Article: Flames Flare Over Naked Shorts

Article - Media

Flames Flare Over Naked Shorts

Dan Mitchell

New York Times, 20 January 2007

UNSUSPECTING readers of certain stock message boards may be forgiven for believing they have stumbled into a flame war among 14-year-old boys. But the increasingly vicious online dispute actually involves, among others, the chief executive of a publicly traded corporation and a longtime business journalist.

The chief executive is Patrick Byrne, who in recent years has taken to asserting that a vast conspiracy of securities traders, journalists and government officials is bent on bringing down the stock of his company, Overstock.com, a peddler of excess inventory. The journalist is Gary Weiss, the author and former BusinessWeek reporter who has made a second career out of ridiculing Mr. Byrne on his blog (garyweiss.blogspot.com).

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