Free Sarah Lacy!
OK, the interview she did with Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW on Sunday was a little silly at times and she probably annoyed people when she flacked her new book. (Full disclosure: I have written two books, so I can relate to the unfortunate impulse to do so.)
But to make such a big hairy deal in blogs and on Twitters seems a bit of overkill, doesn’t it?
Even including a wee bit too much girly hair-twirling by Lacy into the equation (which looked like simple nervousness to me), I just don’t get the uproar.
If Britney Spears had mounted a mighty steed and ridden naked down Hollywood Boulevard, trampling cute little bunnies as she went–it could happen!–it would not engender the level of vituperative online bloviating that the encounter of Lacy and Zuckerberg did.
Were there no other pointless blogging debates to be had yesterday? Aren’t there indignant Digg-for-sale stories to chew over? Wasn’t there a good open-source kerfuffle to get into angry exchanges about? Didn’t Robert Scoble do something that we can endlessly argue between and amongst ourselves?
I guess not and that’s too bad.
Arrington got it exactly right (except in singling out only journalists for the Lacy-bashing, since it was, well, everyone piling on), when he wrote:
“Perhaps they just got caught up in the fun of a witch burning. But whatever drove them to write those articles, it certainly wasn’t journalism. Nor was it professional. And, worst of all, it wasn’t accurate.”
And Thomas made the most salient point of who should have been the focus of the interview, when he wrote:
“I agree with the popular take on Sarah Lacy’s Zuckerberg interview at SXSW to this degree: The audience was revolting. Lacy threw an unbecomingly petulant tantrum onstage. But the Twitter reaction was equally self-indulgent. The debates over her performance obscured the man who should have been under the microscope: Mark Zuckerberg.”
I am, in fact, probably going to be interviewing Zuckerberg onstage at our upcoming D: All Things Digital conference in late May. I hope it goes well, but you never know.
But here’s an offer: If everyone promises to stop needlessly pummeling Lacy for her SXSW interview, I’ll consider twirling Zuckerberg’s hair during my interview with him.
Also, here’s the video of the Lacy-Zuckerberg interview, so you can make your own judgment: