Of course, this sounds like both irony and wishful thinking. Arrington both rides a wave of reputation to the bank each month (Techcrunch), being the only technology news source regularly quoted by Reuters and Associated Press, and dies a little on the sword of reputation each night, with the ugly rumours about his behaviour, his controversy for conflict-of-interest situations, and his abominable accuracy record.

But anyway, in “Reputation is Dead“, he makes a case that since it will be possible to find dirt on anyone, then that will mean that dirt won’t matter anymore. That’s the web of Facebook, Twitter, your old blog, what-have-you preventing you from getting that next marketing job. The counter-argument is that everyone will need to buy reputation-insurance.

But in fact, what about a third option… one that has already been happening for years? Selective application of standards. Do you have friends in high places? Then we can sweep a few photos of you in a bikini under the rug. Whoops, did you just anger the powers that be? Well, let’s trot out that bikini photo shoot… suddenly we’re scandalized!

Gasp! We cannot allow someone of your standards to occupy this position.

For years, they’ve been doing this. Celebrity news, political news, and in the absence of an actual scandal they’ll just make something up. Won’t they? After all, this is the primary argument against a surveillance society.