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"You pull a knife, I bring a gun. It's the Pando way."
August 17, 2013 8:24 PM   Subscribe

It started when PandoDaily founder Sarah Lacy interviewed SpaceX/PayPal/Tesla founder Elon Musk at a facility called CrossCampus. She wasn't happy that CrossCampus put a banner over their stage, so she wrote them an angry email that seemed an awful lot like an attempt at extortion. So they responded saying as much. Which so infuriated PandoDaily columnist Paul Carr that he responded with a rant that has already become Internet-famous:
Fuck you Ronen, you condescending sack of shit. [...] Google me. Read a few of my columns in the Guardian, the Times, the Wall Street Journal or on blogs like TechCrunch and — of course — PandoDaily. Or pick up one of my books. Read what *always* happens when someone starts a public fight with me, or attempts to shake down one of my friends. [...] I suggest — and it's not really a suggestion — you fuck off and stop trying to play with the big leagues. You're barely ready for pre-school, let alone a pathetic "our lawyers are bigger than your lawyers" dance. [...] Batter up.
Salon responds. Sarah Lacy wants Valleywag, which leaked the emails, to pay her $100,000 in damages. Paul Carr responds on his own site, and clearly regrets nothing.
posted by Rory Marinich (171 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
didn't she deny this was her on her own twitter?
posted by gorestainedrunes at 8:29 PM on August 17, 2013


My bad. It looks like the "$100,000" link is to a convincing fake. The original emails are real.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:36 PM on August 17, 2013


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by tim_in_oz at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


We are running a serious business with investments from the biggest VCs in the Valley.

If you feel compelled to state this, it is false.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:44 PM on August 17, 2013 [45 favorites]


Wow, these people manage to make your average reality TV "star" look classy.
posted by tyllwin at 8:45 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


They all sound like miserable sociopaths.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:48 PM on August 17, 2013 [20 favorites]


Paul Carr responds on his own site, and clearly regrets nothing.

Salon's all like CHRIST WHAT AN ASSHOLE and Paul Carr is all like I AM AN ASSHOLE, WHAT



Really, though, all of these people are assholes.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:50 PM on August 17, 2013 [23 favorites]


It is stories like these that make me very happy that I'm old and out of touch with everything. Wait, none of these fuckers are in control of my Social Security, right?
posted by NoMich at 8:53 PM on August 17, 2013 [28 favorites]


If you work for a venture-backed startup and your founders take rags like PandoDaily and TechCrunch seriously, find another job, stat.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:53 PM on August 17, 2013 [15 favorites]


Way to attract future investors with your mature take on networking.
posted by arcticseal at 8:54 PM on August 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


God, what a bullshit tornado is "the Valley." It's hard to fathom all the hot air and self-aggrandizing egomania of the SF-PA axis. PandoDaily is worthless.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:54 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


This reminds me why I was so happy to get out of startups and dealing with people who thought working for a company with no vowels in its name was on par in importance with curing cancer.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:55 PM on August 17, 2013 [37 favorites]


Valleywag is my favorite Gawker enterprise, not because it's any loftier or, well, better, than the usual Gawker stuff, but because it diligently reports on this dark underside to the tech world that isn't really commented upon anywhere else.

I was going to post The Startup Crowd Is Becoming an Actual Cult to the blue, but completely forgot about it; it details how some tech group bought part of a mountain called Eden, and throws something called Summit there, which is an exclusive (and expensive) festival thingy where prominent Silicon Valley people meet to be spiritually renewed and such.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:55 PM on August 17, 2013 [23 favorites]


Personally I expect cultural elites to be subtle with their egos.
posted by Halogenhat at 8:57 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


We are running a serious business with investments from the biggest VCs in the Valley.

So is Bustle.com

Pleasepleaseplease burst this financial bubble soon...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:01 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there some non-obvious significance to the description "Persian Jews"? What would be the purpose of someone specifically providing that detail?
posted by fuse theorem at 9:02 PM on August 17, 2013


I don't even understand what the original offense was. They did an interview somewhere and that place put a banner up over the stage?? That's *it*?
posted by R343L at 9:02 PM on August 17, 2013 [13 favorites]


This sounds an awful lot like the people I didn't like in high school.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:04 PM on August 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


My, my. Where are their manners?
I believe they think this is performance art.


That’s me. I’m that pig.

I just snorted ice tea.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:07 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


So Carr's defence of vomiting bile is to say "I vomit bile all the time" and "I vomited bile in this case because the woman I was protecting saved my life from alcoholism"?

Um, okay. Whatever Carr. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
posted by fatbird at 9:10 PM on August 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


The people Carr is fucking with deserve it. His style is Scottish highlander barbarian suicide berserk.
posted by stbalbach at 9:11 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't this why people negotiate and sign contracts? The e-mail seems resort to extortion because Pando-whatever didn't specify clear terms in writing. Contract violations can be handled much more professionally than vague assertions of wounded egos. With a clear contract, Lacy could have just smiled politely and sent a lawyer after them.
posted by smrtsch at 9:13 PM on August 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


A barnacle fight!
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:16 PM on August 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


They probably wouldn't have gotten this much attention if they met and agreed to collaborate beforehand.

Attention seekers gonna seek attention.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:19 PM on August 17, 2013


So is Bustle.com

There's a bustle.com in your hedge fund
posted by scody at 9:27 PM on August 17, 2013 [47 favorites]


There's a bustle.com in your hedge fund

If there's a bustle in your hedge fund, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May drama queen.
posted by tyllwin at 9:31 PM on August 17, 2013 [17 favorites]


what's all this now?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:33 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if companies like General Electric and IBM ever get into fights like this.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:34 PM on August 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't really follow Silicon Valley news enough to get all the context here, but based on that first Valleywag link, the event sounds like it was disorganized on a very basic level, especially if it was produced by people who supposedly do these sorts of things all the time.

As smrtsch notes, details of sponsorships and venue rentals typically are written down in contract form and agreed to beforehand by both parties. If someone breaks the contract, there's a clear procedure for redress. If there was a contract here, or even just a letter of agreement outlining who would do what, it apparently didn't cover all the relevant details.

Also - in addition to the argument over the sign, the story also makes reference to what seem like basic logistical problems - parking cars, getting guests inside the building, controlling access to different areas, and so on.

If you've done events before, you should know how to handle all that kind of stuff at a particular location, how many people it takes to staff the event, and so on. For a bunch of alleged professionals, there seems to be a whole lot of amateurish BS happening here - before, during and especially after.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:36 PM on August 17, 2013 [15 favorites]


I think this sums up pretty well my reaction to all this, from the Salon article:
Look: Adult men should not speak to others in the language of Big Dog T-shirts. It’s humiliating — for the speaker, not the target of the attempted intimidation. You, grown man typing an email or sending an Internet message referred to by the sound a tiny bird makes, sound ridiculous.

This is by no means a “call for civility.” ... What I’m calling for is an end to bullshit macho posturing. Especially by fucking professional writers. It was stupid when Norman Mailer did it and it’s unforgivably stupid now. It doesn’t even deserve to be described as “bullying,” because it’s too pathetic.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:43 PM on August 17, 2013 [42 favorites]


I googled him.
posted by analogue at 9:43 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


But there are now spiritual retreats where they bring peace to the (silicon) valley, like Summit Outside (warning: more Valleywag/Gawker snark, but OMIGOD: "He then told me his father had just passed away that morning. And instead of canceling plans to be with his immediate family, he decided that his first step towards healing was to be with his Summit family.")
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:43 PM on August 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well guys, the good news is that I'm apparently mature, respectful and intelligent enough to be an online journalist.
posted by GoingToShopping at 9:47 PM on August 17, 2013 [14 favorites]


Isn't this why people negotiate and sign contracts? The e-mail seems resort to extortion because Pando-whatever didn't specify clear terms in writing. Contract violations can be handled much more professionally than vague assertions of wounded egos. With a clear contract, Lacy could have just smiled politely and sent a lawyer after them.

It was a sign. A sign with the name of the venue, you know, nothing too crazy wild, just hanging above the stage like signs do. Nothing about this needs lawyers or anything. Just take the darn sign down before the event if you're so bothered by it. Or don't do business with them again if you were so dissatisfied with their venue and conduct. No need to drag a dozen of your staffers into this (let alone spread yet more Sarah Lacy craziness across the entire internet, yes, I do mean even the blogs that mostly are just pictures of kitties), and no need for the bullshit posturing.

The problem is that this whole stunt just gives Pando, Lacy, Carr, and friends exactly what they wanted out of the whole deal, which is attention. Someone else will always be stupid enough to rent them a venue for their next event, and in the meantime, we're all stupid enough to care about this. The only way to win is to shake your head and walk away whenever anyone mentions any of the above entities. Because that's what they deserve.
posted by zachlipton at 9:53 PM on August 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


In a lot of ways, startup culture in the valley is the epitome of the truism that not even the adults know what the hell they're doing at any given time.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:55 PM on August 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pffftl these people think they are Internet tough? They think they are ready to operate in the big leagues of internet tough guys? This is my emal sig:


I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:55 PM on August 17, 2013 [41 favorites]


I had never heard of pando before (nor of Paul Carr, allegedly internet-famous asshole, who probably googles himself all the time so hi!) but man, I clicked on that link above and the main headline on their page is "A serial pivot to success story". And then I closed the tab, because, what?

Ah, memories, from back in the day, oh yeah the 90s were awesome, back when most of the 'news' on the internet was news about start-up assholes, written in insufferable techno-bullshit-ese.

I'm glad to see that the future will apparently be at least as stupid as the past, which is a comfort to me in my internet-old age.
posted by hap_hazard at 9:59 PM on August 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think one of the reasons macho-posturing goes on as if it's entirely a winning situation for all involved, even professionals who should know better, is because the internet has become a medium, in part, that encourages people to hear themselves talk and to be rewarded for their cleverness.

It's happened in other written mediums, but like most other things, the internet has accelerated potential vices due to its pervasiveness and omnipresence, and its centrality to identities and primary vocation. The idea of stepping back and allowing someone who is clearly wrong to have the last word because being right is reward enough doesn't have currency in a public place where words win, and those words need to be coming quickly as a matter of vocation.

How does a one cultivate a virtue of quiet confidence in one's own integrity when there's no feedback loop that encourages this kind of thing? If you aren't speaking publicly, you are almost by definition obscure on the internet.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:01 PM on August 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Man, Ad hominem, I thought I was going to be the first person here to offer to kick the ass of everyone in this chatroom (and hey, forward this to all your friends in case I haven't specifically threatened them yet) but since you're apparently friends with a B-51 pilot, I will "stand down."

Unless Paul Carr shows up here...
posted by hap_hazard at 10:03 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


PandoDaily has been a source of positive press for one of the least trustworthy people I've encountered professionally, who happens to be involved in a startup scene outside the valley. Needless to say, they repeat every grandiose assertion uncritically.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:05 PM on August 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


And which person might that be?
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:07 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


is because the internet has become a medium, in part, that encourages people to hear themselves talk and to be rewarded for their cleverness.

Has become ?

Dude. Usenet.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:07 PM on August 17, 2013 [27 favorites]


Never heard of any of them before this thread and within seconds of closing it and moving on to the next, I'll forget all about them. That's how important their little snit fit is in the long term - it may get them some attention, but it won't last more than five minutes.

Yawn.
posted by aryma at 10:07 PM on August 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Browse randomly through the archive and pick one, really. I'm pretty sure it's their m.o. These guys are snake oil resellers.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:08 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Imagine being in a relationship with one of these people and they come home and tell you alllllll about it and oh god do I have to pretend like I care? "Yeah honey that thing with the banner was so fucked up." And, "You totally handled it well."
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:11 PM on August 17, 2013 [72 favorites]


This term "internet famous".

I'm embarrassed for the person using this term in earnest.

I believe I am *internet famous* right about NOW
posted by Colonel Panic at 10:13 PM on August 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Unless Paul Carr shows up here

I am actually not a navy seal. I got that sig from the consultant I hired to manage my personal brand, as PandoDaily suggested.

I paid him 20k for that sig. I think he got it from 4chan.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:14 PM on August 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Has become ?

Dude. Usenet.


It's like Facebook. It used to be small groups of college students posting about embarrassing transgressions; then one day, it blows up big and now it's people like grandma who probably should know better.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:15 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only thing I ever heard about "Persian Jews" was that they are uncomfortable with gay marriage. Does this play in here somehow?
posted by carping demon at 10:20 PM on August 17, 2013


So this is not about pandas then?
posted by bongo_x at 10:21 PM on August 17, 2013 [30 favorites]


people like grandma who probably should know better.

She'd better fucking watch it now!
posted by hap_hazard at 10:22 PM on August 17, 2013


For overall context on all of this ballyhoo, I found this (from the Salon article) very helpful:

If you don’t know who those people are, then congratulations. The only thing you need to know about them is that they think they are Very Big Players in their little world, which in this case is writing very boosterish things about tech companies. And they are indeed both quite well-known in that sphere. As these emails showed, they are also both raging assholes, drunk on entitlement.
posted by philip-random at 10:28 PM on August 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think one of the reasons macho-posturing goes on as if it's entirely a winning situation for all involved, even professionals who should know better, is because the internet has become a medium, in part, that encourages people to hear themselves talk and to be rewarded for their cleverness.

Well, the whole startup culture is a gold rush to a stream of bullshit and by the time you get to this point you've been rah-rah teambuilding for so long that you either burn out or you actually start to believe the copious amounts of bullshit you swill out simply because you have to believe that the 12-18 hour days you're devoting to something that is essentially vapor you hope to sell to a larger company before the bullshit music stops is actually worth something. The whole Silicon Valley startup thing is like Tinkerbell, if everyone suddenly stopped clapping and screaming I BELIEVE IN COMPANIES WITHOUT VOWELS and throwing money at them, it'd just be a bunch of underdressed douchebags paying way too much to live in San Francisco. And we can't have that.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:29 PM on August 17, 2013 [41 favorites]


a bunch of underdressed douchebags paying way too much to live in San Francisco

Hey now.
posted by Nomyte at 10:38 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is seriously what happens when you flame out in Silicon Valley but decide to stick around and work behind the scenes. You turn into a mid-30's, major ego, definitely-single-who-has-time-for-kids alcoholic or recently sober "columnist" or "event planner," mind-numbingly surrounded by interns who want to be just like you, aka what Paul Carr refers to as "people who follow me on Twitter."

Elon Musk walks into the room, and your job as a relatively ungifted satellite mooch is to start arguing about what sign is in the shot and who got let into the green room. You start crafting the perfect death email, you want to the person on the receiving end to shit themselves and die when they read it. This is the only thing left that gives you pleasure. The need to fill the meaningless hole that is your life with something.

The parallels with Hollywood are maddening.
posted by phaedon at 10:38 PM on August 17, 2013 [67 favorites]


I once had a job providing contract management oversight to non-profits in a wealthy part of the US. This is giving me a twitch in my eye-roll muscle. I pulled it during that job and it's never been the same since.
posted by fshgrl at 10:45 PM on August 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


a bunch of underdressed douchebags paying way too much to live in San Francisco

Unfortunately, those douchebags are making it cost way too much for anyone to live in San Francisco, including real people who actually do real things instead of bloviate in buzzwords and call each other names.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:18 PM on August 17, 2013 [13 favorites]


This sounds an awful lot like the people I didn't like in high school.

It is those people. People give them money now, lots of it.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:23 PM on August 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wow. Never heard of these pando guys before but they come across as a right proper bunch of self-inflated wankers.

Comedy gold.
posted by dazed_one at 11:27 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The talent distribution I've (remotely) worked with in Silicon Valley has been mostly average: some good, some bad. And then there's an unusual, small group of really, truly brilliant people.

Unfortunately, a lot of the normal distribution see themselves in the brilliant group. It leads to free-floating egos that aren't really backed up by anything.
posted by underflow at 11:28 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess Elon Musk is the only good guy in this story? I guess I'll go read about him instead of all of this tech gossip inside baseball blather from grown-ups who ought to know better.
posted by mmoncur at 11:36 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK, so I am "Googling" all of these people, and they suck even more than I could possibly fathom. It's a bottomless fucking cesspool.

For example, here is that Sarah Lacy person on the recent transit strike:

“If I had more friends who were BART drivers, I would probably be very sympathetic to their cause, and if they had more friends who were building companies they would probably realize we’re not all millionaires, and we’re actually working pretty hard to build something. People in the tech industry feel like life is a meritocracy. You work really hard, you build something and you create something, which is sort of directly opposite to unions.”


Just savor that one for a bit.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:38 PM on August 17, 2013 [93 favorites]


The bigger issue is that Pando is among the sites that got decent bits of funding from several VCs (big for Pando, small for VCs), write about start upsthose VCs have backed and in some cases invest in the startups.

Dan Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs, has written about this.
posted by ambient2 at 11:41 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Until I am informed otherwise, I will continue to assume PandoDaily is short for "Pandering Daily".
posted by schwa at 11:42 PM on August 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


PandoDaily is secretly TechCrunch.

They aren't any kind of journalists really, they are like boosters for college sports teams running a newsletter about their favorite tech stars. What legit news organization or reporter would try to get an event space to "work off" some imaginary debt or suffer negative exposure.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:49 PM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


So how is "provide us with $20k worth of your services or we'll shit all over you publicly" now actually blackmail?

I really hope the venue is engaging lawyers.
posted by schwa at 11:54 PM on August 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dan Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs, has written about this.

It's worth pointing out that Lyons and MG Siegler, who he criticizes at length in this article, have been feuding with each other for years now. Siegler is one of the Apple rat pack, and generally that lot is critical of Lyons' post-Fake Steve work.

I have no love for Michael Arrington, and Pando Daily has managed to become TechCrunch without even Arrington's colorful personality for entertainment, but that bias should be pointed out. Lyons is no neutral critic either.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:59 PM on August 17, 2013


but that bias should be pointed out. Lyons is no neutral critic either.

Should it be? I mean, just because two people have been disagreeing with each other for a long time, does that mean that the opinion of one of them is automatically suspect? What if one of them is actually wrong? Is it bias?
posted by kenko at 12:14 AM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, I shouldn't have done it, but I apparently can't help myself, I actually went back and clicked on that 'serial pivot' story. Guess who it's about? The founders of hotornot.com! Somehow that's perfect.

I tend to get a little weary of the whole "clearly everybody involved in this story is an irredeemable asshole' take on things here, but holy crap is it true in this case.

I can foresee only one favorable outcome- somebody finally creates the means to stab people in the face over the internet. A device is prototyped, pando daily pimps out the founders to some VC angels, and vice versa, and at a high-profile demonstration facilitated by the pando people and sponsored by internet-famous asshole Paul Carr's nsfwcorp's print edition (no, really, google 'internet-famous asshole Paul Carr' and it'll show right up, this thing exists) EVERY LAST MOTHERFUCKING ONE OF THEM GETS STABBED IN THE FACE.

IPO goes through the roof. The internet (but not these assholes) is redeemed. 4-chan becomes the internet equivalent of a nuclear power, unfortunately. But even so, obviously, this thing needs to happen.


c'mon, metafilter, who wants to be a BILLIONAIRE????
posted by hap_hazard at 12:16 AM on August 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


I can foresee only one favorable outcome- somebody finally creates the means to stab people in the face over the internet.

I bet Elon Musk could figure it out, but he's probably pretty busy.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:21 AM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, as long as he can stop by for the demo...
posted by hap_hazard at 12:24 AM on August 18, 2013


I just wasted twenty minutes of my life reading about how some horrible and unimportant human beings do not like one another. Because they are all horrible.
posted by LarryC at 12:42 AM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yep. I’m a real asshole. Wrote a couple a books about it. Used to be an alcoholic too. Awful entrepreneur. Got fired a bunch of times. Trail of angry business partners. Coupla ex-girlfriends wrote a blog about me too – that was a fucking doozy. Today: nearly four years sober. Still an asshole though, especially if you attack my friends or employees.

*snort*

Oh, my.
posted by Salamander at 12:54 AM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sarah Lacy wants Valleywag, which leaked the emails, to pay her $100,000 in damages.

For what it's worth, this appears to be a well-executed parody rather than the real thing - from the rest of the comments, it seems Sarah Lacy has denied posting it.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:59 AM on August 18, 2013


Ok, so I read a bit of this. Here is what I took from it:

1) PandoDaily is a terrible name that sounds like there should be pandas. I would prefer reading about pandas then what they do write.

2) There are a lot of assholes here.

3) The CommunityCampus people seem more incompetent then assholeish. Ok, so they weren't prepared for an event of this size: it happens. That said, I could have missed an email or something where he yells racist insults. Given the other emails present and this reference to "Parisian Jews" and claims he is going to sic them on people, that seems very possible.

4) I never, EVER want to work in the business world. I think I'll die first. I am going to find a nice job in academia or better yet, at a gov research lab, and hide in a lab for a zillion years.

5) We need better names. I missread TechCrunch as TechReport and was horrified to think this person was writing for one of my favourite websites.
posted by Canageek at 1:00 AM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


So how is "provide us with $20k worth of your services or we'll shit all over you publicly" now actually blackmail?

People throw the terms "blackmail" and "extortion" around a lot without thinking of the legal definition. But what she's demanding is a little extortionary. Reasoning goes: if the venue and staff are so horrible why on Earth would you demand 8 (!!!) complimentary events there? The only logical conclusion is that the venue and staff were reasonably fine, you just don't like paying for services rendered if you can cheat your way out of it.

I'd hate to be this lady's waiter.
posted by sbutler at 1:01 AM on August 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


I assumed the reference to Persian Jews is the obvious: some sort of nod to the fact (stereotype, that is) that they may have buckets of gold, more than VCs will ever have, and possibly that when they have a grudge it will last generations.

But looking on Wikipedia, it seems a recent mayor Beverly Hills has a Persian Jewish background, so maybe it's a sly nod to the fact that they control Hollywood and ... Big Media.

It's an odd thing to put into an e-mail, but I've certainly heard that sort of thing spoken about before. Not with any great degree of seriousness, mind.
posted by Mezentian at 1:17 AM on August 18, 2013


One of my favorite bits in this is that Lacy, a "journalist", seems to randomly elide various necessary parts of speech, like verbs, from her sentences. I don't think she worked very hard to build that email.

MERITOCRACY FAIL.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:20 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm being dumb here, but I read the Persian Jews bit to mean that their money comes from a small group of like-minded investors, i.e. people likely to stand behind him when things get rough instead of running off looking for other ventures to invest in.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:39 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I got interviewed once by Ms. Lacy.

My mother taught me to keep my mouth shut if I have nothing nice to say about someone.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 1:40 AM on August 18, 2013 [22 favorites]


I think he was saying "my business partners had to flee Iran after after the Islamic revolution, so they probably been through worse than nasty emails, unlike feckless VCs who will their own propaganda arm as long as it is convenient"
posted by Ad hominem at 1:40 AM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


After reading all the links, it makes my heart sing with joy to know that I will never encounter any of the people involved in this pissing contest. There are used car salesmen with coke habits and halitosis who I'd prefer to hang out with. What a loathsome bunch of petty little shitstains these people seem to be.

Ugh
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:51 AM on August 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


Leave Britney alone!
posted by lipsum at 2:47 AM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is the second time I've heard about PandoDaily, the first being Lacy's moronic, entitled comment on the BART strike. What a horrible, horrible place to work it must be.
posted by brundlefly at 2:58 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I google search 'Elon Musk' and it tells me his height... fuck yeah, futureshock
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:03 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm taller than him btw... *fistpump*
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:04 AM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Kill them all, let god sort them out and in the meantime take solance in the fact that an asshole like Paul Carr has never tasted soup that didn't have a spit aftertaste whenever he has eaten out.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:05 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I had more friends who were BART drivers, I would probably be very sympathetic to their cause

so her social and political beliefs are determined by who her friends are

i suspect that's pretty common, but it's rare to hear someone say it so bluntly
posted by pyramid termite at 4:45 AM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


WTFC!
posted by GreyFoxVT at 5:02 AM on August 18, 2013


A few weeks ago we had a MetaTalk about the S.H.A.M.E. Project, which has been posted several times on (and deleted at least once from) the front page of MetaFilter.

Now seems like a good time to mention that S.H.A.M.E. Project is "a division of NSFWCORP," whose editor-in-chief happens to be Paul Carr.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:02 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


> How does a one cultivate a virtue of quiet confidence in one's own integrity

don't talk, lurk
posted by jfuller at 6:37 AM on August 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wow, this reads like a laundry list of people I don't give a shit about.
posted by tommasz at 6:39 AM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


All this talk about pandas and assholes just makes me think of this.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:53 AM on August 18, 2013


This is almost as good as the hacker news thread from yesterday groupon salesman threatens restaurant with negative yelp reviews. I wonder how many of these people can even remember March 2000 when the NASDAQ hit 5000. And now I just checked and that sucker has crawled back up to 3500. Wow.
posted by bukvich at 6:54 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


PandoDaily took all that was the worst of Arrington-era TechCrunch and turned it into a business. The site is explicitly funded by the investors whose companies it covers. There's no amount of disclosure that can overcome that kind of conflict of interest.

It's easy and sometimes appropriate to hate on the inbred Silicon Valley culture. Particularly when it's at its worst, like here. But it's my industry and a hugely creative and valuable one and I love it. And there are excellent, ethical journalists working the beat like Nick Bilton or Kara Swisher.
posted by Nelson at 6:57 AM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Internet celebs and VCs and such arguing over real world banner placement is some fucking hilariously delicious schadenfreude.
posted by srboisvert at 6:59 AM on August 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


So how is "provide us with $20k worth of your services or we'll shit all over you publicly" now actually blackmail?

People throw the terms "blackmail" and "extortion" around a lot without thinking of the legal definition. But what she's demanding is a little extortionary.


I don't know that something can be "a little" extortionately. Either it's extortion or not. Blackmail is "either you do this thing if I will reveal this secret about you." Extortion is "either you do this thing or I will do this other thing you wouldn't want me to do." Threatening to make public statements that will negatively impact someone's business unless they do XYZ is textbook extortion, even if the statements would consist of nothing more than verifiably true information and clearly-defined opinion (that would protect them against charges of defamation but not extortion). $20k is a meaningfully large amount of money, and the potential harm done by the threatened act is meaningfully large as well. I'm not saying CrossCampus could definitely get the District Attorney interested or would win a lawsuit, but I have known people who wrote something similar to Lacy with respect to money owed under a disputed contract (i.e., "pay me the money you owe or I will tell everyone I know in this business you cheat people on their contracts") and were advised by counsel to back the fuck down and walk away from the owed money because their language gave the other side a colorable claim that they were being extorted. The problem comes when you say "do this or I will do that." Use "and" instead, and its not extortion (but of course it then doesn't have the power of a threat).
posted by slkinsey at 7:32 AM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jesus, it seems like everyone in this sorry tale is an irredeemable arsehole. It's like that Borges quote about the UK and Argentina going to war over the Falklands: two bald men internet-famous fucking idiots fighting over a comb banner.
posted by Len at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I Googled him. Oh, he's 33. That explains it. He's a little kid.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 7:41 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I try and remember bullshit like this whenever I lament living in Calibama.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:49 AM on August 18, 2013


My favorite part of all of this is how Carr leads off his response by noting (even in the post title!) how the guy is co-founder of a PUA site and seems to be leaking this out of revenge for some articles on the guy's friend and business partner. In his email, he says that he is "someone who is not employed by PandoDaily, can't speak for PandoDaily," except for the part where he regularly writes for them and does a video series with the site's founder, of course. Plus, of course, the parts where he keeps shilling his book.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:00 AM on August 18, 2013


Some are better than others, Nelson, though K. Swisher's spouse is a Google exec.

From Swisher's ethics statement:

The Dow Jones Code of Conduct, which I am abiding by (see below for a link), generally provides that no news personnel “assigned to report…on a specific industry may buy or sell securities in any company engaged, in whole or significant part, in that industry, nor may any member of the immediate family of any such employee do so.” But in this case, Dow Jones has concluded that—with this disclosure and the interactive nature of blogging, which makes it possible to provide this detailed explanation and also a place for comment, both of which are not adequately available in the print edition—her financial interest in Google should not prevent me from writing about this industry.
posted by ambient2 at 8:43 AM on August 18, 2013


So I google search 'Elon Musk' and it tells me his height... fuck yeah, futureshock
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:03 AM on August 18 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


The height thing is a favorite of the inclusionist trolls who ruined Wikipedia
posted by Bwithh at 9:12 AM on August 18, 2013


Regarding "Persian Jews":

I took it as the person implying "I'm going to make this borderline possible reference to an unacceptable Controlling Jewish Conspiracy meme, not so much because I believe in it, which I might or might not, but because I want to show that I could throw away the constraints of polite society in pursuit of an even uglier conversation."

Thing is, after typing that out, I couldn't remember who originally said it, and when I went back to look, it didn't matter.

Excuse me, I need a shower now.
posted by gimonca at 9:55 AM on August 18, 2013


I find it hilarious that the headlining story today on PandoDaily is The best way to take feedback: Keep quiet.

Awesome.
posted by adamp88 at 9:55 AM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is almost as good as the hacker news thread from yesterday groupon salesman threatens restaurant with negative yelp reviews.

Wow, that's quite a mess. Groupon ad guy has a network of sockpuppet accounts and Yelp friends who post negative reviews of businesses he has a problem with. He's been deleting like mad now that folks are nosing around, but there's documentation here and here. That one's gonna blow up soon.

/derail
posted by mediareport at 9:58 AM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am terribly disappointed in all of you for making me post this woefully obvious and stupid pun this late in the thread.

Ahem. I know of this Elon Musk, of which you speak. I use it when I hunt Elons to mask my scent.
posted by GoingToShopping at 10:47 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I had more friends who were BART drivers, I would probably be very sympathetic to their cause

so her social and political beliefs are determined by who her friends are


Basically, she's still in high school, a key player in the worst kind of clique. Whoever compared this crowd to the Hollywood film biz types was spot on.
posted by philip-random at 10:54 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got interviewed once by Ms. Lacy.

My mother taught me to keep my mouth shut if I have nothing nice to say about someone.


But your Internet friends here on MetaFilter want the juicy stuff, so cough up, already.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:54 AM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there some non-obvious significance to the description "Persian Jews"? What would be the purpose of someone specifically providing that detail?

As several have already noted, I take it as an implication that his lawyers are rich, connected, tenacious motherfuckers who have been through much worse shit before and come out unscathed. I like that Ronen reply; there's a guy who knows how to say "Fuck me? No, Fuck you" without even using the word "fuck."

What's most absurd about Lacy's kind of verbal brinksmanship is that when she can't make good on her threats—and it seems unlikely she can—then she just makes herself and her business look like a bunch of unstable amateurs who can't be relied on. Contrary to Donald Trump, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

Also also, I keep seeing Elon Musk's name in the press these days and whenever I do I think of his older brother, Jovan. What a successful family.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:05 AM on August 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Quite apart from the unprofessionalism which in any sane industry would be a career-killer, sbutler nails it: The massive internal contradiction of threatening to badmouth the venue and its services unless you get free use of them for your earthshakingly important events basically makes the "shakedown" charge inescapable. There isn't any other way to reconcile these opposite positions.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:15 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really don't understand how this type of "industry" works. Is PandoDaily's primary source of income from VC investment? Do VC's invest in PandoDaily because they think it's the next Gawker? I feel like a sucker for working at a company that actually sells things.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:23 AM on August 18, 2013


No matter how often it happens, it never fails to blow me away when some tech-blogger/nerd media type thinks that "salty talk" on the internet is actually impressive in the real world. Carr's letter reads like someone enamored with his own creativity, and is of the maturity level that he thinks that the cursing is what makes HBO drama's "more seriouser".

And jeez, this guy is roughly the same age as me!?? Wow, I mean, I had a livejournal too but
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:29 AM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


and that's not even getting into the sheer audacity of the initial "totes not extortion guys ;)" letter from Lacy. Are you fucking kidding me? "You put up a banner in your own place, and we charge like, a CHILLION dollars because we're big on the internet" Is everyone involved at Pando in kindergarten?

Seriously, you go to an Indie Fed wrestling match at the local gymnasium, you might have "GO RAMS" in the background of your big entrance. and if these assholes think that their dumbshit "new media" wankfest is somehow 'above' local level wrestling feds, I'll hazard I could pull some stats that would prove upsetting.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2013


Lacy is a really weird example of someone whose rise to prominence has looked like one big shit-show and meltdown, which I guess says something about the Silicon Valley milieu in which she works. I have watched her "success" with rising horror because it has been pretty obvious how she has failed to capitalize on opportunities in journalism because she has been so transfixed by the prospect of wealth conjured out of nothing by the VC/IPO/Internet bubble culture. In the course of her career/meltdown she has become attached to people like Michael Arrington and Tony Hsieh (a billionaire mogul for whom Lacy's husband, a photographer, has gone in-house I think, documenting his lavish venture in trying to turn Downtown Las Vegas into a tech mecca).

Lacy wrote a book on Web 2.0 that was well received but then followed that up with a really ridiculous, fawning book about entrepreneurship that seems to have killed any reputation she had in journalism. She has lately been trying to become a female version of Michael Arrington and has behaved pretty much uniformly awfully in the process. (One wonders why she didn't parlay her first book into a more legitimate career as a thinker/writer/prognosticator? She seems to have surrendered the last shreds of her dignity perhaps under the bad influence of people like the classic dry drunk Paul Carr, internet microcelebrity Julia Allison, and the various airheaded tech-bubble IPO fantasists Lacy idolizes.)

She has these really pathetic "CEO dinner parties" that she films and puts on the Internet, which send the exact opposite message from the one which Lacy intends ... She seems to want to place herself at the center of movers and shakers but if you watch her filmed dinner parties, they are attended by pale, awkward, callow young know-nothings who head pathetic, doomed-to-fail startups whoring themselves out for VC cash, enterprises that will be embarrassing to mention in two or three years.

She's a pathetic figure who is a laughingstock among all but the most deluded Silicon Valley people. She has absolutely nothing important to say or contribute.
posted by Unified Theory at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Lacy really seems horrible...as do many of these people. What's that statistic about CEO's and sociopathy?
posted by whatgorilla at 11:54 AM on August 18, 2013


Is there anyone in this story (or industry) that is NOT a self-important blowhard convinced of their own brilliance?
posted by modernnomad at 11:58 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do VC's invest in PandoDaily because they think it's the next Gawker?

That would be the kind interpretation. The cynical view is that VCs tossed a few crumbs to PandoDaily because it had Mike Arrington attached and it was a way to guarantee future positive coverage for their investments. There's all sorts of backroom friendships like this in Silicon Valley; this one just has the bad taste to be a bit more obvious and deliberate about it. Arrington and MG Siegler split from PandoDaily last year. They ran CrunchFund for awhile, then Siegler recently went to Google Ventures.

Writing this down I realize how childish all this sounds. But Arrington wields power in Silicon Valley with his money, connections, and talent for hiring good writers. PandoDaily is sort of an echo of that. It's all pretty inconsequential in the real world, but if you're a bright young MBA trying to raise money to hire a technical co-founder it seems terribly important. The article Who's Afraid of Michael Arrington captures some of the spirit of that (in the context of yet more ickiness, sexual assault allegations against Arrington.)
posted by Nelson at 12:02 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, when I re-read that Ronen email, the whole event sounds like a clusterfuck " ... As a principal, I should have been out greeting our guests...instead I and Dan were playing parking valet, being barked at. Ultimately, the fact that this was taken for granted makes me livid. The only two people who were in the room that I was aware of was one of my employees who would be driving Marie Beth's car, and our co-founder ..." (God, I have worked at events like this) and the Lacy email sounds like a typical pre-emptive strike at laying blame.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:09 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just want to get into a facedown with somebody so I can tell them my backers are Persian Jews, precisely because they'll have no idea what the implicit threat is supposed to be.

As an aside, I googled Paul Carr and unexpectedly find myself starting to like him. While there's an unmistakable legend-in-his-own-mind quality he does have a really interesting resume, a definite capacity for hilarious self-deprecation and I'm now curious to read his book 'Bringing Nothing to the Party".
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:11 PM on August 18, 2013


That Salon piece, linked up above, is a pretty sick burn of that idiot Paul Carr. So fucking funny.

One time, to be polite, I watched that awful movie The Bridges of Madison County. There came a moment in the script where the lonely housewife asks Eastwood's character "what were you like as a young man?" I was thinking, god no, please ... And Eastwood's character answered "Trouble." That was such a comically stupid, tone deaf, cliched line. What kind of tough guy actually TALKS about what "trouble" he used to be?

Anyway, I was reminded of that line by Carr's hilarzballs posturing about his tough guy resume.

What a silly person. He and Lacy really deserve each other.
posted by Unified Theory at 12:20 PM on August 18, 2013


Can someone explain the name Pando to me? The only Pando I am familiar with is a really old clonal tree. What does that have to do with tech startups?
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on August 18, 2013


"I'm not saying CrossCampus could definitely get the District Attorney interested or would win a lawsuit, but I have known people who wrote something similar to Lacy with respect to money owed under a disputed contract (i.e., "pay me the money you owe or I will tell everyone I know in this business you cheat people on their contracts") and were advised by counsel to back the fuck down and walk away from the owed money because their language gave the other side a colorable claim that they were being extorted. The problem comes when you say "do this or I will do that." Use "and" instead, and its not extortion (but of course it then doesn't have the power of a threat)."

Yeah, when I was fucked over on a contract grant writing gig ("We gave your money to another guy we fired and told him to pay you." "Uh, my contract was for you to pay me for the work you told me was excellent. I don't care about the other guy"), I had to take him to small claims court. And when I first drafted my demand letter, a wise lawyer friend gave me NOT LEGAL ADVICE that my first draft of "Pay me or I will tell everyone that you didn't, you lying shit" was extortion, whereas "Pay me or I will file a claim against you," was not.

Which, in the long run, makes me happier because I only got fucked out of a couple hundred dollars by Wanyee Leonard of 3E Consulting, whereas he fucked other people out of thousands, and because there was no "do this or" in the letter, I feel free to point out that he's a lying piece of shit with a clean conscience — something that I would have relished anyway, but would have found more ethically difficult if I had made that demand and he complied. (He never did pay me. Or any of the other writers, so far as I know.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


i'm not sure why but I just love this line: "Your investors are VC's. My investors are mainly Persian Jews, and we've got a litigator on board." imagine these two groups getting into a rumble in an abandoned lot somewhere.
posted by serif at 2:23 PM on August 18, 2013


I love this from her demand note:

Sorry to disappoint you but there's a reason people call me Sarahcuda

Um... because Sarah Palin used to have them play her in with "Barracuda" at her appearances until the Wilson sisters made her stop?
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:28 PM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


> That was such a comically stupid, tone deaf, cliched line. What kind of tough guy actually TALKS about
> what "trouble" he used to be?

the High Plains Drifter, of course. He really does have a rep to protectpropagate.
posted by jfuller at 2:30 PM on August 18, 2013


(Ah. Missed the part where the 'Sarahcuda' post was outed as fake.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:33 PM on August 18, 2013


(I've written the mods to suggest they touch up the post to make that more apparent.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:38 PM on August 18, 2013


One thing became clear to me as I read through all the above (and gamboled among the many interesting links to unfamiliar names). This flowchart: Which Blowhard Am I? cries out for serious updating.
posted by fredludd at 2:38 PM on August 18, 2013


It's nice when parasites declare themselves. Makes it much easier to get rid of them.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:48 PM on August 18, 2013


This is a killer comment about Sarah Lacy, from over in the Valleywag/Gawker thread, which describes Lacy as unethical and widely despised, and describes her business model at Pando Daily as pretty much a protection racket:

Scott Evil:

I work in the Valley and know know lots of people who have had the misfortune to interact with these two shit stains, including some of the people who have funded them. Nobody here is surprised to see this kind of low-grade extortion tactic being pulled, especially not PD's investors, who all were on the receiving end of the same kind of not-so-veiled threat which was dressed up as a "funding pitch."

The pitch to VCs was this: Fund us or we won't cover your companies. But if you do pay up, we'll write about your portfolio companies, and invite you and your investment companies to speak at our monthly events.

The VCs had to pay to play. If they didn't, well, sorry. We can't cover your news or give you puff pieces whenever you want them, or give you air time. And since everyone else is paying to play, that will put you at a disadvantage and your competitors and their portfolio companies will get all the love.

Sarah also offered consulting, to teach companies how to get additional press elsewhere. Not kidding.

Here's a list of who paid up.

Note who's not on that list: Kleiner Perkins, and Sequoia. They were among the few with balls enough not to pay. Others were equally appalled by the pitch, but paid up anyway. They despise Ms. Lacy but the price of protection was pretty low.

The interesting thing out here is that people wonder what will it take to stop SL. How much worse could it possibly be? Every week it seems something happens at PandoDaily that would get you fired from a mainstream publication. Not just talking about getting stuff wrong, which is bad enough and happens all the time at PD and would never fly at a decent news publication — but beyond that to really unethical and iffy stuff and rotten, kooky behavior.

And yet she keeps on keeping on. She's a joke out there, especially among VCs. Nobody takes her seriously. But puny little startups pucker up and kiss her ass and play to her ego in order to get coverage, so she thinks she's respected, which she's not.

She is a bad writer, and not very bright, but like a lot of not-smart people she doesn't know how not-smart she is. It was funny for a while but now is annoying. The most depressing thing is that she will come out of this just fine, and will no doubt end up selling PD for a pile of money.

What's that old saying? Shit floats. Especially out here.

posted by Unified Theory at 2:50 PM on August 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


I also like how in his Wikipedia photo Paul Carr is shown with an alcoholic beverage in his hand.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:50 PM on August 18, 2013


I think what gets on my nerves as much as anything is when people start to treat their obnoxious behavior as some sort of inevitability on the personality spectrum, and then play it like it's a sort of anti-virtue and just their schtick in life. Unfortunately, there's an infrastructure that support this kind of behavior by continuing to throw work at it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:02 PM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lacy's interview with Zuckerberg sounds like it was a riot... literally
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:05 PM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you ever wonder about the twisted psychological makeup that is required for people like Lacy and Carr to face the day? I mean, to be in business to cheerlead empty flash in the pan companies that are hoping to cash in on the current tech bubble ... how do you muster the enthusiasm for a job like that? And do it in such a public way? And do it in such a grasping, frenetic manner that you're making fierce enemies who will despise you? Seriously, I cannot imagine waking up in that world day after day and having to face the shitstorm again and again. It sounds absolutely horrible, nothing seems worth that kind of misery, that kind of endless soaking in the worst, most deluded, emptiest kind of entitlement and social climbing and just awful human conduct. And for these two, Lacy and her little yapping chihuahua underling Carr, who seem to be adding nothing of value, but see themselves as central players, it seems like it would be a nightmare to live this life.
posted by Unified Theory at 3:33 PM on August 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


These are the people who give circle jerks a bad name.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:47 PM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lacy's interview with Zuckerberg sounds like it was a riot... literally

Comparing that to the infamous Jesse Eisenberg interview should give some perspective on the Hollywoodification of Silicon Valley... or just how good the casting for The Social Network was.
posted by fatehunter at 3:49 PM on August 18, 2013


Can someone explain the name Pando to me? The only Pando I am familiar with is a really old clonal tree. What does that have to do with tech startups?

Maybe it's a reference to Pando from the film Two Hands.

Seems to fit.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:34 PM on August 18, 2013


PandoDaily is named after the trees in Utah.
posted by Nelson at 4:36 PM on August 18, 2013


Sarah Lacy might be an asshole, but it kind of seems like she is in the right here. Maybe I don't understand "the business", but isn't the venue in charge of logistics? So when the logistics fail, it is the venue's fault? It kind of reads like the venue guy knew the agreement, and just blatantly ignored the parts of it he didn't like. When called on it, he responds with charm. When charm doesn't work, he tries to cloud the issue with other things. I'd like to see the original emails to be sure though.

That third guy is just awful, however.
posted by gjc at 5:23 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh. So the trees then. I guess it makes as much sense as any other Web 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever name.
posted by Justinian at 5:42 PM on August 18, 2013


My understanding, after spending way more of my life than I should have trying to figure out what this was all about, is that Pando paid a lower, "sponsored" rate in order to use the CrossCampus facilities and services, and that meant that the banner was part of the deal. It also seems like they tried to hang it so it would be out of the frame when Lacy was interviewing Musk.

Not that I haven't seen event staff sneak try to sneak things by on the assumption that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission, but I think that the fact that CrossCampus would be flying their colors as part of the deal might have been glossed over in all the clusterfuckery.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:45 PM on August 18, 2013


I also just read The Game, which was both sleazily fascinating and soul crushing, so the fact that the most professional sounding person in this whole screeching purple drama orgy is a professional PUA is causing me physical pain in my face.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:54 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"My understanding, after spending way more of my life than I should have trying to figure out what this was all about, is that Pando paid a lower, "sponsored" rate in order to use the CrossCampus facilities and services, and that meant that the banner was part of the deal. It also seems like they tried to hang it so it would be out of the frame when Lacy was interviewing Musk."

Wasn't it the other way around, that if the venue wanted publicity by having their name/logo/whatever visible in the shot, they would have paid for it and that the contract that was negotiated didn't include it? There also was some sort of disagreement about third parties in the green room, which seems to me to be a very valid concern, except that the CC guy said that it was just their staff or something innocent.

I dunno — seems like Pando probably had some legitimate complaints but that her email was still pretty crazy, not to mention Carr's.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:10 PM on August 18, 2013


Paul Carr has a couple tweets up about this thread.
posted by lalex at 7:41 PM on August 18, 2013


He's kind of confused about what the "entire thread" is about.

I will say, though, that while it's true that Rory corrected himself about fake 100K email just two comments into the thread, this particular example of such an error makes a case for an editorial change of some kind to the post.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:47 PM on August 18, 2013


He's kind of confused about what the "entire thread" is about.

So he's either a liar or an idiot?

Seems like par for the course.
posted by scody at 8:12 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


So he's either a liar or ...

I suspect that the criticism is a red herring to lead the discussion away from the comments that hit a bit too close to home. It's pretty clear in the thread that the discussion corrected itself concerning the fake post towards more substantive concerns.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:31 PM on August 18, 2013


Wait, 2012? That was last year right? Do people have no lives?
posted by JJ86 at 8:37 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if I could have edited the post, I would have done so immediately – strikethrough the offending parts, little bracketed disclaimer owning up to the mistake.

I must say that for an Internet Professional, Mr. Carr is astoundingly bad at reacting to this run-of-the-mill Internet kerfuffle.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:39 PM on August 18, 2013


I had never heard of pando before (nor of Paul Carr, allegedly internet-famous asshole, who probably googles himself all the time so hi!)


Paul Carr has a couple tweets up about this thread.


7:38 PM, August 18th.


That took somewhat longer than I expected.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:41 PM on August 18, 2013


I must say that for an Internet Professional, Mr. Carr is astoundingly bad at reacting to this run-of-the-mill Internet kerfuffle.

Yeah, if I were Sarah Lacy I might pay him to stop responding.
posted by lalex at 9:04 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having grown up in "Tehrangeles" I'm pretty sure the "Persian Jews" is reference to a sort of Persian mafia if you will. "Persian mafia" that will fuck you up, which, in LA, is understood to specifically mean Persian Jewish mafia as most of the Persian community with clout in LA is Jewish. He's saying his buddies will hurt that guy.
posted by atomicstone at 9:50 PM on August 18, 2013


Heh, I know Paul. I like him, almost went with him when he left TechCrunch. But subtlety and understatement never seemed to be his strong suits, and even allowing for that I think he got carried away with his own momentum on that email.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:57 PM on August 18, 2013


In Paul's defense, Metafilter is basically a corpse-fucking echo chamber. Not that he doesn't deserve it. High-fives all around.
posted by phaedon at 10:49 PM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: basically a corpse-fucking echo chamber.


sorry, I couldn't stop myself
posted by lalex at 10:54 PM on August 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Wasn't it the other way around, that if the venue wanted publicity by having their name/logo/whatever visible in the shot, they would have paid for it and that the contract that was negotiated didn't include it? There also was some sort of disagreement about third parties in the green room, which seems to me to be a very valid concern, except that the CC guy said that it was just their staff or something innocent."

From the contentions: CC says that SL paid a reduced rate for the space because CC sponsored it, but only to the live audience, and that he checked to make sure that the banner was out of the shot.

But really, at this point, it only matters what the contract says. I mean, I suppose it could not mention branding at all, but then CC would be totally within their rights to put up their banner in their space.

(And it may just be because of my social milieu, but having several Persian Jews in our donor circle who are all lawyers, I took that to be a tacit "Take me to court, I'll enjoy it," moment.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:48 PM on August 18, 2013


Some folks need the new Twitter Plus, with the zero-character limit
posted by thelonius at 1:55 AM on August 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I thought PandoDaily was intended to connote pimping (pandering).
posted by bad grammar at 4:05 AM on August 19, 2013


Ad hominem: "Pffftl these people think they are Internet tough? They think they are ready to operate in the big leagues of internet tough guys? This is my emal sig:


I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.
"

Come.

At.

Me.

Bro.
posted by Samizdata at 1:14 PM on August 19, 2013


Ad hominem: "Unless Paul Carr shows up here

I am actually not a navy seal. I got that sig from the consultant I hired to manage my personal brand, as PandoDaily suggested.

I paid him 20k for that sig. I think he got it from 4chan.
"

See, I KNEW you were a banana nut muffin.

A real man crafts their brand awareness with their bare hands and their teeth. And maybe a Ka-Bar (if you're a weak sister).
posted by Samizdata at 1:24 PM on August 19, 2013


The funniest, most priceless thing to come of this controversy is Paul Carr's urging his opponents to "Google him" and then bragging, as if this is a tough guy credential, about "my history of fights on the Internet" ...

BWAHAHAHAHA!

I love it.
posted by Unified Theory at 1:30 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


urbanwhaleshark: "I also like how in his Wikipedia photo Paul Carr is shown with an alcoholic beverage in his hand."

It's a virgin whiskey.
posted by Samizdata at 1:38 PM on August 19, 2013


Ivan Fyodorovich: "He's kind of confused about what the "entire thread" is about.

I will say, though, that while it's true that Rory corrected himself about fake 100K email just two comments into the thread, this particular example of such an error makes a case for an editorial change of some kind to the post.
"

Look, he didn't READ the thread. He just Google'd himself.
posted by Samizdata at 1:42 PM on August 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


To the extent that I'm occasionally made aware these people exist, I also find them pretty lame, but holy shit did it get all two-minutes hate in here.
posted by brennen at 7:41 PM on August 19, 2013


To the extent that I'm occasionally made aware these people exist, I also find them pretty lame, but holy shit did it get all two-minutes hate in here.

Guilty as charged. The story really touches all my schadenfreude pleasure centers.
posted by Unified Theory at 11:01 PM on August 19, 2013


I also like how in his Wikipedia photo Paul Carr is shown with an alcoholic beverage in his hand.

Man, I hope than when my genius is finally recognised and I get my own wikipedia page, my photo shows me with an alcoholic beverage in hand, possibly while punching out a gorilla and shooting nazis.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:30 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh and with a femme fatale, dressed tastefully ripped, draped around me... don't forget that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:31 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Altavista's Law: "If you have to say 'google me' to let people know you're 'noteworthy,' you've already lost the argument."
posted by drezdn at 5:40 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just meant that for a man who claims to have been rescued from alcoholism, it's a strange picture to use.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:56 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


So we got Facebook for status updates, Twitter for our brain-shits, Vine for short videos of our cats, and I guess the next thing is a service that allows us to distribute short spurts of sound. I invite Paul Carr to become our first member, as I have already provided the transcript of his first ever SoundSpurt (tm):

"HHHNNNNNNYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!"
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:52 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


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