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.