Recently, in response to criticism he has been receiving, the editor and founder of TechCrunch, Michael Arrington, channeled his inner Colonel Kurtz and unleashed a terrific riposte regarding the absurd notion of objectivity in journalism and how he intends to handle disclosures and the like at TechCrunch going forward. The title of this piece had all the subtelty of a piano being hurled cartoon-style onto his detractors in the tech press from an upper storey: The Tech Press: Screw them All.
Along the way he ended up calling-out a number of his primary critics by pointing out that they themselves have plenty of conflicts (some of a semi-permanent nature) that have not been properly disclosed:
"... there is no objectivity in journalism. The guys that say they’re objective are just pretending. Everyone is conflicted in different ways, and yet the “rules of journalism” don’t require any sort of transparency or disclosure unless it’s a direct financial conflict...."
"...The man who said just a week ago how horrible I am for investing in startups has financial interests in a whole slew of tech companies – “Disclosure: Current and past consulting clients and sponsors of Silicon Valley Watcher: Pearltrees, Intel, Tibco Software, Edelman, Infineon Technologies, SAP...”
"...Before I started TechCrunch I never understood how screwed up this whole news world was. It’s ugly as hell out there, people. These people, the tech press, just disgust me..."
Regardless of what one thinks of Arrington, (I do not know him personally), what is maginificent about him is that he has the courage to stand his ground and call-out some of the old guard on their sniffling pretensions. He's basically been eulogizing them to their faces and letting people know that much like Shelly's Ozymandias, only their colossal arrogance will remain. Good for him.
Kurtz: Did they say why, Willard, why they want to terminate my command?
Willard: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.
Kurtz: It's no longer classified, is it? Did they tell you?
Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?
Willard: I don't see any method at all, sir.
Kurtz: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?
Willard: I'm a soldier.
Kurtz: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.
For Part 30 in in this Series, click here