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He's using the popular hate of Wall Street to gain legitimacy for union-busting, school vouchers, and the rest of his far-right agenda

I want to be clear on something up front. I think hedge funds are a menace and should be outlawed. I think Goldman Sachs is a criminal conspiracy and its whole leadership should be indicted.

There are plenty of commentators, like Paul Krugman in the New York Times today and Matt Taibbi in his article in Rolling Stone, that have done great reporting on Goldman and on hedge funds.

But what we're seeing is how a really odious character named Patrick Byrne is trying to hijack this issue.

In a previous diary I described how Byrne is running a smear campaign from the headquarters of his Utah company, and how other bloggers at Huffington Post and elsewhere had started a "truth squad" to nail him to the wall when he goes after the media. His smear campaign against the media has been chronicled in Fortune magazine by Bethany McLean, who broke the Enron story, and by famous New York Times columnist Joe Nocera.

Byrne's constituency is mainly on the far right, and he is a regular guest on Glenn Beck and Fox News. He is leading big business's hypocritical campaign against the Obama health plan, appearing on Fox to promote the phony view that Obama would place a "tax on small business." He has been fighting hard against the Employee Free Choice Act, and dispatched his deputy Jonathan Johnson to Washington to lobby against the act. Here's a Washington Examiner article quoting Johnson ranting about the EFCA and threatening to take his business offshore:

But if a law like card check were to pass, would probably begin to outsource as much work as possible.

"From our experience dealing with unions is not a deal worth doing and I’d rather deal with a third party in a business relationship, rather than a union that’s in a strong arm position." (quote from his deputy Jonathan Johnson).

At the same time that Byrne has been fighting hard against the EFCA and serving on the board of the far-right Milton Friedman foundation and supporting Ron Paul for president, he has amazingly been winning fans among some bloggers on the left, including Kos diarist Andrew Perez (andrewtna), because of his posturing on Wall Street.

Perez recently wrote a Kos diary referring favorably to Byrne in his newest incarnation as a fake "journalist."

Byrne is a "journalist" like I'm a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

Some context on Byrne:

He needs no introduction to readers of the Kos. Just click on the Patrick Byrne tag and you can see an unhinged rich guy with a lot of time on his hands and a low opinion of everybody else on the planet.

Some years ago he ran a company called Fechheimers. Here is an excerpt from the Kos diary describing how he treated workers there:

In September 1998, it reported on labor disputes between Byrne and workers at Fechheimer's only non-union uniform plant in San Antonio, Texas. The Chronicle said the plant was littered with dead rats, mosquitoes and other insects, and that workers - mostly Hispanic women who were paid $5.30 an hour and had no health insurance - had to bring their own toilet paper to work. Nice.

That's not all. This prince among men bought a company called Crowley Manufacturing for Fechheimers, but then the employees at Crowley voted to join the labor union UNITE. According to the Associated Press in June 1999, rather than negotiate with his employees, Byrne closed the whole Crowley plant and put 150 people out of work.

He's also the biggest money man behind school vouchers. Here is an excerpt from Pat Rusk's Kos diary on how Mr. Charm handled that:

On Election Day earlier this month, Patrick Byrne, the CEO of, and an ardent supporter of private school vouchers, claimed Utah’s vouchers referendum was an IQ test for Utahns – a test we presumably failed when voters rejected the plan by a 24-point margin that Tuesday.

What a tremendous insult to Utahns. We don’t need our IQs assessed by a millionaire businessmen with more of an interest in right-wing politics than in the future of our communities and schools.

When pro-voucher forces brought their voucher plan to Utah – which ranks dead last nationally in per-pupil spending and has the largest class sizes in the country – we knew they were looking not for education solutions, but rather just to push a narrow political ideology.

The guy is nuts. Here is an article in Fortune entitled, PHANTOM MENACE.

Even hardened denizens of Wall Street were shocked by a conference call that Patrick Byrne, the CEO of online retailer, held on Aug. 12. "I want to get something off my chest," Byrne announced. Then he launched into a rant about a "miscreants ball" in which he mentioned hedge funds, journalists, investigators, trial lawyers, the SEC, and even Eliot Spitzer. "I believe there's been a plan since we were in our teens to destroy our stock, drive it down to $6--$10 ... and even a plan for how the company would then get whacked up." The "designated final owner," who provided the "orchestration," was someone Byrne dubbed the "Sith Lord," a person he refused to identify other than to say that "he's one of the master criminals from the 1980s." And that's just the basic outline. There was more. As Mark Cuban, the billionaire investor, later wrote on his blog, "Never before in the history of Wall Street has a single conference call mentioned the following topics: miscreants, an unnamed Sith Lord he hopes the feds will bury under a prison, gay bathhouses, whether he is gay, does cocaine, both or neither, and an obligatory 'not that there is anything wrong with that,' phone taps, phone lines misdirected to Mexico, arrested reporters, payoffs, conspiracies, crooks, egomaniacs, fools, paranoia, which newspapers are shills and for who, payoffs, money laundering, his Irish temper, false identities, threats, intimidation, and private investigators. All in 61 minutes." Cuban is now short 20,000 shares of Overstock.

Today Byrne's latest con game is to run a website called "Deep Capture" to push his agenda and gain legitimacy for vouchers, union-busting and his other causes. This is a publicity vehicle for Byrne, according to Byrne himself, quoting the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Byrne had applied for SABEW membership, and he got the following response: "In SABEW’s view, not all business blogs qualify as news publications just as all writing and editing doesn’t qualify as journalism. From its standpoint your activities and those of DeepCapture seem closer to corporate public relations, and SABEW isn’t open to PR professionals _ or of course to retail business executives."

Too bad Kos blogger Perez can't distinguish a p.r. campaign from genuine journalism, because he makes a reference to "Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and his team of journalists at Deep Capture."

I'm with Perez and even Byrne on hedge funds.  I think they're a menace. But we need to keep in mind that some disgusting people are latching on to the hate-Wall Street bandwagon. Glenn Beck is the best example. My only message is that in following this, particularly us bloggers, we have to be careful that we don't unintentionally give credibility to people who don't deserve it

Postscript: Byrne responded below. It is illuminating of this guy's "big lie" technique, which is typical of demagogues of the far right. The world is wrong and he is right. The Kos diary on his union-busting is "misinformed" and the poor soul is a victim of lies.

But who is the liar here? Notice how he begins his comment:

As several commenters have apparently sussed out, Tom's blog is a compendium of misinformation, revisionism, and bad logic, so much so that it is rather hard even to know where to start.

Here's a test of Patrick Byrne's credibility. IS he telling the truth about that? Can he tell the truth on a little itty-bitty detail like what commenters to a blog say?

The answer is no. This is a man who is such a pathological liar that he will lie about something that is right in front of you.

There were four commenters apart from Byrne and myself, at the time he made that comment. One commenter said that maybe he has a point, but made no substantive comment on my blog and certainly didn't say that my blog was a "compendium" of blah blah blah. The other three made brief comments totally unsympathetic to Byrne. One pointed out that Overstock is a Rush Limbaugh advertiser.  None said anything remotely as characterized by Byrne. Read them yourself.

Patrick Byrne is amazing. He is a self-discrediting lie machine.

This is why William Wolfram began a Patrick Byrne Truth Squad, first proposed byDiane Tucker of the Huffington Post and encompassing other bloggers fed up with corporate swill merchants like Byrne twisting the truth and smearing the free press. I am proud to be part of it.

Originally posted to Tom Sykes on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  interesting threat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, Tom Sykes

    I bought a bunch of stuff from a few years back and it was all imported stuff. Exactly what are they threatening to outsource? Are they going to ship directly from China, Malaysia and the Philipines?

    by InsultComicDog on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Forewarned is forearmed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Sykes


    Perhaps we should fund a similar venture to, but only list products made in the USA?  Americans must re-learn that support for domestic products is the best definition of patriotism.

    "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

    by LouisMartin on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 11:03:32 AM PDT

  •  I should have realized - he's a major advertiser (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Sykes

    of Rush Limbaugh.

    I was very tempted to buy more stuff from - I already have some very nice Indian silver filligreed candlesticks that I use for Shabbat - because they had what looked like extremely high quality bookcases very cheap. Not worth it now.

    I'm surprised he didn't throw the usual anti-Semitism into that odious stew.

    You want weapons? We're in a LIBRARY. Books - the best weapons in the world! Arm yourselves. - The (10th) Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth And Claw"

    by The YENTA Of The Opera on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 11:15:22 AM PDT

  •  While you may very well be correct (0+ / 0-)

    in your assessment of Mr Byrnes
    political leanings and predilictions,
    I have yet to see any other sources
    that display the narrative of hedge funds
    and MSM complicity in market manipulation.
    Do you think CNBC will carry stories about
    their own on air "reporters" "covering"
    companies they have naked short position(s)in?

    Complete with names, dates, and all the innuendo
    you can stand. Byrnes experiences as an owner
    of a company that has been on the receiving end
    of such supposed malicious and criminal treatment by
    all the recognizable names in the financial press and
    blogs, leads me to believe there may be some truth to
    at least some of his allegations, regardless of the
    implicit CT flavor of his narrative.

    Tell us, Tom, do you dispute his stories,
    or just find his politics unacceptable?
    As a multi decade union member, I was
    unaware, and of course, could never support
    these positions concerning them.
    Care to share of link with your sources?
    Are you familiar with his critics work
    as Wikipedia editors?

    As far as "latching onto the wall street hate"
    how do you explain the existence of his blog
    since May of 2006?
    Is he playing the long hate game?

    I find the story that is told there to be,
    well, highly believable in its over arcing
    framing. Because it explains some previous
    public actions, market moves, valuations, etc.,
    that have no other possible or rational explanations.

    I would expect to see some DOJ investigations
    (remember Cramers subpoena?) and convictions if
    even a small bit of Byrnes story is true.

    I think a grain of salt, or critical reading in other
    words, is necessary with any media, and of course,
    any blogs.  Including this one.
    I haven't really followed the DeepCapture investigation/story of Milken lately.
    Thanks for reminding me to check in there.

    •  A test of Byrne's credibility (0+ / 0-)

      I'll make it easy for you.

      If you are interested in a test of Byrne's credibility, check out my question to him in the comments section here.

      He said four years ago that he was a victim of a conspiracy by a specific person he called the "Sith Lord." I asked him who the Sith Lord is. Simple question. Evasive answer, or no answer, or a fillibuster to change the subject, then I'm terribly sorry but only a darned fool would believe anything he has to say.

      If he responds with the name and the evidence to back it up, then I can see why someone like you would believe him.

      Give it 24 hours and check back here. If you don't I will.

      •  Wasn't Sykes the villan in Oliver? (0+ / 0-)

        I believe if you correctly read,
        "Sith" is used just as you and I did,
        "with quotation "marks".
        Which means that,
        someone said something.

        "Sith Lord"
        if I recall, was the
        term the anonymous insider blogger,
        financial systems analyst,
        or was it the cheetoh stained
        eccentric bath robed hacker,
        (I forget exactly what his code name was,
        oh yeah, "the EasterBunny" or Bob O Brian)
        used as a code name for some foe or antihero.

        You know the archetype, maybe a twelve year old
        hedge fund financial genius savant professional
        coder and assassin who wrote the actual stuff
        that the Russian, or was it the old school gangsters
        were just so recently caught trying to steal?

        See? I can be creative, also.
        Those who read the story will
        hopefully appreciate my little joke.

        But it is not Brynes quote.
        Maybe Mark Mitchells.
        Remember now, The "EasterBunny"
        knows who the "Sith Lord" really is.

        Its acceptable, at least to me,
        if you feel you must embellish.
        Just explain why you think
        it is necessary, when it is clearly
        you, who is asking the wrong person.
        And perhaps the wrong question(s).

        How do we detect the truth?
        Separate the chief from the whacked?
        By what words we read? Or still images
        that go by so fast they seem to
        actually be moving to all of us?
        Or brightly colored, sometimes
        flashing screens of text?

        If the story isn't true, well, it should be.
        It explains, as I said previously,
        certain anomalous market behaviors
        that proved to be prodigious for a very few.
        If that is even theoretically possible.
        Rational explanations, that is.

        And these characters involved,
        you can't get them any better at central casting.
        And these are all people whose names are known
        publicly in an industry that has, what would you say,
        a bit of an image problem, among many others,
        right about just now and forever.
        Aren't all these transactions recorded
        in some fashion or the other?

        So I think what we really need, as we dog whistle
        "where'd it all go?" our way past the financial
        and economic grave yards of our global economies,
        is to round up some of the unusual suspects here.
        And make an example of all those who are found
        guilty of anything remotely resembling fraud.
        Or insider trading. Naked shorting phantom stock.
        Front running. Tax Evasion. Laundering.
        Any type of charge "that sticks" would work for me.

        These are possibly some of the very people actually
        responsible for at least some portion of our
        global economic pandemic and marketplace carnage.

        The lot are very wealthy from corrupt and dishonest
        practices and behaviors, and many may be guilty
        of much worse offenses yet. Way too many are mass
        media market manipulators trading illegally on
        private "insider" tips, disguised as journalists. Or bloggers.

        The real test is, will there be prosecutions and
        convictions of the guilty by our Federal, State,
        and Local, AGs and the like.
        I vote yes, at least investigate.

        If Byrne is "dirty" and trying
        to play hardball with the truth,
        reverse engineer the intel,
        a right wing ideologue,
        or whatever worse, So be it.
        Let him be the first to go down.
        It doesn't bother me so much
        if he is in on the whole thing himself.
        This would not effect the arc of the narrative to me.
        If it is a hoax, time will tell.

        I am also kind of hoping that you are a so called
         "sock puppet" of one who is actually involved,
        somehow, and that you have to turn states evidence
        to save your own self. That scenario perfectly
        explains and is consistent with your writing here.

        I understand that there might be unintended consequences,
        and politically it may be too hot just yet.

        These people have exceptional resources and connections.
        It would not surprise me, given the narrative,
        and the vast wealth and reputations at stake,  
        for one or more to vanish without a trace.
        Before their testimony.

        Think how high congress and the POTUS would poll
        if they could actually indict and convict some or
        all of these thieving manipulative clowns.
        Watching such real life theater
        may prove to be very cathartic,
        and therapeutic to our nation,
        If nothing else. I will paying attention
        to this story just to see what transpires.
        What we need is a super hero auditor.

        I suggest that any here read both deeply.
        and, as usual, draw what conclusions you may
        between these two competing narratives.

        I might be wrong about this whole
        reverse meme pimping on accident
        or masquerading as critique posting
        as an emergent blog phenomenon,

        But I wonder why someone who doesn't believe
        something would write something publicly about it.
        Seems reactionary at best. Is it so effective to
        put your efforts towards familiarizing your intended
        audience with the opposite of what you know or believe?
        It certainly does appear every where.


        •  Read McLean's article again (0+ / 0-)

          You say

          "Sith Lord"
          if I recall, was the
          term the anonymous insider blogger,
          financial systems analyst,
          or was it the cheetoh stained
          eccentric bath robed hacker,

          Wrong. Read McLean's article. This is why Byrne fears her, she tells the truth.

          I focus on Byrne's Sith Lord fairy tale because it is a good example of how Byrne makes stuff up. When you say to him, "You make stuff up, Byrne," he responds, "No I don't. Go back and read five or six massive tomes on my website and tell me what's wrong there." That way, his lying becomes an excuse to get people to his site.

          It's diabolical,interested people have a simpler way of determining his credibility, which is by seeing what happens when he is asked who the Sith Lord is that he referred to in his 2005 conference call.

          Byrne just makes stuff up. He is a pathological, psychopathic liar.

          •  Here is a quote from Mcleans piece (0+ / 0-)

            Nice try at self righteous misdirection.

            "Everything about Bob O'Brien's performance was odd. First, you don't often hear outsiders spouting off about conspiracy theories on company conference calls. Second, Byrne and O'Brien seemed not to know each other, but Byrne himself would later say that "O'Brien contacted me in October" and began laying out his thesis. (Byrne explained in a Motley Fool post that when O'Brien said his name might not be familiar, Patrick "assumed" he meant that his name might not be familiar "to your audience.") And third, Bob O'Brien's name is not actually Bob O'Brien. He claims he has to remain anonymous because of threats to his safety."

            bold emphasis is mine

            Again, I ask why you you would expect
            Byrne to know who "Bob O'Brien"
            (remember-this is the "Easter Bunny")
            thinks the true identity of the "Sith Lord" is?

            Why don't you reference links to the
            quotes where Bryne claims to know
            exactly who this "Sith Lord" really is?
            Is it because there are none?

            This come off as Luntz inspired
            "accuse your foes of that which
            you are actually really guilty".

            I have read your linked comments
            and all your of diaries here.
            I smell a rat about to dive off a sinking ship.

            Did you and Beth receive your subpoenas yet?

            •  Talk about misdirection (0+ / 0-)

              You're about to fall off your own sinking ship, which is Byrne. O'Brien didn't talk about the Sith Lord, Byrne did.

              Here's another quote from McLean's story more apropos of the character of the psychopathic liar you seem to admire:

              Even in that successful year, there were signs that Byrne was remarkably thin-skinned. In the fall of 2004, I wrote a FORTUNE story titled "Is Overstock the Next Amazon?" After the piece came out, Byrne sent me an e-mail saying "Fair. And balanced." Two days later he wrote another e-mail: "I actually thought it was crap.... So, why exactly did you become a reporter? Giving Goldman traders blowjobs didn't work out?" Around that same time, after Gradient released another report questioning board members' independence, Byrne wrote to Vickrey: "Donn, you make a living toadying to bully hedge funds ... you deserve to be whipped, f--d, and driven from the land."

              So he's a foulmouthed misogynist and a bully in addition to being a self-discrediting liar. What a classy ultra-right wingnut for you to admire.

              I understand there's a David Duke fan club forming in your area.

  •  Response from Patrick Byrne (0+ / 0-)

    As several commenters have apparently sussed out, Tom's blog is a compendium of misinformation, revisionism, and bad logic, so much so that it is rather hard even to know where to start. I'll just run through the first several that spring to eye.

    1. "Patrick Byrne is trying to hijack this issue." Returning to the real world, I have been on this issue for years. I long ago became synonymous with this issue, before it was an issue for the rest of the world. Three and a half years ago I filed a multibillion lawsuit against Goldman and a number of other banks in an effort to expose them. See for example:

    a) 2006 "Byrne's War:'s Patrick Byrne is On a Self-imposed Mission to Save Main Street from Wall Street";
    2007 Bloomberg's Emmy nominated (Long Form Investigative Journalism) special report "Phantom Shares" which explores my launching of a battle which Tom now accuses me of trying to hijack.

    1. "Byrne is running a smear campaign from the headquarters of his Utah company" False. The site I founded to conduct investigative journalism, (which, you will note, Tom avoids mentioning, lest readers have opportunity to make up their own minds) is located about 5 miles away from Overstock, and not only is it not a "smear" site, it was voted the 2008 Weblogs Award for Best Business Blog. Also, why is it that when Joe Nocera writes it is "reporting," but when I report it is "smear"? I don't remember giving up my 1st Amendment rights.
    1. "His smear campaign against the media has been chronicled in Fortune magazine by Bethany McLean, who broke the Enron story, and by famous New York Times columnist Joe Nocera." Tom has the exposure backwards: has exposed Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, right down to publishing their emails with hedge funds.
    1. All the union claims are misinformed. I ran Mr. Buffett's Fechheimer Brothers: 4 out of 5 plants were union when I got there (Teamsters and UNITE!). The latter, UNITE!, wanted that 5th plant and when after it in a heavy-handed way, angering the Latino workers (who were also miffed at some racist propaganda that union issued in the northern plants). The plant had an election and voted (as I recall) 83-17 against having UNITE represent them. I encouraged the Teamsters to become the union, which they did. UNITE and I conducted a series of debates in a number of union halls around the East, with the Teamsters providing me protection and support against the other union, UNITE! (it was all quite surreal). I did in fact lead the purchase of the Crowley plant the week it was being shut-down and off-shored, at a cost of about 200 jobs. We saved the plant and those 200 jobs. I invited UNITE! in to be the union there. I would not say that dealing with UNITE was the most satisfying business relationship I had, but it ended with no hard feelings, and they even wrote a public letter about me turning out to be a pretty good guy, etc. However, months after I left, they got in a beef with the new management, and the new management closed it down. I was long gone, off teaching in China by then.

    And so on and so forth. Tom's stuff is just drivel intended to excite an emotional response from the reader, as other commenters have apparently noticed. He works so hard to avoid taking on my clims that he actually avoids mentioning the website where they can be found: .
    DeepCapture is widely recognized as leading investigative journalism into Wall Street. That threatens some folks who try to lie, spin and distort its message. Tom's work seems like a prime example. Of course, you can just go to DeepCapture and decide for yourself.

    Patrick Byrne

    •  Sure, all the union claims are 'misinformed' (0+ / 0-)

      You're a regular Samuel Gompers I know. I'll bet next you'll say your man Johnson really was arguing for the Employee Free Choice Act. and didn't threaten to outsource. Another situation where you are misunderstood, you poor man.

      As for your conspiracy rubbish, here is a simple test of the credibility of everything you say. Answer this question: Who is the Sith Lord?

      I posed that in the other diary as a test of your credibility. You didn't respond. Surprise surprise.

      It is true that you have already shown your lack of credibility by rewriting history. Your sole focus has been naked short selling, not the credit crisis, and any effort to say otherwise is just dishonest.

      So I'll give you another chance to prove that you aren't a deluded, malicious liar: let's get a simple answer to the simple question, "who is the Sith Lord?"

      That is the person, who most people think is a figment of your imagination, who you described in the 2005 conference call described here. This is the article by Bethany McLean, who exposed Enron, which I guess is the reason you are trying so hard to smear her.

      I'll make it easy for you. "The Sith Lord is......." If you don't respond to this, or if you evade, obfuscate, respond with smears or otherwise be the Usual Patrick Byrne, then I rest my case.

  •  I've added a postcript to my blog on Byrne's (0+ / 0-)


  •  Response to Tom's Postscript from Patrick Byrne (0+ / 0-)


    Go back and read Larsstephens comments on your piece. I think it is clear that he, for one, sees that your distortions and drivel for what they are.

    "in your assessment of Mr Byrnes political leanings and predilictions, I have yet to see any other sources that display the narrative of hedge funds
    and MSM complicity in market manipulation....
    Complete with names, dates, and all the innuendo
    you can stand. Byrnes experiences as an owner
    of a company that has been on the receiving end
    of such supposed malicious and criminal treatment by
    all the recognizable names in the financial press and blogs, leads me to believe there may be some truth to at least some of his allegations..."

    "Tell us, Tom, do you dispute his stories, or just find his politics unacceptable?"

    "Care to share of link with your sources?"

    "Are you familiar with his critics work as Wikipedia editors?"

    "As far as 'latching onto the wall street hate'
    how do you explain the existence of his blog
    since May of 2006?"

    "I find the story that is told there to be, well, highly believable in its over arcing framing. Because it explains some previous public actions, market moves, valuations, etc., that have no other possible or rational explanations."

    I'd say that is at least one reader, Tom, who has your number.

    As far as you instructing me to tell you the name of the Sith Lord, my answer is: No. (What makes the half-brights of the world assume the position of interrogators?") Also, the story of the Sith Lord was not really connected to overstock (which played a very small role in that), but with reference to a larger pack of miscreants who were jeapordizing teh system, I felt. That is probably why you did not link to what I actually said, but just to what people said about what I said.

    As far as Bethany, etc. Once again you have it backwards: we have ambly exposed them on DeepCapture. Read this email chain where Bethany takes an assignment from a hedge fund (taken from DeepCapture).

    From: Marc Cohodes
    Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2006 3:21:12 PM
    To: Bethany McLean
    Subject: ffh

    FFH is the Canadian Enron and it could even be worse...We are sending you stufff.. I suggest since [Copper River employee and former SEC attorney Richard] Sauer is on the East Coast (for now) that you 2 meet, and soon... there is an "enterprise" here and he can lay it out clear as day.

    It bears noting that, according to filings in the Fairfax suit, the various participants in the attack on Fairfax stock referred to their effort collectively as "the Enterprise". Whether or not this is what Cohodes was alluding to when using the term — which might not otherwise belong within quote marks in this context — is not clear, but certainly suggestive.

    From: Bethany McLean
    Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2006 3:48:43 PM
    To: Marc Cohodes
    Subject: Re: ffh

    Makes sense. Send me whatever you can think of – the more documents the better!

    Without Cohodes offering a bit of proof to back his Enron/Fairfax comparison, McLean finds it "makes sense" and commits to move ahead.

    From: Marc Cohodes
    Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2006 3:51:37 PM
    To: Bethany McLean
    Subject: Re: ffh

    don’t you worry...where do you want the stuff fed-exed to... I would set up a time for Sauer to come and see ya.. His code name is "Lavaman"...

    Cohodes then forwards this exchange to employee  Rick Sauer, who schedules a meeting between himself and an unusually eager McLean, set for one week thence.

    The outcome of that process was McLean’s scathing March 6, 2007 Fortune piece: The inside story of a Wall Street battle royal.

    How can I be certain that this particular story was the direct result of the Cohodes’s efforts? The answer to that question is where the situation becomes particularly disturbing...sufficient to leave me feeling physically ill, and prepared to officially add Bethany McLean to the short but distinguished list of truly captured and corrupt journalists.

    From: Marc Cohodes
    Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:51 AM
    To: Bethany McLean
    Subject: ffh

    you hear anything there??? the stock is up 45 points since your piece and I dont understand it...

    Of note: on March 5, 2007 FFH closed at $190.09, and on March 21, 2007, FFH closed at $234.53, a difference of $44.43.

    From: Bethany McLean
    Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:51:57 AM
    To: Marc Cohodes
    Subject: Re: ffh

    I’m getting the same question from other people. No, I don’t have a clue. I’m worried they’ve gotten the SEC or the Southern District to take them seriously – the Spyro [Contogouris] stuff makes you realize anything is possible – and they’re leaking the news to shareholders ahead of time. What do you think?

    A day later, Cohodes icily responds with nothing more than his cell phone number.

    From: Marc Cohodes
    Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:12 PM
    To: Bethany McLean
    Subject: Re: ffh


    Based on McLean’s reply, we can presume she followed Cohodes’s tacit demand, and that the conversation was less than pleasant.

    From: Bethany McLean
    Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:12:48 PM
    To: Marc Cohodes
    Subject: Re: ffh

    Sorry to be a little bad-tempered. This FFH story almost killed me, so I hate hearing that it was pointless. Maybe it’ll be a long, slow thing..

    Sounds like an objective journalist to me.

    Patrick Byrne

    •  Q: Who is the Sith Lord? Answer: Err. ehh, uh... (0+ / 0-)

      "Err.... ehh.... uh...... how dare you ask me a question, and Sith Lord is not important to Overstock. and here is a smear directed at Bethany McLean, the world famous journalist who exposed Enron."

      You're not fit to wipe her shoes, Mr. Byrne.

      You are a pathological liar.

      Tom Sykes
      Patrick Byrne Truth Squad

  •  Welcome to the fray (0+ / 0-)

    Sam Antar puts it best: "Byrne is a masquerading stock market performer who has built up a wall of false integrity.

    Welcome to the Squad, Tom. ;)


  •  The beginning of the Truth Squad (0+ / 0-)

    My first few thoughts on the Truth Squad concept ..


  •  I Have found Herb Greenberg!! (0+ / 0-)

    A recent Deep Capture expose had said that Business Journalist Herbb Greenberg had "Disappeared." After much searching, I have found him.

  •  Well, if I knew you were going to bring your big (0+ / 0-)

    I notice you are now citing to support your case Sam Antar the Crook. As the reader will learn in the following link, Sam is a convicted felon who participated in one of the most notorious swindles of all time (Crazy Eddie's), ratted out his family to save his own bacon, was recently exposed threatening two little girls on the Internet, and has been excoriated by an Attorney General who then advised the public not to believe anything he says.

    Why Are Fortune Magazine and the New York Financial Media Suddenly Pimping Sam Antar the Crook?

    Nice work. What's next? maybe you can get Bernie Madoff saying that I'm a really bad guy.

    At some point, I am hoping that the astute reader will understand that there are, in fact, two alternate realities between which she is being asked to choose. Pile on with all the Sam Antars, William Wolfrums, Bethany Mcleans, and Joe Noceras you can. Please. All I need do is respond "". I've learned that things pretty much take care of themselves from that point forward.

    Patrick Byrne

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