In response to today's bizarre events- United Airlines' stock dropped more than 70 percent on bogus bankruptcy rumors, caused when the Florida Sun-Sentinel accidentally posted a story from six years ago- Matt Yglesias has an idea:
here we see perhaps a model to maintain the financial viability of newspapers. Any organization that spends enough money to garner a reputation as a credible news source could then turn around and tank a company’s stock with a bogus story. Then you buy shares up on the cheap, and make big bucks as the stock recovers. Of course, the bulk of your stories still need to pass as credible, semi-accurate journalism — you can’t just run this trick every day — but there’s a lot of money to be made here.That would be illegal, I'm guessing, but aside from that it's a good idea.
I'm sure the Sun-Sentinel's mistake is going to be chalked up as another example of the reckless perfidy of MSM, but I'm guessing what happpened was something went haywire on some remote server and a story ended up in the wrong place. Happens all the time.Posted by Stephen Silver at September 8, 2008 09:56 PM