Even the word ‘blog’ sounds a little grandma-y now. This whole concept of buzz feels so dated. It’s really hard to even talk about the internet without seeming instantly corny.
This is more than a matter of journalistic pride. By ignoring the way the story was unearthed here in the States, the FT is distorting what happened. Facebook didn’t just decide to confess to hiring a top public relations firm to plant anti-Google stories in the press at a time when the search giant is trying to become a social media rival. Lyons got Burson Marsteller, which inititally refused to identify its client, to acknowledge that it was working for Facebook, prompting Mark Zuckerberg’s company to admit it was behind the smear effort.
Lyons’ piece acknowledged that he was building on reports from a tech blogger who blew the whistle on a Burson staffer’s offer to ghost an anti-Google op-ed for him, and from USA Today, which wrote about the plot but couldn’t uncover who Burson’s client was. In other words, Lyons provided the key piece of the puzzle but credited those who had already done the spade work.
How hard is that, Financial Times?