E652: News Roundtable! Katie Benner, NYT & Eric Newcomer, Bloomberg: More Gawker-Thiel, 1st amendment, FB moral obligations, Microsoft buys Linkedin, Theranos slow-motion train wreck





about this episode

News Roundtable! Occupying the table with Jason are two distinguished tech journalists, Katie Benner of NYT Technology & Eric Newcomer of Bloomberg. There’s almost not enough time to cover all the biggest news in tech over the last few days. Between Gawker declaring bankruptcy, Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition and Walgreens ending its partnership with Theranos there is certainly no shortage of content today!


0:29-1:29: Jason starts the program on a somber note addressing the tragic Orlando shooting.

1:29-8:48: Eric and Katie give their two cents on Silicon Valley’s response to political issues.

8:48-11:20: Jason explains why Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg will probably never come on his program.

11:20-14:55: The group discusses the issue of publishers ‘outing’ gay men.

16:07-22:59: Katie and Eric explain their own opinion on the “Gawker/Thiel play we are watching,” and the politics around outing.

22:59-25:41: They talk about the type of writers that Gawker attracts.

25:41-33:01: Jason addresses the dicey debate with Jessica Lessin from the last News Roundtable.

33:01-36:52: Katie talks about why it is so necessary to have a public editor in journalism.

36:52-39:54: The discussion reverts back to the Thiel/Gawker story and why it’s so scary that a billionaire can drive an entire publication to bankruptcy.

39:54-41:59: Katie and Eric explain the difficulty in investigative reporting tech stories in Silicon Valley.

41:59-51:41: The roundtable turns their attention to the story of Walgreens breaking their partnership with Theranos.

51:41-59:59: Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is one of the biggest headliners in the tech industry in recent memory.

59:59-1:02:03: The group discusses the types of devices they prefer.

1:02:03-1:04:55: Jason brings up some of the things that he likes about Nick Denton of Gawker.

1:04:55-1:10:52: Jason tells one of his favorite stories on how he stole Peter Rojas from Gawker.

1:10:52-1:11:50: Jason talks about how he’s softened up a bit over the years.

1:11:50-1:15:57: Jason asks Katie about what she thinks the direction Twitter is heading.

1:15:57-1:20:54: Jason explains why he can’t speak about his shares in Uber.

1:20:54-1:23:51: Eric gives his take on Larry Page investing in two separate flying car companies. Then they discuss Facebook’s road map to catching up to Google.

1:23:51-1:26:43: Jason again brings up the tension between Jessica and himself.

1:26:43-1:37:31: Jason gives Eric and Katie two guesses each as to who he is having a meeting with later that day.

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1 Comment

  • Fred Fandango says:

    Jason, you were way too apologetic regarding the Jessica Lessin affair. Your backpedaling on this episode was unfortunate, and I hope that in the future you will stand your ground and not try to placate. You were completely in the right to raise the massive conflict for your listeners who are not in the know. Viewing it again, Lessin looks really bad. She clearly has not made disclosures in The Information that every reporter for an ethical news organization should make, and this markedly diminishes my confidence in her publication. (As founder and editor-in-chief, the disclosure should be on her web site, but it isn’t there.) Instead of acknowledging the conflict and moving on, she tries to deflect the discussion by an attack on you. Things then really devolve. In the current episode, your guests attempt to provide a character defense of Lessin but they are clearly conflicted since they both worked at The Information and appear to be friendly with Lessin. In any case, their character defenses are completely beside the point. As a listener, I want to be confident that Lessin has made full disclosure and I’ll make up my own mind. Clearly she has not. Note: I don’t have any conflicts to disclose in this matter other than a desire for high journalistic standards and truth in media.

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