Daniel Brusilovsky is that an Apology or Damage Control?

It was revealed last night that Daniel Brusilovsky an early Teen Podcaster and more recently an editor over on TechCrunch was asking for computer gear in exchange for posts on TechCrunch. Michael Arrington got wind of this, and after an investigation revealed the extortion scheme on TechCrunch, Michael did the right thing in order to maintain the reputation of the site and the other bloggers there. TechCrunch took the extra step of immediately removing all the posts Daniel had written.

I have known Daniel for a while now, initially as a podcaster and was pretty shocked to read the post. I recently saw him at CES representing TechCrunch, how they got an underage person a pass to the event which is supposed to be 18 and above is beyond me. He was also a guest on a podcast we were helping record. I cannot imagine what the host of that podcast is going to do with that material now.

Shortly after the posting on TechCrunch Daniel posted “The Line was Crossed“. Reading the post he talks about letting people down, but I do not see where he takes responsibility for his actions. He pawns of the mistake for his age and while I am sure age played into this, there is no excuse as he knows very well that extortion was wrong. Daniel has been in the New Media and blogging space for a long time he knows the rules.

I am not satisfied with his response and quite honestly it looks like he is more in damage control spin mode. Does his spin and lack of serious apology have to do with the Teens in Tech Conference? At this point his reputation is damaged to such a degree that I am surprised that he is moving forward with the event. If you are going to ride the new media / blogging pony then you have to realize we live life online, and online is were he has to make peace with those that trusted him.

His actions should be a wake up call to all of the other folks out their who are in positions of trust that the internet can giveth and it can taketh away!

Comments

  1. says

    I totally agree with you Todd. I think this young man made a mistake and showed poor judgment to the effect that it will indeed cost him a career in blogging/podcasting/tech industry.

    This short phase of his live will be forever changed because of these events. To say this is HUGE, would be quite the understatement.

    I personally never blame people for their mistakes, but I do ask that they pay for them.

    But Daniel is a very young man and he has his entire life to find his place. I wish him the best.

  2. says

    I don’t think it’s as earth shattering as some people are playing it up to be. He’s still a kid, frankly, and this can actually be blamed on immaturity and inexperience, AND a lack of real mentoring.

    One seedy aspect seemingly lost in all this is the tech industry and culture’s lust for tech whiz kids. He was in some senses practically exploited due to his age. “Oh look, we’ve got the youngest tech blogger on staff, and he’s a genius!!” etc… That’s gimmicky, and he got sucked into that 0-day world.

    I don’t know why we’re holding him up to these weighty moral standards of industry vetrans when he’s still making his way through education and trying to define himself. These types of “scandals” are all too common in all review journalism circuits, not just tech. See any movie junket for details on how the reporter is wooed by marketing teams.

    Going forward, he’ll recover fine. This is a minor scandal, especially in the industry of journalism, and it’s a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

    So sure, he’s responsible for his actions, but they aren’t very serious quite frankly, and his big sin was being too open about it. He’s learned, he’ll keep writing, and some will remember but very few will care as time goes by.

  3. says

    He is 17 and he has been in the New Media Space and Blogging for a long time. There is no excuse he knew perfectly well what he was doing.

  4. TucsonMatt says

    I agree. I read TechCrunch and then clicked over to Daniel’s site and read his “apology”. I shook my head when he said that “somewhere, somehow a line was crossed”. Ummm… yeah… you got greedy and screwed up Why don’t you admit it? It will be a lot easier for people to move on if you just say you were greedy and screwed up and you knew it was wrong and you’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. This sort of lame response is what gets so many politicians in trouble. If you just admit it and take responsibility, people are more willing to forgive.

    That being said, I’m afraid that before too long, most people won’t remember and he will probably end up doing fine. It will be his Chappaquiddick – floating out there, most people don’t remember or care, but it will rear its ugly head if he tries to get into something big and may stop him from advancing as far as he would have. Hope so.

  5. says

    I did find the “hands in the cookie Jar” post to be less of an apology than I was expecting. I understand temptation, but I also believe that this type of thing shows a much deeper issue with basic values. From my understanding of the situation, this was not a passive or complicit act, but one where Daniel actively created and engaged in starting something he knew was wrong. My personal feel for the whole thing is that he is sorry he got caught, and while he may, in some way understand what he did was wrong, he does not in any way understand that what he did is far more than just wrong, it is unforgivable IMHO.