Crypto journalist Tiffany Fong railed against The Daily Mail and The New York Post this week for their reporting on her recent meeting with beleaguered FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, calling the right-leaning tabloids “pretty gross” for “sexualizing” her in their coverage.
Fong confirmed on Wednesday that she met with Bankman-Fried on Tuesday night at his parents’ home. The one-time crypto king, who was charged this month on multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, is currently under house arrest after posting a massive $250 million bond and is scheduled to enter a plea next week in a Manhattan federal court.
Fong, who had previously been able to get Bankman-Fried to open up to her about his political donations and polyamorous lifestyle, provided some details of her conversation with the disgraced ex-billionaire to both the Post and Mail. At the same time, she noted that her interview with Bankman-Fried was all business.
When the Post’s article came out on Wednesday, however, Fong was incensed with how her meeting with Bankman-Fried was framed. She specifically took issue with innuendoes within the article, including suggestions that she had a relationship with the alleged fraudster along with the inclusion of photos of her in a bikini.
“FTX bad boy Sam Bankman-Fried’s cushy house arrest was brightened up Tuesday by a visit from a sexy single crypto influencer who said he seemed ‘surprisingly optimistic’ ahead of his trial on multiple fraud charges, The Post has learned,” the article began.
She later tweeted that she “obviously was not wearing a bikini” during her meeting with Bankman-Fried, adding that the Post had acted “pretty gross” since it “decided to creep thru old pics” of her Instagram.
On Thursday afternoon, Fong shared that a Mail reporter had reached out to her and noted that she was “not happy with the pic used by the New York Post.” The reporter also emailed her that “it would get under their skin if you gave us an exclusive that they don’t have on your meeting with SBF.”
“As soon as I offered a sliver of commentary in response to their questions, @DailyMail immediately switched their photo of me to a bikini photo,” she tweeted, adding the “face vomiting” emoji.
Fong shared some of her email exchanges with the reporter along with screenshots of the Mail’s article at different times. One featured image was just her headshot alongside Bankman-Fried outside the Manhattan courthouse. The other screenshot of the article had her original photo switched out for an Instagram picture of her in a bikini. (In fact, the Mail’s piece includes several photos of her in a swimsuit.)
Hours later, Fong noted the Mail had finally removed the bikini image. She further posted an email from the tabloid’s reporter complaining about how she “dragged” him on Twitter because “I had 100 percent nothing to do with a bikini pic being used.”
Ultimately, Fong wondered why another recent Bankman-Fried visitor wasn’t being subjected to the same insinuations for his meeting with the former FTX chief as she was.
“Michael Lewis actually ‘spent several hours’ with Sam Bankman-Fried before I did,” she said, referencing the acclaimed The Big Short author. “Is Michael Lewis being sexualized & bombarded with questions about whether or not they ‘banged’?”
When reached for comment, Fong told The Daily Beast, “I don’t have a ton to add” outside of her tweets, adding that she’s “trying not to give much more commentary on the situation.” The Mail and the Post did not immediately respond to requests for comment.