Arianna finally free to speak mind in TechCrunch-AOL imbroglio

The TechCrunch/AOL saga's been an easy way to attract readers of late, but I never wanted to get into it because I had no questions. It's always been obvious that Mike Arrington was an active investor who used his site to that end, even to the point of publicly attacking entrepreneurs who he doesn't like. It's always been obvious that writers there are excellent and hard-working journalists, whatever Arrington's own gameplan. And it's obvious that his critics are correct about the ethical problems it generates--even if many of them are, if not similarly conflicted, themselves rivals on the PR-fed tech beat and therefore full of sour grapes.

But just when it was all going away, Arianna Huffington finally has some thoughts, presented in the form of an attack on the WSJ's coverage of the affair, which she thought was shoddy and gossipy. In her view, she got rid of Arrington to enforce journalistic ethics: "It's Not About the Personalities, It's About the Principle."

This has nothing to do with personalities, either Mike Arrington's or mine. In fact, until he decided to launch his new fund, TechCrunch lived very happily, without the slightest clash, within the Huffington Post Media Group. ..

Given that this defense of principle appears the same day Forbes reported that Huffington Post is hiring children to work for it free of charge, I finally have a question! I have posed it in the form of a rare Pet Shop Boys B-side (above).


  1. I refused to read TechCrunch solely because of Mike Arrington. Arrington has just proven time and time again that he’s a grade-A certified douchebag, he’s pissed of everyone from Leo Laporte and John Dvorak, to Reddit, and even his own goddamned readers. Sure if he had a platform to stand on behind all the Arrington-related incidents it would be a different story, but the guy’s just an empty trolling machine. When it comes to trolling he seemingly hasn’t left a single stone unturned – and we all should know better than to feed the trolls.

  2. One issue has not been addressed: How should we—as responsible adults—talk to children about the TechCrunch/Mike Arrington/Arianna Huffington kerfuffle? How will future generations cope with the shockwaves created by this nontroversy?

  3. Um, Huffington thought the coverage was “gossipy”???

    Guess she knows a lot about that. What the hell did you expect, doing a deal with AOL and Huffington??? Duh. Arrington is supposed to smart. What did the think was going to happen?

  4. I have no interest in a tiff between blog elites but thanks for the Pet Shop Boys! All my Pet Shop Boys was on cassette and I haven’t owned a player since I ditched my car six years ago.

    1. Dude.  Spotify.  All that stuff in that dusty box of cassettes in your attic is just waiting for you to give the one more listen you need.

  5. “Arianna Huffington finally has some thoughts, presented in the form of an attack on the WSJ’s coverage of the affair, which she thought was shoddy and gossipy”

    Well, I suppose she’d be the best person to spot something like that.

  6. The guys at Forbes are probably just mad that they didn’t think of getting a bunch of high school kids to blog for them first. I wouldn’t put much stock in what Forbes – an obvious practical and ideological competitor to HuffPo – says about their competition. Why is giving kids a chance to be published on an AOL/HuffPo site any worse than how Facebook or any other site uses it’s user-generated content? Talk about a misleading, muckraking headline. Like Forbes has a lot of room to talk about how someone pays bloggers, anyway…

    As for TechCrunch and Arrington – 120% what AwesomeRobot said at the top of the comments. I think less of BoinBoing for having mentioned this whole ‘story’: don’t feed he trolls. Arrington is why I always avoided that site, and anyone who opposes him, I’m going to like them better for it. By comparison, Arianna probably does deserve to be taken seriously… if only by comparison.

    If you’re suggesting taking the side of Arrington, WSJ and/or Forbes against *anything*, that’s where I’d suggest you might want to question your judgement, frankly.

  7. I don’t want to be one of those people… but why should I care about this?  Someone please explain why this story is getting so much traction?  I’ve kept shrugging this thing off as it doesn’t interest me, but it keeps popping up all over the place like a dirty whack-a-mole I can’t kill.

    Someone please finish this sentence:

    “This story is important because …”

    1. This story is not important. Almost nothing is important here.

      It’s fun to read someone describe unpaid child labor as “giving kids a chance to be published,” though.

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