Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

As Arrington's Lawyers And Defenders Step Up, His Critics Step Down

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 9, 2013

Arrington Crunchies 1

Michael Arrington and Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO, on stage at recent "Crunchies."

It's taken almost a week for key supporters of Mike Arrington to publicly address allegations that he engaged in serial acts of violence against women over many years.

The  support seems to be a coordinated response because it coincides with Mr Arrington breaking his silence and stating that all allegations are untrue. The statements of support come from former employees and friends.

Mr Arrington said in a blog post that he has referred the matter to the police and will take legal action against "offending parties." That's served to silence critics such as his former business partner Jason Calacanis, and others, such as Rackspace blogger Robert Scoble, have apologized.

Jenn Allen, his accuser, answered in a Tweet: "@Arrington You know everything I said and posted is truth and true. How can you do this to women and lie to everyone. Reflect for once. #fb."

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Jenn Allen at a SupperKing event in November, 2012.

Adrian Chen, a reporter for Gawker, based in New York, compiled a long list of claims of violent behavior to women by Mr Arrington, spanning many years, in a series of articles.

Nick Denton, founder of Gawker, and a former Silicon Valley reporter for the Financial Times, said in a comment on Gawker:  

Interesting to see who has "liked" the original version of this [Jenn Allen's] post on Facebook. Caroline McCarthy, formerly of CNET. And most tellingly, power publicist Brooke Hammerling, whose clients depended on her access to Techcrunch when Michael Arrington ran the show. Don't sniff. That's what counts as bravery in the stifling tech-media complex.

The online publication Heavy.com has a good roundup of what has been said so far: 

Michael Arrington: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know | HEAVY.

Scoble: Jenn Allen Wrong, Wasn't Hacked By Michael Arrington | HEAVY

Foremski's Take: With Mr. Arrington claiming he has asked the police to investigate the allegations against him, it has put pressure on Ms. Allen, and possibly others,  to press formal criminal charges.

This is a very good thing because if the charges are true then there should be a criminal prosecution. But how do we know a police investigation has begun? What will we know of the results?

These are important points to consider if the recurring rumors of Mr. Arrington's conduct around Silicon Valley, are to be finally answered and stopped.

The charges against Mr Arrington have provided plenty of fodder for many online discussions about the problem of violence within relationships and the difficulties faced by women in prosecuting their partners. 

Here is one view from an anonymous contact:

Having been a victim of domestic violence myself, I have to say that there is no real protection for victims out there. The legal system is not set up to protect, it's there, supposedly, to punish the criminals - if you have enough evidence and are strong enough (emotionally and financially) to stand up and fight and prove the criminal act.

However, the problem with domestic violence is that it usually happens with someone that the victim (still probably) cares about... and it usually happens behind the closed door. So both the evidence and the emotional strength to standup and fight are difficult to get.

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