BrandWeek: "In a tribute to limousine liberalism's commitment to free speech, HuffPo promptly fired Rost"
Huffington Fires Ex-Pfizer Blogger
By Jim Edwards
June 26, 2006
Peter Rost, the former vp-marketing fired by Pfizer last year, just seems to attract trouble. Last week he was "fired" by The Huffington Post, where he was a blogger on drug policy and politics.
Here's how it happened.
Rost had become suspicious about one reader who posted negative comments in the response area under his blog on Arianna
Huffington's left-leaning chatfest. The reader, "yacomink," added comments such as, "this thing reads like a 6th grader's first attempt at a research paper."
Within half an hour of that post, Rost says, yacomink's comment became a "reader's favorite comment" in HuffPo's rankings.
"That was rocket speed I'd never before seen at the Huffington Post," Rost wrote on his blog. So he traced yacomink's e-mail address and plugged the name into a search engine.
Rost found that someone named Yako-Mink had a photo blog on Flickr, which included pictures of a bespectacled man wielding a meat cleaver giving the camera the finger.
Further, it emerged that HuffPo's technology manager is named Andy Yako-Mink and lives in Brooklyn. "Huffington Post's technology manager is out to get me!!!" Rost wrote.
In a tribute to limousine liberalism's commitment to free speech, HuffPo promptly fired Rost, Rost claims.
That move was unwise. Brandweek readers know that Rost is a master when it comes to alleging corporate malfeasance and no shrinking violet when it comes to the media.
Rost has already embroiled Pfizer in a federal probe—and the media spotlight—over whether the company illegally sold human growth hormone to anti-aging doctors, and whether he was wrongly fired for complaining about the sales.
Rost published his own press release about HuffPo on PR Newswire, and the blogosphere—sensing Huffington's blood in the water—went into a feeding frenzy.
HuffPo did not return an e-mail requesting comment. Huffington, in fact, was in Cannes, France, last week at the ad festival. She later blogged, "We disabled his password for one reason and one reason only—his refusal to act as part of our online community."