1. Claim that the product/service will revolutionize its industry, no matter how unlikely that is.
ie “Google Pies Will Make Your Kitchen Obsolete”
2. Make accusations versus people/organizations without actually checking.
ie “Apple’s iPods are eating your brains. A source we’ll only refer to as S. Ballmer assures us that this is probably true and says Zune(tm) is the only MP3 player that won’t eat your brains.”
3. Have your founder/editor always play the victim, and do so dramatically in public.
ie “I’ve suffered so much in publishing this site, that I’m going to retire to my remote mountain lair to count the money I make from it. Tear.”
4. Hold a conference, then require the companies you cover to pay to be involved, then – with a straight face – insist that has no influence on your coverage.
ie “You don’t want to come to our conference and pay to be an exhibitor? Sigh. Ok, but I’ve heard some rumors that your site causes rabies…”
I enjoy hyperbolic news media probably more than the average media consumer. But even your nuttiest British tabloid seems to exhibit more integrity than TechCrunch does in the tech media, and because they’re not covering the wider world of journalism they seem to get away with it.