million pledge to ProPublica from SBF’s family foundation, Building a Stronger Future.
Vox, which published a March 2021 interview with Bankman-Fried, praised his “civic-mindedness,” which was guided by an algorithm-like statement of purpose: “Make a tremendous amount of money by any means necessary. Then give it all away by the best means possible.”
In a recent article on the fall of SBF, “Vox mentions — albeit buried in the form of a parenthetical ‘Full Disclosure’ in the middle of the piece — that they had received an undisclosed sum from Bankman-Fried’s foundation,” Rindsberg noted.
Rindsberg notes: “How could Sam Bankman-Fried, the brainiac financial visionary, crowned earlier this year the “crypto emperor” by The New York Times, have steered his armada of crypto firms into the rocks so recklessly? With allegations of an enormous, brazen fraud lingering, the first place to look is at the central role of the media in this fiasco. Through an almost endless churn of fawning coverage, the news media turned an inexperienced—and, it seems, ethically deranged—trader into the second coming of Warren Buffett.”
I wrote earlier today that there’s a huge question over whether SBF will be able to continue funding media going forward.
Grants have gone to:
— The Intercept
— The Law and Justice Journalism Project
The Law and Justice Journalism Project
they all took it, and none of them broke the story
How many publications did SBF bribe? pic.twitter.com/nLDGr15XGo
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) November 18, 2022
I wrote earlier today that there's a huge question over whether SBF will be able to continue funding media going forward.
Grants have gone to:
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) November 11, 2022