Uber Exec Sticks Foot Deep In His Mouth, Takes Back Suggestion To Dig Up Dirt On Critical Journalists

It appears that on-demand transportation company Uber has some cleaning up to do after Uber SVP of Business Emil Michael set his sights on journalists. Last Friday at a private dinner in New York City, Michael suggested that the company should consider digging up dirt on its critics by hiring a team of opposition researchers.

According to BuzzFeed News, Michael went on to say that the company should spend “a million dollars” to hire four journalists and four top opposition researchers in order to fight back against the press. The goal would be to look into “your personal lives, your families,” in order to give the media a taste of its own medicine. One such journalist, Pando founder Sarah Lacy, was specifically named by Michael due to her publication’s attacks against Uber.

Uber has been under fire from the press that reported the company has tried to sabotage an opponent’s fundraising and recruiting efforts, did this after hiring a person who allegedly stole confidential documents from that same competitor, and even pushed its drivers into subprime loans. The aforementioned journalist, Sarah Lacey, has accused the company of “sexism and misogyny.”

Shortly after reports surfaced about what Michael said at the dinner, he released a statement that said, “The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner – borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for – do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company’s views or approach. They were wrong no matter the circumstance and I regret them.”

Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian also released a statement assuring everyone that Uber was not conducting any such research, “We have not, do not and will not investigate journalists. Those remarks have no basis in the reality of our approach.”