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Dear Robert Scoble:

If I've made a mistake about your interest in getting involved in angel investing, I apologize.

As I told you, a VC told me he'd been approached by another VC and offered an opportunity to invest in a fund that you would be involved with.

I asked you about it, and I understood your response to be confirmation that you had talked to people about this but there was, as you put it, "nothing official yet."

You mention talking to Rich Stromback at Davos. I talked to Rich this afternoon and he confirmed that you expressed interest in joining an angel group that he is trying to organize, though it's still far from finalized.

However, I also went back to my original VC source, and he said the pitch he received had nothing to do with Rich Stromback. He says he was contacted six months ago, long before Davos, by another venture capitalist.

My source says: "I didn't talk to Scoble directly but rather someone who said they talked to Scoble and they were seriously considering investing, and wanted to know if we were too. We weren't."

Is it possible that a venture capitalist was going around approaching other VC firms looking to raise money on your behalf but without your knowledge or consent?

My source is a top guy at a serious venture firm. I don't think he would make this up. But if that's the case, then this is all very strange, and I'm sorry to have played a part in it.
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39 comments
 
Hold up, I need to make another batch of popcorn.
 
So, wait - you're upset about journalistic integrity, and you didn't fact check? :) </ribbing>
 
love LOVE LOVE this! it was awesome when he took on Siegler and shut him down for what he was... then to mount htat oh so high a horse and goes all Christopher Reeves ha hahahahahah <munches popcorn> GIMMIE MOAR!
 
I am not involved in any other conversations about venture investing or such. I have no idea who that might be or why they might be using my name. I sure would love to know more about who is using my name in these contexts. I have no fund. Period.
 
Is it anything to do with Bill Gross? https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/DqUMn8Ae9ro answers that. That's the only other discussion I've had about my career in the past 18 months.

And, my interest in Rich Strombach's thing, which isn't even a fund yet, was just nothing more "hey, I'm always interested in talking about what I can do." Nothing more than that. They haven't come back with a proposal at all.
 
I think this deserves a few thousand more eyeballs... Gimme a sec.
 
Good grief... I'm amazed at what people continue to "trump-up" as news. Can't we find something that actually benefits someone to report on.
 
I know....hahahaha..... I should make a thought out.....haha.... comment here.... but can't.... stop...hahahahahahahahahaha....

ok..ok..(compose yourself)..the sheer exquisite beauty of this, is that I found this post via the previous actual journalist you tried to piss off via your brand of "journalism" (really playing it fast and loose with that word now) +MG Siegler on his site http://parislemon.com/post/18122724150/actually-maybe-google-is-useful

Please, oh please, do go on..... wait +Dan Morrill 's idea is genius, (gets popcorn).... ok ready, post away...
 
+Dan Lyons Dan, you're mea culpa-ing all over G+, but unless I'm missing it, readers of your original Daily Beast piece don't have the word that you made a mistake and apologized. What's the Beast's policy on corrections?
 
+Dwight Silverman yeah, I am really shocked that +Dan Lyons hasn't updated his original piece. Heck, he hasn't called me, either, and he hasn't really apologized or admitted he made a mistake. Looking at the email thread I was pretty clear that I hadn't started a fund.
 
Articles that are only based in "Heard from a trusted source I won't reveal" I never trust. I would hope that not many other people do +Robert Scoble. Using that logic, every piece on the iPhone 5 can be easily dismissed.
 
Recovering Blogger? I think you need more Recovering.
 
Dear Kettle, "Black". Sincerely, Pot
 
+Dan Lyons It seems odd, you write this apology but your original article stands uncorrected. Maybe you should update your article with your new understanding of these facts. This seems like a pretty poor reflection on Newsweek.
 
Dan, also it's really lame how borked the commenting system is on The Daily Beast. I tried to log on there on your article with my Google account, then my Facebook account, then my Yahoo account. Each time the system wanted me to fill in information, check a box to confirm that I was at least 13 years old etc. and on each attempt the registration process just hangs and hangs and hangs.

There seems to be no way to leave a comment on your original post. Frustrating.
 
+Thomas Hawk Sadly, this is just what Dan wants. He's link baiting with sensationalized and unsubstantiated blather. How else is he going to drive traffic to his crap. I think we should all do ourselves a favor and un-circle, unfollow the poor content challenged soul.
 
+Reg Saddler I'm not going to take that cynical a view of it. I think +Dan Lyons probably knows he got this one wrong. I'm just wondering why he hasn't corrected the original article. I think when you get something like this wrong you need to try and get the correction up as quickly as possible -- especially when it speaks to someone's reputation.

I didn't like the sort of mean spirited tone of the article in general but responsible journalism should dictate a correction to his original article at this point.
 
Twenty four hours (aka eternity as it's known online) and still no official retraction/correction on the Daily Beast.

If this were an iPhone 5 rumor it'd have seen at least seven updates by now - I'm just saying :)
 
I didn't say he was, +Abhisshek Das . But it did sound like he read more into it than there really was! His story amounted to what lawyers would call hearsay.

My objection is with him posting something in a widely read forum like Daily Beast, and using corrections/ apologies/ follow up remarks in all channels except the one where insinuations were made.

This is doubly ironic because he made a cogent argument for journalistic standards when he took on Arrington & Seigler last week - he should hold himself to them is all. Corrections and retractions are part of that...
 
Amazing +Dan Lyons first you apologize here but then you dont update the original article and then you come back on your own site with a headline that says the same thing. You really know how to apologize...
 
To Dan: I just saw your latest article that +Abhisshek Das posted above. Sigh.

I never attempted to raise a fund last year. Not a single word of that is true. Whoever your source is is not telling the truth. PERIOD.

As for the Davos stuff. I laid it all out. A group of us got together and is talking about doing a fund. I met with them, said I’m interested in learning more, but I need to hear official plans before going on. I have not seen any official plans. Period. There is no fund that I’m involved in.

There is no fund. Period. You are wrong. Your reporting is wrong. Your sources are wrong. You are wrong.

It’s funny that you didn’t call or talk to me at all beyond your original emails. You do “gotcha” journalism that’s totally off the wall because you have your own agenda to push.
What a joke.
 
Colour me confused,but basically an unnamed VC says that a different unnamed VC name dropped +Robert Scoble . So this isn't first nor second hand information, but third hand.

Isn't it more likely that the third hand name drop was either mis-construed or just not true, rather than Scoble risk his entire reputation (which let's face it, is a major part of his brand) over something like this?

Now, I know you're not supposed to trust anyone online, but when someone banks their entire reputation against a third hand un-named accuser, there's only one way to read the situation.
 
Let me get this clear. Some anonymous, wannabe VC was dropping famous names in an attempt to boost interest in a fund, some time in the future. Something that probably happens thousands of times. Why was it news?
 
+Dan Lyons In your article today, you say...

Last week I was talking to a top partner at a venture capital firm. We were talking about other things, but in the course of the conversation this partner mentioned that last year his firm got a call from a guy at another VC firm asking if they’d like to invest in a Scoble project. My guy says: “I didn’t talk to Scoble directly, but rather someone who said they talked to Scoble..."

I'm not a journalist but this sounds nuts just on the surface... your source for +Robert Scoble 's involvement in this is literally a "friend of a friend". Your entire story hinges on being at least 2 people removed from the source. Yes I know journalists use confidential sources all the time but using a confidential source of a confidential source?

Again, I'm no journalist but you are going to have to start naming names if you keep pushing the story. These aren't state secrets and the VC you talked to should have the balls to talk on the record... otherwise you've hung yourself out to dry.
 
It's incredible to me that a retraction still has not been issued for the original article in this case. To allege the sort of things that +Dan Lyons alleges about +Robert Scoble in light of +Robert Scoble's direct and specific denials at this point feels incredibly irresponsible -- it also reflects very poorly on both Dan Lyons as a journalist and Newsweek as a news outlet.

What's more, the fact that the sort of article that was written based on the email that Dan shared is mind blowing. Really? You're basing your article on that email? Relying on some flimsy my anonymous friend was told by his anonymous friend and calling it journalism is a disservice to the important work that real journalists do.

I think what bothers me most about the article though is that in addition to getting everything wrong, the whole tone of the coverage is just mean spirited -- unnecessarily so. Why post a photo of Scoble from years ago without his shirt on holding a "for sale" sign? It was purposely pulled out of context to try and send a message that Robert's character was poor and he could be bribed. It's a misleading photograph used to try to show Scoble in an unflattering light -- complete with a "good fucking grief Scoble" caption.

I think you could probably say the same for the middle finger photos that were chosen for previous coverage of Mike Arrington and +MG Siegler. Pulling photos out of context for stories like these just feels like a cheap stunt that a real journalist wouldn't resort to. Do the stories really need those photos to go with them?

And then another personal swipe in the article at Scoble. "My source declined the offer, partly because he thinks Scoble doesn’t really have that much influence. “I think there’s a mismatch between what goes on in his mind and reality,” my guy said."

The article could have just aid "my source declined the offer" -- instead there seems to be some glee in sort of attacking Robert as some blowhard who thinks he's some sort of influential guy when he's not. Was that part really necessary to the story?

Super classy to quote an anonymous source savaging somebody's character.

So you take the meanspiritedness of the coverage with the made up facts / sloppy journalism, and the whole thing just feels so sleazy. I hope somebody goes above Dan Lyons' head at Newsweek to take a more professional look at this coverage.
 
Love Dan Lyons but yeah, his snarkiness is getting the best of him. +Dan Lyons you can't both say you're above the fray and mudsling with the other animals at the same time.
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