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Uber's media strategy: $1 million to dig up dirt on reporters

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LongTimeListener, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Friday night in New York, the senior VP of business said Uber should take $1 million to hire private investigators and find unflattering rumors about any reporter that writes something bad.

    Over dinner, he outlined the notion of spending “a million dollars” to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists. That team could, he said, help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into “your personal lives, your families,” and give the media a taste of its own medicine.

    Michael was particularly focused on one journalist, Sarah Lacy, the editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, a sometimes combative voice inside the industry. Lacy recently accused Uber of “sexism and misogyny.” She wrote that she was deleting her Uber app after BuzzFeed News reported that Uber appeared to be working with a French escort service. “I don’t know how many more signals we need that the company simply doesn’t respect us or prioritize our safety,” she wrote.


    Lacy's response:


    Now Uber is in full crisis-management mode.


    These are some bad people. The CEO has developed such a reputation for horrible behavior, specifically anti-female behavior, that he is being coached on how to be human. (David Plouffe, Obama's former campaign manager, is an integral part of Uber.) And from their public stances and incidents that have happened, it's pretty clear that they just don't care if you get beaten or raped while on one of their rides, or if one of their unlicensed and unregulated drivers has a spotty traffic record and gets you in an accident, or anything else as long as the money comes in.
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Kutcher should be careful. He invested in A+ -- which basically rips off the HuffPo's and other media congregators of the world.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    ashton kutcherVerified account
    What is so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist? @pando @TechCrunch @Uber
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member


    Lots of journalists lamenting the fact that they would have to take cabs again yesterday on twitter.

    And, you can find articles all over the web encouraging folks to delete the app, and offering instructions to close your account:



    I'm not sure which part of this story is my favorite, the fact that he said it in front of a room full of prominent journalists, who were all too happy to party with him and other Uber execs, or that this is where journalists choose to take a public stand.

    As Bloomberg Politics correspondent Lisa Lerer points out, politicians do this kind of research regularly:

    This guy was fantasizing. There was no actual plan to investigate reporters.

    Meanwhile the DOJ launched an investigation that targeted the AP and FOX's James Rosen and is threatening to put the Times James Risen in jail.

    But, clearly, Uber is the greatest threat to journalists today. Well, them or ISIS.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    "A room full of journalists". Um, no,it was a private party with Ed Norton. A couple of journalists were there, including Huffington and the reporter who reported the suit's remarks. Hardly a roomful.

    National politicians dig up dirt on journalists' families? Who and when? They certainly attack reporters' stories, and their credibility. They may even dig up dirt on them personally. But they don't go after families.

    Journalists and news organizations also spoke up with the Rosen investigation. Risen has also received support through his investigation.

    Still trying to portray the "Media Bad!" Narrative instead of supporting them when they expose a company that has flat-out said they are not responsible for their employees' (oh, sorry, 'independent contractors') violent actions, even though they hired them.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member


    Call it Uber Angst.

    This is a new quandary faced by customers reliant on Uber’s on-demand taxi app but unsettled about supporting a company whose attitudes toward privacy and women have been making headlines.

    Margit Detweiler, founder of the website TueNight.com, is among those wondering what to do.

    Last week, she was late for a conference and needed a ride, quickly. “I was faced with a moral dilemma,” she said.

    The desire for punctuality won out, and she ordered a car from her Uber app. When she arrived at the conference, a friend sheepishly confessed to her that she, too, had used Uber to get there on time. “We thought we should tweet, ‘We have ‘Uber Shame,’ ” Ms. Detweiler said.

    Her conflicted feelings reflect an intensifying refrain coming recently from devotees. They are re-examining their relationship with the company after reading about last week’s comments made by Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president for business at Uber, who suggested that the company hire researchers to spy on journalists critical of Uber’s policies and executives.

  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Of course, you ignore the second half of the story:

  8. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Frankly, I'm not sure how Uber is legal in the first place. They run a taxi service but somehow they don't have to comply with the permit, licensing, bonding, inspection and insurance requirements. Oh, and taxi rates are regulated in most cities, but I'm pretty sure Uber and the other similar services can charge whatever they want. Makes no sense to me.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Because government bad.

    It is a libertarian's wet dream. And if they don't run the proper background checks and enough people get beaten up by their drivers, then they'll choose another service and Uber will go out of business. Your broken jaw could be a miracle of the marketplace.
  10. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    No, the libertarian's dream is for all the services to have the same rules -- in their dream, none, but still, it isn't to have one competitor regulated and another not. I don't think that's anyone's dream except for the unregulated competitor.
  11. Danwriter

    Danwriter New Member

    The Uber imbroglio is conflicting. One one hand, I love the service; as a freelancer it saves me plenty of money that doesn't get expensed otherwise. On the other hand, fuck this guy.
    Thing is, it's part of a much, much larger picture, one in which personal data is never going to be fully protected anymore — how many emails have I gotten from Target and Home Depot, et al. in the last few months apologizing for data breaches and offering "free" credit monitoring? And then there's the Silicon Valley/start-up-Wild West mindset that comes with this kind of risk taking. You saw it with railroads 150 years ago and with Big Oil a century ago. Same shit, just happening at 100 mph.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Danwriter's finger currently hovering over the delete button:

    Some customers, now former customers, are not appeased. Imran Malek, an engineer at DataXu in Boston, deleted his Uber app, he said, after days “of my finger hovering over the delete button.”

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