Betabeat received an email this morning from Grant Martin, Editor-in-Chief at the travel site Gadling, alerting us that Jerry Guo, the notorious Newsweek writer and startup scammer, had a troubled history with AOL as well. From Mr. Martin’s email:
Jerry was a blogger for Gadling for a couple of years and then was removed in November of 2008. Curiously, his bio photo on Gadling was of him holding a panda.
Jerry was terminated because he
was taking old, past published posts and tucking them into the recent (but out of sight) queue so that our payment system would automatically sweep through and double pay him.
That same week we found out that he was trying to farm out blog posts for our site for $5 each on elance. Still have the screenshot on that one.
Jerry’s tenure at Gadling was full of him trying to work our system, squeeze us for more money and earn free travel. I’m glad that he’s gone, but I wish that I had been more proactive in reaching out to his other/future editors.
In talking with editors at Newsweek and The Atlantic for this story, Betabeat often heard the same refrain. Typically editors regretted not doing more to out Mr. Guo as a bad seed, but felt it was wiser to sweep things under the rug and protect their own publication. This allowed Mr. Guo to hop from one big name to the next. Since 2008 he has written for the NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and Foreign Affairs.