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As publisher of an influential tech news site, Michael Arrington of Techcrunch has many virtues: a web of contacts in Silicon Valley, energy, and a good nose for web apps. But the requisite temperament is not among them. Arrington already lost his cool last week, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he described Valleywag as evil. Now, in Techcrunch comments, this afternoon, Michael Arrington accuses Dave Winer, Rafat Ali and Jeff Jarvis, three writers known for their bolshiness, of sucking up to the New York Times to further their own agendas. Why should you care? Well, Arrington's Techcrunch fills the role that Red Herring did back in the day, so his behavior can have an impact on a startup's fate.

Jeff Jarvis has the temerity to challenge Arrington at a recent panel, for accusing a Times reporter of corrupt ties to a startup which received favorable treatment. "I challenged him immediately, saying that this is a grave charge and that he clearly had no facts to back it up; he said as much."

I'm not sure what Rafat Ali's offense was, apart from hosting the New York Times' publisher at an event in New York for Paid Content, his website which covers the online media sector. And Dave Winer had, in a comment on Techcrunch, given the Times some credit for its recent embrace of social network sites such as Myspace.

Michael Arrington: You, Jarvis and Rafat Ali are sucking up to them to further your own agendas. I don't think that's a good idea in the long run. In the case of Jarvis and Ali, this loyalty has resulted in outright fabrications.

Dave Winer: I don't think this deserves a response other than I doubt it's true about Jarvis and Rafat, and I know it's not true about me. Back off dude, you're in over your head.

Michael Arrington: Wow. You are completely lost Dave.

New York Times Surrenders To Social News [Techcrunch]