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. ;-)