Mike Arrington Spit-Attack – He Joins Elite Company

Michael Arrington

Image by jdlasica via Flickr

Disturbing news this morning: TechCrunch Founder Mike Arrington was about to leave the DLD Conference (hey, Eran, where’s your review?) when a stranger approached him, deliberately spat in his face and disappeared in the crowd.

This is as lowly as it gets. It’s also very cowardly.  TechCrunch covers a lot of companies and people, some positively, some negatively, others not at all, which can hurt… and Mike does get occasionally abrasive, but does not go into personal attacks.

Anyone who has issues with Mike him can bring it up publicly, in a civilized manner. With zero barrier of entry to blogging, Twitter..etc there is no excuse not to do so.

Mike Arrington is now taking some time off, not only because of the spit-attack, but also to reflect on earlier threats on his and his family’s life and security.

What happened today is a despicable act, not to be taken lightly.  I am not making fun of it either … but perhaps to cheer Mike up, I must point out that he is now in a Very Elite Club, where his fellow members are none other but Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. 

We probably all remember how Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer received the egg treatment in Budapest last year:


But I suspect some of my readers are too young to recall that ten years before the Ballmer-incident, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates received a full cream-pie in his face on a visit to Belgium:


(Cross-posted from CloudAve. To stay on top of Cloud Computing news, analysis and just our opinion, grab the CloudAve Feed here.)

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Steve Ballmer Receives the Egg-treatment in Budapest

Just as soon as the Microsoft CEO started his speech at the Corvinus University (my Alma Mater), a protesting student wearing a “Microsoft=Corruption” shirt stood up and threw eggs at the Microsoft CEO. Not exactly a sign of the famous “Hungarian hospitality”.

(If your feed does not show embedded videos, please click through to watch it in the blog.  Update: Originally I had the video here, but as it started to slow down, I uloaded it to youtube and am now embedding the youtube version.  A day later this vid received over 223K views)

On second thought, perhaps it was fair enough. After all, his boss, Bill Gates received a full cream-pie in the face ten years ago in Belgium – Ballmer only got some of the ingredients. smile_tongue

Another ironic moment comes at 0:38m in the video: as other students stand up to give way to the departing egg-thrower, the camera closes in on one of them holding up his shiny Apple – and not the pie variety.

Update: The search is on for Ballmer’s replacement.

Another video from a different angle, and it ends with the Gates Pie Scene.

Update#2: OK, enough of the fun part. As the story circulates people start wondering what may be the background, and since the only sources are in Hungarian, here’s a summary of the circumstances:

A Hungarian Government bid, worth $25B Hungarian Forints, roughly $157M was allegedly skewed towards MS. (A ‘competitive’ bid with wording that all but ensures only Microsoft meets the requirements.) A Hungarian Watchdog Body (sort of like the FTC in the US) challenged the bidding process via the Court system, and a trial date was set for today. The trial was suddenly and unexpectedly rescheduled just as Ballmer arrived in Budapest. So there may be a perception of the Bully lobbying there.

That said, they could have protested with banners, without eggs. Or displaying more of those flashy Macbooks.smile_wink