Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I just did a radio show about the Huffington Post Troll Scandal.

You can listen to the show here. Or look for it here. And read what the show wrote about the HuffPuff Troll Scandal here.

Like many others, they asked if the HuffPuff Troll was the only reason for me to get fired.

And like many of my readers they pointed out the money connection between HuffPuff, JWT and the drug industry.

Always follow the money. Find out the motive and then you find the killer. Or the people who conspired to have you fired. That seems to be the general consensus.

So I decided to take a look.

First, it is no secret that I have a couple of lawsuits going with the world's biggest pharma company as the defendant.

Second, it is also no secret that this pharma company doesn't like the fact that I talk to the media and that I had access to the Huffington Post and my own blog.

They pointed out the fact that I was blogging on Huffington Post and on my own blog in a letter to the judge on May 30, 2006, and they didn't seem very happy about it.

So of course, it is natural to suspect that the drug industry might have done what they could to shut me down at HuffPuff.

But from that assumption to any real proof there's a long way.

And, of course it is most likely that HuffPo fired me simply because they went nuts when I disclosed that their technology manager acted as a troll on my blog.

But did the HuffPuff have something going on, to try to shut me down, because of their advertisers?

Was HuffPuff asking me to blog less frequently? Yes. Once, a month ago. And I did follow this instruction. Did they tell me not to do critical drug company posts? No.

Those who see a conspiracy point to the following:

Ten days ago I wrote a blog for the Huffington Post called "Am I Crazy Paranoid . . . ? "

In this blog I noted that the WPP group had become one of my readers. This group owns many PR and and advertising firms and it could have been any one of them looking at my blog. That doesn't mean anything in itself. But one of the companies the WPP group owns is JWT.

And we know the following about JWT: In 2003, JWT was one of the main beneficiaries of WPP's acquisition of smaller marketing group Cordiant, absorbing local offices of Cordiant's Bates Worldwide network in several markets, including the UK and France. JWT also took over control of the various Pfizer accounts handled by Bates, as well as staff working on them in the US, London, France and Peru.

So JWT is connected to the drug industry.

Ten days ago the New York Times wrote that "JWT Puts a 'Roadblock' on Huffington Post."

The article stated, "JWT, the oldest advertising agency in the United States, has purchased all the ad space on The Huffington Post home page for one week, starting tomorrow."

How much does HuffPo get paid, you may wonder? In the article "JWT buys out Huffington Post ad space," the Guardian tells us that HuffPo charges more than any other online journal. "A typical one-month ad on the Huffington Post homepage ranges from $120,000 to $145,000 but sources believe the one-week deal has cost JWT something in the low six-figure dollar range. "

The NY Times continued their article, "At The Huffington Post, the agency has found an experienced partner in Jonah Peretti, a founding partner of the Web site, who is overseeing the technical aspects of the JWT project.

Mr. Peretti's name has been tied to viral media since 2001, when he traded e-mail barbs with Nike after the shoemaker refused to let Mr. Peretti order a pair of customized Nike iD sneakers emblazoned with the word "sweatshop." Much to Nike's chagrin, the e-mail exchange quickly spread over the Internet, and is considered an early example of how viral media can work.

Now Mr. Peretti and The Huffington Post are hoping to make a handful of previously run commercials from JWT alluring enough that visitors will not only click and watch the spots, but will also e-mail them to others.

"People often ask me, 'how do you make something viral?' " Mr. Peretti said. "The truth is, you just make something good. That doesn't make something viral, but some of them will strike a nerve."

So here we have Mr. Peretti in bed with JWT. Peretti who should have known how viral marketing works and that firing a blogger for exposing a troll may not be a good idea. But he did it anyway.

JWT, like any advertising agency or client, obviously prefers to advertise in newsmedia that don't dish their clients. After all, why pay the media outlet that bites your hand? But JWT didn't run drug company ads on the Huffington Post.

At about the same time as the JWT created ads appear on HuffPo, Andy Yaco-Mink, who reports to Mr. Peretti, suddenly takes a regular interest in my blog and starts spewing invectives, calling me "insane," etc.

And some people have also found a connection between Jonah Peretti and HuffPuff apolgist and blogger James Love. If you do a google search on both names you will find them both on a not so pleasurable website.

Does all this mean that the drug industry conspired to use JWT to pressure HuffPo, and Peretti then used Yaco-Mink to post negative replies on my blog to dissuade me from blogging, and perhaps eventually get rid of me, the way some readers have suggested?

No it doesn't prove anything.

But it is certainly an interesting or perhaps, entertaining conspiracy theory.

There is one more thing; I remember very well Yaco-mink's comment to my post $10,000 Fine If I Talk. He replied, "If you just go ahead and don't reveal the confidential information, you can pretty much stop worrying about the fine."

This comment sounded as if it had been written by the lawyers I was figthing against. Now I know better. It was Yaco-Mink.

So of course, a lot of people seem to believe there is something going on here.

As for me, I don't belive anything. I like facts and we don't have them.



Anonymous said...

The fact that Jonah Peretti is trying to spam people is just a total hoot. What a worm.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. I swear Doc, you could work for the CIA, NOT that I would think you would lower yourself, but I am sure there are investigative agencies that could learn a few things from you.

You may call it a conspiracy THEORY, but I'm going with my gut, (Which is killing me right now, Ulcerative Colitis can be very painful)which says this is not a theory but a reality.

Now I know none of this, on it's face, be taken to court, but it would sure raise some eyebrows.

All in the name of love.

Love of money that is.

No wonder the CIA came to visit. Probably wanted to get some lessons on how to track informaation down.

You are a dangerous man Doc. One who knows the truth and one who knows how to find the truth and expose it. I am sure there are dartboards with your picture on them all over the pharma industry and probably evan at Huffingpost.

Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

roger rancourt

I noticed that article too this morning. Pfizer is just selling out it's OTC line to Johnson & Johnson though not it's prescription line. Pfizer is just intending to make all it's money by overcharging for prescription drugs and extending patents by creating new uses for old drugs who's patents are about to expire.

In my field, I'm familiar with psychotropic drugs and Elli Lilly is the real culprit with creating new uses for old drugs to keep patents extended. What they've done with Prozac reads like a bad novel.

Anonymous said...


Apparently they've now decided to do away with allowing "best of" flagging of comments.

The only option left is the "abusive" flag.

If that's not a naked attempt to suppress the the popularity of dissenting opinion from HuffPo's position I'm not sure what would qualify.

First they either refuse to allow contrary comments to be posted, or they held them in the moderation queue for hours and hours while allowing comments in agreement to be posted.

Now they're attempting to avoid the embarrassment, that despite their underhanded attempts to suppress opposing comments, the overwhelming weight of the opposing commentary, still drove the opposing commentary to the top of the list and favorite comment status.

That they would even think they could pass this off as acceptable to their readers is absolutely astounding.

Huffington Post has become a sad pathetic joke.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Peter. Excellent.

I was once a very small time whistleblower --- I was a board member of a small non-profit. Stumbled over financial "mismanagement." Didn't suspect any conscious wrong-doing (thought it was sloppiness) and brought up with the rest of the board, who just went nuts and launched a full-scale bullying campaign. I resigned and wrote to the membership . . . they responded by calling me paranoid and mentally ill.

Just saying that HuffPo's combination of bullying (yako-mink troll) and "readers" calling you paranoid is a time-worn strategy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced there was a conspiracy, just a rather nice coincidence in timing. Doc makes a discovery at THP at the same time a not so clever week long advertising blitz takes off.

It appears Huffington has just cut a deal with IAC - http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=44955

"Although the Huffington Post has independently forged deals with companies such as Continental Airlines, AOL, and ad agency JWT (formerly J. Walter Thompson), the 1-year-old blogging site viewed outsourcing as the fastest route to building ad revenue."

I guess 'Roadblocking' wasn't sexy, dramatic, or successful enough -

"Actor Martin Sheen is looking startled. It's not the panel's eye-watering discussion of anal sex in Sex and the City that has thrown him. He simply he has no idea what Manolos are. Fellow guest Arianna Huffington takes off her shoe and shows him the label. 'Now that's what creating brand awareness is all about,' laughs Craig Davis of ad agency JWT, who is chairing the discussion."


"This means a new bar has been set for advertising, says Davis. Not only must their output be fresher, cleverer, edgier, but ads must become an art form in their own right, or at least move closer to the entertainment space. 'The challenge to us is to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in,' he says - or 'make coitus interruptus the real intercourse,' as Huffington puts it bluntly. That means goodbye to internet pop-ups, which drive the consumer mad, and more investment in '360-degree' communication strategies - emails, text messages, flyers, chatrooms and podcasts which the consumer chooses to view. Customers are now co-authors of a brand's 'story'."

How now, are customers to be co-authors of a brand's 'story'? Check it out -


If you click on the embedded link in this story you'll view the Mini ad and see how 'viral marketing' works by getting you to "dish the dirt" so to speak.

So here's to dishing some dirt. I actually caught a crew filming a commercial starring the Mini a few years ago, using my personal residence as a backdrop without permission or compensation.

Anonymous said...

You can sue if you can prove that was your property and the cameras were steady (on a crane/tripod). You can't sue if the camera was moving (like in a car). For all shoots, there is a location manager who has to clear all rights with property owners just like the casting folks have to clear all people who appear.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what kind of filtering they do on huffpo but I see more right wing comments than ever there.The best of disapearing doesn't make sense because libs are pissed about that too.

Anonymous said...

I got banned yet again for posting what I did on page 1 of the comments at the following blog entry (as censorship is still very much alive at Huffingtonpost.com):