It's a real challenge to make the gang at TechCrunch look reasonable, but Whitacre accomplished just that in a recent blog post, wherein he takes a TC writer to task for not consenting to have his/her likeness recorded and shared online. "I’ve been asking people who want to Skype if instead we can have an open call," he explains, "that we live-stream and post to YouTube." The TC writer said no. Whitacre claims this is just another sign of crooked journalism—the blogger doesn't want to lose a scoop to a competitor who might wade through a grainy video interview with a half-baked idea and post faster. Of all the things to call TechCrunch out on, this is a strange one, as I doubt there are very many people who are totally cool with an "open call," or who want to go through something as uncomfortable as this:
Transparency is lovely, particularly in the murky, Siegler-infested waters of tech writing. But insisting on "open calls" isn't radically honest so much as it's radically awkward and kind of fucking weird. This is founder hubris, not reform—and that's the way it's going to have to be with Gittip: either you play ball and let Whitacre record you, or you don't get comments. TechCrunch is sure going to be sore if this becomes the next Draw Something 2!
We should, however, still give Whitacre some credit for letting TC snub him. This would send most startup founders into a depressive bender.