I know you are, but what am I Jeff ? Is this Journalism ?

I usually try to stay away from Blogwars. You know where one blog calls out another for any number of reasons, but
primarily its to try to generate more interest and traffic to their blog.

I get enough traffic here, so I dedicate any pimping of products to movies and other businesses of mine.

But every now and then I get suckered in. This time Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine dragged me in. Its not because he
slams me in his blog. I couldnt care less what he has to say. Its not that he is slamming what we are doing with
Sharesleuth.com. Again, what he says isnt important.

What is interesting to me is how he slams me and how it represents everything wrong with his blog and everything
right about sharesleuth.com. Of course Jeff may think what he does on his blog is journalism. Im not sure.

Lets start with Jeff’s history with me. I dont have a history with Jeff. I wouldnt know him if he walked by me.
But out of curiousity
i did a simple search
to see if Jeff has written about me
before. Boy has he ever.

One of the first times was in October of 2004 at Web
. These are the highlights:

“It remains amazing to me that we are listening hell, paying to listen to a guy who made too much money
selling a company for too much money to a company that was stupid enough to buy it and then kill it. And he has a TV
show, too. “

“I understand why the world pays attention to Paris Hilton. I don’t understand why the world pays attention to
Mark Cuban. “

Oh no, not the Paris Hilton Dig !!!

But wait there’s more.

Then he disagrees with
my post about newspapers and media. Nothing wrong
with that. To which he adds: “Don’t you love how a rich guy dismisses the urge and need to make money? “

Ok Jeff. Do we know how you feel about me yet ?

Even when tries to compliment me, he has to slam me as he does in a
Accidental billionnaire Mark Cuban is the master of using his blog and email to show
how the sausage is made and many more are following
his example. “

From a feb of 05 blog:

“Open the gates

: Mark Cuban and I give big media the
same advice: open the gates, keepers.

: Commenters are pissed at his tone; I was at first, too. He compares us to tabloid lense-snappers. From
Cuban, that’s like Bozo the Clown critiquing opera
. But the rest of the post is actually OK: It’s about the
people watching the powerful anywhere, everywhere. “

Get the picture yet ? Im guessing Jeff thinks im the luckiest guy on the planet and doesn’t like me. I don’t know
why he doesn’t like me.
Its not like i have
written about him at all
?Anyone out there have an idea ?

He certainly details how lucky he thinks I am in his latest
blog post. Here is how he starts the

“Mark Cuban has made his career and his fortune on dumb money. He sold his first company to CompuServe, a failure
acquired by AOL, another failure. He sold his next company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo, which promptly did nothing but
kill it even as broadcasting came onto the internet, yet Cuban walked away with something in the billions, allowing
him to have fun, buying a sports team and starring in a TV show, which was also a failure. He invested in another
well-known company sold to AOL; return to Square One”

You missed a couple of companies in there Jeff, but thats beside the point. What does all this add up to ? It adds
up to the very distinct difference between a site like Buzzmachine and Sharesleuth.com

I dont know if Jeff Jarvis thinks of himself as a journalist. I do know that in my opinion his approach to writing
in every way is exactly what we will not do on Sharesleuth.com

Read our report on XNL. We don’t dont reference anyone we write about as “clowns”. We dont call any of the
investors dumb money. We stick to facts. Verifiable facts, without any prejudicial comments of our own added. None.
Nor will there ever be.

You see Jeff, that is how a writer, whatever you want to call him or the company he or she writes
fordevelops trust. You write the facts. People read the facts and go through a process of questioning them,
article by article, until they realize they can trust the source. Every company we write something
negative about will question every element of the article.
Read XNL’s response.If we can pass
the companies scrutiny, we will develop trust.If we can pass the scrutiny of the shareholders
andmarketers of the stock, we will develop trust.Trust is built from getting the facts rightJeff.
No exceptions.

Now look at your blog. Doesyour approach to writing build “trust” among your readers ? Does taking most of a
blog post to slam me before you get to trying to make a point the way to build trust among your readership ? Just
asking. Sharesleuth and Buzzmachineobviously approach this issuedifferently.

And while you are looking at ethics regarding sharesleuth, let me present a question for all who arehaving
fun discussing us.

In all cases, we contact the companies we are investigating at various levels. It could be corporate PR, it could
be management. Nowthat companies are aware of Sharesleuth.com and what we report on, is it their responsiblity
to shareholders todisclosepublicly the fact that one or more of their employees have been contacted by us

And toJeffssuggestion that my disclosing a short along with my “celebrity” impacting a
stock’s price, here is an old blog post referring to
stocks I shorted
. From March of 2005 and the status of my positions. You can determine what has happened to the
stocks since then and what influence I had if any on their prices.


LGF – Never sold a share, added more

RENT – Never sold a share

NSIT – Got out because i dont follow the industry as closely as I used to

SIGM – Got out. The stock was running up because of things i wasnt clear about, so I sold.

GRU – Got out. I didnt like the way it was monetizing its traffic.

TCOW.OB – Havent sold a share


IOC – Stayed short for months, covered after they announced they were unable to find oil and had other problems in
their efforts

IIG – I covered it in the fall of 2005Then the stock ran back up and I shorted it again

Long – NFI , NFI Puts, Short – NFI Preferred – Still on.

Since the above post, I have also written about Overstock.com. I wrote again about it in
April of 2006, when I said I was short 2k shares. I
am still short 2k shares. I have tried to short more, but the vig on the stock is too high.

So there you have the positions I have written about. You decide if my “celebrity” has moved them. I can assure
you that in no case have I traded on any movement of the stock, if there were any after the blog posts came out.

Nor at any time was I called unethical for writing about my positions, AFTER I had put them on.

31 thoughts on “I know you are, but what am I Jeff ? Is this Journalism ?

  1. Mark-
    Jarvis is like a little brat. Let\’s move on to more important things. C U B S

    We want you here in Chicago and the Trib announced it will sell after this year. You wanna have some fun? Wrigley and Chicago in the summer.

    Go for it!

    The Zoner

    Comment by The Zoner -

  2. to one of the poster above commeting on mark making money while the uninformed private investor loses, can you please wake up and smell the real world.
    if you are private investor in the stock market making uninformed decisions, you shouldnt be in the stock market. if you cant take the loss, you shouldnt be in the stock market. people dont invest so other people can make money. mark would be the first person to admit he has gotten lucky, but to keep harping about it like jeff jarvis does sounds like a high school grudge.

    Comment by winash -

  3. What did Kobe say about Raja Bell? Something like “I don’t know this kid… Maybe he wasn’t hugged enough as a kid”? Sounds pretty apropos in this situation – there is always some irritating wannabe out there that is jealous of success and can only combat it by playing dirty. Just brush it off Mark and take the high road.

    Comment by Steve -

  4. The remarks by Jeff about how you gathered your wealth show something of a personal grudge. It seems he’s bitter about the fact that he hasn’t made a huge pile of cash with his investments. I couldn’t care less, but Mark, that’s not the point of his post.

    What’s important is that you stumble across important information and buy/sell/short/cover stocks based upon that information. And after publishing the information the stock will react and almost always this will happen in a way you expected. This will not pass a clear ethical debate and I think you should reconsider your position regarding trading based on information Sharesleuth gathers.

    Comment by Rob Sanders -

  5. This Jeff guy just sounds like another market commentator… could be a little jealous, could be just stating what he believes is true from his own perspective.

    I’m not sure why you are wasting your breath on this guy, Mark.

    Comment by Marco - Trading Critic -

  6. This is too funny!

    Comment by Clyde Smith -

  7. You do a good job of attacking Jarvis, but spend no time on disputing his arguments. The truth is that when you short your stock you did so at the expense of a private investor. While your previous short positions may not have influenced the market, I don’t see how you can bring that up and then pretend like XNL hasn’t been affected by your report.

    You need to figure out if you want to be a journalist or a corporation and if you are there to make money then you should expect these types of attacks, but if you are not then why play this game to begin with. I’m all for exposing fraud, but don’t you have enough money to do so and not take a position in it or is money so important that it trumps any other obligation? If you want to short something then just do it, there is no reason to tell the world about why, if you are right the company will fail anyway, but if you are trying to expose fraud then why taint the reputation of your writers with this type of tactic?

    While I respect your right to think differently and while I think that your disclosing that you have a short relieves 75% of my criticism, I still don’t think that you are behaving ethically or responsibly. You can hide by criticizing the messenger, but instead of calling Jarvis a blowhard, I’d rather see you address the points that he brings up. When you shorted your stock you sold it to someone who didn’t know the truth. You’re not hurting the company you are hurting some guy who was stupid enough to put his savings behind a dream. You can call yourself a hero for popping that bubble, but the reality is that you are profiting from the loss of the uninformed investor. This might be an SEC approved loophole , but it doesn’t make it right.

    Comment by Davis Freeberg -

  8. heck to you , Mark. You are the one who initiate stupid things to get more traffic. What kind of a blog post is this??

    it looks to me as though the world is against you and you are the sanest ever.

    Comment by Srikanth -

  9. I’ve decided to apply the Murrow/Cronkite rule to journalists: if Edward or Walter would have broadcast it, then it’s real news. Otherwise, it’s either personal or the National Enquirer. Call me old fashioned. 🙂

    Comment by Bob -

  10. Also cuban, I just realized that if you flame a guy with a “blog following” his people will invade your comments. So might as well disable comments now. I suggest you just take it easy on this whole topic and enjoy Madden on xbox 360 that comes out on the 22nd. 🙂

    Comment by brant -

  11. I dont know anything about jeff, or those other websites that are mentioned. But I do know that I don’t care and am suprised you are. What are you trying to prove or accomplish? Hes nobody and is bad at his profession? Why? Maybe I missed something. Next blog please 🙁

    Comment by brant -

  12. How does Jeff Jarvis build trust? I’m sure that question has you monkey-scratching your nuts but if you stop playing with your banana for a minute, I’ll help you out of that dim knuckle-dragging cage.

    His blog is in the Technorati Top 100 (the biggest blogs in the blogosphere, as measured by unique links in the last six months) because he is widely-respected, smart, open, honest, and his opinions are not for sale.

    Jeff’s accomplishments and contributions to media are too many to list here but let’s go with creating Entertainment Weekly for starters.

    You, on the other hand, are completely blind with arrogance and must suffer from Calacanis’s sack compressing your cerebral cortex if you really think the ShareSleuth approach bears any resemblance to legitimate journalism.

    Mark, you have a platform built on lucky money and if you want to use it like a drunken fratboy bouncing on a trampoline, that’s your right. But remember, Jeff earned his.

    Comment by Snarking At The Moon -

  13. Mark, some people thrive on sensationalism. They wrap their words up in pomposity and pretend they are true. Look no further than a Fox News broadcast for an example. If people tried to write on facts instead of opinions they would actually have to put forth some effort.

    Consider Jeff’s blog the Professional Wrestling Act of the blogosphere.

    Comment by Aquariuzz -

  14. Jeff just showed how well-informed he is about practicing true journalism.

    I hope better for CUNY kids. oops i mean graduates

    Comment by Chelsea Brandon -

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    Comment by call2biz-blog -

  16. Hey Mark,

    All I knew about you before today was that you are the animated owner of the Dallas Mavericks. I’d probably just seen clips of your “antics” on SportsCenter or something, showing your regular guy/die-hard Mavs fan persona, which I suppose has left a positive impression on me because I appreciate real people.

    I’ve read some of your most recent posts, as well as some of the pages you link to (specifically Gary Weiss), and it’s all kind of entertaining. I honestly can’t figure out who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy.” (I don’t mean to imply that I live in such a black & white world that I believe there has to be a good guy and a bad guy.)

    Anyway, I have decided your blog is pretty interesting, even though I arrived here by accident and I am generally not a big fan of rich folks. Off I go to read more of it.

    Ryan M. Powell

    Comment by Ryan M. Powell -

  17. OT re:
    How about your thoughts (a blog piece)
    on Monetizing traffic to web sites as you mentioned here.

    GRU – Got out. I didnt like the way it was monetizing its traffic.


    Comment by Ron Des Laurier -

  18. Mark-

    Jarvis’s rant is nothing more than petty jealousy. You see it in every form of media. In written form, leaders in business are portrayed as lucky rather than smart. On TV (perhaps the most egregious example), successful businessmen are portrayed as greedy criminals and villians, while the heroes with perfect morals and big brains are journalists–or worse–lawyers.

    So Mark… how will businessmen be portrayed in the show from your production company?

    Comment by HJ Mann -

  19. Good matherial!

    Comment by Webmaster -

  20. Mark,

    Whenever you’re at the top, or doing something revolutionary, people will be aiming for you. That’s usually a sign that you’re onto something…

    Comment by Jason -

  21. never heard of this el Jeffe character before you mentioned him – therefore, you should not help him down this unsightly downward spiral; tempting as that may be. he’s had enough good luck for one day, eh?

    throngs of underachievers slam celebrities as therapeutic relief to woes of inadequacy – especially these they are reluctant to deal with themselves. since when do you have time for this kind of ___ ?

    Comment by saM FFL -

  22. I don’t how this guy(who I’ve never heard of) somehow blames you for what yahoo did to broadcast.com. You made billions and write a blog for fun, he writes a blog and is a reporter who doesn’t seem to report much.

    Comment by chris -

  23. I’m not sure why others need to comment about what you do in your personal life anyhow. The only reason I come to the blog is because I’m a fan of the Mavericks and like to read about what you’re planning for the team or any other issues that go on that would affect the team. Notice he doesn’t comment on your huge successes, just points out shortcomings. Pretty weak if you ask me.

    Comment by Naples Florida Real Estate -

  24. Mark,

    I started off chuckling at this whole soap opera… until I read Jeff’s “dumb money” missive.

    Frankly, this is worse than poor journalism. This is laziness at best, a fundamental ignorance about business and the markets at worst. Either way, the lack of basic understanding is simply embarassing.

    For starters, anybody who labels someone as dumb after they 1) created something out of whole cloth, and then 2) sold out at the tippy top of the biggest bubble in the history of western civilization reveals the depth of their own ignorance about what all that actually entails. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

    More importantly, as it relates to shorting/sharesleuth, there’s a giant pink elephant in the room that Jarvis is apparently- shockingly- unaware of: buying and selling stocks in companies that are analyzed/reported/graded is done thousands of times every single day on Wall Street. CNBC devotes a significant amount of airtime to the practice. When an analyst develops that trust you talk about we call him/her the “AXE” on a stock (because they routinely move the market).

    Furthermore there are services, both private and on the web, that devote an extraordinary amount of energy just tracking such analyst upgrades/downgrades/opinions/earnings projections and so on.

    Or maybe I’m the one that’s naive: are there really that many people out there totally unaware of how the largest financial market on the planet functions?

    Comment by Financial Rx -

  25. ”I understand why the world pays attention to Paris Hilton. I don’t understand why the world pays attention to Mark Cuban.”

    Then WHY IN THE HELL is Jeff posting on him all the time? And it’s not like this Jeff posted on him once or twice- This dude is simply bitter and jealous, just like a highschool girl.

    Comment by G. -

  26. The Paris Hilton comment is way off base. She didn’t get to her current level of celebirty until the sex tapes came out.

    You however are a self-made man from what I’ve read. You have to respect that.

    Chris Jara

    Comment by Chris Jara -

  27. Mark,

    I am sure you understand that if you make a comment or a recommendation on anything, people are going to listen. I guess you can argue the point of that you are brining companies problems to light sooner than later. Yet when companies start to go through problems investors can have more time to make a clearer decision whether to stay or get out. If sharesleuth.com reports on this matter sooner the investors are being hit by a bus, they don’t have time to get the facts, it is to late. People are dumping their shares and the investor’s have no other option but to follow suit and do the same so he or she doesn’t lose everything. sharesleuth.com seems like a really great idea, but the fact of the matter is sharesleuth has gotten way to much media attention, as being insider information. So what ever investors read on your website most will take it as the gospel, even if they heard the same information on MSNBC 2 days ago 🙂
    As for Jeff, he is trying to get people to read his blog plain and simple. If he calls you out he knows you will answer the call because you don’t sit back and take it. Did it work? Yes, I bet just because you mentioned his blog today he has double the normal traffic as usual. Don’t fall victim to his lefty game.

    Comment by Matt -

  28. Hey, Mark you knew when you started making 100k a year probably back in the early 90’s. You had that one person that was a mooch, was a “Friend” who just needed a “Little loan” …. the point?

    This guy is getting a “Little loan” from you, without your consent, he is getting traffic from you and has drawn you into something below what you are.

    This guy is a no-name, who is jealous of what you have become. Someone who lives vicuriously through his blog by bashing others is a loser.

    Comment by Richard Bowles -

  29. Comment by bobby -

  30. Well I feel that guy is just jealous. You know what you’re doing and he has no clue where to start so he figures he can slam you to make up for it. A lot of people do that. It’s compensation for something they don’t have (I’ll leave that open to interpretation). And so what if the companies you sold didn’t make it once you sold them? It just shows the ineptitude of the companies that bought them and reflects no way on you.

    It’s not your fault ‘The Benefactor’ failed either… that was all a result of the placement in the schedule (I think anyway because ABC is notorious for murdering it’s own shows). If he’s going to pick examples, he needs to pick something more solid and in your span of control instead of picking at stuff that was out of your hands.

    If that jag off wants to be taken seriously then he needs stop talking about stuff he knows nothing about.

    Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -

  31. Mark-
    I think this time you made a mistake, buddy…Fuck this guy. You just made me read his blog, which sucks and wasted my time.
    Dont write about shit like that in your blog because you lead us there, and there is nothing there.
    Stay with your crazy stuff. You are not always right, but you sure rock the boat. That is what we love about you…crazy fuck.

    Comment by Marcos Santos -

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