It’s hard to recall a more despicable and widespread public-relations effort to transform the image of an obvious villain.
Of course, I’m referring to the mainstream media’s treatment of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
It’s reminiscent of the movie Batman Returns, where a corrupt media tries to polish the image of the repugnant criminal Oswald Cobblepot—better known as the Penguin.
SBF founded FTX in 2019. The company seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in mere months.
How did this strange newcomer—who didn’t know much about Bitcoin—suddenly become the so-called “JP Morgan of Crypto?”
Powerful people in finance, the media, and the government all had a hand in FTX’s meteoric rise. So the company was clearly at the nexus of something important—though the whole picture is not exactly clear at this point.
Simply put, FTX was a cesspool.
The company allegedly mishandled customer deposits, was involved in shady activities in Ukraine, sold Bitcoin it didn’t have, and had suspicious connections with prominent politicians and regulators.
For example, SBF was the second-largest donor to the Democratic Party, behind only George Soros.
FTX also lobbied the government for special treatment and to suffocate its competitors with regulations.
Tom Brady, Larry David, and other celebrities lent their image to FTX. The company even aired a commercial during the Super Bowl. In addition, FTX acquired the naming rights to the stadium where the Miami Heat basketball team plays.
As a result of all this mainstream publicity, countless ordinary people were suckered into FTX and lost many billions of dollars in minutes as this crooked institution went bankrupt recently.
Instead of treating SBF like a criminal, the media launched a bizarre PR blitz to paint him as some selfless altruist out to save the planet.
It’s not uncommon to see the mainstream media bend over backward to gloss over any of SBF’s alleged wrongdoing and instead highlight what might make you think he’s not such a bad guy.
SBF also appeared on Good Morning America. He denied he knew about the improper use of customer funds—it wasn’t convincing. Host George Stephanopoulos was either unwilling or not sufficiently informed to challenge the assertions.
Perhaps the most ridiculous display in this coordinated PR campaign was SBF’s remote appearance from the Bahamas—he hasn’t returned to the US since FTX’s collapse—at the New York Times Dealbook Summit.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, an establishment darling and event host, asked fake hard questions. Clearly, his goal was to do damage control, not discover the truth. In the end, a sympathetic audience gave SBF enthusiastic applause.
When you take a step back and look at the big picture, powerful people and institutions are clearly protecting SBF.
The mainstream media, which already has a well-deserved dismal reputation, is destroying what little credibility it has left with these endless SBF puff pieces. It’s a desperate and foolish move, and I don’t think it will work.
Whatever was really going on with FTX could be exposed soon. And since the media has been working so hard to cover it up, it could be explosive.
I suspect it could all go down soon… and it’s not going to be pretty.