Will Uber Watch Me, Too?

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author

An Uber executive, frustrated that some in the media are actually critical of God’s gift to human transportation, made a comment that he was thinking about hiring his own journalists to dig into the backgrounds of those wretched press people who dare criticize the company. The Uber exec, Emil Michael, vice president for business, made the comment at a private dinner and thought it was off the record. Unfortunately for him, the comment was leaked to BuzzFeed News and made public.

Mr. Michael later backtracked on his comment after it went  viral. But lesson learned Mr. Michael, that slip of the tongue at a private dinner had no chance of remaining locked in today’s technology-fueled, on-demand, news cycle where every utterance or goofy act is digitally captured and spread virtually in seconds.

Now here’s the deal. Just because Mr. Michael said he regretted making the statement and a company spokeswoman said Uber in no way would investigate journalists, I have to be a little skeptical because Uber has been flip-flopping on statements and promises, like every day. Just last week I wrote about Uber fibbing to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission that it wouldn’t launch UberX in Philadelphia, and then on the same day launched UberX.

I guess that’s the media’s fault for reporting that little minor tidbit. So I have to consider that maybe Uber might again flip and dig into journalists like myself, who haven’t been very supportive of their “We’re only an app company so leave us alone Tom.”

So I better come clean before the Uber hired investigative swat team digs into my past and uncovers some unsavory sordid details and events. Ok, I routinely bust the speed limit driving to association meetings up and down the East Coast—especially when I head up to Boston for an NELA meeting or to Long Island for an LILA meeting. I also once forgot my EZ pass transponder but blew through the designated lanes anyway because I don’t carry quarters for Garden State Parkway tolls. So sue me. Who carries stacks of quarters anyway?

That’s about it. Anything else they dig up to soil my reputation I will refute through all means legal and illegal. For the right price, I know some guys in Jersey who will willingly lie to validate my stellar reputation if the Uber CIA scribes dig up some sordid past discretions. So I’m covered. Unfortunately, Uber has a long trail of breaking all the rules and skirting injunctions, laws, rules, regulations, insurance and safety practices that our there to protect the public.

Right, it’s always the media’s fault.



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