Monday, January 29, 2007

Some Questions For Judd Bagley

Sam Antar, reformed felon and mastermind of the Crazy Eddie stock scam, has dedicated his life to repenting for his past thievery and rooting out wrongdoing. He has taken up the cause of the corporate train wreck called "Overstock.com," and has directed some perceptive questions at Overstock.com's resident stalker Judd Bagley.

The questions can be found here.

Sam left out one question that intrigues me. Bagley was hired as "director of social media" in August. That's six months ago. Apart from creating a smear website to push the personal vendettas of Patrick Byrne, what else has he done as "director of social media"? Or is that his sole job responsibility? (Apart, that is, from dreaming up fantasies for Overstock.com's antisocialmedia.net smear site.)

Bagley, who ordinarily waxes rhapsodic on the Investor Village message boards on the weekends, responded to Sam's questions by hiding under his bed.

These are, of course, just a sample of the questions that Bagley will have to address sooner or later. Ditto for Byrne, who has been talking out of both sides of his mouth on his relationship with Bagley.

UPDATE: Byrne, interesting enough, offered up slippery responses and his usual "chewbacca" to the questions posed to his subordinate, sliming his way past the most important ones -- such as the identities of the numerous "handles" Bagley has used on the Internet.

That's not a trivial issue since some possible Bagley handles have made "forward-looking" statements about the company. Not surprised that Byrne has advised "investigative journalist" Bagley not to touch that one with a ten-foot pole.

Note that the questions were posed to Bagley, not Byrne. Yet here he is, the CEO of the company, coming on a stock message board to respond to questions about the "hobby" of his subordinate. Some "hobby." I've known top-level corporate initiatives that have drawn less enthusiastic cheerleading from the CEO than Bagley's smear campaign.

If there was any doubt about Overstock's sponsorship of, and involvement with, Bagley's activities, Byrne just laid it to rest.

I'd still like to see Bagley crawl out from under his bed and respond to Sam's questions. I'm also still anxious to hear about all the good "social media work" -- apart from the smear site, cyberstalking, spyware-planting and so on -- that Bagley has been carrying out for his boss over the past six months.

Note Sam's response. Another valid point.

The Overstock sliminess just keeps going on and on and on. It will stop someday, no doubt about it, and it won't be pretty for Overstock's shareholders.

© 2007 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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