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Tuesday, January 10, 2023
MRC Relentlessly Hypes Democratic Links Of Fallen Crypto Billionaire
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a bit of an obsession with making sure that, when a person caught doing something bad who could be plausibly described as having links to Democrats or liberals, that link is screamed from the rooftops. We saw that again with Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto billionaire who lost it all (as well as lots of money from other people) when his cryptocurrency exchange collapsed. Bankman-Fried wasn't even on the MRC's radar until last May, when Jeffrey Clark complained that he was planning to donate tons of money to help keep Donald Trump from getting elected in 2024:

A leftist crypto billionaire is hinting at throwing a billion dollars, give or take, to keep former President Donald Trump from winning the 2024 presidential election. Trump has not officially announced his bid for the presidency. 

Sam Bankman-Fried has roommates, drives a Toyota Corolla and might seem like a pretty normal guy — except that he’s dedicating north of $1 billion, potentially, to preventing Trump from winning the next presidential election.

Cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared on the May 24 edition of the podcast What’s Your Problem?” to discuss politics and “how to save humanity from extinction,” according to podcast host Jacob Goldstein.

The billionaire gave an estimate of just how much money he would plow into the next election to stop Trump from becoming president again: “I would guess north of 100 million.” Beyond that, Bankman-Fried said he would consider $1 billion “a soft ceiling” and might give more or less, depending on who runs in 2024.

And this wasn’t the billionaire’s first rodeo in Democratic politics. Bankman-Fried was “one of the biggest donors to President Biden’s 2020 campaign. More recently, he donated over $10 million to support a candidate in a Democratic primary for a congressional seat in Oregon.”

Ooooh, shades of George Soros! But after FTX collapsed in November amid fraud accusations, the MRC had adjust its narrative on Bankman-Fried. A Nov. 11 post by P.J. Gladnick began the shift of cheering that his fortune got wiped out and complaining he wanted to help Democrats:

On Friday, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Democrat megadonor and cryptocurrency scion Sam Bankman-Fried lost his entire $16 billion fortune.

If you are extremely wealthy and want to receive over-the-top praise from Politico, the answer is simple. Simply donate millions of dollars to Democrat candidates. Such was the case with Bankman-Fried, whose liberal largesse had Politico singing paeans to him a few months ago.

See this August love song written by Elena Schneider, "How the newest megadonor wants to change Washington."


The Politico tune about Bankman-Fried sharply changed just this week when it was discovered he was no longer useful for the Democrats, when his fortune vanished.

Tim Graham spent part of his Nov. 16 podcast whining that "the media didn't want to mention that ... Sam Bankman-Fried was the second largest donor to Democrats in this cycle, as well as a donor to liberal media groups.

A Nov. 17 post by Bill D'Agostino hyped a full-blown "STUDY":

Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled CEO of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was a massive donor to the Democratic Party. But you wouldn’t know it from the reporting on the big three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC), who have so far almost completely hidden that salient detail from their audiences.

MRC analysts examined all FTX coverage between November 11 and November 17 on those broadcast networks’ flagship morning and evening news programs. We found that neither CBS nor NBC even mentioned Bankman-Fried’s status as a Democratic megadonor, while ABC spent only three seconds (a single mention) on it.

All told, discussion of Bankman-Fried’s extravagant bankrolling of the Democratic Party comprised just 0.2 percent of the combined 21 minutes and 17 seconds of FTX coverage across all three networks, and 0.5 percent of ABC’s 9 minutes and 7 seconds of coverage.

D'Agostino didn't explain how Bankman-Fried's politics are relevant to any possible criminal liability in FTX's collapse, other than to whine that "It goes without saying that, if a pivotal Republican donor were embroiled in a financial scandal of this magnitude, his political affiliation would be front and center in the media’s reporting." (Except at the MRC, of course.) And as usual, D'Agostino refused to include documentation of Fox News' coverage of Bankman-Fried for comparison purposes.

A Nov. 25 post by Gladnick seemed to be pleased that Bankman-Fried was admitting he suckered enough people with his claimed altruism that he got away  with FTX's apparent fraud for so long:

During a Twitter DM interview by Kelsey Piper of Vox with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried last week, something remarkable happened.

Bankman-Fried ditched his annoyingly sanctimonious "monk-like" mask and revealed his true self: a greedy cynic who is laughing at the world, including the gullible media, for believing his phony "effective altruism" shtick as you can see in the section of the interview below.

And among the suckers who completely bought into the "dumb games we woke westerners play" Bankman-Fried was the host of the video below who was lionizing the FTX CEO because he was saying "all the right shibboleths so everyone would like" him.

But as gullible as the video host was, it was no worse than the many many news sources that sung the praises of Bankman-Fried not only because he saying "all the right shilobeths" but especially because he was the second biggest donor to the Democrats this past year.

No mention, of course, of how people like Kanye West got great press from the MRC and others in the right-wing media bubble for saying "all the right shilobeths" about family and abortion -- to the point that it was highly reluctant to criticize West when he took a hard anti-Semitic turn.

MRC boss Brent Bozell got into the act as well with a new angle to flog, as detailed in a Dec. 2 post by Brian Bradley:

As news outlets showed no indication Thursday that they planned to return millions of dollars in reported donations by disgraced FTX owner Sam Bankman-Fried, MRC founder and President Brent Bozell called for at least five media organizations to return those contributions.

"It's not just politicians who should be giving back donations from Sam-Bankman Fried,” Bozell said in a statement. “All of the media outlets that took his money should do the same."

The Daily Mail reported on Friday that Bankman-Fried dumped millions of collective dollars into at least five news companies through his cryptocurrency firm’s philanthropy arm. Any company’s retention of funds donated by Bankman-Fried could be ethically questionable amid open allegations that the cryptocurrency boss may have misusedFTX customer funds. 

MRC Business asked those companies whether they plan to return the funds Bankman-Fried donated to them. At the time of publication, none had stated they intend to return the funds.

More than a month after the FTX collapse, the MRC was still ragging on Bankman-Fried, this time in a Dec. 16 column by Graham:

The collapse of the crypto-currency company FTX could be as massive a scandal for Democrats as the Democrats insisted the Enron debacle was for President George W. Bush. The man who took over the wreckage of Enron is now in charge of managing the end of FTX.

But our largest national media outlets are going to bury the point that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was the second largest donor to the Democratic Party in the 2022 election cycle, with over $40 million in contributions, second only to socialist agitator George Soros. The former crypto king made one of the largest donations to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, a cool $5.2 million.


The most obvious evidence of journalistic skullduggery perpetually emerges in coverage of scandals. Republican scandals are hyped to the skies, and Democrat scandals are buried or carefully elided. The media elite’s transparent partisanship is at the center of why they’re not trusted by most Americans.

If Graham and the rest of the MRC had been even half as hard on Kanye West as they have been on Bankman-Fried, he might have a point.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2023 9:44 PM EST

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