In an open letter on Vanity Fair’s website, writer Nancy Jo Sales has invited Tinder CEO Sean Rad to settle their issues.
“I’d be happy for you to join me in a public forum to talk about the important issues surrounding this little kerfuffle between you and me — freedom of the press; female journalists and freedom of the press,” Sales said in her letter.
Before Match Group — the IAC-owned company whose businesses includes Tinder and OkCupid — went public last week, Tinder CEO Sean Rad gave a cringe-worthy interview to the Evening Standard.
Rad said he was “defensive” of a Vanity Fair article earlier this year that called Tinder the “dawn of the dating apocalypse” and discussed the app’s effect on hook-up culture. (Tinder, in response, went on a more than 30-part tweetstorm lambasting the magazine for the feature story.)
Rad told the Evening Standard that he’d done “background research” on Sales, who has written for Vanity Fair for 15 years, “and there’s some stuff about her as an individual that will make you think differently.”
Later on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Match Group chairman Greg Blatt attempted to clear up Rad’s remarks, saying that what Rad had meant was that he’d “Googled actual articles” written by Sales.
In her letter, Sales asks why female journalists get threatened by the companies they report on, citing comments made last year by Uber executive Emil Michael directed towards Pando editor Sarah Lacy, a vocal critic of Uber. At an off-the-record dinner, Michael suggested that he could hire opposition researchers to dig up dirt on journalists like Lacy. Later, Michael contacted Lacy to apologise for his comments.
“I think people are concerned about the pressure that companies seem to feel they can put on journalists as a way of managing their bottom lines,” Sales said, closing out her letter to Rad. “I know that we could sit down and, together, really hash this out.”
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