Washingtonian: Mr. Cranky Responds


Hellman-“Meet Mr. Cranky” by Courtney Vinopal, in December-reported on Hellman’s sharp coverage of the Arlington company Trustify and its CEO, Danny Boice. Among other things, the story noted that Hellman’s criticism often included personal claims with questionable sourcing.

Hellman responded with a letter to the editor as well as an open letter to Washingtonian on his site. “While the story appears balanced, it is less than fair,” he wrote there. “The article ignores the groundwork and research that goes into my posts. For example with regards to Danny Boice and Trustify, I have interviewed well over 30 people including former employees … current employees, relatives of traumatized former employees, vendors, co-workers, partners, startup executives. … ”

“I am sure you will see that my ‘invective’ is not ‘unsubstantiated.'”

Hellman took issue with claims from a Trustify lawyer that he had failed to respond to a letter, and with the article’s description Boice’s marriage as “tawdry”: “[I]n my experience both personal and professional I understand that marital distress of top leaders of even the healthiest companies may put that company at risk.”

In the months since the story published, Trustify has remained in the news – in ways that have Hellman crowing. The Washington Business Journal reported in January that Trustify owes significant sums to its landlord and other vendors. Hellman’s tweet of the report included this shot: The report’s author, he said, “dug a little deeper than the @washingtonian.”

Vinopal, meanwhile says her article was about Hellman, not the rim he’s been covering. ”I spoke extensively with Glen about his experience working in the tech sector and highlighted how his background and sources have made him a valuable – and sometimes unexpected – voice in a region lacking a robust corps of technology reporters. Our story chronicled Glen’s attention to Trustify over the years and explained why his targeting of his company and others has earned praise from some and pushback from others.”



See the response letter here