Wired and TechCrunch are still at it

Wired’s Betsy Schiffman last week opened a whole can of InstantShitStorm©, when she pondered the credibility of Michael Arrington and TechCrunch with respect to a recent content deal with the Washinton Post (TC are to provide WashPo with tech stories for its online portal). Schiffman was concerned that Arrington, who is open about the fact he has covered several start-ups he’s invested in (and/or their competitors), could present WashPo with a conflict of interest.

Yesterday, after Arrington spent the weekend bitching on twitter about having a Wired “burning party”, Schiffman again blogged her concerns (it’s worth noting that she added nothing in the way of developing her argument). Clearly pissed, Arrington posted a rebuttal, basically outlining that he does have a few modest investments, but that he and TechCrunch take their credibility seriously. MikeA also makes the point that surely Wired is put out by the WashPo/TC deal, and is looking to sour it – so what about their own journalistic conflicts of interest, huh?

I think Arrington has a point, but I also think he was wrong in reacting with such “Tourettes-like” vitriol. Yeah, maybe Wired are jealous of TC’s meteoric rise and the recent deal, but the response suggested a raw nerve.

Schiffman’s post was a cheap shot. For sure. But Arrington must realise that bitchiness is everywhere in the media, and that newspapers have been doing this for years. He needs to be more thick-skinned and not bite, as more shots at TC are guaranteed if it continues to gain eyeballs.

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