shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Jason Calacanis Appoints Himself Obi-Wan to Michael Arrington’s Darth Vader


What’s wrong with that? (Photo: Wikimedia)

The Chat-rooming Classes Today, seemingly every tech reporter in the business tuned into Jason Calacanis‘s “This Week in Startups,” presumably in the hopes that Mr. Calacanis would tell all re: the allegations of abuse against Michael Arrington. But as familiar names chattered away in the chat room, Mr. Calacanis had little to say beyond comparing himself to Obi Wan. That would make Mr. Arrington Anakin Skywalker, of course; Mr. Calacanis said he taught him how to be powerful in media, and “I regret that.”

As for the allegations themselves, Mr. Calacanis was quick to say he wouldn’t be commenting on whether they were true, citing his lack of direct knowledge. (He did, however, openly discuss the time that Mr. Arrington called a PR honcho “the c-word,” thereby outing someone who’d never mentioned the incident publicly!) [Correction: Mr. Calacanis first mentioned the incident and the PR exec (Brooke Hammerling) by name in the comments of his Facebook post, prompting Ms. Hammerling to confirm the story, also in a Facebook comment.] All in all, it sounds like he (kinda sorta) regrets getting involved. He apparently thought writing a Facebook note wouldn’t go very far. “I thought that that would be a place where it just lived there,” he said. (Paging Randi Zuckerberg!) “I got a little P.T. Barnum in me and I feel like me commenting on all this stuff actually detracts from it,” he added.

The Biggest Failure Silicon Alley fameballer and Vimeo cofounder Jakob Lodwick took to PandoDaily this week to lament his decision to sell his company Connected Ventures, which included CollegeHumor and Vimeo, to media conglomerate IAC in 2006. In the post, called “An acquisition is always a failure,” Mr. Lodwick wrote that selling the company to IAC was “the worst business decision of his life” because although it fattened his bank account, it stifled his ability to work creatively. Getting acquire is like giving up, he argued, which we’re sure delighted his fellow NYC entrepreneurs who are desperately groping for the exit sign.

We suppose you can’t have your cake and eat it too, even if the cake is made of millions of dollars.

Kenny Lerer’s Got Ringtones In the midst of a recent phone call with Ken Lerer about Lure Fish Bar, his favorite power lunch spot, our conversation was interrupted by the dulcet sounds of Jim Morrison from his cellphone. Was that “People Are Strange,” we asked? Yes, Mr. Lerer confirmed, revealing that he spends “way too much time” picking out the right ringtones for the important people in his life. That Doors song was for Brian Bedol, Mr. Lerer’s business partner in the media and entertainment company Bedrocket. “If you knew Brian,” he said, “‘People Are Strange’ is the perfect ring tone for him.”

Did he have a ringtone for his son Ben, the cofounder of Thrillist? “Oh this is embarrassing,” he replied, admitting that it was Rod Stewart’s “Some Guys Get All the Luck.” “Not bad, huh?” quipped Mr. Lerer the elder.

Brit’s Got Jokes On Monday, Brit + Co. founder Brit Morin announced on her Facebook page that she was expecting a baby with her husband, Path cofounder Dave Morin. Of course, the update was quickly debunked as an April Fool’s Day prank, despite the fact that she posted it towards the end of the day. “For all of you who wished me congratulations on being pregnant, thank you for being a total sucker!” she wrote.

Apparently, along with making Christmas trees out of cheese and turning Mac extension cords into jump ropes, such personal pranks are part of Ms. Morin’s repertoire.

“The trick is to wait until the evening of April Fools when people think all the jokes are over,” she wrote. “I pull this one every single year and still, so many fall for it ;)” Guess she lost all of next year’s suckers by giving away her secret.

PR darling Brooke Hammerling had a subtweet for the ladies pretending to be with child for April Fool’s Day:

Jack Did it All for the Nookie We knew about Jack Dorsey’s nose ring, but we had no idea he used to be in Limp Bizkit. Business Insider uncovered an old photo of the Square cofounder that shows him looking quite different than he does when sporting his current hand-sewn jeans look. The black and white portrait has Mr. Dorsey with full-on 90s rave kid hair. Pass the glowstick, bro.

(Photo: Twitter)

(Photo: Twitter)

Bloggers! They’re Just Like Us! Business Insider editor Steve Kovach gets hearts aflutter, apparently. As overheard by fellow editor (so many over there!) Alyson Shontell, a starry eyed PR person compared their meeting with Mr. Kovach to that of a Hollywood star. It’s understandable, we constantly confuse Mr. Kovach with Jake Gyllenhaal every time we see him out with the normals.

Do You Startup, Bro? Silicon Valley’s fraternity president and Digg founder Kevin Rose was the subject of an ABC News profile this week which reminded us he’s still around! The Google Ventures partner revealed what new apps he’s circling to potentially fund, including a personal training app called FitStar. He also revealed that the Instagram filter Toaster is named after his adorable dog and detailed what his typical day is like: “Invest in start-ups. Find the next big thing. Meet with entrepreneurs. Drink coffee. Hang out.” Sounds like a Bravo show in the making.

Internet Weak On Thursday, the New York collective of the Web’s  hive mind met up for a low key gathering at the Watch What Happens Live prop closet Design Within Reach showroom in SoHo to celebrate the quickly approaching Internet Week. The festival’s new director Caroline Waxler welcomed the sharply dressed but older-skewing crowd. iPads were shuffled around to get attendees to sign up and vote  for the 200+ panels that are in contention for just 13 slots to be showcased at the yearly event. (Holding a drink from the open bar and registering on the iPad was difficult, but we managed.)

Anyway, the annoyingly arranged support columns, a seating arrangement dependent on the furniture layout, and the tri-level setup made it hard to pay attention to Vice editors Kelly Bourdet and Brian A. Anderson. After talking for a half hour about all the cool things Vice does (and plentiful mentions of the burgeoning media empire’s massive presence at SXSW), they showed off a drone for people to play with. But that wasn’t enough to amuse the partygoers as throngs of them slinked off shortly after the panel ended. Perhaps that was enough Internet for one day.

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