When the world realized that Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried had seemingly committed fraud when building his FTX empire, fellow entrepreneurs, investors and long-time believers unanimously acknowledged the damage caused to the credibility of the crypto ecosystem. On the other hand, some mainstream media outlets — which have predominantly attacked crypto via negative speculations — have seemingly taken sides with SBF while paying little to no heed to the losses exceeding billions of dollars incurred by the general public.
While SBF refuses to interact with Crypto Twitter, the same community he once called home, he was featured in a New York Times article on Nov. 14 in which he tries to explain the sequence of events that led to the fall of the crypto exchange FTX. However, the article’s tone did not resonate with many in the crypto community, with some accusing the NYT of being biased given SBF’s strong ties with United States politics.
As pointed out by Bloomberg journalist Trung Phan, the “puff piece on SBF” fails to mention the potential fraud and crimes committed by the entrepreneur. Instead, the NYT chose to report an angle no one expected.
Word count NYT's puff piece on SBF:— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) November 15, 2022
"Back door": 0
"He's getting sleep": 1 pic.twitter.com/htbte8IyPI
Several crypto entrepreneurs — including Polygon Studios CEO Ryan Wyatt, angel investor Balaji Srinivasan and billionaire Elon Musk — openly criticized the NYT, saying it was trying to change the narrative. Wyatt tweeted at the author of the article, stating that SBF committed significant financial crimes, adding:
“It’s just a disservice to all of those impacted, and it’s disheartening to see all of this just skimmed over like he made a simple mistake.”
Srinivasan accused the New York Times of covering up the crimes committed by Sam Bankman-Fried. “Nothing SBF says can be trusted. Nothing NYT says can be trusted either,” said Srinivasan while asking Crypto Twitter to mass block the media outlet for allegedly spreading disinformation.
Musk, the talk of the town, also shared the same feelings, asking a simple question on his recently purchased social media platform:
“Why the puff piece @nytimes?”
At a time when entrepreneurs are trying to remediate the destruction caused to the crypto ecosystem, the community is keeping a close eye on what mainstream media reports. It is important to note that other mainstream media outlets — such as CNBC, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal — have had more balanced reporting on the actions of SBF and their significant harm.
In a recent ask-me-anything (AMA) session conducted on Nov. 14, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao asked investors to take responsibility for their investment decisions instead of purely blaming bad actors like FTX.
“As a user, you also have responsibility — you can’t just blame all of the responsibility to other people. When bad things happen, if you blame all of the responsibility, if it’s always to other people, you will never be successful,” CZ explained.