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This week’s section is rather short (oops, sorry), but contains within it some of the most implausible narrative yet.

We pick up the action from last week with the immediate aftermath of Byrne’s January 2004 Kudlow & Cramer interview.  And Byrne is on the phone to a Wall Street broker (unnamed of course).  I guess in Utah it must be customary, after a stressful experience, to dial up a stockbroker for some commiseration.  At any rate, Mitchell portrays Byrne as being entirely unaware of vile underbelly of Wall Street and its ongoing conspiracy with the financial media, and this anonymous broker is basically giving him the run down.  So basically, the wellspring of all of Byrne’s subsequent paranoia?  This guy.

Then, “just recently” (as of the time of Mitchell’s writing?  as of the interview?), two hedge fund managers, yes, those embodiments of all that is evil about Wall Street, just up and call Byrne to tell him they were naked shorting Overstock.  No, really, Mitchell actually writes that.  The narrative even implies the hedgie guys went out of their way to carefully explain to Byrne what they were doing to his company’s stock.  Mitchell goes on to say that that the broker executing the naked short sale was also spreading some kind of false rumor about Overstock (and, again, apparently telling Byrne all about it!) to further depress the share price.  And then he went home to beat up his wife and children, one supposes.  Honestly, I’ve seen villains in kids’ movies written deeper than this.

And then, just to throw a touch of nausea into the proceedings, Mitchell goes back and contrasts this with Byrne, who is portrayed as somehow still unaffected by all this and blissfully unaware of the dark conspiracy forming to take him and his company down.

At this point I have to wonder: Is Mitchell having us on here?  Are we going to go another ten sections in and he’ll say, “Just kidding!  Now here’s my real exposé piece”?  Because we’re really at the point where this isn’t even good fiction, much less something to be taken seriously as investigative journalism.

Next week: Another journalist in the spotlight, and this one isn’t even a alum!


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  1. By Section Twenty: The End? « Heart of Deepness on 17 Nov 2008 at 1:35 pm

    […] was a single, known individual.  And as per the usual tale, Milkin is portrayed as indulging in comic-book villainry, striding right up to his victims and informing them of exactly what he is […]

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