A freelance blogger on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington for $105 million. The suit alleges that the Huffington Post's legion of unpaid bloggers are entitled to one third of the revenue from the site's sale to AOL in February.
Jonathan Tasini, who filed the lawsuit, compared Huffington to a "robber baron" in a blog post on Tuesday, and called her site a "blogger plantation - where her slaves work to build her fortune."
Tasini's hard-left perspective came through in his complaint (students of Marx will no doubt recognize his labor theory of value):
We live in a time of unrelenting class warfare. We are the richest nation on earth—yet that wealth is flowing into the hands of the few. 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.
The Huffington Post was, is and will never be, anything without the thousands of people who create the content. 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. Ms. Huffington stance has been clear: only she deserves the fruits of the labor of the people who work for her.
Actually, Arianna Huffington is worse than the CEOs of the banks, the Walton family of Wal-mart. At least, they pay their workers something—even if those wages aren’t enough to make ends meet.
Huffington pays zero. Nothing. Nada.
Arianna Huffington is a hypocrite. While reaping money and building her "brand" based on books and speeches decrying the growing divide between rich and poor (I am not linking to those books in order to avoid giving her even more cash to pocket), Ms. Huffington is precisely acting to impoverish bloggers and create a blogger-plantation--where her slaves work to build her fortune.
The plantation line is absurd on its face. The Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney summed up everything wrong with the claim in a short headline: "Like slavery, only voluntary".