Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mark Mitchell Agonistes

Sam Antar today has an intriguing exchange of emails with the loathsome ex-journalist Mark Mitchell, who drew widespread condemnation for his poor job of editing CJR Daily's Audit section, and is now a paid shill for Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.

I use the word "loathsome" conservatively because this creep called me some weeks ago to "interview" me, claiming to be writing for a legitimate journalism outlet and concealing his employment by Byrne. Not just concealing, but lying about it -- claiming that he had no employer, and that he was shopping the piece. He then he went ahead and lied about our conversation on Byrne's "Deep Capture" smear site -- just literally making stuff up, even after I printed a transcript of our conversation.

What's amusing is that Mitchell is upset not about the really serious stuff -- that he is a paid shill for Byrne and a liar and a skunk -- but that he was "escorted out of the building" when he left CJR, which was followed by a year of unemployment and then being swept off the streets to work for Byrne.

Personally I couldn't care less how he left CJR (I've heard a lot worse). I think the "related party transactions" issue, noted by Sam, is more interesting. Still, it's funny to see how a professional corporate hatchet man can be so thin-skinned.

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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