The article oddly contrasts Sam Bankman-alleged Fried’s fraud with gang violence on the Bahamian island of New Providence.
The online community, including some cryptocurrency figures, has condemned The New York Times’ latest “sympathy” article about FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
In the article “In the Bahamas, a Lingering Sympathy for Sam Bankman-Fried,” published on December 26, New York Times journalist Rob Copeland quotes local Bahamians who appear to have mostly positive things to say about the cryptocurrency exchange founder.
One local said he had a “good heart,” while another said they “felt bad for him.” A resident interviewed for the article even said it “doesn’t make any sense” that Bankman-Fried was imprisoned for his alleged crimes.
According to the article, Bankman-glowing Fried’s reviews from locals stem from his millions of dollars in donations to local charities, churches, and government entities, including the police. Locals viewed the FTX founder’s plans to build a hotel and FTX’s headquarters as another plus.
Cryptonator, a self-described “crypto-degen,” claimed that Bankman-Fried “did it like Pablo Escobar” in terms of donations to local charities and the government. Escobar, a notorious Colombian narcoterrorist and drug lord, spent millions of dollars on infrastructure and charitable donations in an attempt to gain favour with locals.
Only one person interviewed for the article expressed dissatisfaction with the FTX founder’s alleged billions of dollars of fraud, which included stealing customer funds, saying it gave them a “negative outlook on crypto.”
“Why would you publish this?” one Twitter user wondered, and “this is embarrassing,” another added.
“Gotta respect the NYT for doubling down,” one user tweeted, referring to a Nov. 14 New York Times article that was also slammed as a “puff piece” by the crypto community.
One of the most egregious parts of the article is when it refers to Bankman-alleged Fried’s years-long fraud as “troubling,” but “hardly comparable to the gang violence” on the island of New Providence.
Olayemi Olurin, a native Bahamian and New York public defender, posted a video to Twitter blasting the article, saying: “The lengths they will go to try to prop up this white collar criminal and they immediately start trying to criminalise a black nation [with gang violence]. The Bahamas is not a gang-infested country, so get out of here.”
“Bahamians don’t give a fuck about that man,” she went on to say.