April 14, 2011

Arianna says "the lawsuit completely ignores... how new media... have changed the game, enabling millions of people to shift their focus from passive observation to active participation — from couch potato to self-expression."

"Writing blogs, sending tweets, updating your Facebook page, editing photos, uploading videos, and making music are options made possible by new technologies... The same people who never question why someone would sit on a couch and watch TV for eight hours straight can't understand why someone would find it rewarding to weigh in on the issues — great and small — that interest them. For free."

You desk potatoes!

30 comments:

chickelit said...

You desk potatoes!

Dictaters!

Trooper York said...

Leave the Irish out of this.

pbAndj said...

I think Althouse should have quoted her phonetically. Her accent is half of her brand.

chickelit said...

We're famished over there blogfather-give us some fresh copy!

The Grand Inquisitor said...

She's right. It's better being a desk potato than a couch potato, and websites that allow comments are doing so because that's good interactive entertainment.

AJ Lynch said...

Booyaaaa Arianna!

chickelit said...

The Grand Inquisitor said...
She's right. It's better being a desk potato than a couch potato, and websites that allow comments are doing so because that's good interactive entertainment.

It's like talking back to the TV.

YoungHegelian said...

Do desk potatoes get a blight that attacks their netroots?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Whoa... Something Ms. Huffington says, and I uncategorically agree with it... Makes my brain hurt...

MayBee said...

How many employers who would like to pay their employees less try to explain that the game has changed?
In most cases, Arianna would not understand. She would strike with the workers. She would insist on higher minimum wages.

It will be interesting to see if her own experience makes her look at the world differently.

Carol_Herman said...

Now we're desk potatoes?

You know, the OLD New York times, when you wrote in to the Editor, was extremely selective in whom they chose to print! It was free to them, when they got your mail. But it used to cost a nickel to send them your opinions. Most of which never got published.

The NEW technology doesn't belong to HuffPo. But I do give her credit. She got to the money that most people only dream of.

You know, I've never even been there! Didn't like her much when she was married to the boring homosexual, that she tried to turn into a senator. At least that attempt fell flat.

WV: "mencisk" (Is that like menopause on steriods?)

MayBee said...

Here is a workers right advocate railing against WalMart on the Huffington Post. Not enough paid sick days! WalMart would probably say they are encouraging active participation.

AJ Lynch said...

I am sure Arianna has been to the Netroots convention where the librul bloggers meet and she saw an opportunity to exploit the lack of demand for their woe-is-me, resentful loser angst. Charlie Sheen would call what Arianna did to them Winning!

PatHMV said...

Huffington is right on the law, obnoxious person that she is, but this response seems kind of odd, when directed toward a group of people who did, in fact, regularly weigh in on the issues rather than sit on a couch and watch TV for eight hours straight.

The response also strikes me as quite crass. Yes, those free bloggers gained readership that they wouldn't have were it not for writing on Huffpost. But Huffington also gained a very large sum of money that she would not have, were it not for the large number of talented people who agreed to write for free on HuffPost. Her post reads as if they owe everything to her, rather than acknowledge the mutual dependency of the relationship.

But then, I always assumed she was a greedy, self-interested huckster, and the people who agreed to write for her for free but are now complaining about it are greedy, self-interested idiots. A pox on all their houses.

PaulV said...

did Puffington make more money in her faux marriage on her faux business? What did AOL pay her all that money to her for if not the free labor of her servile bloggers.

traditionalguy said...

Arianna is one smooth operator.

Bart DePalma said...

I would not automatically assume the suit is meritless. The blogger appears to be making an equitable quantum meruit claim that he provided value to Huff Post from which Huff Post made a profit and should equitably compensate the blogger. Indeed, discovery may demonstrate that publishing uncompensated content may be the basis for the Huff Post profit model.

I believe that television compensates the various folks who are willing to make fools of themselves on reality shows in order to obtain their 15 minutes of fame.

Is there any contrary precedent?

Does Huff Post insist on a waiver for compensation for its bloggers?

If not, a court could very well find an equitable claim for compensation. Equity is in the eye of the court.

bagoh20 said...

"You desk potatoes!"

Au contraire. I only comment while in the shower. At least I'm not wearing shorts.

Huff does have a point. The internet has replaced the majority of my TV time, but I have actually increased my shower time, which should please everyone I meet.

Phil 3:14 said...

active participation?

Why do I feel that commenting on a blog is the equivalent of responding to someone standing on a soapbox in the park ranting about the socialists in office?

I guess that's "active participation"?

What Yahoo hopes is "active" is the ultimate placement of items in the shopping cart AFTER I've otherwise "actively participated"

KenK said...

And make her a millionaire too.

Revenant said...

he provided value to Huff Post

Ok, I'll grant you that one...

from which Huff Post made a profit

... ok, still with you...

and should equitably compensate the blogger

... huh?

People "should" be paid the wage they agreed to. In his case, $0.

Gladys said...

They can flee to another blog agregator.
Isunjust enrichement regulated in american law?

Lance said...

For free.

She's getting ready to counter-sue, demanding all those non-paying bloggers pony up for the privilege of posting their progressive drivel on the oh-so-prestigious HuffPo.

Which of course doesn't make any worse sense than the original suit.

Lance said...

@Bart DePalma
and should equitably compensate the blogger

You missed Huffington's point, that the bloggers have been compensated. Their content was published on the most popular opinion aggregator on the web. For free. There was even an agreement to that effect before any of them posted word one.

(Also, in other news, I like italics.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Methinks the word is "rubes".

And Arianna's an expert at finding them - and exploiting them.

Quaestor said...

I believe that television compensates the various folks who are willing to make fools of themselves on reality shows in order to obtain their 15 minutes of fame.

Perhaps so, I know nothing about TV. However, I'm willing to bet those reality show participants are party to contracts which stipulate exactly how and under what circumstances they receive compensation. I'm also willing to bet they receive no residuals, because the reality show genre was invented to circumvent residuals for actors, writers and other entertainment professionals. I think the blogger will have to demonstrate an expectation of customary compensation, which is unlikely given the history of blogging.

Arianna is going to win this one, but HuffPost as an institution is going to have the stink of her greed and opportunism all over it from now on. Unfortunately Ms. Huff-n-stuffington already has her swag; it's AOL that going to be the big loser.

AllenS said...

I'll bet that Arianna is a poor tipper.

Bart DePalma said...

Lance said... You missed Huffington's point, that the bloggers have been compensated. Their content was published on the most popular opinion aggregator on the web. For free. There was even an agreement to that effect before any of them posted word one.

What agreement?

In any case, let's put this in terms a good progressive like Huffington might understand...

Many unemployed would like to work without pay for the valuable consideration of experience and for exposure to an employer who might actually hire them as a paid employee after an initial test period.

Progressives would call this slave labor and have not only outlawed it, but established minimum wages and various employer taxes for the benefit of the employee.

jim said...

Shorter Arianna: "Don't watch my hands, just listen to some more of my pretty words! Paying writers for product is SO 1979 ... besides, if folks are dumb enough to let me con them into giving me content for nothing, that's just another beautiful facet of Teh New Media Rainbow! DRINK THE BLOG-PLANTATION KOOL-AID. IT IS DELICIOUS (& 100% VACCINE-FREE)!"

I am a progressive - Huffington plays one on TeeVee for money. The difference is easy to spot: I'd never dream of conning hundreds of people into working for me for free, let alone making millions off their work doing so.

Alternate Shorter: "Fuck political integrity OR journalistic value - I've got page-views up the wazoo, suckers!" Hannity, Limbaugh & Beck can only dream of damaging the American left the way Huffington does.

Revenant said...

I'd never dream of conning hundreds of people into working for me for free, let alone making millions off their work doing so.

Where's the con?

From day one, HuffPo was a for-profit operation. This wasn't a secret. People wrote for it for free not because they were "conned", but because they wanted their writing to reach a larger audience.

People are whining now not because Huffington made money, but because she sold out to a big corporation and big corporations are icky and gross.