Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Judd Bagley to Star in 'What's My Real Line?'

Some of us of a certain age may remember a classic game show called "What's My Line?", in which celebrity panelists tried to guess the occupation of mysterious people.

Something tells me that Judd Bagley, Overstock.com's resident stalker, will be playing a game of "What's My Real Line?" pretty soon -- and he won't be up for any prizes.

The reason is that his ridiculous cover story, that he is operating a Wikipedia wanna-be called "Omuse," has just collapsed. The Utah firm that actually spent a month (!) toiling over this lame little wiki has just surfaced and bragged about all the great work that it did.

I'm actually surprised it was farmed out, and not just slapped together by a low-level techie when not fixing computers. I mean, look at it. Omuse has all the originality and finesse of a high school computer project. It's a joke.

You'd think they'd have taken more care in dreaming up a cover story for this guy. It could hardly be more obvious that Bagley was hired to create and run Overstock's antisocialmedia.net corporate smear site, and to engage in ancillary duties like vandalizing Wikipedia under multiple sockpuppets and intimidating critics of the company.

I don't think that engaging in dirty tricks against the real Wikipedia, and pursuing the vendettas of Patrick Byrne, count as a proper use of shareholder funds by any fair standard. Some people may object to that, such as non-cultist investors, regulators and class action lawyers.

That's where "What My Real Line?" comes in. It would be entertaining to be a fly on the wall when the lawyers play that game with Bagley.

Almost as much fun as watching this object lesson in corporate sleaze self-destruct.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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