Michael Arrington and Arianna Huffington are stuck in a showdown where both of them will lose. The difference between the two is that Arrington won’t give a shit.
The idea that Arrington, one of the biggest names in tech writing is going to start a venture capital fund to essentially funnel money into companies that he is hyping so he can profit on both fronts is at the very least ethically questionable. The fact that the guy is shocked that the PR backlash has forced Huffington to put the screws to him is insane.
As Dan Primack pointed out, Huffington is in a lose-lose situation. She either wasn’t paying attention to Arrington’s not-so-secret, secret plans, or she knew and didn’t take the time to think about the implications for her organization. Both conclusions make her look foolish.
Arrington has once again confirmed that he’s unethical.; no shock there. However, I never had him pegged for an idiot. The guy sold his website to AOL. Even if this VC debacle never happened, he was inevitably going to lose control of TechCrunch simply because HE SOLD IT TO AOL!!! AOL’s only great strength is compromising things. They wrecked Engadget.
Anyone who followed the TechCrunch sale to AOL knew that it wouldn’t end well. Near as I can tell it means that Arrington either thought he could:
- Cash-in and out-muscle AOL over the long-haul (Delusional)
- Live with AOL (Also delusional)
- Ride out his contract and start something new like Joshua Topolsky (This is way too reasonable and level for Arrington)
- He was planning on leaving in a PR inferno because he’s an attention whore, and this is a good way to draw attention to his next project (Evil mastermind)
- He has no self-control and is throwing a tantrum because he has to live by someone else’s rules (Giant baby)
I don’t know what he was thinking, but I’m tired of him. I look forward to the day when he is merely a footnote in the history of the Internet.