Michael Arrington handles every publisher/editor’s worst nightmare—an editor extorting subjects for coverage—professionally and with complete transparently. Well done to Mike. The horrible part of this story is that the editor who was asking for a MacBook Air for a post on TechCrunch (it seems more than once, and at least once with an actual computer being given) was a loved 17-year old people considered a prodigy in the publishing space. Young people make mistakes and this is a non-trivial one. This will follow Daniel for a long time, and I hope that his parents, friends and co-workers spend a lot of time discussing this issue with him in the coming days, weeks and months. Finally, although this is a very serious issue, there are many worse things that young people have done. There are teens arrested every month for committing violent crimes like assault, rape and even murder. I’m grateful to the TechCrunch staff for handling this professionally and with dignity, and I hope that Daniel immediately apologizes and gets some counseling. His first apology, titled “the line was crossed" doesn’t scream of complete ownership—in fact it has a plug for his "teens in tech" conference in it. You extorted people, you didn’t cross a line Daniel. There is a huge difference between making a mistake or crossing a line and pre-meditated, and in fact illegal, acts like this. I fear Daniel doesn’t actually realize the gravity of what he did just yet, or he wouldn’t be promoting his conference and not coming completely clean about what exactly happened and why he did what he did.
I’m certain he will, at some point soon, understand how serious this is.