On the front page of this morning's Post, there's a story about the early days of Bernie Madoff's 1.5 century stint in prison, with the headline "Inside Madoff's Prison Hell" and the sub-head "Inmates: Let's bash Bernie!" As much as I enjoy picturing gangs of violent criminals screaming those words while waving threatening fists in the air, it doesn't quite seem like that's happening.
Some of his fellow inmates, in fact, respect him for being a stand-up guy who pleaded guilty without implicating any of the other people strongly suspected of helping him pull off the fraud that swindled more than 1,000 people out of more than $65 billion over two decades.
"He got a lot of respect from other inmates because he didn't tell on anybody, he didn't take everybody down with him," the source said.
"Some of the inmates admired that."
Uh oh, sounds like Bernie's totally gonna get bashed.
Although despised by the public outside, Madoff has gotten good marks inside Butner for falling into the routine without any apparent problems.
Look out, Bernie, they're gonna bash you!
And, as soon as he could, Madoff joined fellow inmates in "the yard" for daily recreation sessions.
During one such session last week, Madoff was hanging out with other inmates watching prisoners play dominoes, the source said.
And he's eating — without complaint — the food served in the prison cafeteria.
Bernie! You think they're your friends, but they're secretly plotting ways to bash you!
"He fits in perfectly. He doesn't have a problem with anybody," the source said.
Madoff has made things easier on himself by dropping the arrogant attitude he often displayed to subordinates and prospective clients when he was running his Ponzi scheme out of his now-defunct Manhattan firm.
"He doesn't act like he's better" than the other inmates, the source said. "But he does hold his head up.
"If you didn't know who he was, you probably wouldn't know any better," the source said.
"He blends in."
"He's a regular dude," the source said. "He's a really good guy, he's nice."
Don't be fooled, Bernie. That's what they always say just moments before bashing you.
The one quote they had that could even come close to backing up the claims made on the cover is from a source who has a relative in the prison where Madoff is being held.
"Some of the guys were talking about smacking him around a little, just to get the notoriety of it."
If you were in the tabloid business, wouldn't you at least dig a little deeper for maybe one more bullshit quote so that 99% of the story didn't contradict the headline?