This man is many things.
A selfish sleazebag.
A former drug addict.
And the last person I’d ever idolise.
You see, Jordan Belfort — otherwise known as the Wolf of Wall Street — defrauded American investors out of more than $200 million.
He spent 22 months in prison for crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a “boiler room,” or a call center selling dodgy investments.
In the movie based on the conman’s life, Belfort — played with perfectly sleazy panache by Leo DiCaprio — throws a dwarf across the room like a missile, snorts cocaine off a woman’s buttcrack while slapping her repeatedly, and boasts he loves to “gamble like a degenerate, drink like a fish (and) f*ck hookers maybe five times a week.”
(Fellow famous sleazebag Dan Bilzerian claims to have witnessed the cocaine-off-buttcrack move while the pair were hanging out in real life, in case you’re interested.)
So is Jordan Belfort the sort of man you’d want your sons or brothers to emulate? The sort of kick-arse, respectful, honest human whose pearls of wisdom make the world a better place? Yeah, notsomuch.
But for some reason, journalists and the public alike seem to fawn over this guy.
Instead of spurning him like the smug, greedy criminal he is, he’s revered like a celebrity.
As the ABC’s Media Watch pointed out on Monday, Channel Nine’s Leila McKinnon has described Belfort’s former wealth as “not bad,” gushing: “He racked up $700,000 bar tabs, owned a 50 metre yacht. Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, had quite a life.”
And last month, Channel Nine’s David Campbell implored Belfort to reveal how rich he was, “for those who haven’t read the book.”
(Because, of course, who WOULDN’T want to read a book that brands Belfort a “Wall Street Superman” on its front cover?)
The Australian‘s Cameron Stewart seemed similarly “dazzled” by Belfort, Media Watch notes, when he wrote last month:
The Wolf of Wall Street is speeding along the Californian coast in his shiny black Mercedes SL convertible, cutting corners, flying over hills…
And the adoration doesn’t stop there.