Richard Laermer, founder and CEO of RLM PR, has been added to the list of 9,000 involved in the class action lawsuit against The Huffington Post brought on by blogger, author, and former political candidate Jonathan Tasini. The unpaid bloggers are seeking “an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $105 million.”
The lawsuit was filed in April. At that time, Tasini wrote in a blog post, “We live in a time of unrelenting class warfare… The greatest stage for that class warfare is in the workplace: CEOs and their top executives believe that they are the most important part of the company and that they should reap an obscene portion of the value created by WORKERS.”
Since then 30 pages and three other plaintiffs have been added to the lawsuit, which PaidContent calls a “legal long shot.” The PaidContent story also lays out the new arguments added to the case.
We emailed Laermer to learn of his reasons for joining the case. He gave us two.
First, I’m fairly appalled at the audacity of HuffPo saying I and the other suit joiners are getting more exposure from being on their site than they are from publishing 115 posts that were reprinted, each and every one, all over the world. This was big for them cause I’m a real writer and folks went to HP to see my stuff. That gives them more Google Juice than all of Arianna’s ravings got, and really I don’t need to be juiced by them. I do fine by myself, as you may recall, since I regularly appear on TV, write a book every 18 months, am quoted as an authority (and know what I am talking about) every week…. Plus oh yeah I speak around the world on marketing and trends 40 weeks a year. When they said that to the lawyers – about this being such great exposure – I nearly peed my pants in anger. Sorry for the visual.
Then the greed factor. Arianna and her cronies made a fortune buying and selling our links. I and the other suit joiners are not asking for a huge sum but what any other so-called journalistic enterprise does: pay nominally or at least fricking *something* for what was a lot of hard work. To just shrug off and laugh at the idea that moving forward, we all get paid something as bloggers that MADE the site, goes against the whole reason for it being. After she said no way would she talk to the Newspaper Guild I said screw it let’s do it, to quote Richard Branson. Whatever the original goal Ms HuffPo had in her mind to start the blog, which was to move journalism into new ’10s direction, went out the window when Tim of AOL asked her to dance. It’s a greedy world out there and we who work for our bread want to get paid too.