March 04, 2009, 10:25 AM — TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington has returned on schedule from the month of vacation he took in Hawaii after a stranger spit on him at a conference in Munich in January. "Just as soon as I get a couple more days of skiing in," he wrote in a blog post on Monday.
Arrington had also revealed in January that death threats had led him to hire a private security service. Yet the Industry Standard's predictions market consensus put Arrington's chance of returning to TechCrunch on time at 90 percent. The guy can't stay away.
The best part of his vacation story is near the end. He nonchalantly explains how he cut a deal with a vacation house owner in Hawaii to trade TechCrunch coverage for an extended stay.
When my time was up to leave, I asked Potts if I could stay another week. He said something about being fully booked, but I offered to pay more than his usual rate and said I'd plug Surfboard House on TechCrunch (consider that a disclosure). He had (and still has) no idea what TechCrunch is, but the dollars did the trick. Schedules were juggled, I stayed.
This is one of the things that drive's Arrington's detractors crazy, and makes me enjoy reading him. Your average newspaper reporter would be forbidden from even discussing such a "plug." Journalism profs who read TechCrunch today will lie awake tonight wrestling with the ethics involved. But Arrington, a lawyer turned blogger, blithely admits to horse-trading because he knows most of his readers don't care, as long as it's a vacation spot and not a Bay Area startup.