Crypto journalist Tiffany Fong says she’s received a wave of “gross” sexist coverage in the media after she visited FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who is on house arrest while he’s being prosecuted for wire fraud and money laundering.
Outlets including the Daily Mail and New York Post have focused on Ms Fong’s appearance and gender in their coverage, with the latter running a random photo of Ms Fong in a skimpy outfit with their story, which described her as a “sexy single crypto influencer.”
In a series of Twitter posts, Ms Fong highlighted what she saw as the inappropriate coverage of her conversation with the FTX founder.
She also pointed out how financial journalist Michael Lewis reportedly visited Mr Bankman-Fried but wasn’t subjected to the same insinuations.
“Michael Lewis actually ‘spent several hours’ with Sam Bankman-Fried before I did,” she added on Thursday. “Is Michael Lewis being sexualized & bombarded with questions about whether or not they ‘banged’?”
Ms Fong also alleged that a Daily Mail reporter reached out to her, noted her displeasure with the Post’s coverage, and said it would “get under their skin if you gave us an exclusive,” only for the Mail to later run a photo of her in a bikini in its article on the visit before eventually taking it down.
(In a subsequent post, Ms Fong included an email from Mail reporter Paul Farrell, where he allegedly said, “I had 100 per cent nothing to do with a bikini pic being used in the article. It was done literally while I was asleep by someone on the day shift. I should have given a note to someone letting them know about the circumstances of what I said in my original message to you but that DOES NOT make me a creep.”
The Independent has contacted the New York Post and Daily Mail for comment.
Fellow tech reporters spoke out about the misogynistic slant of the coverage towards Ms Fond, who regularly makes YouTube videos about crypto news and has nearly 20,000 subscribers.
“The misogyny Tiffany Fong is facing from the tabloid media is really gross. She interviews SBF, and they run bikini photos of her and imply she had some sort of fling with him,” Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz wrote on Twitter.
“It’s intentionally sexualizing and dismissing her bc she’s a woman [and] has gotten big scoops while tirelessly covering FTX. She’s respected by mainstream tech/finance journalists at WaPo, NYT, etc. What she does is journalism, but because she’s a young woman (& using the internet to reach her audience) this is how the media treats her.”
Mr Bankman-Fried, one of the founders of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was indicted this month on fraud and money laundering charges, after allegedly diverting investor money to fund a lavish lifestyle and to make risky investments in cryptocurrency.