Connect with us

News

What You Should Know About the Ozy Media Meltdown

Published

on

What You Should Know About the Ozy Media Meltdown
CEO Carlos Watson reversed his decision on shutting down the company. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images)

Many people hadn’t heard of Ozy Media until last month, when a New York Times article revealed the company’s Chief Operating Officer impersonated a YouTube executive on an investment call with Goldman Sachs and called into question the company’s business practices. 

Since then the company — a startup news organization centered around “the new and the next” that raised tens of millions from investors and attracted top talent from major publications and the BBC — has been accused of lying about its metrics, misappropriating PPP loans, and deceiving investors. It announced it was shutting down Friday. Days later, Ozy Chief Executive Officer Carlos Watson—a Goldman Sachs alum and former MSNBC anchor whose own Ozy talk show was at the center of the scandal—changed his mind during a Today Show interview. Now, it is unclear what will come next for the company, particularly as the accusations waged against Ozy and its leadership include illegal activity.

Ozy and the chaos surrounding it may be hard to unpack. We’ve broken down the key pieces of news you should be reading on the scandal and why. 

    1. Goldman Sachs, Ozy Media, and a $40 million Conference Call Gone Wrong,” The New York Times: This is the story that broke the news, and it lays out the key elements of the initial conflict. It explains COO Samir Rao’s impersonation of a YouTube executive, Ozy’s relationship with blue-chip investors, and the debate over the company’s claims about its metrics. 
    2. Carlos Watson’s Today Show Interview: This clip highlights the next major piece of the Ozy saga: Watson’s reversal of the decision to close Ozy. In this interview, Watson declares this scandal to be Ozy’s “Lazarus moment,” referencing the biblical figure who Jesus brings back to life four days after he dies. Watson also discusses why people should trust him given the company’s track record.
    3. Ozy Media’s Deepening Crisis,” Axios: This story breaks down new allegations facing Ozy that the company lied to investors about Google Ventures running their next funding round. 
    4. Ozy Media got $5.7 million in relief loans to help pay employees, but ex-staffers say they didn’t see any of it,” CNBC: This story details yet another potential scandal facing Ozy. It questions what the company did with PPP loans while employees were laid off and pay cuts. 
    5. Goldman Sachs was duped by Ozy Media more than once,” the New York Post: A look into Goldman Sachs’ relationship with Ozy, and how the company’s alleged false claims about their readership may have hurt a separate deal with Goldman. 
    6. Let me tell you what it was like to work at Ozy” The New York Times: This column features an ex-Oxy employee who was fired from the company twice (not, apparently, unusual for Ozy, and part of a story the author, Eugene S. Robinson, told on Substack a few days before). It gives insight into the inner workings of the company, its shortcomings as a business, and what he describes as a “poisonous culture.”

What You Should Know About the Ozy Media Meltdown

google news

News

Geoff Diehl demands Charlie Baker veto coronavirus spending bill over inadequate unemployment funding

Published

on

Geoff Diehl demands Charlie Baker veto coronavirus spending bill over inadequate unemployment funding

The sole major Republican candidate for governor in next year’s election is calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to veto a $4 billion coronavirus relief spending bill he says saddles billions of dollars of unemployment debt on the backs of businesses.

“There is a clear and present need to protect Massachusetts businesses — and through them, the workers they employ — from the imminent threat of higher taxes,” said Geoff Diehl, a former Whitman state representative. “For our state to allocate recently received federal funding without adequately protecting our state’s economy from potential disaster is irresponsible and must be corrected.”

Lawmakers agreed to funnel $500 million to help pay back what could amount to up to $7 billion in debt after the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund paid out a historic number of claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Business industry leaders have said a minimum contribution of $2 billion from the state is needed to relieve the burden on businesses that fund the UI account through a payroll tax.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Shelley Joseph’s appeal goes before First Circuit Court of Appeals

Published

on

Shelley Joseph’s appeal goes before First Circuit Court of Appeals

Suspended Newton Judge Shelley Joseph’s case finally went before the First Circuit appeals panel with justices questioning why she let an illegal immigrant escape from ICE agents in her court.

The panel questioned the intent behind Joseph’s actions, according to the National Law Journal. “Judicial immunity” was front and center at the hearing Monday.

“The way you laid out the case, you would say that there was no possible argument for corruption. But suppose that that is a jury issue, and the government says, ‘Actually we can and we’ll make a case of corruption.’ And so there are issues of fact, and that makes this fall into the usual category that you can never dismiss an indictment if there are issues of fact,” said Judge Sandra Lynch, the Journal reported.

No decision was announced. Joseph is trying to overturn a lower court’s denial of her appeal to have all her charges dismissed.

Joseph, still receiving her $184,000-a-year paycheck while facing a federal obstruction of justice charge, is accused of aiding an illegal immigrant’s escape from an ICE agent in her Newton district courtroom in 2018.

Retired court officer Wesley MacGregor is also facing the charge for allegedly leading the illegal immigrant through the courtroom’s lockup and exit.

The Journal reported the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has argued that Joseph and MacGregor were corrupt because the purpose of their actions was to “frustrate the ICE agent.” The feds add judicial immunity typically extends only to civil cases, not criminal ones.

In a motion filed last year, Joseph criticized an alleged “extraordinary sweetheart deal” granting immunity to the illegal immigrant’s defense attorney, who Joseph pins as the “architect and ringleader” of the plan to allow his client’s escape through the courthouse lockup.

Joseph’s motion filing also alleged claims of bias by then-U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in a Herald op-ed and television interview as well as former President Donald Trump’s public criticism of judges.

Thomas Hoopes, Joseph’s attorney, also cited in the motion 16 interviews of Todd Lyons, ICE Boston acting field director, by Herald columnist Howie Carr dating back to September 2018.

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins has been nominated by President Biden to take over at the federal court in Boston now that Lelling is gone. A vote on her appointment is now heading to the full Senate. Rollins advanced through a preliminary vote in the U.S. Senate last week.

But Republicans, most centrally Arkansas U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, are seeking to make an example out of the progressive Rollins, making her the avatar of what Cotton characterized as “pro-criminal Soros prosecutors” hell-bent on “destroying our legal system from the inside.”

google news
Continue Reading

News

Michelle Wu calls reinstatement of Boston Police officer fired over allegations of racial slurs ‘unacceptable’

Published

on

Michelle Wu calls reinstatement of Boston Police officer fired over allegations of racial slurs ‘unacceptable’

Mayor Michelle Wu is calling the reinstatement of a police officer who was accused of calling a group of Roxbury Prep students racial slurs “unacceptable” but said her hands are tied by union contract language that prevents her from intervening.

“It’s unacceptable that this officer was brought back on after the actions that were taken and that the city’s department took as well. An important part of how we are looking to contract negotiations for public safety will involve changes in policy here,” Wu told a Herald reporter, following an unrelated event at City Hall on Monday.

The Herald first reported on Friday that Officer Joseph Lynch is in the process of being reinstated following a decision in September, per a November memo from the city’s legal department obtained by the newspaper.

An arbitrator ruled that the Boston Police Department must reinstate Lynch, saying that the officer was just giving a “truthful accurate report” to school staff at the time of the alleged incident in the summer of 2019, per the memo from legal adviser Anthony Rizzo.

Lynch was fired following a BPD investigation for conduct unbecoming a department employee, unreasonable judgment, and the use of racial epithets, but the arbitrator ruled the department “did not have just cause to terminate.”

Boston Police union contracts expired in June 2020 and remain unfinished business. For the newly sworn-in Wu administration, negotiations represent an opportunity to inject unprecedented levels of police accountability and transparency in a department rife with scandal.

Wu said current contract language prevents her “from stepping in on situations where an arbitrator has made a decision.”

Union officials did not respond to questions.

The last year has exposed a police overtime abuse, covering up of allegations of child rape by former Boston Police Patrolman Association’s former president Patrick Rose and buried reports of domestic abuse by former Police Commissioner Dennis White, who was quickly appointed by former mayor Martin Walsh on his way out the door to serve as President Biden’s labor secretary in Washington.

Lawmakers in Boston and on Beacon Hill have taken steps in the past year to bring greater accountability and consequence to police forces long protected by powerful unions and the contracts they procure.

A state-run Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission will begin certifying police officers next year and decertifying those with serious disciplinary allegations deemed credible. In Boston, a Civilian Review Board charged with reviewing and recommending action on complaints will be up and running “soon,” according to Wu.

google news
Continue Reading

Trending