The fact that Dan Dorfman has joined the New York Sun says a lot about both his fortunes and the paper's. Dorfman was, from the late 80s through the mid-90s, one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. Numerous articles from the time testify to his ability to move the market simply by repeating a rumor he had heard, and he heard a lot of rumors. His move from CNN's 'Moneyline' to CNBC's 'Market Wheel' made headlines and he wrote columns for USA Today, Money magazine, and syndication, the Money gig alone paying him $450,000 per year. And then there was his popular series of videos
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But it all started to crash around October 1995, when Business Week informed readers that the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York was investigating Dorfman's relationship with a stock promoter who was a regular tip source of Dorfman's. The promoter, Donald Kessler, and Dorfman were suspected of possible illegal insider trading, wire and mail fraud, and violations of securities laws according to Business Week. The feds also wanted to know if Kessler was giving Dorfman a cut of the money Kessler was being paid by corporate executives to introduce them to Dorfman. (The best story in the Business Week article: the CEO of a chain of porn shops paid Kessler ten grand to introduce him to Dorfman, who “Not long after” wrote a USA Today column praising the porno chain’s, as Business Week put it, “optimistic growth plans.” Yeah, I got yer growth plans.)
Business Week followed up with another article on December 11, 1995, and although he was never charged with anything, Dorfman’s fall was cemented. Early in 1996 he was canned from Money for refusing to tell his editors who his unnamed sources were, and in May 1996 Dorfman suffered a stroke, which led to the end of his appearances on CNBC; CNBC then let his contract quietly expire.
Then, in 1999, Dorfman reappeared with a column on JagNotes.com, an online financial information provider. This was to be Dorfman’s return to prominence; unfortunately, one Warren Harrison, who had previously been a fairly regularly cited source of Dorfman’s, claimed that it had been his idea to have Dorfman write a finance column for a website. So, Harrison sued
poor Dorfman, claiming that Dorfman took Harrison’s idea to JagNotes. As you can see from the court ruling linked to above, Dorfman’s motion to dismiss the suit was denied; no resolution to this matter has been located by Like Father Like Sun, but we reckon it didn’t go Dorfman’s way. Why? Because nothing else seems to. The most recent reference to Dorfman’s JagNotes.com column we could find was a November 2000 Business Wire, suggesting he lost the gig sometime but not too much later; the fact that his departure went unrecognized by the press speaks volumes as to how far this once mighty individual has fallen. (In the meantime, JagNotes doesn’t seem to be doing so well either. In January 2002 a deal to sell 50.1% interest in the company fell through when its suitor backed out. That suitor was the parent company of the New York strip joint Scores. When the strippers don’t even want you. . . .)
And 2002 finds Dan at the New York Sun. The man who was “easily the most influential financial writer in America” (Christopher Byron, TheStreet.com, 4/99) is now working for a paper which manages to sell about three ads per issue. Of course, you can’t blame Dan; he is probably just happy to have work, while Seth Lipsky
gets to add another name writer past his prime. Lipsky has already snagged the cast-offs Wallace Matthews, Jack Newfield, and Jerry Capeci (more on Capeci, a Daily News veteran, when we get a chance). This time, Seth just happens to have snagged a disgraced 70 year old stroke victim. Well done sir!
Coming soon, a Like Father Like Sun tribute to the New York Sun’s latest disgrace, Dan “fired from Money magazine” Dorfman
!! Yes, Dan “investigated for insider trading (but of course never charged)” Dorfman
In the meantime, you can bet your ass where we’ll be tonight
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Our coverage this week is likely to be a bit sporadic. Pretty much everyone at Like Father Like Sun will be spending part or all of the next few days at the Illinois State Fair
. Still, we will try and make entries when possible. Tonight we're gonna get our Christ on with Kirk Franklin at the Grandstand; before the show, we are hoping to check out the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation show- - -King Kong Bundy is supposed to be there, and we cannot miss the opportunity to see the Man in the flesh.