Michael Arrington has dropped his “nuclear card” against the New York Times, with the amazing! revelation! (insert sarcasm) that the New York Times company is (indirectly) an investor in the GigaOm blog network.
Arrington starting hinting about the “nuclear card” September 6, when he wrote on Twitter that “The saddest part about the NYT drama is that I hold the nuclear card. They know it, and they know I won’t use it. Unless I do.”
The card itself was played at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference when Arrington tried to turn himself into the Enola Gay, and stated that (according to BetaBeat) “the NY Times is an investor in True Ventures, which backs GigaOm, the tech blog founded by True Ventures partner Om Malik.” Business Insider quotes him as saying “The New York Times is holier than thou, but they’re doing exactly what they say I shouldn’t be doing.”
Given Arrington opened the door on bad comparisons, it’s a bit like a ten year old playing a pair of sixes against Joe Hachem at the World Series of Poker. It’s never going to work.
Business Insider points out that “Nowhere in its coverage of the Arrington-AOL mess did the Times mention its True Ventures investment,” but fails to explain why it needs to.
Lets get this straight: Arrington believes that direct investing in companies he pumps on TechCrunch is no different than the New York Times having an indirect investment in a competing blog network, and some other companies as well via an investment fund it doesn’t control nor run vs the CrunchFund that Arrington is running himself?
Not only was Arrington’s revelation not nuclear, it isn’t new. The relationship between GigaOm and the New York Times Company is hardly new news. But unlike TechCrunch under Arrington, the New York Times actually understands the basic concepts of editorial independence, and there is no gross conspiracy theory to attack TechCrunch to help drive traffic to GigaOm.
The truth is that Arrington is lamely trying to deflect criticism from one company covering his ethics issues among a sea of others who rightly agree with exactly what David Carr at the New York Times has written.
I’ll never be one to be among the cheer squad for old media, but in this situation the New York Times has done nothing wrong, and I’d go as far as to suggest that the indirect suggestion that David Carr is criticizing Arrington in some sort of conspiracy based on an investment by the New York Times’ parent company as bordering on slanderous.
The quicker Arrington gets over himself and moves on, the better for himself. After a week that can only be described as a soap opera, the more he continues to rant and carry on as he continues to do can only cause damage to himself. Grow up Michael, go make your millions with the CrunchFund and stop trying to pretend to be a victim.