Mainstream media called out for gaslighting over Sam Bankman-Fried ‘good guy’ narrative
The crypto community has blasted mainstream media outlets for their portrayal of Sam Bankman-Fried as a virtuous individual.
Several mainstream media outlets have published favorable articles on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) — much to the disdain of the crypto community.
The collapse of FTX has revealed lax internal controls and risky investment practices can culminate in a giant financial disaster for the entire industry.
Not only have billions been lost, but the knock-on effects have yet to unwind fully. Counterparty risk is present, and glimpses of this were noted on Nov. 16 as the Gemini Earn Program halted withdrawals. Likewise, crypto lender Genesis also suspended redemptions the same day.
Throughout this debacle, multiple conspiracy theories have been doing the rounds on social media, one of which centers around SBF’s “protected status.”
Tweeting about this, @thedefiedge pointed out the injustice of Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev’s incarceration without charge since late August. Meanwhile, SBF is free to go about his business.
A Tornado cash developer is still in jail without formal Charges.
SBF committed $10b fraud and is playing video games in the Bahamas.
This is the world we live in.
— Edgy – The DeFi Edge 🗡️ (@thedefiedge) November 16, 2022
Similarly, responding to a tweet about SBF’s close ties with the Biden administration, Tesla CEO Elon Musk flat-out said his political donations grant him special privileges.
SBF was a major Dem donor, so no investigation
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
Sam Bankman-Fried remains a mainstream media darling
On Nov. 14, the New York Times (NYT) published an interview article titled “How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Collapsed.”
Co-host of the NIA Podcast, Trung Phan, called it a puff piece that skipped over the hard-hitting discussion topics. Instead, trivial matters, such as SBF’s sleeping pattern, were reported.
Word count NYT's puff piece on SBF:
"Back door": 0
"He's getting sleep": 1 pic.twitter.com/htbte8IyPI
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) November 15, 2022
The Washinton Post ran with a piece that largely skipped over the negatives, instead choosing to focus on his contributions to “pandemic prevention” and political lobbying.
@AutismCapital commented that the article was “2,000 words of marketing material” praising SBF. He added that the media outlet did not report “on remorse or accountability.”
FTX distances itself from SBF
SBF began posting a series of bizarre cryptic tweets on Nov. 14 but eventually posted coherent messages.
The former FTX CEO tweeted on a wide range of topics, including the need for regulation, private messages to friends being leaked, explanations on why FTX was liquid (to the best of his knowledge) using “napkin maths,” and talk of making customers whole.
However, the occasional bizarre tweet was dispersed among the lucid messages.
18) Truth and Beauty
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) November 16, 2022
In reference to these public messages, a statement issued by FTX CEO John Ray, posted on the official FTX Twitter account, shot down any notion that SBF is still involved with the company behind the scenes.
(3/3) Mr. Bankman-Fried has no ongoing role at @FTX_Official, FTX US, or Alameda Research Ltd. and does not speak on their behalf.
— FTX (@FTX_Official) November 16, 2022
SBF resigned from his position as CEO on Nov. 11, the same day the exchange filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.