The Guardian newspaper published an article titled ‘Is Uber the worst company in Silicon Valley?” wherein the article stated Uber showed a willingness to take “disruption” to new heights. Governments, states, taxi drivers, tax authorities, rivals, even blind people – all have come up against Uber and lost.
At a private dinner last week at Manhattan’s Waverly Inn, Uber’s senior vice-president of business, Emil Michael, suggested the company could spend “a million dollars” to hire “four top opposition researchers and four journalists” to “help Uber fight back against the press” by looking into personal lives of reporters who write unflattering stories about the company, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith reported.
The meeting was part of a series of events apparently meant to be a “charm offensive” to woo the media. Among the attendees for at least one of the events were Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, BuzzFeed’s Smith and Johana Bhuiyan, the actor Ed Norton, Arianna Huffington, and, reportedly, representatives of the New York Times, Business Insider, Capital New York and Newsweek. Smith was there as a guest of columnist Michael Wolff.
When somebody at the table at the dinner suggested the plan could be problematic for Uber, he allegedly replied: “Nobody would know it was us.” Well, they do now.
You may read the full article on The Guardian web site here.