The TechCrunch saga--starring founder Michael Arrington, his boss Arianna Huffington and her boss Tim Armstrong--is more or less over. During those twelve days of turbulence, contradictory statements from all three of those stars left journalists grasping for sources and scoops. Among others, the dominant theory for how Michael Arrington went from TechCrunch editor to unpaid Huffington Post blogger in less than two weeks revolves around a power struggle between Arrington and Huffington. Though a number of outlets reported on the internal turmoil, Huffington denied any "war of words" with Arrington and scolded The Wall Street Journal for "acting like supermarket gossip rag, not a serious business publication" in claiming otherwise. But despite her well-worded argument, nobody seems to buy Arianna's version of the story.
Huffington called out WSJ reporters Jessica Vascellaro and Emily Steel by name in lambasting the ambiguously titled story, "Culture Clashes Tear at AOL." Huffington doesn't quote The Journal at length, but she latches on to a few terms. In explaining how Vascellaro and Steel "sought to paint the situation as a 'culture clash' based on 'clashing personalities' and driven by 'a war of words,'" Huffington writes:
The issue at hand wasn't about personalities. It was about principle; a very simple fundamental principle about conflicts of interest that every journalistic enterprise adheres to -- including the Wall Street Journal, as its former publisher L. Gordon Crovitz points out today. But you wouldn't know that from the breathless opening grafs of the exceptionally misinformed, substance-lite, and anonymous-quote-riddled piece.
Huffington stops short of actually denying a personal conflict between Arrington and herself. She argues, fairly effectively, the above point that a "fundamental principle" guided the controversy and points out a lack of evidence that Arrington and she have engaged in a war of words.