Like Lawyer, Like Son: Mediaite Toots a Horn Too Far

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Hey! Big day for Mediaite! The website owned by Dan Abrams -- the former MSNBC talking head, sworn enemy of Keith Olbermann -- took in a new employee today in the form of MediaBistro blogger Alex Alvarez! Yet how have they pissed on their own parade?

Well, Dan Abrams took the time to tout their "numbers" and new hires in a post today! That's not so bad, even in light of the editorial mud-slinging by columnists about video curation in which they got those pageviews. It's also not so bad even in light of the fact that Dan Abrams has never disclosed any of the clients of Abrams Research or made publicly available really anything about the media strategies firm he owns in addition to a website. Most people just got over that a while ago and it's like, whatever, "It is what it is," etc.

Except now, Dan Abrams -- the son of famous Manhattan litigator Floyd Abrams -- is clearly just fucking with us. Or airing out his Freudian issues in public. What's up with this, D?

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Frances Martel isn't exactly a regular on the "Law Firms to Work For" beat and I get tooting one's own horn, but for Floyd? Youforreal, here? I mean, blogging about the boss is one thing, and then the boss blogging when he said he never would -- in a blog post Abrams wrote in the site's first day live on the internet -- like so:

While I have certainly helped create the tone and direction of Mediaite, now that the site is live, I will take on the role of Publisher. I will continue to help guide and manage the business side of the site, but the editorial decisions will be left entirely to the editorial staff. Why would I give up the opportunity to edit my own site? There are a number of reasons. Most important, however, I want this site to be viewed as objective - tough and opinionated - but not the Dan Abrams Post.

That's crazytalk, Dan Abrams! Because right now, in your site's skybox, is a picture of you. On your site there is also a post promoting your Awesome Lawyer Dad (of whom wouldn't be unlikely to be an investor in Abrams Media or share clients with Abrams Research). There are also a grip of posts with Dan on the TEE-VEE! We've heard so many times that there will never be a conflict like this or you intervening with the site ever -- especially when you launched and your employees defended your honor Jedi Mind Tricks-style like *waves hand slowly* There is no Abrams Research, these are not the droids you are looking for -- in the history of your site from that point out. Not so much!

Yes, it says that Floyd is Dan's dad at the top of the post, very clearly, and also, that Floyd has contributed to the site! And how can we know anything shady is going on with Dan and Floyd and Abrams Research and Abrams Media if we don't know who Floyd and Abrams Research's clients are? We can't. And maybe Frances Martel is just a fiercely devoted employee who loves writing about her super-awesome never-not-nice boss and his super-awesome lawyer dad! Or maybe it's just a sweet favor called down by a nice son. It happens.

Or maybe Alex Alvarez and Matt Schneider -- a guy who just quit being a lawyer to go work for Abrams (?!?) -- might want to set some ground rules before they show up?

Non-Shady Disclosure: The weekend editor of this blog, Joe Coscarelli, was once a weekend editor at Mediaite.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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