How Fraudsters Become Heroes (ft. Fyre Fest, Theranos, Martin Shkreli)

  • Published: 25 May 2019
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    With multiple documentaries about Fyre Festival, 2 feature films in development about Elizabeth Holmes, and HBO creating a new documentary about fake heiress Anna Delvey, our culture has become obsessed with morally dubious scammers. We love to hate to love to learn about these people, and of course we're here to ask: why?

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    Written by: Amanda Scherker
    Directed by: Michael Luxemburg
    Hosted by: Jared Bauer
    Edited by: Mark Potts
    Motion Graphics by: Drew Levin
    Produced by: Emily Dunbar

    © 2019 Wisecrack, Inc.

Comments • 2 286

  • Snagabott
    Snagabott  1 days back

    Worcester sauce.

    • becky doesit
      becky doesit  2 days back

      When I was nine I found a magazine that I believed featured pornography for women. I had thought it was the women's equivalent to Playboy, or Hustler. I found it in a dumpster where I would look for discarded items to throw into my neighbor's yard. But anyway, flipping through this "magazine" I found a photo essay on some nice twin blonde young men who were photographed together engaging in some hilarious and fun behavior. One twin put the other's penis in a hotdog bun, complete with yellow mustard on top, and pretended to take a bite. Lots of things like this. But one vignette featured the two twins in a position that found one on the other's back, both smiling, eyes on the camera. Sidebar photos revealed a closer look where the twin's penis, who was on top, was midway into the other twin's butthole. "Wow"I thought. "That's kinda gay" I just assumed that they ran out of ideas and this was the next logical step that they took, not wanting to disappoint the photographer. Later in life I would learn this magazine was for men who liked to do that kind of thing. I didn't really know what gay or homosexual was. Anyway, I'm putting things from my childhood together and I would love to find this magazine. I believe it was called Blue Boy and featured the twins on the cover buttfucking.

      • saylor_twift
        saylor_twift  2 days back

        I doubt it has anything to do with moral catharsis. These people are just way smarter and more charismatic than the average person and people want to understand how they did what they did. Morals don't play into it. Everyone agrees that what they did was wrong but the way they did it is extremely cunning. That's the fascinating part.

        • Ryan H.
          Ryan H.  2 days back

          Martin Shkreli has 3, 20 hour college level courses in Finance, Investing, and Chemistry, for free. He also got arrested for securities fraud and was prosecuted by the district attorney instead of the SEC.. This type of prosecution has zero precedent in the U.S. because it is almost impossible to properly inform a jury on the facts of a case that involves the highly complex and non-intuitive system that is securities law. This often results in the jury not being able to make an accurate or well informed decision. This is why almost every single case of securities fraud is handled by the SEC and a fine is handed out instead of jail time. There is no way that his prosecution wasn’t politically motivated; probably bordering malicious prosecution.

          • sherlockinsomniac
            sherlockinsomniac  5 days back

            Im so distracted... Jared looks like he has jaundice or something. Why is he yellowish orange? Is it the lighting? I dunno..

            • Meadow Song
              Meadow Song  5 days back

              … maybe as a Canadian, I do not see things the same way … but I find such people to be deplorable. I also find the ones who fell for some of their schemes to be vainglorious and superficial. There is nothing to like here and that they will make tons of money off of book and movie deals is just disgusting. I would never read such books or watch such movies. It only feeds into their egos and I will not have a hand in that. All I hope for is that they get long jail sentences that are not shortened by early parole. I do not like con artists at all. Whether they be small time operators or bit time headline worthy dipshits. These people hurt others and do so for completely selfish reasons. If the American dream is to be a billionaire, it is a twisted dream. My dream is to be happy at home and at work. I have achieved the latter, and I aim to achieve the former. I do not think money is the key to that.

              PS I do think that the corrupt members of government are cut of the same cloth as these parasites. All who cheat the system for their own gain are just parasites. From the fake beggars in the streets to the ones who sit in the white house. (I do not mean just Trump, he is far from being the only inept president to sit there, and other nations face the same problem, including my own country) Everyone of them hurts the collective and only slow us down in our march forward to collective happiness. To celebrate these people is erroneous at best.

              Anyways, that is my thought on the subject.

              • PabloCruise91
                PabloCruise91  6 days back

                The Theranos lady looks straight out of a scary movie. Her voice, her crazy eyes...

                • LethalBubbles
                  LethalBubbles  1 weeks back

                  The fake socialite is not as bad as the others. Those medical problems almost certainly killed people.

                  • montecristo1845
                    montecristo1845  1 weeks back

                    Typical scam scenario:

                    Poor and average income people get ripped off.
                    Government: Well, that’s on you. Buyer beware.
                    Rich and influential people get ripped off.
                    Government: Whoa! What the hell? This is an outrage! We’ve got to do something!

                    • unclejoeoakland
                      unclejoeoakland  4 days back

                      Well, property rights are jealously guarded by the US government and always have- including the property rights entailed to the ownership of slaves and weapons.

                  • TheSelfishMicrostate
                    TheSelfishMicrostate  1 weeks back

                    I'd marry Elizabeth Holmes - beautiful and genius, IDK if she is a "scammer" - she is good at it whatever you call it that she does. xxoo

                    • CryptoNugs _dot_club
                      CryptoNugs _dot_club  1 weeks back

                      Morality is not subjective.

                      • President Long Boi
                        President Long Boi  1 weeks back

                        I really wish this guy would get a haircut...

                        • sor3999
                          sor3999  2 weeks back

                          Betsy Davos and Rupurt Murdock lost money? Boo hoo.

                          • George Lime
                            George Lime  2 weeks back

                            I'm Projared

                            • kyakya
                              kyakya  2 weeks back

                              C'mon man. Not EVERY significant amount of money can be a COOL significant amount of money.. let's broaden the spectrum a bit

                              • John James
                                John James  2 weeks back

                                this is one of the better-written episodes, though i think your points will hit just fine if you stop using 'literally' so much.

                                • TheDuck
                                  TheDuck  2 weeks back

                                  Holmes experimented on children. She needs to be executed.

                                  • Dustin Bannister Cropduster

                                    A folk devil that makes you feel like a folk hero.

                                    • Enderstudy
                                      Enderstudy  2 weeks back

                                      For these particular scammers it's more of a new-age thing that they're quietly admired, imo it's a new branch of the same kind of quiet admiration that'd make you hear about something like the Hatton Garden robbery and think "ooft, go on you absolute madlads" and made you quietly go "aw dammit" when they got caught

                                      • Ntig Dona
                                        Ntig Dona  2 weeks back

                                        i love scamers just enough not to pants them before having them be democraticaly stabed in he back... case and point, i don't and you better work extra hard to prove that here are people who do! no, robin hood doesn't count!

                                        you kind of donhave to watch the video to find out if you like it, so the fact that someone is watching your videon isn't proff they aleady like it! further more, which is they partnpeople like, the scamers or the fact that the scamers were cought and jailed, and should be forced to stay there?

                                        two wrongs don't make a right! moral facts are real! its not a choise between god and bad, its a choise between:
                                        the best home made meal, an average home made meal, my home made meal, food in a dumpster, mc donalds, cigaretes, moldy food etc...
                                        just because a doctor amputating you saves your life doesn't mean hacking of your limbs is good or nuetural, it makes it a nessacery -evil- medical procedure! just because the building was saved from a suicide bombing doesn't mean shooting him is now good or nuetral, just nessacery!

                                        • P.
                                          P.  2 weeks back

                                          They’re a bunch of motherfolkers.

                                          • Les Plus Belle Choses Dans Le Monde

                                            I have to admit that the documentary about Jan Lewan is a guilty pleasure.

                                            • Bart Nesmith
                                              Bart Nesmith  2 weeks back

                                              But are there laws when drinking claws? is this A moral?

                                              • Dillyn
                                                Dillyn  2 weeks back

                                                Martin Shkreli has the strangest looking nose I have ever seen.

                                                • SharktopusMilk
                                                  SharktopusMilk  2 weeks back

                                                  You’ve clearly never worn crocs. They’re saving humanity one foot at a time. The comfort and support make their appearance irrelevant.

                                                  • Generally Jotay
                                                    Generally Jotay  2 weeks back

                                                    Frye festival was amazing. It showed how many of the well off would decent into chaos at the slightest discomfort. No actual class to them. Theron is shows how bogus VC investment is; the anti- intellectualism of it as “rebellion”. Skrelli is literally healthcare ; how much to live? And that last girl just laughs at the idea of your credit score like most influencers do. I’m actually disappointed that she didn’t get further; Liz made a few billion proving her point about your faves.

                                                    • Syed Shah Nawaz Ali
                                                      Syed Shah Nawaz Ali  2 weeks back

                                                      In India we had same situation in 90s. But net result of glorifying the fraudsters and letting them get away is mass poverty, unemployment, national loot, social divide, hate, climate change. In short the whole planet is headed towards destruction.

                                                      You think companies like Amazon, Facebook, Chevron etc are legitimate companies?

                                                      You are fooling yourselves. They loot whole nations, screwed democracy and globalization to meet their own selfish needs. They bring climate change because they over exploit Earth's resources, they help rise of right wing that suppresses free thought so that no one questions the shady politicians they corporates help set up. They suppress education so that people remain dumb and never question the governments.

                                                      Only fools make fraudsters their hero. Criminals only hurt you that is why they use to be in jail. Now we made them our leaders so they are putting ordinary folks into jails.

                                                      • Dwan Pol
                                                        Dwan Pol  2 weeks back

                                                        There is nothing to admire about these people, I think any interest in in them is as a cautionary tale, since we only hear about them as they fall. It is schadenfreude, pure and simple.

                                                        • Everdeep Naga II
                                                          Everdeep Naga II  2 weeks back

                                                          Not to be that guy turns things everything to a race war, but imagine if they weren't white and did the same things

                                                          • M U
                                                            M U  2 weeks back

                                                            You don't have to imagine. Ja Rule was also in Fyre Fest, and he is walking free like he did nothing

                                                        • Nathaniel Smith
                                                          Nathaniel Smith  3 weeks back

                                                          1:47 - with full acknowledgement that billy was a scam artist who embezzled millions of dollars, how exactly was magnesis different than an Amex platinum card that gets you into lounges? Douchier, sure. Conman-in-chief at the helm, sure. “Fake”? Not really...

                                                          • Никита
                                                            Никита  3 weeks back

                                                            By far, this is the best episode of Wisecrack I ever watched

                                                            • Blah Anger
                                                              Blah Anger  3 weeks back

                                                              You only get scammed if you want to be.

                                                              • kellyloganme
                                                                kellyloganme  3 weeks back

                                                                What if the fascination is based on some intuitive realization that the *only* way anyone beginners rich is to steal from everyone else? Given so many types of theft from society are legal or largely unenforced like sucking profits from production increases to the top as instead of distributing them to the workers responsible for creating them, using political power to preserve wealth at the top while demanding more from everyone else and all the rest of the 'socialism for the wealthy, hard market consequences for the rest' world we see every day. Without these 'bad apples' a very simple conclusion is that there are _no_ good m/billionaires, a conclusion that the vast majority of media tells us us constantly we should not even consider because it is unfair, unrealistic, and probably a plot by (fill in current folk 😈 here).
                                                                I think you had the main elements of this in your piece, the social pressure to be 'fair', the avoiding of subjects that misinforming media make 'controversial', the wide spread corruption that is so large it can operate in degrees too small for individuals to easily see and judge, etc. Maybe the "confusion" was just the last vestige of that trained reflex to be 'fair' to rich people that you haven't quite let go of yet. That's what it sounded like to me when you still characterised the drug industry, known for decades to be incredibly corrupt and greedy, as *probably* greedy thieves. Just a thought. 😁

                                                                • Daniel Richer
                                                                  Daniel Richer  3 weeks back

                                                                  If you actually have to ask these questions, you may want to reconsider your own moral fiber. I just unsubscribed from this channel after watching this video. Suck it, Wisecrack!

                                                                  • ciaran dolan
                                                                    ciaran dolan  3 weeks back

                                                                    id argue the folk hero's of capitalism were the social bandits of the last 300 years like the prohibition and depression era gangsters with gangland ethics or the old west outlaws making a quick buck off of douchebag owned mines, stores, trains and banks or the earlier part legitimate rebels part pure thief's that were the highwaymen and pirates of the 16 and 1700s

                                                                    • JaneEshqua
                                                                      JaneEshqua  3 weeks back

                                                                      Only in USA

                                                                      • JaneEshqua
                                                                        JaneEshqua  3 weeks back

                                                                        Doug is cool

                                                                        • iTz Olie
                                                                          iTz Olie  3 weeks back

                                                                          If one person had the power to kill indiscriminately and the power to all knowingly judge someone’s morals based on the well being of all others, then the world would have its salvation. Oh wait.. I’m describing god, yeah I guess that’s just further proof god is a myth.

                                                                          • Hunter Makoy
                                                                            Hunter Makoy  3 weeks back

                                                                            It’s amazing how millennials are the worst on materialism

                                                                            • Javier castillo
                                                                              Javier castillo  3 weeks back

                                                                              Great piece! Thanks!!

                                                                              • Ina Fitable
                                                                                Ina Fitable  3 weeks back

                                                                                anyone who respects kissinger et al should get their heads checked out

                                                                                • MelPlays
                                                                                  MelPlays  3 weeks back

                                                                                  It's easy to make fun of the people who went to fyre, but keep in mind that there were different tiers of tickets and one of the main issues for failure was the price was actually way too low. Most people got the early bird ticket which was around 500$. A lot for a music festival. Not a lot for a 1 week vacation in the bahamas AND a music festival.
                                                                                  so yeah, blame should be placed solely on Mcfarlane and the people who promoted this event even while it was literally crumbling under everyone's feet, and not the people who were promised a product and basically fucked over hard core. I recommend the actual documentary, it was very interesting.

                                                                                  • D.C
                                                                                    D.C  3 weeks back

                                                                                    They are just losers, not heroes, not villains, just losers, real success is long term ans sustainable.

                                                                                    • anthrogend
                                                                                      anthrogend  3 weeks back

                                                                                      Jared got one thing wrong. Drowning someone in a pool of jello is not a punishment, it's a reward.

                                                                                      • nazi_killer
                                                                                        nazi_killer  3 weeks back

                                                                                        The Fyre fest guy is a douche. its just funny bc of the spectacle of the whole event. Shkreli is also a conniving douchebag, for scamming people who actually have something to lose. same w the blood lady. The person who tricked the banks and whatnot into lending her money is just funny though, like again rich people getting hurt won't get my tears

                                                                                        • Alex Hines
                                                                                          Alex Hines  3 weeks back

                                                                                          Cultural degeneracy is caused by Western moral degredation.

                                                                                          • Cozzi
                                                                                            Cozzi  4 weeks back

                                                                                            "Eating chili in the prison mess hall"
                                                                                            This man knows nothing of prison food. lol

                                                                                            • RAN Quyet Thang T
                                                                                              RAN Quyet Thang T  4 weeks back

                                                                                              Maybe people like Fyre Festival because they like the vanity of the social influencers, people like Theranos because they want the "disrupters" to wag a middle finger to the big corp, as a "give it to the man" moment, and people like Martin Shkreli because, ugh, I have no idea there are people who like Martin Shkreli.
                                                                                              I don't think these have enough in common to put them all into a group.