A couple of snippets
from the blog followed by my comments:
1) What I did find interesting was his reference to a fellow named Mark
Mitchell as his "business partner." That name may not mean much to you,
but Mitchell is the former editor of CJR Daily's "Audit" feature on the
I like how you chose to the use the acronym CJR? Why not just tell everyone on your blog that the former editor of the C
eview, Mark Mitchell, was wanting to interview you about an article he is writing? After all, its certainly relevant to the story. Mark is the former editor for the Columbia Journalism Review ...the guys who are responsible for little things like giving the Pulitzer Prize... that kinda thing!
2) While there, Mitchell worked for many months on a CJR feature
concerning Byrne's nutty allegations against journalists, including
Herb Greenberg of Marketwatch.com and others who have written
critically on Overstock. He interviewed myself and others extensively,
and his open pro-Byrne bias was obvious. (He viewed Enron as a victim
of short-selling, which I thought curious enough to mention in a Salon article.) The CJR article never ran, and Mitchell departed as the Audit's editor.
Why not tell your readers why Mark Mitchell is no longer the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. How about letting them know about Kingsford Capitals role? Let me refresh your memory. Mark left the CJR because he was threatened by someone who told him to drop the story or they would kill his 4 year old kid. That of course happened on the same day that Kingsford Capital walked into the CJR and made a large donation in exchange for them dropping the entire story. The donation was obviously well received as the website now shows us a newly formed position - "The Kingsford Capital Fellow".
Kingsford Capital of course was started by two former employees of West Highland Capital after they
(allegedly) took a bath in a few stocks. Kingsford originally operated from West
Highland’s office but now has its own in Point Richmond. Two former
West Highland portfolio managers David Scially and Mike Wilkins own the
fund, which they founded in 2001.
In 1998, Gary Weiss (you) wrote an article in BusinessWeek titled “Why
Hemispherx Could Take Sick. A copy of the article can be found here:
to a letter written by Edward Manfredonia ( a former source for many of your articles) in February, 2006 to Julie
Riewe of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, Gary Weiss was spoon
fed this information by two well known short sellers; Manuel Asensio
and West Highland Capital. A copy of his letter can be found here.
short sellers were short the stock. Edward Manfredonia claims that he
told Gary Weiss that Asensio was naked-short 300,000 shares of the
stock in Hemispherx. He also warned Gary that the supply of stock to
borrow as very thin, and that evidence existed suggesting that the
stock was being sold short on minus ticks. Gary Weiss apparently saw no
conflicts of interest as the article was published shortly thereafter.
Manfredonia goes on to suggest that this negative press (contributed to
by Gary Weiss) allowed Asensio and West Highland Capital to cover their
entire positions while the stock price was hit. A quick scan of the
online index of Asensio’s book – Sold short – reveals special
mentioning of characters like Gary Weiss (Page 113), Bethany Mclean
(Page 58) Herb Greenberg (Page 189, 235) to name only a few.
If you don't believe me or Edward Manfredonia for that matter... then have a look at the opinion letter of Robert Lowry who spent 28 years at the SEC with 23 years in the Division of Market Regulation. Robert was engaged by the
plaintiff in the Hemispherx vs Manuel Asensio lawsuit to analyze the trading activity in Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read the whole letter and his conclusions!
Oh, and one more thing. When you read the following section of the opinion letter, keep in mind the article he is talking about was authored by you (Gary Weiss)! I have highlighted the important parts concerning you.
Excerpt from the opinion letter:
previously noted, during the three weeks prior to the Business Week article, defendants
took substantial "naked" short positions totaling more than 130,000 HBI shares.
Of particular note, on September 17, 1998 (just prior to the release of the Business Week
article), one ACI employee, Chehrazad Mamri sold short 750 HBI shares, and ACI sold short
10,000 HBI shares. Additionally, John Paulson, a close friend of Asensio, sold short
135,000 HBI shares on September 17, 1998. After the Business Week article was
disseminated, the price of HBI declined and ACI was able to cover its short sales at a
What say you now GW?