Arrington Exits TechCrunch; Takes jab at Arianna Huffington

September 12, 2011

From the TechCrunch conference in San Francisco, this post is brought to you by Alexei Oreskovic and Sarah McBride:

Michael Arrington, one of the most high-profile figures in the world of tech blogging, has lost the TechCrunch soapbox he built. But he’s found a new way to get his point across: T-shirts

Arrington took the stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on Monday, moments after parent-company AOL announced that he was no longer part of the company due to his new role heading up a $20 million venture capital fund.

“It’s no longer a good situation for me to stay at TechCrunch,” Arrington said, calling it a sad moment for him and promising to get the controversy out of the way at the start, to avoid distracting from the 3-day conference in San Francisco.

True to form, the pugnacious Arrington unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with the words “unpaid blogger” printed in large letters, a jab at AOL/Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, who had insisted that Arrington was no longer an AOL employee after news of his VC fund surfaced.

“That’s what I’m down to: making statements on fucking T-Shirts. That and Twitter,” Arrington said later, during an on-stage interview with Linked-In co-founder Reid Hoffman.

 Hoffman, an investor in the fund, said earlier comments he had made about the connections between the fund and TechCrunch’s closeness to start-ups were interpreted too broadly. “I don’t have any doubts about yours or TechCrunch’s integrity,” he said on stage.

 Arrington, who sold TechCrunch to AOL for $30 million during the same conference last year, then trained his fire on the New York Times.  Arrington said the Gray Lady had been one of his chief “detractors” during the so-called CrunchGate controversy, and which he noted was itself guilty of mixing journalism and start-up investing through its role an investor in True Ventures.

“That’s why I’m tired of the press,” Arrington said.

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If you haven’t seen his departure speech at techcrunch disrupt, here is a summary: http://srml.in/i9WpS/.

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