Media is terrified of Patrick Byrne & Overstock.com’s anti-privacy activities

December 16, 2009 by  

Sometimes, as a journalist, blogger, or what have you, you come across a story you think has real meat on the bone. Such was my thinking when I saw that Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, had been mining Facebook to create some type of “enemies list.” The list included business writers, bloggers, as well as the children and families of said writers and bloggers.

This, coming from Byrne, who is already under investigation by the SEC for the second time in recent memory, would make one believe there’s some type of story there. Think about it – the CEO of an online retailer is using Facebook to invade people’s privacy. You’d think this would be of some interest to someone. Somwhere.

Thus far, however, from the mainstream media, there has been only crickets. Here’s what the MSM has put out on Byrne in the past few days. From the Tampa Tribune:

Saturday before Christmas typically the busiest for retailers

Patrick Byrne of Lake Placid bought a couple of small gifts at the Avon Park Wal-Mart along with household items with holiday designs including towels, a throw (small blanket) and area rug.

Yes, that’s right, it’s not even the same Patrick Byrne.

The Internet, including prominent Business sites and writers, however, have been all over Byrne and his flunky Judd Bagley:

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne’s Facebook Pretexting Scheme Lasted Six Months (Business Insider)

Ritholtz: Boycott Overstock.com (The Street)

  • http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/12/14/1-retail-winner-we-can-all-agree-on.aspx“>Pathetic Patty Byrne & Judd Bagley Stealing Facebook Friends
  • (Motley Fool)

  • Trader: We’re Shorting Overstock.com Because Of This Facebook Insanity
  • (Business Insider)

    And on and on. And all Byrne has to offer is more issuer retaliation.

    It’s as simple as this: When it comes to Patrick Byrne & Overstock.com, the mainstream media are nothing but cowards.

    How cowardly you ask? Well, take boy-genius Matt Taibbi, for example. A couple months ago, Taibbi more or less dictated Byrne’s nonsensical accusations that Naked Short Sellers destroyed the entire global economy. It was a huge story in Rolling Stone.

    Accordingly, Taibbi was blasted by every business writer that could still punch a keyboard. That was in Late November. How has Hunter S. Taibbi handled the situation?

    By completely ignoring it. One day, naked short sellers were destroying the universe and killing your children in cold blood. Since then, nothing. Taibbi has run from the story faster than Tiger Woods is running away from women that aren’t his wife. That’s good old-fashion gonzo journalism in 2009.

    Taibbi (when you write for RS, you are mainstream) and the rest of the mainstream media are either terrified of Patrick Byrne, or terrified of doing any actual work. That’s the only thing I can think of. All the information is out there, from multiple sources, or can be looked up independently.

    Patrick Byrne is being investigated by the SEC, is using Facebook to list 10-year-olds, hasn’t made a profit EVER, and has made it a point to be a sexist, angry, mal-informed dick at every turn. And the mainstream media won’t touch him. What a bunch of cowards.

    –WKW

    Comments

    3 Responses to “Media is terrified of Patrick Byrne & Overstock.com’s anti-privacy activities”

    1. John Olagues on December 16th, 2009 9:18 pm

      Dear William:

      Taibbi has not given up the Naked short sales reports. On Dec. 3, he was still promoting the story with Max Keiser who accepted everything Taibbi said. see the link below.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-mQ9unGSIo.

      You say that Taibbi was blasted by every “business writer” Of whom do you speak?

      Why don’t you leave Byrne alone and go after some real criminals like Dimon , Geithner, Cox, Bernanke, Paulson, Mack, Pandit. Summers and Greenspan.

      JO

    2. dgun on December 17th, 2009 5:32 pm

      Why do you care if Bill criticises Byrne?

      Doesn’t he need some criticising? Do you think he’s perfect or something?

      As to the others you mentioned, Bill has made more that one post regarding the bailouts and whatnot.

      Wolfrum’s interest in Byrne doesn’t originate with finance or business or ‘short sellers’, etc., but rather with Byrne’s alleged use of puppet accounts and such nonsense as that on forums, blogs, and social networking sites.

      Personally, if I owned stock in a company and found out the CEO was spending his days orchestrating a bunch of phoney internet accounts to spew bullshit on blogs and forums that most people never heard of (williamkwolfrum.com excluded of course) I would dump the stock for whatever I could get.

    3. Christofurio on December 22nd, 2009 9:19 am

      dgun,

      My guess is you’d be savvy enough to dump a stock as soon as you found out the company couldn’t get an auditor to sign off on its routine SEC filings. You’d then be safely on the sidelines for the pretexting stuff.

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