HOW NOT TO INTERACT WITH THE MEDIA 101, courtesy of Hashable CEO, Mike Yavonditte:
1. See a negative op-ed about your company wherein the author uses a metaphor describing you being a velvet rope telling people they’re not “Hashable” enough.
2. Utterly fail to grasp metaphor.
3. Fire off email to digital managing editor (and this is key here, folks—you are emailing a JOURNALIST) threatening the same. “I will come after you if I ever see such nonsense again. I may come after you anyway.”
3a. Utterly fail to grasp that emails to journalists in their journalistic capacity at their work emails are on the record unless otherwise stated.
3b. Fail to understand what on/off the record means before speaking to said journalist.
3c. Threaten said journalist, which is inappropriate in every way, shape and form.
4. See backlash of own stupidity, and call digital managing editor’s boss “trash”.
Mike’s “I will come after you” response is unfortunate to see. I’m not an active Hashable user but I respect what he and his team have done with the company and I saw a lot of people get very excited about it at SXSW.
Were I in his position, I would’ve given the Observer a firm but professionally-worded criticism that they weren’t doing enough to make a comic op-ed appear as such. I could tell that the piece was intended as satire, and in that capacity — a writer posting intentionally over-the-top cranky editorials about how much he hates hyped start-ups — I could see the piece and others like it as very, very funny in the FuckedCompany sense. But then again, I’m a writer, and for those of us who don’t play around with words all day, I don’t think the satire/non-satire divide was clear enough.
This is more a search issue than anything else, something that Greg Galant could probably expound upon re: that time when an MSNBC reporter picked up on an Al Sharpton quote in spite of the fact that it came from a site called “News Groper.” People find stuff and are inclined to take it at face value, which is probably why that “celebrity death news alert generator” still exists.
Regardless, I can’t see this minor fault on behalf of the Observer as justifying an outright threat to “come after” a journalist.
ANY executive going on the record calling someone “trash” or saying they’re going to “come after” someone is reprehensible.