The online community, including some figures in the crypto space, has criticized the latest New York Times “sympathy” article on FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
In the article published on December 26, entitled “In the Bahamas, a Lingering Sympathy for Sam Bankman-Fried”, New York Times journalist Rob Copeland quotes Bahamians who seemed to have positive things to say about the cryptocurrency exchange founder.
One resident opined that he had a “good heart,” and another said that she “felt bad for him.” A resident interviewed for the article went so far as to say that “it doesn’t make any sense” that Bankman-Fried’s alleged crimes landed him in jail.
The article suggests that the glowing comments from locals about Bankman-Fried stem from his millions of dollars in donations to local charities, churches and government entities, including the police. The FTX founder’s plans to build a hotel and FTX headquarters in the area were also seen as positive by the local population.
Cryptonator, a self-described “cryptodegen,” said Bankman-Fried was “doing like Pablo Escobar” when it came to donating to local charities and the government.. Escobar, a notorious Colombian narcoterrorist and drug lord, spent millions of dollars building infrastructure and making charitable donations to curry favor with the local population.
SBF did it like Pablo Escobar:
‘[…] donated millions of dollars to a dizzying collection of Bahamian charities, churches and government entities — including the local police.’
And according to this NYT article, it worked:
‘I think he had a good heart’https://t.co/4bQe7EZdsV pic.twitter.com/lRqHh3ILOh
— CR1337 (@cryptonator1337) December 27, 2022
SBF did it like Pablo Escobar: “[…] he donated millions of dollars to a dizzying collection of Bahamian charities, churches and government entities, including local police.” And according to this NYT article, it worked: “I think he had a good heart.”
Only one person interviewed for the article was negative about the billions of dollars of alleged fraud from the founder of FTX, which included the theft of client funds; he said it gave him a “negative perspective on cryptocurrencies.”
“Why are you posting this?” asked one. Username from Twitter; “This is shameful”, wrote other.
“You have to respect the NYT for redoubling the bet”, tweeted a user referring to a November 14 New York Times article that was also blacked out by the crypto community of “inflated article”.
Perhaps one of the most egregious parts of the article was a section calling the alleged Bankman-Fried fraud of years “problematic” but “hardly comparable to gang violence” on New Providence Island.
Olayemi Olurin, a Bahamian native and public defender in New York, posted a video on Twitter in which he lashed out at the article:
“How far will they go to try to prop up this white-collar criminal and immediately start trying to criminalize a black nation. [con violencia de las bandas]. The Bahamas is not a country plagued by gang violence, get out of here.”
“The Bahamians don’t give a shit about that man,” he added.
Other members of the crypto community criticized the article.
The founder of the cryptocurrency newsletter Alex Valaitis said he “can’t believe your organization is still trying to publish articles on the biggest fraud since Madoff.” Bernie Madoff was found guilty of running the largest Ponzi scheme to date worth nearly $65 billion.
Can’t believe your joke of an organization continues to try to publish puff pieces on the biggest fraud since Madoff…
Actually, I can believe it.
I will enjoy watching your continued decline.
—Alex Valaitis (@alex_valaitis) December 26, 2022
I can’t believe your organization is still trying to publish articles on the biggest fraud since Madoff… Actually, I can believe it. I will enjoy watching your continued decline.
Podcast host Scott Melker called the article “stunningly absurd and inappropriate” and compared The New York Times to the US tabloid National Enquirer.
Astonishingly absurd and inappropriate.
The New York Times has become the National Inquirer. https://t.co/YNwt0XhfeE
— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) December 27, 2022
This is staggeringly absurd and inappropriate. The New York Times has become the National Enquirer.
Bankman-Fried He was arrested on December 12 on multiple charges related to wire fraud and money laundering. Was extradited to the United States on December 21 and is currently finds out on bail after their parents deposited your house in Palo Alto deposited your house in Palo Alto
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