The editor of Silicon Valley's most influential news site is once again ruffling feathers in the tech space for his abrasive, cocksure temperament. It all started on Tuesday, when TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington wrote an angry article about tech entrepreneur Caterina Fake. Arrington had caught wind of a round of financing Fake was putting together for her new startup and told her that he was writing a story on it. But then she published the news herself on her blog, killing Arrington's story. That happens to reporters a lot, but Arrington went apoplectic in a TechCrunch post on Tuesday titled "Why We Often Blindside Companies" in which he explained why he lost the exclusive:
Most readers will think this is just fine. And in fact it is just fine. But this is the second time Caterina has done this, and so it’ll be the last time she ever knows we’re writing a story about her or her startups before it’s published.
And then he want to drop some gossipy morsels about that first time he thought Fake didn't deliver a scoop into Arrington's lap. It involved Fake's departure from her prior startup, Hunch. It occurred, Arrington wrote today, because of an "extremely sordid situation" that he wouldn't go into detail on because "it’s not something that should be written." Well to some, that sounded like a threat.
"In the act of saying he won't write about the details, he slyly is letting Fake know that he could," writes Mat Honan at Gizmodo. "I would take that as an implied threat... To me, it's extortion, pure and simple." Honan was not alone in feeling that way in a discussion that brought in media and tech observers. But it shouldn't really surprise anyone. Arrington's always been somewhat of a mischief maker in the blogging world. Here's a history of his recent activities: