TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington took issue yesterday with my post about recent condescending remarks by top Google executives.
Arrington starts off by questioning my motives, suggesting that I have learned over the years to "psychomanipulate" my readership, a widespread phenomenon he wrote about recently. He implies that I am "just pissed off at Google for something or other," and wrote the blog post out of some kind of revenge.
He then goes on to say that he's never seen Google so humble, and that they're humble because Google engineers are leaving for other companies, the company is struggling with China, and Google is afraid of a future where the company "may not be the center of attention on the Internet."
Arrington's criticism is one of the weakest I've ever encountered.
First, he tries to invalidate the site on which this blog appears by dismissing it as "one of the dead tree IT rags." Which is funny on two counts: 1) ITworld.com is obviously a web site; and 2) Arrington's claim to fame, TechCrunch, depends almost entirely upon original reporting by either "dead tree rags," journalists and bloggers who continue to work at or were trained at "dead tree rags" and from original content on high-quality online sites like ITworld.com.
Journalists who started out in print journalism (with all its antiquated standards of accuracy, quality and professionalism) — unlike lawyers like Arrington who became bloggers — learned very early that if you're going to attack someone, you don't want to start by insulting half your readership and invalidating the foundation of your own content business.
Second, stating something false as a true fact — in this case that I'm "pissed off" at Google for something other than what I wrote about — is simply cheap and amateurish. He's trying to invalidate my opinion by inventing a bad motive. He makes something up, then criticizes his own invention.
My blog post was motivated by exactly what I said: condescending remarks by Google execs. In fact, during the event, I tweeted my observation seconds after I detected the condescension in question.
And third, Arrington's evidence for Google's new-found humility isn't evidence at all. All of his points support the idea that Google should be humble, not that it is humble. I agree that Google should be humble -- in fact, that was the whole point of my column.
My evidence, on the other hand, all came in the form of direct, verbatim quotations.
Three strikes and you're out, Mike. Nice try.