Rival technology blogs encouraged real-world attacks on him, TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, after an unidentified conference goer spat on Arrington in Munich on Tuesday.
Arrington told the Journal that the spitting incident, plus a death threat last summer that he disclosed on TechCrunch on Wednesday, have driven him to take time off from his popular, influential Web 2.0 startup blog and to reconsider his career.
"Whoever is the top blog will get attacked by everyone else and that'll just be the way it is," Arrington said. "We really need to think about the community of bloggers if we're going to continue to slay our own for competitive reasons."
"I think there are crazy people out there, like the guy that threatened to kill me," Arrington said. "I just wish that people wouldn't suggest to the crazy people that I'm a good target."
Arrington did not suggest that any tech site actually urged people to harm him. But he did name a handful of tech blogs that he thought had published matter that damaged his site's reputation, including AllThingsD.com.
Arrington also blamed Valleywag, the brazenly cruel tech industry gossip site I wrote for from 2006 to 2008, for encouraging readers to physically attack him.
Of his online rivals, he wrote in a blog post, "I want them to realise that their words influence others who may be inclined to 'take matters into their own hands' under the mistaken impression that threatening to kill someone, or physically attacking them, is somehow righteous."
Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of AllThingsD.com and author of the BoomTown blog, told the WSJ: “I am appalled he is being stalked, which is scary and disturbing, and am sorry for the strife it has clearly caused him and his family.