NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I understand what hacks such as myself are up against. It's impossible to talk to every founder or executive you write about. Quite a few refuse to talk. Many who do say very little. And, even if it management makes itself accessible, it's just not possible to interface with everybody.That said, there's no excuse for the horrible reporting and opinion-making most of the media churns out vis-a-via Pandora (P - Get Report).
There are two ways to think about Pandora.
The first is the way most people are familiar with (and the way founder Tim Westergren wants you to think about it): That it's an enormously popular music streaming service with millions of users and a huge mobile ad business.Thanks to Twitter follower -- @Murphy_Danny -- for tipping me off to Edwards' piece. In the first part, we get an unfortunate surface scratch: There are two ways to think about Pandora. Yep. Water everything down to simple dichotomy. It's more complicated than that. A five-minute conversation with Pandora's receptionist might reveal as much. How does Edwards know "the way" Westergren wants you to think about the company he founded? And how does he know there isn't more than one way? He doesn't. Yet that hasn't stopped him from writing thin articles on Pandora for as long as I have been reading. He conceded on Twitter that, when it comes down to it, he put words in Westergren's mouth. The guy could have, at the very least, cited an article where Westergren actually says what Edwards assumes Westergren wants public perception of Pandora to be. Or, better yet, call or email him and ask, In what way do you want people to perceive Pandora? After reading Edwards' article, that's what I did (see Page Two for Westergren's response). But, like I said, you can't talk to everybody so, please, speculate. I do it all of the time. I live in a glass house, no doubt, but it has a view. I throw stones, yet I aim. So it's all good -- spew uninformed opinions, just don't put words in the founder's mouth to feebly support an ultimately lame non-argument. Tim Westergren put himself in a difficult spot. No doubt. For anybody who thinks I'm a Pandora shill, read what I wrote in Absolutely Horrible News For Pandora.