TechCrunch has drawn dozens of negative reactions after editor (and frequent PR critic) Michael Arrington posted a video "interview" with MySpace's VP of global corporate communications Dani Dudeck April 14 in which she refuses to answer questions on camera by sitting silently for a minute and a half.
Arrington said Dudeck visited the TechCrunch offices to brief the media organization on a new product launch. He said a "new rule" for TechCrunch is that visiting executives must do a video interview when they pay a visit, but it's not clear what transpired before his video camera was switched on.
The PR pro who forwarded the video to us called the scene "disgraceful."
Negative reaction to Arrington's forced interview on the TechCrunch site included:
"That wasn’t funny. A grown man shoving a camera in a business woman’s face when she obviously doesn’t want to be interviewed."
"I suspect Ms Dudeck said she does not want to do an interview, why would any professional ethical reporter think it’s okay to continue the interview?"
"A little uncomfortable, it’s almost as if the interviewer is taunting the subject. This probably isn’t the best way to sustain good relations with PR branches in larger tech companies."
"As a PR pro, she has to speak to make the best of a bad situation but clearly she didn’t know the “deal” before the camera was pulled out. This is the corporate equivalent of saying the girl is responsible for being caught in a dorm room video. Shame on techcrunch. Garbage."
Some were critical of Dudeck:
"Yikes, she couldn’t even flak it up a little? What exactly does she do? 'We’re really excited about some of the new initiatives we have coming online soon. I think Myspace is a brand that has a bright future.' I mean, Christ, that silence speaks way louder than words."
"By being silent she really said quite a bit and there’s a lot that we can interpret by the stoic-ness and inability for her to deal with the issues. A pro would know how to take the situation and provide a sense of confidence around management. She would have done better to leave before the camera went on. Strange that she just decided to grin and bear it – bad move."
BusinessInsider.com also posted the interview, drawing a range of comments.