Valleywag has run a number of posts recently that mostly have served to make me look like an ass. Many of these have been flat out factually incorrect, and sometimes the blog has run retractions.
That’s ok, it comes with having a high profile blog. But now it looks like Nick Douglas, who writes the blog, is emailing startups to see if I’ve secretly invested in them in preparation for a hit piece. An email string that was forwarded to me is below (with names redacted).
Valleywag’s singling out of TechCrunch and their promotion of non-stories is annoying, but I also now question Valleywag’s and parent company Gawker’s real intentions. TechCrunch competes with a number of Gawker sites and I’ve announced my intention to launch more sites in the future, becoming a direct Gawker competitor. I therefore question Gawker’s true intentions when running these attack posts.
For what it’s worth, any conficts of interest are spelled out clearly on the TechCrunch About Page. Any accusations that I am promoting or slamming startups for any reason other than I enjoy doing it will be taken very seriously. Nick, if you are going to engage in libel, be sure you have your facts straight. This isn’t funny anymore.
Date: July 30, 2006 10:52:00 AM PDT
To: “Mike Arrington”
Subject: Fwd: Does Michael Arrington have a stake in your company?
looks like nick might be running a hit piece on you. I told him that you are not an investor.
From: [nick douglas]
Date: July 30, 2006 11:32:13 AM PDT
Subject: Re: Does Michael Arrington have a stake in your company?
Thanks for the info. I’ll try to be fair, in that special Gawker Media
way, about Arrington.
On 7/30/06, wrote:
nick – I respect mike.
He is not an investor in xxxxx.
more importantly, I believe mike is a person of very high integrity and it
would be a shame if your blog tried to state otherwise. He is one of the
good guys in silicon valley who is truly interested in technology.
From: “Nick Douglas”
Date: July 30, 2006 9:36:09 AM PDT
Subject: Does Michael Arrington have a stake in your company?
On Valleywag, I’m about to switch to some more serious questioning of Michael Arrington’s methods. As part of that questioning, I’d like to confirm whether Michael Arrington is an investor or advisor to xxxxx.
Note that if he is, this means nothing bad about xxxxx but raises some questions about Arrington. This information would be used as part of a longer series investigating Arrington’s relationships with many companies. Yours will not be singled out.