My weekend is ruined and I'm absolutely gutted. And it's all because of the shameless deterioration of journalistic practices at the WSJ. They've robbed me of a career-defining spotlight article, but they've also shattered the dreams of a young journalist. Here's what happened.
It all started last week when Rans Evans, a journalist for the WSJ, reached out to me about an article he was writing about NFTs and generative art.
As always, I'm skeptical of people who reach out to me cold, but I did some research on Rans, and everything seemed to check out! Evidently he's a prolific sports journalist, an intern at the WSJ, a recent college grad, and a fierce advocate of mental health.
He even posted what appears to be his Botswanan identification card with his pre-Americanized name. I have to admire the hustle of someone who moves to a different country to follow their dreams of becoming a journalist with the WSJ.
He sent me some profound and hard-hitting questions, which showed me what a skilled journalist he is. I could tell right away that, with his cutting insight, this was going to be a good article.
We switched our communications to WhatsApp, at which point we agreed that WSJ readers would be more interested in reading a dedicated feature of my work.
And soon enough, the article was written! It came out really great, and I was pleased to see that it would be published in the WSJ's Future of Everything series on 12/2!
All I needed to do was sign a bit of paperwork, and we'd be good to go!
I had a little trouble downloading the attachment they sent me ("Request to Sign Agreement for Quotation in Published Article.docx"), so I just recreated it as closely as I could and exported it as a PDF.
Over the next couple days we continued to bond over my art, movies, and our mutual good fortune.
I was particularly excited for this article in the WSJ. Ever since Frank Chaparro ghosted me on my big article in The Block, I've been desperately craving mainstream media attention. This was my time to shine, and nothing would stand in my way.
In fact, it's been almost 12 years to the day since I was last mentioned in the WSJ, previously for my insight on the risk-return tradeoff of using leverage in high income closed end funds. But 12 years is a long time, so I figured I was overdue.
But alas, I woke up this morning to some devastating news -- someone BRIBED the editorial board to pull the article!
Rans was clearly distraught with this news, and was desperate for help. He got some help from his family and sent me an emotional video pleading for me to help as well.
Normally I wouldn't engage with such deplorable business practices, but this article was clearly more important to him than it was to me. I couldn't sit idly by and let a nefarious media conglomerate completely shatter a young man's career aspirations. So I sent some help.
But sadly, as you can see, Rans was too overcome with emotion to think clearly. We missed the deadline. The disappointment of not appearing in the WSJ today is one thing, but their blatant show of corruption is another thing entirely.
Frankly, what they did is disgusting. It's a shame that they were willing to absolutely destroy their journalistic credibility for a few thousand dollars. I, for one, will be terminating my WSJ subscription immediately.
Following my post, Rans was clearly not thinking straight due to all the stress.
I suspect that the WSJ put pressure on Rans to kill the story.
Never give up, Rans!