Ashton Kutcher Defends Uber Exec: What’s So Wrong with Smearing a ‘Shady’ Journalist?


Yesterday, BuzzFeed reported that an Uber executive had made comments suggesting that the company should launch smear campaigns against journalists who criticize Uber in print: “Your personal lives, your families” would not be safe, said Emil Michaels, specifically naming one female reporter whom he wanted to target.

While the public reacted with shock and anger, forcing Uber to backpedal furiously, Uber investor and actor Ashton Kutcher didn’t understand why people were flipping out:

Kutcher, who has invested in multiple online news properties like Vox, continued to rail against the media’s tendency to report on “half-truths” and “rumors”:

After dozens of people explained that Uber had planned to blackmail a journalist and expose her family for criticizing the company — not simply question her credibility — Kutcher quickly walked his statement back:

For a moment, it was possible that Kutcher realized public figures and journalists may have one thing in common — they don’t want their family lives dragged into the spotlight because of a vindictive company. And as a member of Vox Media’s board of advisors, Kutcher may have realized how awful it could be for a journalist to have someone threaten their families because of something they’d written.

But no:

[Featured image via Everett Collection /]

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