Apparently, a guy who’s now a leading liberal blogger, Jerome Armstrong, was touting stocks online without revealing that he was paid to do so. He just paid a $30,000 fine to settle the case. And apparently his partner Markos Zunigas of DaliyKos fame was trying to get other liberal bloggers to cover it up, or at least not talk about it.
But beyond all the “the netroots are politics as usual” and “these guys are just like Tom Delay” comments, has anyone stopped to consider two things.
First, this happened in 2000 before Armstrong was a blogger, or at least before anyone had heard of blogging. So exactly what it has to do with him being a blogger I don’t know.
Second, wild claims about a stock on a message board called “Raging Bull” in 2000 at the height of stock mania? Well just imagine that! I mean I’m all for the SEC cleaning out its dirt laundry a few years later—although I’d be just as keen for them to keep looking into say Bill Frist (Investigation stopped) or his professional colleague who had the same result. But there was rather a lot of that going on back in the day (including a 15 year old who was way better at it than Armstrong), and frankly if you’re dumb enough to believe what you read on a stock message board, then that’s not the kind of government safety-net that I’m most in favor of!
But of course if anyone wants to pay me a fortune to tout their stock, and has the political connections to head off the subsequent SEC investigation, I’m all ears. In fact I’m surprised that no one has ever asked me!