Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More 'Strategic Messaging' From Judd Bagley


An Internet sleuth has tracked down Overstock.com's Judd Bagley early foray into "strategic messaging" -- skills that he has since put at the disposal of his money-losing employers.

Follow the links here, if you have a strong stomach, to see Bagley digging for dirt on a Florida investigative reporter who had written negative stories about his then-boss, Cynthia Henderson, who was the controversial (to put it mildly) head of Florida's Department of Business and Professional Affairs.

Here's an Internet post from 2000 that, as you can see from the links, have been traced directly to Bagley:

"The word in Tallahassee is that the Tampa Tribune fired M--- P---...the reporter whose writing has provided them with the lion's share of their editorial fodder.

They say it happened because she physically struck J--- W---, her bureau chief."
Mind you, this smear was being spread after this reporter had already been fired and was no longer a danger to Bagley's employer.

Some months before this happened, Bagley went to an Internet newsgroup to heap abuse on this reporter. Then an anonymous email address engaged in an Internet smear campaign against this same reporter. A coincidence, I presume.

The mentality at work in this unrestrained smearing can be found in a Bagley Internet post in 2002, in which Bagley says that libel "only applies to reporters." An amazingly ignorant, and telling, comment. And then there's this one, in which he shared his homicidal fantasies concerning a hedge fund manager who fell afoul of Patrick Byrne.

I'd say Overstock shareholders are getting their money's worth in the "strategic messaging" department. Too bad Overstock can't devote the same energy to turning a profit.

UPDATE: Bagley later materialized on a Yahoo message board and, with characteristic malice, slimed that same reporter again. In the best "strategic messaging" tradition, he left out some minor details -- that the reporting was fair and accurate, and that the Florida pol in question was reassigned under fire and was later the subject of an unflattering Vanity Fair article.

Bagley later confessed to running Overstock.com's antisocialmedia.net smear site. See this subsequent post.

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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