Who's Right & Who's Wrong With 1938Media?

There’s a serious battle erupting in the blogosphere and people are taking sides but no thorough discussion has erupted over the ethical stance of 1938 Media & Techcrunch versus Shel Israel (and increasingly Robert Scoble). While on one hand I don’t want to rehash the whole story, I think given the circumstance and the names that are involved, it warrants some sort of brief discussion. Given that the blogosphere is about conversation, I’m surprised the conversation hasn’t yet expanded beyond the comments of Techcrunch and Twitter.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the whole battle begun when Loren Feldman of 1938 Media lambasted Shel Israel for his first video of FastCompany.tv. Shel himself has admitted that the first episode was not great but has also stated that they will be hiring a new camera man in an interview with Jeremiah Owyang. Jeremiah himself has been a subject of Feldman’s verbal punishment in a number of videos.

Either way, after a trip to visiting Mike Arrington at his house in Atherton, California and after acquiring the domain name which spells out Shel Israel’s name, he continued to criticize Shel. In between all of this there was an outburt by Shel on Twitter as well as on his blog. This outburst was used by Mike Arrington as justification to write a post outlining everything that has gone down so far.

By today, it continued to warrant another two Techcrunch posts, one about Flickr launching their video service which included a video of the puppet Shel Israel and another post announcing that 1938 Media received sponsorship before FastCompany.tv. In my own opinion this has pretty much become bullying at this point but nobody has the balls to publicly call it that. I also think that some of Loren Feldman’s jokes entertain me.

Is this really technology news? Would the New York Times technology section post about this? Definitely not. It shows how professional blogging for some is still far from professional. What makes this all worse though is that the largest blog about technology can simply post articles about it and nobody says anything. Whether it’s right or wrong, people should say something because one of their fellow community members is being roasted pretty hard.

There is a ton of chatter that’s taking place on Twitter over the issue but nothing substantial has appeared on Techmeme and everything that has appeared seems to support Feldman & Arrington. Where are the people that will stand up for the other side? So far Jeremiah Owyang is the only person to say anything and I guess everyone else doesn’t want to link to the issue because they don’t want to drive more traffic to Techcrunch. At least that’s the only thing I can rationalize.

Also, Loic Le Meur looks ridiculous for sitting in an interview where Loren Feldman can just call him a “dumb French bastard.” Are you serious Loic? You should have ignored him and not agreed to an interview. Also, all of the other people that are being interviewed by Loren Feldman are being degraded. Do you think it’s coincidental that Arrington hasn’t been interviewed by Feldman yet even though they’ve been sleeping in the same house for almost a week?

Do you think what’s going on is justified? Is it a little bit of fun or is it school yard bullying? Is nobody else going to say anything? Honestly, I think all of it lacks professionalism but in new media lines are continuously crossed and perhaps that’s just part of the game. Personally, I find it ironic when Arrington bitches about how harsh Valleywag can be and says “When will we have our first Valleywag suicide?” and then continues to engage in the same behavior. I guess when he isn’t breaking the law though, all that can be done is more traffic comes his way. It’s funny that some people will do anything for traffic.

Do you think sparking conversation about it only furthers the behavior? Do you think this behavior is justified or unjustified? Geoff Livingston seems to think it’s all ridiculous and Shel is in the right.