Why is the tech press so bad? Maybe because some of its leading lights openly trade coverage for favors.
In 2011, TechCrunch founder and Bully-in-Chief Michael Arrington gave an off the record talk to an audience of powerful tech CEOs. Details of unsavory comments leaked. Later that year, he did it again, and now we have the closed-doors video of Arrington's corruption, in his own words.
To hear it come from Arrington and his goon-blog sidekick MG Siegler (now a fellow investor, too), makes journalistic favoritism sound banal. But these were the principles TechCrunch was founded upon, and the ethos that guides Arrington's loose scruples today. What's the big deal, if you want to swap coverage for exclusives? Why not be chummy with the matter you're supposed to consider objectively? Who cares if a writer plays blatant favorites with the company he or she covers, without mentioning anything to the readers? Don't want to give me an exclusive, just because I'm Mike Arrington? Fuck you.
It's only natural, Arrington and Siegler contend—a sort of crass realblogtik. In one particularly uncomfortable moment, Arrington calls out a member of the audience—the CEO of a startup called Zaarly—for not playing ball with TechCrunch. Good thing he's not still influencing editorial matters over there, right?