Tasini Files Class-Action Suit Against Huffington Post on Behalf of Unpaid Bloggers, I’m Movin’ to the Head of the Class
All I can say to Jonathan Tasini is kol ha-kavod (hat’s off to you). Finally, someone is sticking a pin into that inflatable ego known as the Huffington Post. It seems that when AOL bought Huffington Post a few months ago, a conservative valuation of the contribution made by the HuffPo’s 9,000 unpaid bloggers put their worth at $105-million. Guess who collected that? The bloggers? Guess again. Why Arianna of course, and her fellow investors.
Finally, Jonathan Tasini is doing something about it by filing a class action suit against Ariana for the hundreds of millions she’s made on the backs of these unpaid freelance contributors who are treated so miserably (unless they’re considered media stars by the management). Tasini has the temerity to demand that Arianna share $105-million of the $310 million she made from the sale, with the guys what brung her to the dance, those bloggers. Without them, HuffPo would be an also-ran. Here’s what Tasini had to say about Ariana:
“Ms. Huffington is acting like every Robber Baron CEO – from Lloyd Blankfein to the Waltons – who believes that they, and only they, should pocket huge riches, while the rest of the peons struggle to survive.”
Here’s some of the nonsense HuffPo had to say in its own defense:
Mario Ruiz, a spokesman for the web site, called Tasini’s allegations “completely baseless.”
“Our bloggers utilize our platform to connect and ensure that their ideas and views are seen by as many people as possible,” Ruiz said. “It’s the same reason hundreds of people go on TV shows to broadcast their views to as wide an audience as possible.”
Huffington called the lawsuit “a pile of bile.”
“It seems that AOL’s purchase of HuffPost suddenly opened [Tasini’s] eyes to the fact that we are a business,” Huffington wrote in a response to the suit. “The vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to contribute – and we’re thrilled to have them.”
Of course Ariana is thrilled to have worker bees who slave away in the hive making honey for her. She loves those bees collectively. But individually? She couldn’t give a crap. One of the good jokes she tells to make the worker bees happy is that she pays them with exposure. Yeah right. When you publish at HuffPo and it’s buried somewhere behind the latest Hollywood sex scandal, it offers tons of exposure.
Just to offer a personal anecdote. I worked my butt off asking blogging friends to help me get accepted there. When it finally happened I was so proud of the achievement. I wrote about 25 posts for HuffPo. Then I noticed that posts weren’t being published. The only two that weren’t, each dealt with rather embarrassing stories about the IDF, including one originally reported by Uri Blau in Haaretz concerning the IDF Cast Lead veterans’ t-shirts. Another dealt with a girl the IDF was refusing to provide care for after one of its missiles completely disabled her. No HuffPo editor would answer any questions about the posts. All of which led me to stop writing for the website.
Since then, I’ve heard about Ariana’s all expense paid junkets to Israel on Aipac’s dime, about her glowing posts about the wonders of Israel. We know in whose pocket she is. I guess it’s small wonder those posts of mine were never published. Thrilled to have me, Ariana? I think not. You treat people like crap and they’re going to turn around and bite you for it, Ariana. Now pay up. And someone tell me where I can sign up. I want to be a member of THIS class.
- Bloggers to sue over Huffington Post sale (guardian.co.uk)
- Media Decoder: Huffington Post Is Target of Suit (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
14 thoughts on “Tasini Files Class-Action Suit Against Huffington Post on Behalf of Unpaid Bloggers, I’m Movin’ to the Head of the Class – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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oh man, if i can have 5 minutes of your time,in an isolated room…
This is the way of latter-day Israel: you beat on anyone whose opinions you don’t like. His fake e mail address is ‘email@example.com.’ That’s all you need to know.
What did you expect seriously.
That she did this out of the goodness of her heart. it was always a business.
your naivety astounds me.
AND you will lose the suit.
I do so enjoy when people with no legal knowledge or background, esp. in U.S. law decide to opine on the subject.
You were a guest in her house and knew the rules about pay before you entered.
I can well understand your frustration at not having your writing featured in her house or even never emerging from the basement.
But no “We know in whose pocket she is.” not at all. All we know is that she chooses to publish, in her house, pro-Israeli stuff.
That she chooses to do that isn’t a good thing, but that choice does not make her “pocket-lint” any more than your choice to get giddy over getting published in the HuffPo meant that you were in her pocket.
Your views still belonged to you and it’s a tad churlish to suggest that her views don’t belong to her.
How come you no longer post @Mondoweiss?
I liked your posts. Did Annie ban you?
I don’t know who does the banning there. Weiss says no more than that he didn’t ban me and a friend of his does the banning and indeed banned me.
If it’s Annie that is entrusted with the moderating and banning, I guess that I’m not as perplexed as I have been by their action to suppress my comments.
I always had the impression that I wasn’t writing in a manner that Annie much understood.
Yep, Annie did it. Anyways, I don’t want to abuse Richard’s hospitality by harping on that subject, but I just want to add that the moderators at Mondo allow extremely abusive and racist comments to stay if made by anti-zionists. Reasonable Pro-Israel supporters are routinely attacked,insulted, and often banned for expressing their opinions. The hatred of anything Israeli is over the top. It is toxic. I can’t imagine hating any nationality that much.
You’re right & this does begin to abuse the privilege. I doubt Phil Weiss would relish comments about this site in his comment thread. I try to run things here as best I can. But I really could care less how things are run anywhere else. Follow the rules & you won’t run into trouble. That’s my motto.
This is NOT true at all. Ruth is at an advanced state of paranoia. If Richard Witty could stay around at Mondoweiss for years, that’s proof enough. And we’ve all noticed that Ruth never has anything to say about the articles or the general debate here, she’s only nagging about other people. Maybe she should go see the shrink she has advised to others here regularly … or find a social club in her neighbourhood.
We all have our differing threshholds of what we’ll tolerate. I think I may’ve banned Witty here once or threatened to.
As for shrinks, I too find Ruth’s comments annoying at times, but people tell me all the time that I need mental help & it’s just a downer so I suggest we not go there. But on the other hand there are a few people who’ve stalked & are stalking me & those people are truly mentally ill (no names so as not to stoke their pathology).
In my experience most mainstream blogs and the mainstream press and worst of all, the US Congress, are all places where harshly critical statements, some of them bordering on racist, are made about the Palestinians on a regular basis. Mondoweiss just has the problem on the other side of the spectrum and it’s nowhere near as severe as what you find in the places I just mentioned, especially our Congress (though again, obviously the bias is aimed in a different direction). Our UN Ambassador Susan Rice recently said that Israel committed no war crimes in Gaza. At another blog I visit, a liberal Zionist one, people complain about Mondoweiss even while harboring some rightwing Israelis with truly noxious views in the comment sections. It’s actually sort of funny seeing this complaint pop up in that venue.
At this blog Richard enforces a pretty strict code regarding the sort of offensive nonsense that can be posted. Outside of here it’s a nasty cruel world whenever the I/P conflict comes up.
“Maybe she should go see the shrink she has advised to others here regularly … or find a social club in her neighbourhood”
Excellent advice for you to follow! You send way too much time online!
Where is the edit function?