Disclosing conflicts of interest is on aspect of that --- and does TechCrunch have a disclosure policy, just to keep that small portion of the issue on the up-and-up? --- but there are other aspects as well, such as having a retraction policy, fact-checking, how corrections are run, and operating (and citing) a comment forum where inconvenient comments are censored. The Washington Post couldn't get away with most of that. Maybe that's some of the overhead that's driving print journalism into bankruptcy.
The fact that TC requested and did not receive a Palm Pre just drives this controversy further into silly season. Maybe Arrington is concerned that Laporte's conflicts are disclosed. Or maybe (heh) he just thinks this is funny joke. But also maybe all Arrington cares about is that TC doesn't get scooped by someone else.
<strike>: Oh look:
"I am an active investor, board member and advisory board member with a number of startups. That isn’t going to change. I also write about startups. That isn’t going to change, either. Obviously people like what we write on TechCrunch or they wouldn’t come back. But no one should think TechCrunch is objective or conflict-free. We aren’t. We never have been. We never will be."</strike>
Not worth it.
I wonder how the "old media" organizations that are syndicating blogs like TechCrunch feel about these sorts of incidents going out under their brand in places like Google News.
I won't say "not worth it", but TC has to be taken with a lot of salt. More, in fact, than my doctor will allow me to. ;-)
"So there's this guy who is cheating on his wife and he goes into this bar and..."
"So Leo, you're cheating on your wife, and you go into a bar..."
Both might technically be jokes but one is making a strong suggestion, one is not. A good troll plans these phrases in such a way that they can get the information out but can run and hide behind the technicality when it suits their purposes. Someone accepting or someone giving an apology doesn't change the intent in retrospect it's just a nice happy ending for gawkers to feel good about
Although it didnt come across as 100% deliberate to me. I think how it was phrased vindicates Leo's reaction because it sounds like an attack, it's somewhat Arrington's style and TC are up in arms over the pre a bit but I dont think it should come back on Mike as hard as it seems to have.
To be honest though I would have expected some form of comment... so..... he fails there really.
EDIT: I never thought I'd say this but Arrington had a point. Hell BBC Radio 4 presenters make worse attacks than this on politicians et all on the morning news shows. And you know what: that makes dfamn good journalism.
If you're thinking about starting something up in any space that TechCrunch covers, the politics of TechCrunch in particular and of the "new journalism" in general are very much relevant to you.
"Update: Many comments are complaining about comment moderation. This isn’t about free speech. It’s about dozens of death threats and hundreds of others saying pretty horrible things about one of of us. You may think that your comment needs to get heard and that calling for someone to die shouldn’t be taken seriously. But multiply that by hundreds and maybe you’ll get a sense of this. I was rude. I made the problem worse by saying things because I thought he was play-mad. and then i apologized. i may be a lot of things but i don’t think i deserve to die over this. please. stop. i can’t deal with the death threats after what happened last year and then this year in europe. leo won. you guys won. i surrender. just stop. please. stop."
Arrington will never say that for most of his content is pay-per-post. Like a giant billlboard, you pay Arrington for what you want the tech world to see.
And he receives a lot, and I mean lots and lots of money from microsoft, facebook and twitter.
I doubt you'll find anything that obvious, not that Arrington is some sort of paragon of virtue; but my impression is that he's smart enough not to do dumb things like that; and that his main motivation has more to do with being a kingmaker than making money off of his blog.
And you know this how? (I'm not suggesting that you don't. I'm asking how you verified this information.)
However, I don't see it as a conflict of interest. He bases MS and twitter as much as anyone.
Funny that people like you call Mike Arrington a troll.
What about all of the posts he did last year when the service kept going down? Do you think all of that negativity was paid for by Twitter too?