Sarah Lacy Goes After TechCrunch: ‘Not to Be a Dick, But Are You Still a News Site?’

lacycrunch Sarah Lacy Goes After TechCrunch: Not to Be a Dick, But Are You Still a News Site?

A former TechCrunch employee—in the great tradition of many a former TechCrunch employee—is going after the site, asking them on Twitter: “not trying to be a dick but are you still a news site?

The egregious offense of journalism Lacy offered up for her case?

TechCrunch changed the logo on their site. To match with the hype surrounding Facebook’s recent filing for a public stock offering, of course.

facecrunch Sarah Lacy Goes After TechCrunch: Not to Be a Dick, But Are You Still a News Site?

On the one hand, a common criticism volleyed at TechCrunch is that they’re too soft or to kind to those they report on and their interests. And sure: Replacing your logo with the logo of the company you’re reporting on is a little too cheerlead-y for many a reasonable sense of comfort.

On the other hand, tributes like that stripe aren’t unheard of. Nobody questioned BoingBoing’s journalism ethics when they changed their homepage to an old Apple design the day after Steve Jobs died.

As far as the base of Lacy’s criticism goes—that TechCrunch is fundamentally soft on news—it’s one that originated during (and persisted for) most of the time Michael Arrington was running the site, before he sold it to AOL and was ousted thereafter. In other words, back when Lacy used to write for it, which was only as far as three months-ish ago, when she quit.

Granted, Arrington himself often didn’t mince words or hold back on his reporting when he so chose, but the site was far more exposed to the murkier waters of non-reporting (let alone journalism) like collusion vis-a-vis Arrington’s widely known conflicts under his reign.

Also, Lacy has a history with regards to reporting on Facebook: A big-ticket public interview of hers with Mark Zuckerberg in 2008 was once deemed a “trainwreck” and lambasted for being—among other things—a rehearsed “game of softball.”

But let’s not throw stones from glass houses, like Lacy’s new home, PandoDaily. It’s a news blog she founded with $2.5M to cover startups. Which is odd, seeing as how her New York reporter temporarily operated out of the office of a startup the site would theoretically cover, Hunch.

Hunch is owned by Chris Dixon. Chris Dixon—along with a long list of other folks in the startup community PandoDaily would theoretically cover—is an investor in the site. Who’s the news site again?

In other words: Pot, kettle, black.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek