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Even as the journey begins there is much trepidation.  Mitchell continues to write at a rate that far outstrips the ground we’ll ever be able to cover.  What will things be like, if and when we emerge from the other end?  Will it even be the same story?  Or will it have retroactively updated itself as other aspects of this story have?

Having previously viewed our author through the eyes of the man who is now his boss, let’s move on to what he has to say for himself.

For all the buildup that Byrne gave to the prestige of the Columbia Journalism Review, it’s not long at all before Mitchell starts running counter to that by casting aspersions at his former employer.  Actually, the timeline he lays out is a moderately confusing one.  Apparently it goes like this:

  • January 2006: Mitchell begins work on first version of Deep Capture.
  • November 2006: A hedge fund (unnamed) who happened to be one of the (many) subjects of Mitchell’s work offers CJR a sizable donation.
  • Later that month (reported on November 25, 2006): Mitchell resigns from his post at CJR, for reasons unstated.
  • Shortly thereafter: CJR accepts the donation from the hedge fund.

The only apparent report of Mitchell’s resignation at the time appeared on a blog at UNC, which noted Mitchell’s very perfunctory comment at the time, and went on to note that Mitchell had been previously criticized for sloppy journalism and being part of a culture of recalcitrance in defense of the review’s own reports.

At any rate, Mitchell seems to want to leave the impression, without actually directly stating as such, that the hedge fund in question “bought” his resignation from CJR with their donation to the cash-strapped publication.  And so Mitchell’s story might have gone untold had it not been for the intervention of — surprise! — Patrick Byrne.

At this point Mitchell goes into what he seems to consider the centerpiece claim of his work, that the 1929 Crash — and subsequent Great Depression — was an event deliberately triggered by hedge funds or whatever their equivalents of the day were, and that the same tactics are once again in use today, with the same goal.

After plugging the “team” that helped him with the report (including, interestingly enough, some “gonzo computer hackers” and a “one-time foreign intelligence agent”) while conspicuously not naming any names, he goes on to predict the outcry from the mainstream media that his “vigilante journalism” will provoke.

But then again, given the effort being put into getting Mitchell’s work any publicity at all, I’m guessing the “outcry” is rather not up to the author’s expectations.  Again, at a little under 40,000 words I tend to think part of the problem is a lack of digestibility, even with the helpfully marked-off sections.  Indeed, it is one of this blog’s hopes to be able to break the whole thing down into more approachable chunks and in so doing derive something more amenable to a thorough evaluation.

So much for introductions.  Next, onto the prologue, where things start going loopy in earnest…


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