So now Carl Icahn has bought a chunk of Yahoo and may launch a proxy fight. See today’s Journal story about it here. Now the question is how long will it be until Icahn gets his minions at the Journal to do his dirty work for him by producing a devastating hatchet job on Jerry Yang. I give it a week. Two weeks, tops. This is how Icahn operates. Remember the black ops work he did on Ed Zander of Motorola? First, on a Friday, Icahn planted a story that destroyed Zander’s reputation and pretended he had nothing to do with it; then on Monday he took out a full-page ad in the Journal saying he was “shocked — shocked!” by what he’d read in the Journal on Friday, and that Zander had to go.
As for Yahoo, the Icahn shenanigans have already begun. Today’s story in the Wall Street Journal carries two bylines plus a reporting credit for a third hack, and is loaded with anonymous sources who are “familiar with the matter.” Translation: Icahn and his guys are feeding info to the Journal, and the deal with the devil is this — we feed you inside info so you get a Page One scoop, and you slant the story in a way that helps us, and you leave our names out of it.
Now Icahn and his guys will worm their way into Yahoo and find insiders who hate Yang and want him out. Then they will tee those people up to talk to the Journal and spill their guts (anonymously, of course) about what an incompetent nitwit Jerry Yang is.
The strange thing is that the Journal isn’t ashamed of this kind of thing. In fact they’re proud of it. See, this is how they do their jobs. They curry favor with scumbags like Icahn and carry his water for him and help him make millions on these proxy fight deals.
Hey, it’s a living, I suppose, but what bothers folks like me who actually run these companies is that the Journal then has the gall to call what they do “journalism” and say it’s all done in the pursuit of truth and justice and Mom and apple pie — when really they’re not much different or better than the idiots who follow Britney Spears around hoping to get a photograph of her doing bong hits with her 3-year-old.
Frankly it makes me sick. I don’t know how these filthy hacks can look at themselves in the mirror. Katie and her team are already on notice to be looking for the Yang attack piece when it runs so we can deconstruct it and figure out who’s leaking what to whom. Why not have some fun and point the gun back at the hacks, right?
FWIW, you should have heard the Journal freaks squeal when I busted them last year on the Icahn-versus-Zander story. All sorts of angry email from these holier-than-thou journalists (that’s what hacks call themselves when they get a master’s degree) who were soooo pissed and totally indignant about being called out by some lowly blogger. Well, tough noogies, freaks. I’m watching you. I’m a CEO citizen journalist, using technology to disrupt your business model and give you a taste of your own medicine.
More as this story develops.