Offering up a four-figure reward for someone’s hair on Facebook is pretty stupid. And it’s even dumber if that person has Secret Service protection. It’s like the Super Bowl of dumb if you make that offer as a hated public figure out on bail.
Nobody told Martin Shkreli, though. He offered a $5,000 to anyone who could grab one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs during her book tour. He tried to write off the Facebook bounty post as satirical (because, yeah, totally bro), but prosecutors quickly filed a motion to have his $5 million bond revoked. Yesterday a judge approved it, and it’s back to the clink for the Pharma Bro.
Jail is probably the best place for Shkreli, a world-renowned douchebag best known for increasing the price of a critical AIDS medication to $750 per pill. His entire public persona is based on being an asshole, from holding a Wu-Tang album hostage to trolling journalists with domain name purchases.
Despite his long history of price gouging, securities fraud landed Shkreli in prison. Defrauding investors lines up perfectly with Shkreli’s personal ethos. It’s deceptive and leaves innocent people in the dust. But isn’t forcing people to overpay for desperately needed medication worse? Shouldn’t we prioritize the crime that involves human life? It’s like how Al Capone was taken down for tax evasion instead of murder.
The answer is no, of course, because price gouging is perfectly legal and pharmaceutical companies have been doing it for years. The difference is no one managed to do it with quite the level of sliminess that Pharma Bro reached with Daraprim in 2015.
I suppose it doesn’t matter, so long as Shkreli receives a healthy jail sentence that will give him enough time to reflect on how vile of a human being he really is. Maybe he’ll finally have the chance to perfect the recipe for secret Clinton hair-based potion.
But Shkreli’s behavior, demeanor and putrid facial expressions leave me with a feeling that no matter how long he stays in jail, he’ll emerge as the same old Pharma Bro, douchier than ever.