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Arrington responds to the Gillmor Gang thing (techcrunch.com)
32 points by vaksel on June 6, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

It seems a little rich to me that Arrington feels like he's got the high ground on journalistic ethics.

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>[edit]: 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.

Their tone on the matter in general is not great from an editorial point of view. It sounds almost petulant. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/06/if-you-didnt-get-a-pre-...

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.

It's also interesting he tries to pass the Facebook friend as a typical reason for the fire TC is under...

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. ;-)

Typical troll dismissing the original attack as a "joke" to cover himself. Jokes are typically funny or at least attempt to be funny. There's a world of difference between an honest joke and a joke that is basically an attack encapsulated into a wrapper that looks like a joke. He obviously knows what he's doing when he chooses his choice of words. For example look at this joke:

"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

This was my initial reaction too: Mike's comments were phrased as an attack as I heard them.

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.

This is what happens with celebrities in general..they are "one of a kind" but they are not tackling any big problem. Arrington does pretty mundane stuff but he is standing on a tall pedestal .. It is that celebrity virus which corrupts the soul.. Fans are most forgiving so those who like arrington will be surprised by his humility here ..those who think he is getting undue credit will find it disturbing "how can he get away with this by just lip service"..I would say wise thing to do is just don't pay attention to it thinking it is like one of those Paris Hilton thing you should not relate to or analyze..

This is most definitely not a hacker news.


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.

Oh, please. "New journalism?" That's mostly about removing all the ethical limits involved in the old journalism. You can almost guarantee that Mike's whining is entirely about him being denied an exclusive.

(In case it's not totally obvious, I completely agree with you).

Given the amount of negative Arrington stories we've seen hit the top of HN I concur that this is also HN news. TechCrunch does face an intense amount of scrutiny and as such Arrington has to guard himself.

Arrington is getting A LOT of death threats over this, according to this UPDATE:

"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."

Leo: "My opinions are my own and have never been influenced by any vendor at any time"

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.

That's a fairly sharp claim. Do you have any evidence to back it up? If it's really that common there should be plenty of evidence laying around. People who've been approached to pay to play, email archives, chat logs, payments. It shouldn't be that hard for someone to come up with something that shows that it's going on. And if someone wanted to earn their muckraking journalism merit badge that would be a very meaty story indeed.

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 [Arrington] receives a lot, and I mean lots and lots of money from microsoft, facebook and twitter.

And you know this how? (I'm not suggesting that you don't. I'm asking how you verified this information.)

Well its pretty obvious why he thinks that. Look at techcrunch.com and you'll see a big banner costing what, 100k/month(?) filled with microsoft and twitter.

However, I don't see it as a conflict of interest. He bases MS and twitter as much as anyone.

most of his content is pay-per-post

Funny that people like you call Mike Arrington a troll.

I think Michael talks about Twitter because he genuinely loves the service.

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?

That 'negativity' helped twitter. It would have hurt them if TechCrunch had just ignored them and not mentioned twitter. But they kept on and on and on relentlessly about it.

There's no bad publicity.

That's a complete fallacy, there is such a thing as bad publicity... either that, or the whole ribbing that mega-corporation Mcdonald's took from Spurlock's "Supersize Me" was imaginary.

Somebody wake me up when all of the anti-Arrington comments over...

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