Rules For Thee, But Not For Me

National Review‘s The Corner posted an article yesterday about Gawker Media, a website that has been very free with its criticism of Mitt Romney‘s financial dealings.

The article reports:

The gossip site also has released some 950 pages of material related to Mitt Romney’s investments, mostly having to do with Bain Capital. In Gawker’s own words: “Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his $250 million fortune.”

There was nothing illegal (or even interesting) in the material released, but there is more to the story.

In December 2010, the New Yorker reported:

Gawker is organized like an international money-laundering operation. Much of its international revenues are directed through Hungary, where Denton’s mother hails from, and where some of the firm’s techies are located. But that is only part of it. Recently, Salmon reports, the various Gawker operations—Gawker Media LLC, Gawker Entertainment LLC, Gawker Technology LLC, Gawker Sales LLC—have been restructured to bring them under control of a shell company based in the Cayman Islands, Gawker Media Group Inc.

Why would a relatively small media outfit based in Soho choose to incorporate itself in a Caribbean locale long favored by insider dealers, drug cartels, hedge funds, and other entities with lots of cash they don’t want to advertise? The question virtually answers itself, but for those unversed in the intricacies of international tax avoidance Salmon spells it out: “The result is a company where 130 U.S. employees eat up the lion’s share of the the U.S. revenues, resulting in little if any taxable income, while the international income, the franchise value of the brands, and the value of the technology all stays permanently overseas, untouched by the I.R.S.”

Maybe the real villain in this story is the IRS.
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Totally Stupid Career Moves

My award for totally stupid career move of the year goes to Joe Muto, a former producer on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.” Yesterday reported that Mr. Muto was fired less than twenty-four hours after Gawker revealed that it had placed a more within the organization of Fox News. Mr. Muto had worked for Fox News for eight years when he was recruited by Gawker to be a mole in that organization. He was paid $5000 for his services and worked for one day after Gawker announced that he was there.

This whole story seems to be on the level of the Darwin awards. Aside from the stupidity of throwing away an eight-year job and future career for a quick $5000 on the part of Mr. Muto, why in the world did Gawker announce that it had a mole in Fox News? It seems to me that one of the necessary traits of a mole would be secrecy. Why in the world would Gawker blow the cover on its own mole? I question the wisdom of everyone involved in this  scheme.

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