Like /pol/, GotNews editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson was right again: Ousted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick should have been more aggressive, particularly towards media that will never forgive him for being a visionary and disrupting established centers of power.
In 2014, after PandoDaily’s Sarah Lucy declared she was deleting her Uber app due to the company’s “misogyny,” an outraged executive said the company should spend a million dollars on opposition research. The goal: Digging up dirt on unaccountable media that sought to fling mud at the company for not conforming to its social justice warrior norms.
This conversation at a dinner in Manhattan was not billed as “on record,” but Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith reported on senior vice president Emil Michael’s comments anyway to take him and the company down a notch. Lucy piled on in a screed denouncing Uber for trying to “silence journalists” and “attack women.”
Uber rightfully considered the lying media an adversary. The press demands the right to go to war with you while crying when you fire back. So-called “journalists” recoil when well-deserved scrutiny is placed on them. If Kalanick had gone hard against the media, he would have deterred more attacks and kept his position as CEO.
The media attacks are particularly egregious when Uber has emerged as a civil rights pioneer. From lowering barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, to reducing the motives for robberies, to allowing a black person to just catch a ride, Uber has vastly improved the lives of millions.
Which is why it was so critical for Uber to stay the course and treat the media for what it is: An enemy. “I frankly don’t think #Uber is aggressive enough,” Johnson tweeted at Kalanick on January 1, 2015. “You’re hired,” the Uber CEO replied. He later deleted the tweet, but not before Uber’s snarky critics screenshot the exchange and wrote huffy articles about it.
PandoDaily’s Paul Carr, who sneered Kalanick’s tweet was “mind-boggling in its callousness” in a fact-free hit piece on Johnson and Kalanick, actually hired violent misogynist Mark Ames who bragged about raping Russian women and forcing a young girl to get an abortion.
Why shouldn’t Uber target its relentless critics in the drive-by media? Kalanick should have dealt with them like he did with the big-city taxi cab lobbies.
The pressure never let up. After Trump’s inauguration, anti-Trump advertisers successfully pressured Uber to stop advertising on Breitbart. Uber caved.
As always, giving in to Social Justice Warriors does not buy you respect. Social Justice Warriors always lie. Uber was still on the political hit list after dropping Breitbart. And of course, so was Kalanick.
Kalanick had an argument on February 5th with an agitated Middle Eastern driver whose command of English was as poor as his temper was hot. Kalanick tried to explain that Uber would reduce the number of “Black” cars on the road while keeping the prices the same—adding Uber had to do this, or they would go out of business. The angry driver blamed Kalanick for his decision to blow over $97,000 on a high-end vehicle: “I bankrupt because of you!”
“You know what? Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own sh*t. They blame everything in their life on somebody else,” a fed-up Kalanick retorted.
Kalanick apologized for his remarks. Was what he said untrue? No. And what did he get from his apology? More snark and finger-wagging from media that hated his guts anyway.
Apologies are a sign of weakness and a concession to a media that has no intention of playing fair. They moan about “insensitivity” and “aggressiveness” to trick their targets into unilateral disarmament.
Kalanick’s resignation also signaled to new innovators that they will be personally targeted and viciously attacked if they disrupt things and refuse to toe the media’s line. It will have a chilling effect on future innovation.
Future Silicon Valley innovators will find themselves political challenged and assailed by the lying media as established power seeks to maintain the status quo. (Bitcoin, which disrupts these core established power centers, has always been labeled a form of “Right Wing Extremism.”) Many will know not to launch projects that challenge entrenched power. And as fellow visionary Peter Thiel put it, this is why we have Twitter and not flying cars.
But as with President Donald Trump, the solution is to get more extreme, instead of giving in to the demands of The Powers That Be.
GotNews is “the Uber of journalism” and has faced nonstop hostility from the establishment media, fought off denial of service attacks, and more—and continues to expand and inspire more happy warriors seeking to change the world for the better. WeSearchr is disrupting the left’s monopoly on crowdfunding by giving a platform to people who would have been shut out of the market and by hosting bounties for information the public wants to know.
Kalanick’s career isn’t over yet. This is only the beginning. In his next venture, we at GotNews urge Kalanick to never apologize, to double down, and to fight the lying media baying for his blood.
Stay tuned for more.
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