My short bio:

Lurker here, this is my first time posting even though I've browsed Reddit for years. I saw an AMA post asking for Jordan Belfort, "The Wolf of Wall Street." I actually read both of his books and researched him extensively before interviewing him for CNN. I talked to him for about an hour (interview link below) as well as seeing him in a seminar speak for an hour. You can ask me anything, I can tell you almost anything about him.

The interview is at and was linked this CNN US and Entertainment Homepage article:

Comments: 149 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

window528 karma

This story sounds a lot more like entertainment than news. Is CNN pretty much giving up on news reporting?

fordfischer21 karma

Actually, I did the interview before CNN approved it. I then sent it over and about a month later saw that they used it in their article. They use iReports as an archive for content they may or may not need to use, and they've used some of my stuff. My interview with Adam Kokesh was actually put on their homepage.

The reason they ultimately used my video was actually to focus on the man himself, not his value as an entertainment character. He was a really big deal, Stratton stole over a billion in total, 200 million personally by Belfort.

lolzergrush-15 karma

You seem like a really nice guy, and it's great that you had this amazing opportunity to interview someone who is now in the national spotlight. This was very enjoyable and it was neat to get such a candid talk from the central figure of such a captivating story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

...However, if you're doing an interview where you say "ahh" and "umm" three times per question, and you look like a frat boy at a career fair, you probably shouldn't start your AMA with the phrase "I contribute to CNN."

It's really going to backfire on you.

Technically what you said is a way. They did accept the tape you sent to them and put it on their website. However you are not CNN Correspondent and your phrasing makes it look like you are trying to pass yourself off as a major player at CNN, instead of a college student who happened get an interview with Jordan Belfort before this latest buzz surrounded his name. I'm not saying that's what you intended to portray, but that's how it sounds. Just giving you a heads-up, not trying to call you out on it. You just started this and it might blow up and paint you in a bad light, then again it might not, but that's my advice take it or leave it.

Good luck on finishing your bachelors at AU! Go Eagles!

thundersyke16 karma

hey asshole he said "contribute" get over yourself!

fordfischer3 karma

I actually want to add on this that if people take "contribute" to mean "correspond" that these are two different things. In news, a correspondant is an employee of the news agency who works for them on a specific topic or location. A contributor is a, sometimes paid and sometimes not (for me not) person who appears in their work or contributes content for this independently, such as myself.

fordfischer7 karma

Thanks for your comment, no offense taken. I actually did not mean to imply anything more, but I see your point. Technically, what I said is correct, to your point, and additionally verified when you consider that it's not the only one. I've been credited in two videos that were on the actual CNN homepage ( and CNN used me in this homepage article as well, they referred to me as an "iReporter." The only reason I don't say that is that, frankly, I don't think most people would just know what that means:

Regarding the "ums" that's certainly true, and something I'm trying to work on.

lolzergrush-2 karma

Give it time. No one's born a professional interviewer. You certainly have an incredible opportunity to kick-start your journalism career and I'm sure you'll get a chance to learn from top people in the industry.

You just might want to add something to clarify your position. The internet is extremely sensitive about self-promotion especially when people aren't what they seem on the first glance whether that's what you intended or not.

I recall a girl who was 21 years old and doing a gap-year project before starting graduate school, she did an AMA entitled "I am a 21-year-old neuroscience researcher..." and everyone was drawn to it because they assumed she was some sort of child prodigy who earned her PhD at 15 and became a published professor at 20. When she wasn't what people were expecting from the unintentionally-misleading title, the backlash set in.

Maybe add something like "I am a journalism student whose interview with Jordan Belfort, the 'Wolf of Wall Street', was published on CNN's web blog, iReport. AMA!". Or if you are in some sort of internship capacity, say "I am a CNN intern that interviewed Jordan Belfort AMA!" It would come across as much more sincere. The reason I'm warning you against backlash is that - the way you phrased it - at first glance readers will expect to see one of CNN's top correspondents conducting a professional studio interview, and then seeing an undergraduate on an ordinary digital camera feels like a bit of a turnaround.

fordfischer2 karma

Ironically, Piers Morgan actually interviewed him a couple months later and asked a lot of the same questions I did (although much more gracefully). I in no way would compare myself to him, but it is cool knowing I interviewed someone of that sort of importance and I try to be modest but also not humble to a fault when self-describing.

lolzergrush-2 karma

it is cool knowing I interviewed someone of that sort of importance

It is pretty amazing, you should be proud of it! I'm sure you'll back on this for years, just try not to scrutinize the little things because you did a great job and really took the opportunity to its fullest. Besides Piers Morgan is probably a more polarizing figure right now than Jordan Belfort, so it should be a measure of comfort that you'd win a popularity contest between the three of you by default. ;)

fordfischer4 karma

OH stop it you, whoever you are ;)

barriekansai-3 karma

Thanks for asking this. There's no way he'll reply, but good on you.

For reference:

Journalism = asking the questions that make the powers that be uncomfortable in an attempt to gather new information

Public Relations = forcing the answers into unwilling dupes and making celebrities out of dullards in an attempt to further the agenda of the powers that be.

It's pretty clear which CNN has become.

fordfischer3 karma

I actually had some tougher stuff to ask him, and my final question just got into that if you watched the video. I asked him if he felt money was a drug, just like the drugs and prostitutes he was physically addicted to. I actually would have pressed him further on this and I planned on asking him about his suicide attempt and guilt but he came late and we were pressed for time. Real journalism means asking tough questions, and I admit by that measure I copped out a bit. It is pretty hard sticking it to such a guy as him.

fordfischer20 karma

Fun fact by the way to those who saw the film: At the end when DiCaprio is about to start his speech with "Sell me this pen" he is introduced by a sound bridge of a guy introducing him which is shown over a shot of the prison and then cuts to him on stage introducing him. The guy introducing him is Jordan Belfort himself. This will only make sense to people watching the movie, but it's a cool cameo.

ihatetradition2 karma

thats so real! one hell of an introduction Mr Belfort!

fordfischer3 karma

ahaha yes, quite!

cochyy14 karma

What does he think of the current state of Wall Street firms in regards to illegal practices for a quick buck? Is it just part of the game?

fordfischer28 karma

Saying this from his seminar (which, I should ave clarified, was to myself and my school's accounting department primarily) he often said that crime and fudging the system is really engrained in Wall Street culture, and the trap was the illusion that everyone was doing it. He went in a normal guy, totally clean. He said that there was one case where a guy was doing insider trading and needed it in someone else's name and he'd let Belfort keep like 100k for himself. Belfort knew it was wrong but thought for that amount he'd be fine and neer do it again. A few months later, it happened again. Basically, he said that if you make that one moral compromise, you can rarely find people who turn back. Being arrested was the best thing for him, he never would have stopped while he was alive.

SupaZT13 karma

Torrenting: Everyone's doing it.

fordfischer41 karma

Exactly. One second you torrent, next second you overdose on quaaludes and do 22 months in prison.

sldorange9111 karma

"You wouldn't download a stock."

fordfischer11 karma

"You wouldn't down[load] a bottle of quaaludes!"

u238ed8 karma

Has he ever said anything about Chong (his roommate at the fed prison) -- from Cheech and Chong? Are they still friends?

fordfischer3 karma

Not to me, although I read that Chong was the guy who inspired him to write the book. Belfort told us in the seminar that when he decided he wanted to write, he read Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe's satire about a "Master of the Universe" Wall Street yuppie which he modeled his writing off of.

ThaJarseff6 karma

What was it like being in the same room? did he seem approachable? Does he still have contact with the people who worked for/with him, or his wife and daughter? Did any of the others who were portrayed in the movie also have cameos?

Thank you for answering people's questions, I think I speak for most when I say we appreciate your time.

fordfischer18 karma

Ironic that you ask about his wife and daughter; he actually also have a son who was in the book as a baby but left out of the film, and his son was with him through the whole interview. He was extremely sociable, and actually went to the same undergrad I did (American University) so he asked me if the building (Letts Hall) that I lived in was still there and asked if "the girls are still cute." Obviously since this was meant in jest, I replied that they were and he should know, with me having read his book (referencing the insane number of hookers he had been with). He then said "Sure I did, that's where he came from" pointing at his son, in the room, probably about age 14. His son seemed really unsurprised, I'm sure he's grown up hearing all about it. Jordan then mentioned his ex-wife and said that he was really harsh on her writing the books because it was a bit fresh but they have a good relationship now and shared custody of the son. He still refers to her as "The Duchess" as well.

ThaJarseff3 karma

Wow, he seems very down-to-earth all things considered. In my experience it's the people who have been through the most that are the most well-rounded, and in some cases the wisest. He seems to be making the best of his mistakes. Thank you for the response.

fordfischer11 karma

No problem! He's a bit odd but overall fairly normal. He actually said "I know, I sound pretty good for a guy who was high for a whole decade straight."

fiinn10016 karma

At least from what I saw in the movie, Jordan Belford served very little punishment for the amount he stole because he was rich. Do you think he should have served more time or been assigned to a higher security prison?

fordfischer12 karma

I was actually going to ask this of him but ran out of time. I think he deserved to do more time, but that it was ultimately more productive that he ended up doing less and taking down other crooks with him. He would have done about 30 years if he refused to help the FBI, and I'd rather know that other crooks got their licenses revoked then those guys all being free and just Belfort doing all that. And if they wanted to give him 30 years either way, he wouldn't have testified. He wasn't remorseful at all at the time, he's actually quoted as saying "It's not like I killed anybody" and it wasn't until writing the books that he really thought about his actions.

uncle_jumbo6 karma

Do you think that these 24 hour news station like CNN has hurt the American public because it seems that they're all about getting ratings and making a story that people want to hear, not what they need to hear?

fordfischer13 karma

Anchorman 2, although a mediocre movie, I'd highly recommend for its commentary on this subject. I think all news stations, CNN actually not being the worst one, are guilty of putting in stupid shit that they think (usually correctly) that people will be more interested in even if they shouldn't be. If there was a documentary made about Belfort, no news station would say a word about it. Nobody big would interview him. And the movie about his past actions doesn't change how important, or not, they were. So I think there definitely is a level of media whoredom, where they report what people will listen to, not what matters. Case in point (this is a real laugh):

uncle_jumbo0 karma

The best part of Anchorman 2 was how they made fun of the current news station.

fordfischer1 karma

"24 hours news, how ridiculous!"

eraof95 karma

At the end of the movie we had that "sell me this pen" and all the educated people were giving lol answers compared to his old friend. Is this how he feels for the MBA students etc?

fordfischer5 karma

A bit, but it's also somewhat in the hopes that people will look up what he does not, which is inspirational speaking, specifically on sales ethics and the "straight line method" of selling. Basically the method is to convince people that the product has value to them (highly summarized). He claims he used this all along, but was selling shit stocks with it that had no value.

BurkyBig4 karma

What did you think of BOILER ROOM (2000)? Did he mention that film at all? It's on IFC every day it seems now.

fordfischer3 karma

I actually haven't seen it, although I am aware of it. He didn't mention it at all and actually hasn't spoken about it in the other interviews I've seen with him.

cochyy4 karma

The movie was exaggerated, I presume. But, how accurate were the scenes where it was just him and a hooker with a candle between his ass?

fordfischer13 karma

Actually, all that stuff was super tame compared to the book. He was doing hookers like all the time, and all kinds of weird and kinky stuff. Like he often would describe them very graphically in a very objectified way, he really thought of women as a commodity. In another interview, when someone asked what his to three values used to be, he answered "Sex, power, money."

hardcorvd4 karma

After all that drug abuse and alcohol, when you interviewed him did he seem like it had affected him in any way? Also, what would be the biggest takeaway you had from the interview with him? Thanks for doing this AMA!

fordfischer4 karma

I think I was astonished by how casual and personable he was. Like I came (as you can see in the video) dressed very formally, and he came with jeans and a suit jacket and drank a red bull and ate a sandwich while talking about girls with me before his interview. As for the drugs and stuff, as I quoted in an earlier comment, he actually remarked "I know, I sounds good for a guy who was high for a decade straight!" His voice is a bit weird from it but that's about it, he's been clean for 15 years.

knownotwhat4 karma

What do you eat for breakfast on days when you're planning to do something important?

fordfischer6 karma

Funny you say that. I actually care about this. Toast with over easy or sunny side up eggs on top of it with a spicy tea.

knownotwhat1 karma

A comfortable breakfast is critical on big days, I think. Thanks for the asnwer!

fordfischer5 karma

hahah no problem. Belfort wrote in his book he would have cocaine and quaaludes brought to him on a silver platter with iced coffee. Quaalludes he liked, and cocaine balanced them out. Coffee did nothing but he just liked it. And he wouldn't eat breakfast because then the quaaludes wouldn't work as hard.

knownotwhat1 karma

What a life!

fordfischer9 karma

Breakfast of champions!

fordfischer3 karma

Come on guys, I'm still here, keep asking questions about me, Belfort, anything! =]

Swagapajamas3 karma

In the film, the office that he works in mostly at Stratton Oakmont is depicted as a massive party a lot of the time with strippers and midget throwing, how accurate is this depiction. Thanks!

fordfischer5 karma

He claims it was selectively accurate. What this meaning is that they were working hard like any other firm from 9:30 to 4 in general, and the crazy stuff happened after the ends of the day in general. The film obviously is going to spend more time on the nuts things that happened than the normal time spent trading. So nothing in the film was really false, but they left out all the time that wouldn't be fun to watch since it's a movie.

ThaJarseff3 karma

Someone mentioned in another thread that he made a statement regarding his share of the profits, and how they would go towards restitution. Is this true? did he also donate some of profits back when he originally published his books?

fordfischer7 karma

The way his restitution works is that he had to pay basically all he had on hand when the conviction happened (around 10 million) and that for the rest of his life half his income will go immediately to a restitution fund up to 100 million more. He made a million on the film alone and an unknown amount on the books, but needless to say it's another fortune. Supposedly, the gov't is mad because he has stopped paying the restitutions but meenwhile he claims that he's donated 100% of his profits from the two books and the films, and lives only off of the money from public speaking and his consulting work with other businesses. He is now a business consultant and inspirational speaker, as briefly addressed at the end of the film.

ThaJarseff1 karma

Thanks :) I appreciate the response. I think it's amazing that he's still in business at all.

fordfischer2 karma

Well, technically it's a different business. He has a lifetime ban from trading as a broker. He still trades as a normal person, like anyone can.

damionhellstrom3 karma

In your opinion, are there more Belfort's out there? I always hear people talk about this guy as if he is just one of a million and almost like the epitome of the mindset of wall street. Would you agree or is that an over simplification? Also, cheers for doing this ama.

fordfischer4 karma

Thanks! And he actually addressed this very directly in his seminar, he said "There are other Jordan Belforts out there, and people will never find all of them, or even a fraction." He said that although what he did was on a larger scale, so few people actually have the moral capacity to reject this sort of stuff if they think they won't get caught, and in most cases, they aren't.

RenegadeZach3 karma

Just look at Bernie Madoff. His was on a much larger scale of 65 billion. So ya they are out there.

fordfischer5 karma

And none of them do it thinking they'll get caught. When we were at the seminar someone asked what he'd do if he could change the SEC. He said "I'd fire all of them, they're a bunch of bozos!" Basically, these guys tend to set up huge safety nets that make it really hard to catch them, so most are probably never caught.

u238ed3 karma

What ever happened to Theresa, his first wife?

fordfischer3 karma

Actually I'm not sure. His second wife was a trophy wife, which he got post-wealth. The first wife he had was very normal, and he cheated on her and had a lot of problems which caused her to leave before shit hit the fan, and they didn't have kids. I think she generally returned to normalcy, he doesn't talk about her.

u238ed3 karma

Was he able to keep any of his offshore accounts away from the feds?

fordfischer3 karma

He had to 100% cooperate for the reduced sentence. This means disclosing all his money (to give it all up). If they found out today that he hid any of it and ever tried to recover it, it'd be bad news. So I doubt it. On paper, he gave it all up, and I think that's true, he wouldn't risk getting caught and being in deeper legal stuff that cooperation couldn't get him out of.

sirwexford3 karma

Is it true tommy Chong was the guy who encouraged him to write about his memoirs?

fordfischer3 karma

Yes, Chong was the guy who inspired him to write the book; they were cell mates in prison. Belfort told us in the seminar that when he decided he wanted to write, he read Bonfire of the Vanities from the prison library, Tom Wolfe's satire about a "Master of the Universe" Wall Street yuppie which he modeled his writing off of.

no1partyanthem3 karma

What did you make of the film?

fordfischer6 karma

Having read both books, I found it very short (funny describing a 3 hour film). They took out a lot of the heavier stuff and hardly described the crimes themselves, instead favoring the partying and drugs. But even the sex was way cut down. In every way, it felt like an abridged copy of the book. Like I give the book a solid 10 out of 10, and the movie maybe an 8. I really loved the film and probably would have more if I didn't read the book and know so much about him, but because of that it had holes for me.

filmdude32 karma


fordfischer7 karma

I think that he certainly loves this celebrity-ship a bit, as anyone might. He's remorseful not so much for the victims themselves but because he himself was a fraud. He now spends a lot of time talking about how business is to monetize value, and his regret was that he was a brilliant salesmen but used it to sell shit stocks; he created nothing, and his regret was wasting so much time and hurting people while he could have been doing something meaningful.

jdtreddit2 karma

To what extent do you believe he has changed? Because based on the seedy nature of his website and his 'Straight-Line Persuasion System', it feels like he's still scamming people.

fordfischer3 karma

Well, all self-help or business type authors/consultants are in it to make money for themselves by making it appear that they will help the customers make money. Sound like something he has experience with? People can draw their own conclusions, but I think it's fair to say that he's applying some same values he did before. The difference is that what he's giving them is, as he expresses it, actually valuable. Nobody can lose their life savings to a book on tape explaining how to sell things well.

cochyy2 karma

Does he reference the movie "Wall Street" as an inspiration? It can be argued that "Wall Street" helped surge "80's greed" as a movement among stockbrokers.

fordfischer3 karma

He mentioned it briefly in his speech, how he was inspired back then by Gordon Gekko, but very frequently he says an idol of his was Don Johnson in Miami Vice, specifically for his car and style.

Ituvia2 karma

What did he think of the movie? Did the scene where Naomi teases him without panties actually happen in real life? Is it true he has problems in the bed room area?

fordfischer4 karma

Hahahah, if for no other reason you should read the book for this scene. He very graphically describes this whole seen in the book from the helicopter to the hooker to the water to the panties thing. He spent a lot of time on this, and the film dumbs it down a bit but yes, it happened and the book makes it far more graphic. Like he spends quite a few paragraphs making sure the viewer understands JUST what he's looking at.

xenter1 karma

Is he married today? How does he party nowadays?

fordfischer1 karma

He is actually engaged although I'm not knowledgable about her; I've just seen a couple photos. I think she's a fairly normal woman, and she's traveled around the country with him joining him for premieres and stuff!

liowin1 karma

Would you like to interview Snowden?

fordfischer1 karma

Dream interview. I actually donated to the crowd-funding for a documentary coming called "Classified: The Edward Snowden Story." He's a very interesting person.

Inflatable_Hummus1 karma

Did Belfort ever express when he started to love the business world? What kept his drive so fierce and fresh? Thanks a lot for doing this AMA!!

fordfischer1 karma

Well his father was actually an honest accountant, so he had a bit of exposure like that, but it sounds like he always just had that drive in him!

eraof91 karma

if he could have gone back, what would he do different?

fordfischer2 karma

People asked this as well, generally he says he wouldn't have made that shitty first trade and he would have tried to be honest about risk/reward when selling to clients, and not insider traded etc. In a nutshell, he could have been enormously (but slightly less) rich without breaking the law.

eraof91 karma

Thanks for your responses dude:)

fordfischer1 karma

No problem! I am a student and have four classes today, but I'll try my best to keep it going!

bodycheck1 karma

Two questions Does Jordan still keep in contact with his ex coworkers? Donnie? Also are his parents still alive or? How is his relationship with them now? haven't read the book yet just saw the movie so I'm not sure if that's covered. Thanks.

fordfischer1 karma

Both his parents are alive, although his mother barely appears in his writing or discussions about anything. His father was an accountant and involved in Stratton as a financial advisor so he talks about him a lot more.

TangD1 karma

Based on the fact that Jordan is such a good salesman. Do you think a lot of the information presented in his book were false and actually done to gain popularity?

fordfischer1 karma

This is something I've considered a lot. Who knows? Maybe all his discussion of redemption is ironically just another scam. Maybe he actually is just preaching honesty because it makes him money; it'd be hard to tell. I generally think I believe him though, he's devoted so much time to preaching his "new ethics" and sales techniques that I'd have to think even if he didn't have it in him then, I really believe he does now. When I asked him if he thinks money is a drug, he maintained that money is [still] a beautiful thing [for him]. I think the takeaway is that his values of ambition are still there and his salesmanship is still there but he has more of a conscience.

deohboeh1 karma

Meeting at him without any background would you be able to say that he could be a good guy. Some people have a very strange and uncomfortable aura around them. Do you think he still might be doing fraud? Also does he use perfume?

fordfischer1 karma

I actually have a very poor sense of smell, but I didn't notice if he was wearing cologne. As far as whether he's a good guy, I think he's incredibly honest. His book leaves nothing to the imagination and he really answers any question anyone has for him. He was a real scum bag back then and it's not like he's gonna become some sort of munk now, but I think he's a fairly respectable and sociable person. That said, and to your point, he was a fairly odd person. Before the interview he was eating and his son was there and we were talking about women (he started it; he went to the same university I do actually) and at some point when I said "I read the book, I know you liked your women" he pointed at his kid and said "that's where he came from, conceived on the Nadine (their late boat)." Bad guy? Maybe not. Weird guy? Ya, up there.

darkgod1531 karma

Has any information caused any life threatening threats or just threats in general?

fordfischer1 karma

A lot of people have posted on social media a lot of hateful messages towards him but in general I don't think there were ever any attempts on his life. I personally have had a lot of people in my life who despise the fact that I so casually spoke with him because of who he is; a lot of people truly hate him.

deohboeh1 karma

Did he try to sell you anything?

fordfischer3 karma

Quaaludes. No, just kidding. But in a way, his seminar did "sell" his straight-line method of persuasion, which is elaborated on substantially in his tapes.

Say_Titty_Sprinkles1 karma

Can you make a video of you saying titty sprinkles and upload it on youtube?

fordfischer5 karma

I can, but I won't.

shootphotosnotarabs1 karma

What was the idea with selling the ice creams? It's unusual for young people to go into such ventures. Do you have any more info on that?

fordfischer2 karma

He discusses this in detail in "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street" and talked about it at our seminar. Basically, he spent a summer with a cooler selling ice cream, but then realized he could make more if he hired other kids. Over the next few years, he got like a fleet of 10 kids on a long island beach all selling ice cream and he was the head guy until they got caught and told to stop (you need a vendor's license to do that.)

Robinmn1 karma

If it's still possible quick question about jordan belfort. On his bachelor party he saw the most disgusting sexually thing ever. But he couldn't say it on the air. Do you know what it was?

Thanks on forehand

fordfischer1 karma

I don't know, but I can tell you that the specific party being referenced was on a private airplane and that there were dozens of his employees and prostitutes as well as drugs on board. Given that he was into some pretty weird sex already, my guess is that it was something completely unimaginable. I've heard it speculated that a person threw up and that this was somehow integrated into the sexual act, but I have no way to verify that claim.

Clownbaby431 karma

Are you disappointed that leo played jordan? I wished it was someone younger, shorter, more Italian, and more like Jordan. I know leo acted like him perfectly but i feel like he didn't capture his personality. Leo is too WASPy

fordfischer2 karma

Well Belfort loved Leo, but it sounded like you were asking my opinion. Honestly, Belfort is really short. He's 5' 6" and I think DiCaprio is a bit to glamourous. Danny Devito probably could have played him more realistically but as a film rather than a historical document, Leo did it better than anyone could.

Clownbaby434 karma

That's the thing. The events the movie covered movie were so accurate i feel like every aspect of the movie should have been as well. I also wish it was more dark and shady like American Psycho

fordfischer3 karma

I certainly agree with that. My main criticism was that it had a lot of the darker issues taken out. For instance, Belfort attempted suicide not long after he pushed his wife down a flight of stairs. He then spent a year in a rehab, and it was two more years before he was arrested. Also, that gangster type guy (Brad Bodnick) actually didn't "die of a heart attack" as the film said; he actually killed a police officer during an assault on his father for drug money.

The movie switches up the order of events and removes some stuff in order to remove a lot of the grimmer aspects of the story. When people criticize it as a condonation of that sort of lifestyle, I still disagree but it's a lot closer to that in the film than the book.

Clownbaby432 karma

Agreed man. It was basically a comedy to everyone. Which i didn't think so. I thought it was a sad movie.

fordfischer3 karma

Right, it definitely could/should have been a bit darker and less of an "audience pleaser."

strangeremain-1 karma

Hi Ford, it's Jes. Quick question, how does it feel to sell your soul to CNN? Follow-up Question, did you have a soul to begin with?

fordfischer4 karma

Hi Jes, it's Ford. Your question presupposes I sold them my soul. I did not. I always had and have a soul, but I rent it to them when I work on projects.

ncsarge3 karma

"but I rent it to them when I work on projects" you are one clever son of a bitch

fordfischer1 karma

hahah thanks, I appreciate it!

heyheythroemaway-1 karma

Would you qualify your style as Fluff or Gonzo?

fordfischer4 karma


heyheythroemaway3 karma

Barbara Walters or Hunter Thompson?

fordfischer2 karma


Middlerun-2 karma

Would Jordan Belfort rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

fordfischer5 karma

I have no idea. But he values power even as just one man, so I'd assume he'd want to be that one big duck. His Strattonites would be the 100 little organisms.

oldspice75-3 karma

It's silly that people care about some guy who ran a bucket shop in the 80s. Not exactly an amazing story there.

fordfischer5 karma

I think, as he does, that his story is really important to hear about so they can learn from his mistakes. Most people who did the shit he did are in prison forever and never share their story, dead, or never caught. As someone so open about his wrong-doing, my opinion was that there's a lot to learn about the nature of greed and addiction, particularly on Wall Street.

oldspice756 karma

"Open about his wrong-doing" means fame whore in this case. Obscurity is where it belongs. Penny stock marketing fraud isn't the defining issue in present-day Wall Street either. And "the nature of greed" is pretty damn obvious and self explanatory, while addiction is a bs/cop-out explanation for this type of thing. I don't think it's a very notable or relevant story.

fordfischer3 karma

I definitely see those points. For me, the distinction is that he (while some people may debate this) outwardly abhors his previous actions. He expresses huge guilt and (he claims) donates all the profits from media related to his former life to the restitution fund. It's also notable for those victims. Most of them weren't poor but not ultra-rich either, a lot of generally upper middle class people lost entire retirement funds.

Captcha_Imagination2 karma

The overarching story I think is the lack of regulation in the USA that allows this kind of player to be created. I can't speak for other first world countries but I can tell you that a Jordan Belfort could not have happened in Canada on that scale.

The right wing has bought Wall Street's line that regulations are a monkey wrench in the gear of economic progress hook line and sinker. In reality the overhead created by regulation is nothing compared to financial monsters fleecing the public.

fordfischer6 karma

He expressed the way he was able to be caught as an issue of how insanely well these things were hidden. He was breaking every SEC law. More regulation would have made no difference, less regulation also wouldn't really have made a difference. The problem was two fold: A) (most people don't get this) the SEC can only file civil suit, while the FBI can put people in jail. Jordan actually was sued by SEC and he paid 3 million and agreed to leave the business for life, which he did. FBI can try people criminally, but that required them to go through way more hoops to build a case. Jordan was out of the business for 3 years before he was arrested. B) So many people were there trying to protect him. The issue was that nobody was willing to testify, which is why it took so long to make an arrest even though they knew what was going on. This is a matter of inefficient policing and overly efficient hiding of criminal activity.

the_slunk-3 karma

Why did CNN lose half of its viewership?

fordfischer2 karma

Source? I'm not sure what you mean?

the_slunk-4 karma

I'm not sure what you mean

I'm sure you do.

fordfischer3 karma

Ok, well I have no insight on this that the rest of the internet can't offer...

the_slunk-4 karma

Fair enough.

I beg one follow-up question:

Do you think your massive losses in viewership over the past several years are the result of people being turned off by your "crossfire" approach to journalism?

Reason I ask: I monitor CNN a good deal of the time, and the paradigm now is throw a topic out there then have two shills from left/right argue about it. It's the same shills over and over again, too. I see this as lazy journalism. And incendiary. Fanning the fires of discontent just for ratings. Tabloid.

How do you respond to this daily CNN viewer's observations and opinion of your content these days?

p.s. I do think Tapper's really on the ball, though. Good hire there. Great interviewer. He's the most credible voice on your network at this time.

fordfischer4 karma

I'd iterate for the record that I am not a CNN employee; rather a contributor who has worked on/contributed to a number of stories over the last year, so I can't give an extremely expansive opinion on this. However, from where I sit I like the fact that they provide both all sides of the issues, even when that yields on-screen conflict, because it means that viewers can make opinions for themselves. I don't identify closely with either major political party and find that Fox represents only a small number of my beliefs and same with MSNBC. By contrast, CNN may be slightly middle-left but generally gives each side a fair shake, representing a spectrum of opinions as opposed to creating a groupthink style atmosphere which MSNBC and FOX are equally guilty of on opposite sides of that spectrum. As an example, my interview with Adam Kokesh, a noted anarcho-libertarian was featured on their homepage. He represents neither side of the traditional political spectrum.

the_slunk-6 karma

I appreciate that you wish to continue your financially-beneficial association with Time/Warner. I do not appreciate, however, your doing an AMA when you so obviously are merely shilling for Time/Warner, not answering questions honestly.

fordfischer3 karma

I do not have any financial relationship with CNN at this time. All of my contributions were via iReport originally and some are used in other content but originally through the iReport engine, where you grant them, for free, the right to non-exclusively use your content in any way shape or form. There's nothing un-genuine that I've said anywhere on this thread...

the_slunk-6 karma

You implied earlier that the crossfire approach just allows for both sides of the argument when in actuality it just features both sides (often ruidely) arguing. If CNN wanted to provide both sides of the argument, they would simply allow either side to present their argument without interruption or this tabloid "crossfire 24/7" nonsense.

If you're not here shilling for Time/Warner, y u plug CNN in the title of your AMA?

fordfischer3 karma

I disagree with your statement at the top there, but you're entitled to your opinion and since you didn't ask a question I don't think I need to respond to it. I'm curious though, what's your news station of choice?

And I'm not plugging CNN to support them; I used their name (Accurately) relative to me to explain my significance for the AMA.