Breaking: Michael Arrington Responds to AOL/TechCrunch Acquisition Rumors With Potentially Suicidal Segway Rides, Truancy


It has recently been rumored that TechCrunch CEO Michael Arrington — a tech/media entrepreneur who takes the whole “bustin’ down doors” bravado pretty seriously — is in acquisition talks with media giant AOL, Om Malik at GigaOm reports, noting that the deal “is at a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet.”

It comes at an interesting time! TechCrunch Disrupt — one of these conference things for tech/media dorks who are lucky enough to have jobs or investors who don’t know any better but to pay them to be there and Tweet what other people talk about all day to their readership, most of whom are there anyway — is happening right now. And Malik’s sources say that if an announcement’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen during TC Disrupt. How has TechCrunch responded?

Owen Thomas at MediaBeat:

TechCrunch co-editor Erick Schonfeld declined to comment on the report. Malik said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong might appear at the conference to make an announcement of the rumored deal. An acquisition by AOL would bring to an end TechCrunch’s spiky independence.

Thankfully, Arrington hasn’t made any dick jokes about Thomas lately, and even he did, doesn’t advertise with us. But Thomas has noted, via Twitter, that Arrington has been mysteriously absent from his own conference, Tweeting: “Amid AOL-TechCrunch buzz, @arrington has been absent from his own conference this afternoon”. SHOCKING EVIDENCE BELOW:

Meanwhile, we seem to have found out exactly what Arrington’s up to today:

Yes, that’s correct: he’s rolling around on a Segway.

Hey, DMX had his motorcycles, Jay-Z has his Maybach Benz, and Michael Arrington gets this thing, which would be fine and good if it weren’t already headline news that THE GUY WHO OWNS SEGWAY DIED IN A FREAK SEGWAY ACCIDENT TODAY and surely Arrington, newsmaker that he is, knows this already. That man is armed and dangerous and on the loose with a standup moving machine from the future! BEWARE!

[No, but really, this is how transparently lame tech journos are sometimes. What better way to drum up traffic than by running a rumor saying Arrington’s talking to AOL — a great suspect for acquisition talks — during his conference? It’s part of the Arrington Buzz Machine. Otherwise, it’d be incredible, impeccable timing that this happened during his conference, and if they were to go from “a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet” to being able to announce it at his own conference, that would either be (A) the fastest acquisition in the history of media/tech properties or (B) evidence of just how well the Arrington press machine works, to get a reporter to believe that these talks on a maybe-soon-to-be-announced deal are still flimsy. But if you’re a tech blogger and you get a good rumor like this at the right time, you run it, because there’s great traffic in it, and you turn off your bullshit detector to ratchet up the buzz on your story, which — even if it isn’t true — is a win/win for the reporter who has the “exclusive” on the rumors, and especially for Arrington: to even have his company and “acquisition” being talked about in the same sentence by serious-to-semi-serious tech bloggers/fellow tech media owners is a score in and of itself. It’s like going to ComicCon and blogging about a “rumor” you heard that Iron Man 3 shows Robert Downey Jr.’s twelve-inch penis: whether or not it happens, the press and the subject win, despite the readily available scrutiny regarding it.]