Uber executive Emil Michael boasted privately about plans to harass reporters critical of the company, reports Buzzfeed, revealing a specific intent to attack journalist Sarah Lacy and expose private information about her. Lacy responds with with a follow-up to her earlier warning about the company's attitude to women.
Ruining her life? Manufacturing lies? Going after her family? Apparently it's all part of what Uber has described as its "political campaign" to build a $30 billion (and counting) tech company. A campaign that David Plouffe was hired to "run," that's looking more like a pathetic version of play acting House of Cards than a real campaign run by a real political professional. Because step one of an illegal smear campaign against a woman is: Don't brag about it to a journalist at a party.
The woman in question? The woman that this Uber executive has vowed to go to nearly any lengths to ruin, to bully into silence? Me. … And lest you think this was just a rogue actor and not part of the company's game plan, let me remind you Kalanick telegraphed exactly this sort of thing when he sat on stage at the Code Conference last spring and said he was hiring political operatives whose job would be to "throw mud." I naively thought he just meant Taxi companies. Let me also remind you: This is a company you trust with your personal safety every single time you use it. Let me also remind you: The executive in question has not been fired.
Lacy reports that Michael called her personal cellphone after Buzzfeed's story broke, wanting to speak off the record. If that beggars belief, consider that the call itself perhaps made the point he wanted to make.