Media News

Why the media fell for Bankman-Fried

January 13, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, speaks during an interview on an episode of Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein in New York, US, on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reed Albergotti of Semafor writes about FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried and why he received positive news coverage compared to rival Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

Albergotti writes, “But reporters appeared to be enamored with Bankman-Fried.

“He was a public relations natural. He picked up the phone when reporters called. He leaked stories. He constantly talked about his plan to give away almost all his money and gave millions to Democrats. He was vegan. He drove a Toyota Corolla. He trash-talked crypto. He later admitted hiding his political donations to Republicans because he knew they wouldn’t go over well with reporters. (Are we this easy to figure out?)

“Bankman-Fried’s well-cultivated persona added sheen to his business. The Wall Street Journal compared Bankman-Fried to Warren Buffett. The Financial Times telegraphed his plans to one day acquire Goldman Sachs.

“The coverage of the two CEOs is really a microcosm of tech coverage at its worst: Reporters at war with or enamored by the people they cover, and readers paying the price in the form of two-dimensional coverage. And what they missed was a contrast between two companies that couldn’t be clearer in retrospect.”

Read more here.

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