The wildest thing about the Theranos doc is that people are like HOW could this YOUNG GRIFTER have FLIMFLAMMED so many PEOPLE and, I mean, the grifter is blond and doe-eyed the people bankrolling her were horned-up old white dudes terrified of death, this isn't difficult
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) March 20, 2019
Guys responding to this tweet with "Eh, she's not really hot," congratulations on missing the point right on schedule.
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) March 20, 2019
I haven’t paid much attention to the Theranos scandal, because marketing a literal version of the classic Magical Money Box con to Silicon valley ‘edgelords’ hardly seemed innovative. Of course they knew it was almost certainly fraudulent, but like the medieval barons buying papal indulgences, just getting the offer was a mark of social status (to these marks.). And they figured they could always leverage it regardless, by selling the deed to a more gullible investor, or one looking to them for a favor.
(Besides, most ‘educated’ Americans know as much about medicine / medical technology as a feudal lord knew about actual Catholic theology. Throw your money in the offertory basket at Easter and Christmas, and be proud you can afford to pay for a private pew!)
Getting Henry Fekkin’ Kissinger hooked into her grift, though — that’s genuine craftsmanship. Like having the Papal nucio put his personal seal on those prettily-illuminated parchments…
Henry Kissinger was on the board. For some reason we find ourselves asking how Elizabeth Holmes conned Henry Kissinger and not how Henry Kissinger conned three generations of american political administrations
— mcc (@mcclure111) March 20, 2019
When he referred to Theranos' long board meetings as, "a human rights violation hahaha," I literally gasped.
— Sarah Hudson (@sbhudson108) March 20, 2019
A review, from Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com:
Theranos sounds like a creature of myth, and in the end, that’s what the company was. Appealing to the common fear of having blood drawn invasively in large amounts, Holmes spun an enticing pitch about building a compact, portable analysis machine named after Thomas Edison and able to perform 200 different kinds of tests quickly, using a pinprick’s worth of blood. Holmes styled herself as a Mozart-caliber wunderkind. She started her company when she was barely old enough to drink. Within a matter of years, it employed 800 people and was valued at $10 billion.
Unfortunately, Holmes’ machine couldn’t do what she promised. She wasn’t a scientist, and her own experts had warned her that it was physically impossible to build the device she’d envisioned. …
Despite the copious use of drone shots, a hypnotic, science fiction-sounding score, and some of the best explanatory computer graphics you’ll ever see, “The Inventor” is ultimately more of an information delivery system than a fully satisfying work of cinema. The presence of one of documentary film’s great innovators, Errol Morris, in the fabric of the movie itself—as a corporate gun-for-hire, Morris did a promotional video for the company—can’t help but invite fantasies of what might’ve been. (The mind reels imagining an autobiographical movie about Morris, one of the great interrogators of war criminals and corrupt officials, coming to terms with his own paycheck-driven obliviousness to the incredible story sitting in front of his lens.) The movie never quite manages to crack the porcelain surface of Holmes’ facade, despite the fleeting glimpses of insecurity and fear that sometimes flash through her eerily unblinking blue eyes. And at roughly two hours, it starts to grow repetitious. There are only so many ways to say, “In the end, there was no substance, and she fooled us all.”
“The Inventor” also shies away from exploring the explosive gender politics at play. Whether this is due to lack of interest, a belief that a male filmmaker shouldn’t be fixating on them, or a feeling that Holmes deserves the same treatment as a male scam artist is impossible to guess. But the viewer still may come away wondering if a great storytelling opportunity was missed. Holmes was an object of fascination and inspiration for many women in tech. As such, her downfall is deeply depressing, not just because she was a dishonest person—maybe even a compulsive fabulist—but also because of the implication that some of the older, extremely powerful men who championed her might’ve been smitten as much by her youth and conventional good looks as by her sales pitch. Their ranks included Henry Kissinger, former president Bill Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, former defense secretaries James Mattis and William Perry, senator Sam Nunn, Fox News Channel founder Rupert Murdoch, and former Secretary of State George Shultz, whose grandson Tyler Shultz worked for Theranos and eventually turned whistleblower. When things started imploding, Holmes hired attorney David Boies to intimidate people who threatened to expose her…
"The best liars are the ones who are convinced they are doing it for a good cause," says Theranos documentarian @alexgibneyfilm. "Sometimes, they may even come to believe that they aren’t lying at all." https://t.co/LXurTioBpZ
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) March 21, 2019
Looking forward to the Palantir doc in a few years.
— Terry Stephenson (@tdstephenson) March 20, 2019