Ex-TechCrunchers decry TechCrunch-like practices

Ex-TechCrunch editors scold tech bloggers for pageview plays, sensationalism, and shoddy standards. Sound familiar?

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Arrington also pooh-poohed Bilton's criticisms, saying he "doesn't seem to get the big picture here." To Mr. Crunch, the big picture is that when a CEO rolls over and shows you his belly (that is, apologizes), we're supposed to be so grateful for this show of humility that we never ask any other bothersome questions about why he had to apologize in the first place.

Arrington likens Path's fast response to the "press fiasco" suffered by Airbnb last July, which didn't die down until its CEO apologized. In that case, a San Francisco woman's life was turned upside down when she rented her apartment to a stranger using Airbnb, only to have it thoroughly vandalized in a sadistic way and her identity stolen. Once she blogged about the incident, Airbnb stopped helping her to recover and instead tried to get her to shut up. When news of that got out, Airbnb was forced to respond in a semi-humane way.

Arrington calls that a "press fiasco." I call it a personal tragedy. But then again, I'm not an investor in Airbnb, and Arrington and Siegler are, via their CrunchFund. They're also investors in Path. Surprised? You shouldn't be.

There are many problems with tech journalism on the Web, including some of the ones Siegler correctly points out. But a bigger one in my opinion is venture capitalists -- and other parties with clear vested interests -- pretending to be journalists in order to manipulate public opinion. Maybe Siegler and Arrington will discover that next.

Update: The Real Dan Lyons (aka the former Fake Steve Jobs) weighs in with his own brilliant deboning of Siegler, Arrington, et al. It's worth a read.

Does online tech journalism suck? If so, which suckers are to blame and how do we fix it? Post your rants below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Ex-TechCrunchers decry TechCrunch-like practices," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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