Big media attempted to hide FTX scandal


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 November 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


Rindsberg cited a US$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”.

Revealing the shocking information about big media receiving bribe from FTX, Teddy Schleifer tweeted:

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:

— ProPublica
— Vox
— The Intercept
— Semafor
— The Law and Justice Journalism Project.

The Law and Justice Journalism Project. They all took it, and none of them broke the story.

In a tweet titled ‘How many publications did SBF bribe”’, David Sacks shared information about The Intercept which reads:

Earlier this year the philanthropy team was introduced to a potential news funder with an interest in supporting out reporting on biosafety and pandemic prevention.

That funder was one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic entities, the Building a Strong Future Foundation.

As editor-in-chief of The Intercept, I knew from our coverage that SBF was quickly becoming a polarizing figure. But I also knew our reporters would never pull their punches because of a donation – and they didn’t.

The Intercept has a long-standing commitment to transparency about our funding. We received $500,000 two months ago. Another $250,000 was due in December, with $3.25 million to follow over the next two years. We disclosed the grant in our reporting on SBF’s political activities.

There were several comments on the tweet of David Sacks. Here are few:

Shawn Stangeland: How many investors did not know that crypto is a Ponzi scheme….is it a crime when one collapses?

Manuelle: As long as i know, Georges Soros didn’t stole money, hé earn it by spéculation in trading, in thé 90’s, hé had help a lot of eastern Europ artists and projets, After that i don’t know but SBF was prétending doing that but hé was just stealing thé money, that’s not thé same!

Robert: Has there ever been an “investor” in a media company that WASN’T looking to bias coverage and control information?

Mirav: SBF described himself as an altruist. The definition is “a person who cares about others and helps them despite not gaining anything by doing this”. Clearly this is a mislabeling as he was greasing the palms in return for gain.

Morgan: SBF was doing what Bill Gates has done for many years. Throw money around until people are hooked. Then they naturally become compliant.

Nigel: Given the current lack of respectable reporting on this $9B story, I’d say nearly all of them. The interference being run on this is clear. Non-financial news networks have kept their reporting to the suits filed against celebrity endorsers of FTX rather than the fraud itself.

Justine: Track that money and which politicians benefited from the crimes of SBF!


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