Business Insider owner, Henry Blodget, has fired John Carney, the editor of its blog, Clusterstock, apparently over differences on what sort of news commentary to run. From Village Voice blogs:
“We’re told Carney was fired by Blodget this afternoon, and it was speculated that this was the result of the last few weeks of disagreements between Blodget, publisher Julie Hansen, and Carney over how to best run Business Insider: Blodget wanted more sensational, pageview-grabbing posts and click-friendly features like galleries, while Carney wanted to put forth breaking news scoops that told a longer narrative. It was also speculated that Carney, one of the highest paid members on the Business Insider staff, wasn’t bringing the traffic numbers to sufficiently satisfy Henry Blodget, given his high profile within the financial reporting world, but that Clusterstock’s homepage had the highest traffic of all the verticals at Business Insider during Carney’s tenure, and that his own stories generated “tons of [unique visitors].”
While I didn’t care for Carney’s routine dismissal of naked short-selling critics, he was a thoughtful writer on other topics, the latest evidence for which was his column on why Lehman executives should not be criminally prosecuted.
It’s not that I agree with everything he says there. I don’t. I think there’s a place for criminal prosecution, even in a “they all did it” culture. It’s just that it isn’t the popular thing to say now, with anger running high out there, and I admire people when they make unpopular arguments, based on reason.
Meanwhile, at Economic Policy Journal, Robert Wenzel makes a fairly good case that the firing had to do with Carney not putting in the sweat and blood needed for a start up, and – perhaps – upstaging/undermining one of Blodget’s own scoops..
Since then, I’ve also seen Carney’s name on a list of speakers at the Milken Institute…
[That’s Michael Milken, the junk-bond dealer-turned-philanthropist, and Sith Lord of market-racketeering even unto this day, according to Deep Capture: http://www.deepcapture.com/michael-milken-60000-deaths-and-the-story-of-dendreon]
Not that that necessarily means anything, of course, since scores, if not hundreds, of writers, business men and consultants voice their opinion at the Milken Institute. Still, it does remind you how incestuous the financial world is, and makes you wonder whether the coziness of the culture really does prevent most arguments made there from being much more than a post hoc rationalization of the buttered side of some piece of bread somewhere. Not in any vulgar quid pro quo sense. But simply in the sense of a shared blind spot, much like the blind spot Dick Fuld shared with other investment bankers, like, say Henry Paulson, who, we hear is doing just fine on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University...