Well it's not like her integrity shouldn't already be questioned considering how she's a former conservative once married to a Republican congressman and all, but hey:
When two Democratic political consultants accused Arianna Huffington, in a lawsuit, of cheating them out of credit for their role in launching the Huffington Post, her ultra-dismissive response was meant to imply their claims were based on nothing more than envy. An investigation in the new issue of Vanity Fair suggests that the consultants’ case is not quite as frivolous as Huffington would have you believe — but it also raises new questions about the plaintiffs’ motivation.
The two men, Peter Daou and James Boyce, present some compelling evidence that Huffington’s well-polished account of how Huffpo was conceived — supposedly at a Dec. 3, 2004 gathering of liberal luminaries she’d convened — is, at best, only part of the truth. In fact, in the weeks before that conclave, Daou and Boyce had already pitched Huffington on their idea for a progressive version of the Drudge Report, and she’d responded by looping in Ken Lerer, her eventual Huffpo co-founder. In the days following the Dec. 3 meeting, Daou, Boyce, Huffington and Lerer fleshed out the idea in in-person meetings and email conversations. By Dec. 20, the site had a name (rejected possibilities included “Arianna Says” and “Arianna’s On Fire”), and Daou and Boyce had been instructed to draw up a “refined blueprint and strategic plan” with a promise of six months’ worth of funding. Only after that did Huffington and Lerer cut ties. Six months later, the Huffington Post went live.
In other words, Huffington and Lerer, at a minimum, seriously considered working with Daou and Boyce on something that, in rough outline, resembles the Huffington Post. That much is clear. What’s far from clear is why the two consultants waited six years to claim what they now say is their due. Asked about the Vanity Fair story, a Huffpo spokesman, Mario Ruiz, pointed to the six-year delay as proof of the lawsuit’s weakness:
As we’ve said before, it defies reason and human nature, if they really believed they had created the Huffington Post, that they would wait six years before speaking up. At some point over the last 72 months, they would have contacted us to complain or asked us to credit them somewhere on the site or insisted on getting stock. Something. Anything! But they didn’t, because they know that they have absolutely no claim to ownership.
(Ruiz also said the article “takes apart Boyce and Daou’s case piece by piece, leaving it in tatters.” Read it yourself and draw your own conclusions, I say.)
Daou and Boyce say they had business relationships that prevented them from going public with their beef when they would have liked to. You have to wonder what happened to those business relationships; after all, Huffington is far more of a force in Democratic politics now than she was in 2005.