For someone who claims to have all kinds of knowledge and influence about the digital world, Paul Carr made a rookie mistake when it comes to email: Never write something that makes you come off sounding like an asshole. It's bound to catch up with you, as happened to him in a juicy post from ValleyWag. The hubbub involves PandoDaily, a tech-oriented website he writes for, and CrossCampus, operator of a Santa Monica workspace for techies. PandoDaily was started by a marketing-savvy woman named Sarah Lacy, who used the space for a Q&A last year with Elon Musk (see photo). CrossCampus had the nerve to put up a banner with its name above its own stage, supposedly without approval from Lacy. One of the CrossCampus people apologized for the apparent miscue but Lacy wouldn't let it lie, going on at length about how CrossCampus would have to rectify this unpardonable sin, or else. At which point the company CEO Ronen Olshansky took over, telling Lacy that "I am beyond offended by your demeanor and surprised by your distortion of reality," and offering two options for rectifying ther dispute. Then it was Carr's turn, and here's where it gets downright hilarious: (emails come courtesy of ValleyWag):
From: Paul Carr
Date: July 16, 2012 12:41:29 PM PDT To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, Nathan Pensky , Kym McNicholas , Sarah Lacy , Michael Carney
Subject: Re: Thursday, July 12th
Ronen, I'm just going to jump in here, as someone who is not employed by PandoDaily, can't speak for PandoDaily but who has been BCC'd on the conversation so far. Also, I was a witness to much of what went on that evening and can absolutely verify Sarah's telling of it. As such, here's my measured response...
Fuck you Ronen, you condescending sack of shit. I was at the venue that night and I saw the way you and your team tried to give Oni and Pando the runaround, knowing that they were utterly swamped with the last minute details of the event and so weren't able to push back. The banner was never agreed in advance, yet you went ahead and put it up anyway, trading on the fact that noone would have time to do anything about it. Rest assured, had I been aware of what was happening, I would have cut the thing down with nail scissors and set fire to it in the parking lot. From the Tesla bullshit to the attempts to sneak people in the back door, you guys have been a clown-show from the start.
I don't like it when my friends are threatened. Actually it's my least favorite thing in the world. So let me be absolutely clear, as someone with no legal or financial ties to PandoDaily, that from today, I will not rest until every man, woman and child knows the unvarnished truth about how fucking appalling CrossCampus is to work with. By this I mean that if, on any given day, the tiniest company in the entrepreneurship community so much as makes a sideways glance as they walk past your venue and does not immediately recall my views on the place, I will know my work is incomplete. There's no extortion here -- no "unless, or but" -- I don't want *anything* from you. In fact, PandoDaily is the first company that I'll be urging to walk away from you clowns. Whether they take my advice is down to them. But please know, if they don't, at the next event I'll spend my introduction ripping you a new one from the stage.
Okay, so that's pretty good. But the most delicious portion of Carr's tirade when he presents his credentials - or in his own immortal words, "Google me."
As for your threats of retribution against anyone who tells the truth about you. Bring them the fuck on, but against me, not PandoDaily. Bring your lawyers and your apparently ethnically relevant backers. Bring them with lawsuits and writs and injunctions and whatever dark threats of baseball bats and dark alleys really lay behind your email. But first, do me a favor: Google me. Read a few of my columns in the Guardian, the Times, the Wall Street Journal or on blogs like TechCrunch and -- of course -- PandoDaily. Or pick up one of my books. Read what *always* happens when someone starts a public fight with me, or attempts to shake down one of my friends. I don't use lawyers or pathetic fratboy threats. I simply tell the truth, again and again and again and again until when people hear the words "CrossCampus" their face becomes contorted into an involuntary grimace, and maybe they throw up a little in their mouths. Instead, here's what I suggest you do next Ronen. I suggest -- and it's not really a suggestion -- you fuck off and stop trying to play with the big leagues. You're barely ready for pre-school, let alone a pathetic "our lawyers are bigger than your lawyers" dance.
As you might guess, the exchanges are making the rounds all over Silicon Valley. Salon's Alex Pareene sums up nicely:
Let's propose a voluntary rule, for every English-speaking person on this earth: Unless you are actually a professional baseball player, currently on the roster of a major league team -- we'll be generous here and say the expanded roster, even though many of those men are actually playing in the minor leagues -- you should never, ever claim to be associated with "the big leagues." Because you sound ridiculous. Paul Carr is in the "big leagues" of... writing about shit on the Internet? The big leagues of over-the-top emails sent to people who did not actually email him to begin with? The big leagues of hyperbole? I don't know. It's just a very silly thing men say when they are trying to sound cool and sort of intimidate people. On message boards, it is sometimes called "hardman" talk.