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New York Times Names Michael Arrington ‘Ethics Czar’

TechCrunch editor to drag newspaper kicking and screaming into the morally flexible, douchebag-friendly world of Ethics 2.0

By (@tynanwrites)

September 7, 2009

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

lord michael of arrington IIIIn a surprise move, the New York Times has named TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to fill the newly created position of “ethics czar” at the newspaper.

“Despite having no experience or training as a journalist, Michael knows more about the newspaper industry than we do, as he frequently reminds us,” Clark Hoyt, Public Editor for the Times, did not actually say. “We look forward to implementing Arrington Ethics 2.0 in future editions of The Times.”

Arrington’s appointment comes on the heels of a public feud in which he again accused technology columnist David Pogue of “clear violations” of the New York Times’ ethical guidelines for writing about Apple products while at the same time producing his own series of Missing Manuals for Apple products.

Arrington, who had a public breakup with the Apple iPhone last July and whose site has been oddly bereft of Apple rumors ever since, also proposed that priests should be allowed to marry.

In a prepared statement,* Arrington says he looks forward to “celebrating bias” in the pages of the New York Times — giving favorable coverage to companies he or his VC buddies have a financial interest in, using imaginary friends as sources, posting leaked documents obtained illegally just because he can, and publishing any rumor that crosses his desk no matter how dimwitted.

As Arrington himself once wrote:

TechCrunch is different. TechCrunch is all about insider information and conflicts of interest. The only way I get access to the information I do is because these entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are my friends. I genuinely like these people and want them to succeed, and they know it and therefore trust me more than they trust traditional press.

michael arrington & his pet bird

The cash-strapped daily denied hiring Arrington solely for access to his extensive contacts in the venture capital community, though a Times insider who asked to remain imaginary did confide that “it’s always nice to have a friend with deep pockets and flexible morals.”

Arrington will continue to edit TechCrunch in his inimitable fashion. However, in accordance with the Times’ existing ethics policy, Arrington will have to give up his post as President of the American Association of Pompous Douchebags (AAPDB).

In related news: The Vatican has announced it will rescind a 2000-year-old policy and allow Catholic priests to enjoy the sacrament of marriage.

“Once Arrington called us out on that, we had no other choice,” said the Holy Pontiff via a spokes-cardinal. “I’m not the only person on the planet who’s infallible.”

* Though not prepared by him

Photo of Michael Arrington’s one-finger salute: Flickr

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