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eSarcasm Unveils Groundbreaking New Ethics Policy

It’s pretty simple, really. Want us to write about you? It’s going to cost you. Want us to please not write about you? It’ll cost you more. Welcome to eThics 2.0.

Arguments over editorial ethics are all over the Webbernets these days, and for that you can thank Michael Arrington

This tussle dates back to March 2009 when the TechCrunch founder published a blog entry titled "The Rules Apply To Everyone," in which he declared he would no longer be writing about companies he invested in or investing in companies he wrote about. Last month, Arrington published an update to these policies ("The Rules Apply to Everyone But Me") in which he basically said fuck that, I’m going back to doing what I feel like.

A small blogstorm ensued. All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher and others chided Aol for making exceptions to its ethics policies for Arrington. The TC maven fired back, accusing Swisher of bias because she is ‘gay married’ to a Google executive (sadly, not Marissa Mayer) and declaring the entire tech journalism world to be as ethically compromised as he is.

Well, then.

At eSarcasm, we believe journalistic ethics are extremely important. Which is why, effective immediately, we’re going to start charging for them. Here’s how our eThics 2.0 guidelines will work:

* If you’d like us to mercilessly ridicule you, your product or your company, it will now cost you $100.

* If you would like us to please not mercilessly ridicule you, your product or your company, it will cost you $200.

* If you’d like us to remove existing posts where you (your company, etc) have been ridiculed, mocked, spoofed, parodied, lampooned, skewered, defiled, pilloried, badly photo-shopped, or otherwise treated with less than utmost deference, it will cost you $500.

These fees will be charged per instance, not per post. So, for example, if we published a story calling the staff of Gawker a bunch of whiny little pissants and claiming that its founder Nick Denton has intercourse with barnyard animals, that would cost $200. Of course, we would never say either of those things. (That will be $400, please.) See how easy it is?

And if you’re affiliated with TechCrunch, just add a zero to all of those numbers. We also know how to make exceptions for special employees.

In the spirit of our new ethics policy, we feel it’s appropriate to disclose investments and other potential conflicts of interest by eSarcasm’s staff. Here we go:

1. Site co-founder Dan Tynan says he tried to buy some Google stock once, but gagged when he realized a single share cost more than his first car.

2. Co-co-founder JR Raphael puts large sums of money in several online ventures, but his lawyers tell him premium memberships to porn sites don’t technically count as “investments.” Also, he may or may not have been responsible for Kara Swisher’s decision to switch teams (sorry again about that awkward night in ’97).

3. Advice columnist Dr. Smartass has invested $52,347 in Chesty LaRue’s House of Exotic Delites, mostly in $1 increments.

4. Thumb-challenged product reviewer Lenny the Lobster says he’s sunk a million clams into an offshore gaming establishment in the Caymans. We’re pretty sure he means that literally.

We hope that clears everything up, and look forward to receiving your checks and electronic payments.

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