“Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams this week encouraged survivors of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting to share their stories by using his WhenHub mobile app to get paid for interviews about their experience — all while Adams himself gets a 20 percent cut.
The Daily Beast reports that Adams on Monday hosted a Periscope video in which he defended his promotion of the app to shooting survivors and admitted “that his cut of any payments would have been 20 percent” had any of the survivors actually chose to make money from his app.
WhenHub advertises itself as a mobile app that assorted “experts” can use to create and then sell videos of themselves discussing topics. Adams on Twitter defended his attempt to recruit Gilroy shooting survivors by claiming that it’s just a “news gathering tool” — although Adams in his tweet did not acknowledge that he stood to personally profit from it.
It’s a news gathering tool, like CNN and FOXNEws (among other uses). No fake outrage necessary. This is one of its intended purposes.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) July 29, 2019
Lucy Dalglish, dean of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, tells the Daily Beast that Adams’ plan is “really, really cynical” and she said that she doubts any news organizations will pay money for video clips of interviews posted on Adams’ app.
“There’s a reason why media cover these events, and as a reader and a viewer and a citizen, I’m disturbed by the thought that presumably this guy is going to make money,” she said. “If I’m a witness, my goal in life is not going to be to make money off of this horrible, horrible incident.”