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Monday, March 12, 2018

Let's talk about John Oliver's cryptocurrency hit-piece...

First off let me say - nobody here is angry at John Oliver.  We get it - it's a comedy show. I'd say at best 'a bit disappointed' is the general response when the topic came up in our morning meeting and we played it for those who missed it last night.

But since it's what the cryptocurrency world is buzzing about today, let's take a deeper look just for fun.

As I journalist, this did indeed have the signs of a bit of hit piece. While I can’t say John Oliver was technically wrong about anything, or lying - there are a couple red flags. Some strange and deliberate choices his producers and writers made.

Look at the only people they chose to show on the pro-cryptocurrency side. Some dumb sounding guy bragging about making millions, Carlos from Bitconnect, and Brock from EOS sounding insane at the end babbling about his wedding at Burning Man on stage.

They chose those people - in an industry literally full of genius engineers, scientists, coders. Honest and good people too - but they chose the most ridiculous ones they could.

What I wish they didn't leave out is - the people they showed are mocked inside the cryptocurrency world as well! We make fun of these people too!  I feel like someone unfamiliar with cryptocurrency would watch this and think these people are embraced as our leaders or at least accepted here - they definitely are not.

To top it off,  the one person they cut to and say gave an ‘accurate explanation’ - they made sure still looked stupid in some ridiculous bitcoin costume.

I talk to and interview people in the cryptocurrency world for a living - I do not come accross people like the ones John Oliver showed very often.  It took a deliberate effort to select this batch of of idiots to feature.  Sure, maybe just because they’re the funniest.

But still - could have shown a few of the idiots in crypto, then maybe a couple of the many sane and frankly brilliant people in this space.  Once again, not angry - just would have been nice, and a more accurate overview for his viewers.
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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk