I don’t know what U.S. Rep. Becca Balint did to so mightily offend the journalistic nabobs at VTDigger and Seven Days, but our two most prominent political media outlets seem bound and determined to lash her tightly to disgraced crypto king (and long-lost Fourth Stooge) Sam Bankman-Fried. Hell, they’ve probably started pre-writing her obituary with the headline “Balint, Beneficiary of Fraudulent Crypto Bro Wealth and Vermont’s First Woman in Congress, Dies at [insert age here].”
Digger’s been at this for a while now. Every time there’s a fresh development in the downfall of Bankman-Fried, Digger’s political team cranks out a story that reports said development and fills out the space by recapping all the old stuff about his million-dollar donation to a political action committee that then spent it in support of Balint, and hinting at a deeper relationship between the two.
It’s a nice way to fill the news hole, but c’mon.
Digger’s latest breathless retelling of the same old story refers to Bankman-Fried as “Balint’s $1 Million Benefactor,” which is about the most sinister possible way to characterize the situation. “Benefactor” implies two very untrue things: That the two had some sort of undisclosed relationship, and that he straight-up gave her a big bag of cash.
In truth, Bankman-Fried gave a bunch of money to the Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports LGBTQ+ candidates. The Victory Fund then spent it, almost certainly at SBF’s behest, on a last-minute ad blitz supporting Balint’s bid for Congress.
And no matter how long our political media keep chewing on that dry old bone, they can’t prove that Balint knew about any of this, that she’d made a deal of some kind with SBF, or that the money made any significant difference in Balint’s primary win over then-lieutenant governor Molly Gray. They continue to hint at it whenever they can, but that’s as far as they can get.Continue reading