Yarow then speculates that Arrington's
flame-throwing is purely strategic. The thinking goes: Arrington wants
to leave AOL but he just signed a 3-year contract for $10-15 million. If
he leaves, he forfeits the money. Solution? Castigate the staff at
AOL's most lucrative blog until no one at the company can endure his
presence. Subsequently, AOL would pay him to leave.
Arrington Strikes Again But here's where the feud gets good. Reacting to the Business Insider story, Arrington jumped into the comments section to lob more bombs.
not throwing punches at AOL. I'm throwing punches at the engadget team
and their bullshit," he writes. "Your whole premise - that I'm trying to
get myself fired - is based on a misunderstood tweet that I clarified
for you on record. This is an irresponsible post."
making it clear he has nothing against AOL he redirects his venom
towards Engadget. "The point I'm making is that my feelings for Engadget--that they're immensely unethical--doesn't go beyond that," he
continues. "They seem to have a problem with AOL management not quieting
me. It's like telling mom when your brother is picking on you. They've
trolled us, repeatedly, for a year. I've had enough."
Engadget Jumps Into the Ring Then, as another blogger puts it,
the episode turned into a "bar brawl that spills out into the street."
Joshua Topolsky, the editor-in-chief of Engadget, entered the same
comments section. Clearly infuriated by Arrington's allegations,
Topolsky says "enough is enough":
You need to explain this
comment and the source of your hatred for our brand and people. You need
to tell me how we have been "trolling you." Explain what we've done to
you. Explain anything that you've said beyond a personal vendetta. I
haven't heard a shred of substance behind your attacks--only the
vitriol of a man-child who can't control himself. "Immensely unethical"?
You don't just get to say whatever you want to whomever you want. That may fly in your bubble, but I live in the real world.
If you can't explain yourself (caveat: your claims have to be based in reality), then stop talking.
My team works their collective ass off, and they deserve better than your baseless attacks and name calling. Grow up.
of this bickering may seem inane but, in the end, it really puts AOL
between a rock and hard place. According to Business Insider, Engadget
employees are furious with AOL for not putting Arrington in his place.
And they certainly matter in this ordeal because Engadget is a far more
lucrative enterprise than TechCrunch. However, when AOL acquired TechCrunch,
it promised Arrington he could continue to be as vindictive and
opinionated as he always has been. On top of that, the company's been
pushing a big marketing campaign
boasting its freedom of expression and creativity. "At our core we are a
platform for creativity that connects journalists to their audiences," the company's mission statement reads.
Censoring Arrington certainly wouldn't be a good first step in
demonstrating their new "free" and "hip" vibe.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.