The hoopla started when BuzzFeed posted a feature claiming company executive Emil Michael suggested Uber should consider shelling out $1 million for a team of “opposition researchers” to dox some journalists and seed out what it finds as a sort of revenge against negative press.
The comments were made during a dinner that included a BuzzFeed editor who hadn’t been made aware the event was off the record. According to this editor, Michael reportedly was particularly upset with PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy, saying that he felt she should be held “personally responsible” for the potential ramifications of her statements.
BuzzFeed was careful to note that such plans hadn’t actually taken place, saying that it had been said as something “that would make sense” for Uber to do. After the commentary went public, Michael emailed Lacy an apology, saying in part:
I was at an event and was venting, but what I said was never intended to describe actions that would ever be undertaken by me or my company toward you or anyone else. I was definitively wrong and I feel terrible about any distress I have caused you. Again, I am sorry.