Former BusinessWeek investigative reporter Gary Weiss believes that many in the business media are too soft on Wall Street, and those that are aggressive get attacked.
Weiss writes on his blog: “The media are far too soft on the Street and particularly the bad guys — the ones with their hands in your pocket, whether they are fee-happy, secretive hedge funds or the ubiquitous small-cap fraudsters. Unfortunately the bad guys have a way of fighting back against the few tough financial reporters. And I mean fight dirty.”
Later, he notes, “One leading target of the naked shorting loons is Tim Mullaney of Business Week. Tim hasn’t written about naked shorting. His crime is that he planned to do a piece on Overstock Inc., whose CEO, Patrick Byrne, is a godlike figure among these crazies because he has adopted their cause. Some of Tim’s questions upset Byrne, and the smear machinery swung into motion, with the obvious intent of getting BW to lay off.
“Enter ‘Bob O’Brien,’ the pseudonym of a creep who runs anti-naked shorting cult websites. Cringing behind a phony name to stave off process servers, ‘O’Brien’ has repeatedly smeared Tim on the Internet, using a tactic straight out of Joe McCarthy. He learned that Tim once worked at the Baltimore Sun, so he twisted that into a smear to give the impression that Tim left the Sun under a cloud. ‘Ask Tim why he left Baltimore,’ O’Brien has asked repeatedly in Internet postings.
“I did. Tim’s response: He left the Sun to take a university position at a 40% raise.”
Read the entire post here.