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BLOGS: This is bizzarre

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!

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5 replies »

  1. Hey, last time I looked now it is August, not April.
    Trust me on this, even a joking suggestion that your opinions are for sale to the highest bidder is not going to help your credibility with Health 2.0. Especially as the broader Web 2.0 bubble goes poof.
    Could you imagine Laura Landro crack such a joke in her WSJ column ???

  2. Dmitriy. Hmm, remember that post you had that was supposed to be funny/An April Fool, and how you said some of us didn’t have a sense of humor. I think pots and kettles are in order. Unless of course, your comment here too was a joke.

  3. There probably will be a class action suit, but the crux of your argument is spurious. The TB and MRSA patients are already at the Walgreens counter picking up their Rifampin or Bactrim!
    Listen, I know you primary care docs are worried. But, let’s face it: you can’t stop what’s going on. And, in any case, most med students these days want to become specialists.
    As to the corrupt bloggers: the bloom is off the Kos rose.

  4. Recently “retail medicine” has made the spotlight. It’s initial short term success and gains has been noted by the financial world, and such venture capitalist’s such as Steve Chase (ex AOL) and now proponent of “Revolution” which has invested in health and wellness clinics has purchased an interest in one of the “fast healing drive through” companies. Naturally one will say I am biased as a physician, however some of my colleagues, frustrated by being “real doctors” in a system that punished us for doing what we were trained to do “primum non nocere”, first do no harm”.
    As physicians we are prohibited from such “close relationships and referring to our “own” labs, xray, or other business entities we have a financial interest in.
    Thank you, Pete Stark of California.
    Yet here we have entrepeneurs such as pharmacies, Walgreen’s, Walmart, Target, and others who have not so hidden interest in boosting their pharmaceutical and medically related supply sales.
    Consumer advocacy or not this is a real unethical practice which must be stopped. The idea of a very efficient quick clinic is alright, but it should not be embedded in a “store”. Frankly I don’t think other customers would (if they knew) patients with infectious diseases,strep throats, skin infections, hepatitis, pneumonia walking around the food aisles or polluting the air they breathe while shopping.
    Soon there will be a class action suit on the part of customers regarding this issue….It is just a matter of time.
    Any attorney interested please contact me

  5. RE: “But of course if anyone wants to pay me a fortune to tout their stock”
    I thought this is what your Health 2.0 conference is all about? Perhaps you should update the FAQ to mention that you’d say anything if paid to.
    Unbelievable. So much for ethics in blogging.

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