A New Weird Spin On The Dentsu Case

By SuperSpy 

Steve Biegel‘s lawyer, Andrew Dwyer, needs to learn a little something about PR, bloggers, blogs, comments and free speech. Dwyer contacted Richard Becker, about a comment he made on a MultCultClassics blog posting regarding the Dentsu sex scandal.

“Specifically, Dwyer claimed that I had “endorsed” the author, HighJive, whom he has a very low opinion of; that I called his client, Biegel, intolerant against Japanese and a “racist;” and that I might even qualify where I was in agreement with the other author and where I was not.”

There’s much, much more. You can read it all here. George Parker pulled out a gem of a quote from Dwyer’s email to the Becker regarding HighJive, the writer of MultiCultClassics.

First, dealing with HighJive himself, he is anything but a neutral observer. If we assume he is not on the Dentsu payroll, then his repeated “essays” on this subject reveal some kind of odd obsession.”

See the full email after the jump, but here’s the thing… We’re confused as to why Dwyer is on attack mode with a commenter. Can you imagine if you were getting emails from a lawyer taking you to task on a comment you made on an ad blog? Absurd. Blogs provide an avenue for conversation on everything from cute cats to sex based lawsuits. What does Dwyer expect? Better question… Andrew? Did you not think people were going to blog about the sex case? Did you not think that theories would be made on every blog from AdRants to Agency Spy?

Hello. Hello? Anyone in there?

“Dear Mr. Becker:

Once again I a truly disappointed by the comments you have posted about the Biegel v. Dentsu case. You have tried to adopt the tone of a neutral observer, but it is increasingly ringing false.

I am referring to your latest post in response to a post by Highjive. In his post, Highjive picks up on an anonymous post made in November, in which the poster made comments about Japanese business culture. Highjive then implied rather strongly that Biegel himself was using bias against the Japanese in his case against Dentsu. Incredibly, you actually endorse this, and state Biegel “seemed to show equal intolerance to his employer.”

This accusation is baseless. I urge you to reconsider your position and correct your public statement on this.

First, dealing with Highjive himself, he is anything but a neutral observer. If we assume he is not on the Dentsu payroll, then his repeated “essays” on this subject reveal some kind of odd obsession. After all, he cannot possibly have any first hand knowledge of any of the events or players involved. Yet, he has written a half-dozen essays on the case, all viciously attacking Biegel. Most recently, he posted 3 separate essays in the space of 24 hours, all attacking Biegel. In one essay, he announces that Biegel’s case cannot possibly have any merit. Of course, since he has no personal knowledge of the facts of the case, he never explains how he formed this conclusion. Every posting Highjive has made displays a relentless bias.

(I am assuming you are intelligent enough to agree that a person with no knowledge of the facts and no legal training should hesitate to form such a fixed opinion about the merits of this case.)

At first, Highjive’s latest attacks (including the one you endorsed) appear odd for their timing as well as their content. He used an anonymous post to attack Biegel, and further, an anonymous post that was made months ago. Why is Highjive suddenly going on the attack against Biegel for a two-month old, anonymous post? The answer, I think, is that Highjive is in high dungeon because he is upset about Biegel defeating Dentsu’s motion to dismiss. That outcome was not a surprise to any intelligent observer (I think, frankly, that even Dentsu’s own attorneys knew they were going to lose). But the night before the court hearing, Highjive posted another essay, boldly predicting that Biegel was going to lose. The next day, he wound up with egg on his face. Instead of admitting he was wrong (and instead of considering why he was so biased about this case), he dug up a two month old anonymous post, and used it to implicitly accuse Biegel of anti-Japanese bias. And then you — the supposed neutral observer — chime in with your agreement, and further accuse Biegel of “intolerance.”

Ironically, while Highjive (and now you) accuse Biegel of anti-Japanese bias, it is Highjive himself who has repeatedly made outrageous, racist comments in his essays. In one essay, he characterizes Biegel’s argument thus: “Evil Japanese Overlord Toyo Shigeta ruled with an iron fist, subjecting minions to excruciating cruelty.” Of course, Biegel never said that. But Highjive did. In another essay, he actually is racist enough to call Biegel a “Ninja assasin.” Really, the person who has been resorting to racist stereotypes for the past couple months has been Highjive.

Yet Biegel is accused of racism (or to use your loaded phrase, “intolerance”), toward his former employer. Why?

Surely you don’t believe that suing a Japanese company reveals racism against people who are Japanese. Think how ridiculous that argument would be. If I sue a company owned by a woman, then I’m a misogynist. If I sue BET, then I’m a racist. If I sue a Catholic Diocese, then I’m anti-Catholic. The argument is juvenile.

Did we use this case, at any point, to bash the Japanese? Well, you’ve told me previously you had read the court file. If that’s true, then you read the complaint. Other than referring to some physical locations which were in Japan (surely you are not going to accuse us of racism for geographical references), the one reference to Japan is found in paragraph 32. This recites that Shigeta told Biegel (and others) that having “double penetration” sex was a way in which Japanese businessmen commemorate business dealings. That’s not an attack on Japanese culture. That’s a recitation of something Shigeta said. And, incidentally, it is not something Shigeta has denied saying. Dentsu has had months to respond to this complaint. They could have easily filed a declaration by Shigeta denying he ever said this. They have not done so. In fact, prior to filing the lawsuit, in correspondence with Dentsu’s former attorneys, their attorneys told me (in writing), that Shigeta did make the comments about “double-penetration” sex, but did so only as a “joke.” Reciting truthfully that Shigeta made these comments, therefore, is not anti-Japanese. It is simply telling the truth.

Apart from that one reference to Shigeta’s own words, we have not said anything at all Japan or the Japanese in any of our many, many court filings. If you claim otherwise, kindly back up your claim with evidence.

In sum, I find it incredible that you claim Biegel showed “intolerance” (to use your word) or “bias” (to use Highjive’s word) in the case against Dentsu. We have done nothing of the sort.

One final point: It is not crazy to think that companies might have institutional, cultural biases in how they treat their employees. There are instances where evidence develops showing a culture of bias or insensitivity. I do not believe there is any rational reason to assume a Japanese company is somehow immune from any such bias. Nor, of course, is there any reason to assume a Japanese company is prone to such bias. [Removed portion of past Dentsu case.] [More removed past Denstu cases.]

In sum, if you are the neutral observer you purport to be, then I think you should either retract your agreement with Highjive’s piece, or come up with the evidence that supports your accusation of “intolerance” or “bias” on the part of Biegel.

Andy Dwyer

P.S. I’d love to post this on Highjive’s blog, but he does not post comments that are inconvenient to his agenda.”

For someone who claims I made a false accusation, one wonders who Dwyer has not accused, in err and often. I will post my initial response and the remaining tomorrow time permits.