Patterico's Pontifications

12/23/2012

Stacy McCain on the Loesch/Breitbart Lawsuit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:33 pm

Stacy McCain, on the Dana Loesch suit against Breitbart.com:

Having further explored the background on what is now a matter of litigation (Loesch v. Breitbart.com), I think three things are obvious:

1. Andrew Breitbart never would have let this happen;
2. There’s much more to the story; and
3. Dana Loesch has already won.

I am always wary about expressing opinions when I don’t know the facts. I’ll go this far: if Loesch’s lawsuit is accurate, somebody over there was not treating her properly.

And if that happened, it wouldn’t be the first time. I never said this before, but I was personally the recipient of some pretty shabby treatment myself from that organization, after Andrew died. It was bad enough that I suddenly had no interest in contributing to them — as long as the people who treated me that way stayed in charge. And they have.

I think I’ll keep the details to myself, for now. But my experience was not the only such experience. Not by a long shot. And having been through it, it is plenty easy for me to believe that Loesch was also treated shabbily.

And when you treat people like crap, it doesn’t stay a secret.

So do I know whether Dana Loesch’s suit is accurate from top to bottom? No. I don’t. But I have my suspicions. And I bet a lot of other people do too.

And yeah. I know pretty much for a fact Andrew would have handled things differently.

Stacy says:

And I think everyone involved in this unfortunate mess — defendant, plaintiff, and the horrified witnesses — can agree with this four-word sentence: Damn, I miss Andrew.

Damn straight.

UPDATE: Still more from Stacy here.

34 Comments

  1. Part of me wonders if they’re proud of their style.

    Comment by Patterico (a25fb3) — 12/23/2012 @ 11:36 pm

  2. They don’t think about style, the ego factor has taken over.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/24/2012 @ 3:18 am

  3. I hadn’t realized how much The Big’s were animated by Mr. Breitbart’s oversized and infectious spirit until I realized I hadn’t read a single story there for three months.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (20c167) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:21 am

  4. Pat, this is a classic MBA case scenario: Successful company founded or at least managed by one man, no succession plan or successor, loses leader unexpectedly. And the Fail begins.

    It’s been a problem throughout history; see Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan.

    Comment by SDN (f768f2) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:35 am

  5. With every outlet running interference for the Dems;

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/12/22/The-Hill-Exonerates-Berkley-Slimes-Heller

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:55 am

  6. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/12/22/NBC-Chicago-s-Christian-Farr-Ignores-Local-Parents-in-Charter-School-Battle

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 5:59 am

  7. I quit visiting the site and it had been one of my daily stops, not so much to comment but to be informed.

    However, after AB died the Bigs quickly got overly aggressive in pushing ads and preventing easy egress. I won’t put up with sites that try to push me around, so I don’t go there anymore.

    Management there is betraying the essence of Andrew’s vision and it’s a loss for us all.

    Comment by ropelight (e8a337) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:02 am

  8. sdn nailed it

    Comment by EPWJ (b3df72) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:20 am

  9. Well we’ve seen in with Hearst, it’s still an ongoing concern, but its lost its mission, Henry Luce, likewise, after the first successor, is no longer even a shadow of itself, and NewsCorp, may go the same way,

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:26 am

  10. sigh.
    1. stop deifying Andrew
    2. stop deifying Andrew
    3. stop deifying Andrew
    this has become the woodstock of “right” bloggers
    they all knew him well/were there nonsense.
    Could care less about dana and her lawsuit it is tooooooo deep in the weeds while the nation burns.
    get over yourselves self annointed rightie bloggers.
    stacy has long been a link on me I will link on you blog whore and gets dman cranky when others dont. some of you are no longer useful and don’t even come close to being relevant anymore.
    IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU……..sigh
    clicking on others ta

    Comment by prefounder (49159f) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:41 am

  11. Well that was instructive, there is no doubt that major stories like the Derrick Bell matter, and updates on the 21st century scapegoating which is the Zimmerman case, broke on Breitbart, and to be
    perfectly balanced, I’ve appreciated Loesch’s contributions, but she has on occasion, been a little too provocative, hence the matter with the Taliban,

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 6:58 am

  12. Patterico: I think three things are obvious:

    1. Andrew Breitbart never would have let this happen;
    2. There’s much more to the story; and
    3. Dana Loesch has already won.

    Another thing.

    Andrew Breitbart was not a good judge of character, or didn’t pay attention to that.

    But who really knows what some other person is?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2012 @ 7:22 am

  13. Ronald Reagan wasn’t too good a judge of people, either.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2012 @ 7:23 am

  14. Thank you for your insight, prefounder. I’ll give it the attention it deserves.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (20c167) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:13 am

  15. Breitbart’s loss was a huge loss for the conservative movement in America. Breitbart was 17 or 18 years younger than Rush. In some ways, he looked like the future voice for the movement since we won’t always have Rush with us.

    Levin is great and brilliant but he can be a bit acerbic for some.

    Hannity’s biggest problem is that he is Hannity. He isn’t smart or principled enough to serve as the voice of the movement down the road.

    There is a constellation of other talent out there including Ingram, Malkin, Steyn, Loesch, and many others who might be able to leverage “old media” and the internet but I don’t know if any one of them will eventually emerge as “the voice” of the movement over the next decade.

    It sounds just like the problem in the eGOP. There are few promising people in a position to lead the party back toward a conservative agenda in 2016. And the eGOP is working to compromise everyone we can name today.

    I just don’t clearly see the future of the movement from here…

    Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:23 am

  16. WarEagle82, I agree with you 100% about Hannity, bless his heart.

    I just don’t clearly see the future of the movement from here…

    Well, we didn’t see Andrew coming. There’s somebody out there….

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (20c167) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:29 am

  17. Andrew Brietbart was incredibly devoted to exposing corruption in several areas of our society. He was raw and honest and passionate about being raw and honest.

    I found flaws in him, and criticized him a few times, but always within the context that this human being sure is trying hard to expose truth and save us from some bona fide malefactors.

    I respected that, because most of the people out there, especially the ‘true conservatives’ and lefty conspiracy minded kooks who hate Breitbart even today, are cowards. They play internet tough guy all day on the internet, and make up for their real life cowardice by being ridiculously aggressive. Breitbart’s spirit, defined by putting himself right where the corruption was and insisting it be seen, exposes more than corruption. It exposes the cowards who do a hell of a lot less while talking themselves up.

    You can tell a lot about Breitbart by those who hate him.

    I know absolutely nothing about Loesch and Breitbart’s organization. But it looks to me, from my limited view, that the organization needs to find a leader, and whatever they have right now just doesn’t cut it. I say that despite guessing that whoever is there now is probably doing their best. Andrew apparently left large shoes to fill. No shame in being unable to fill them.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:34 am

  18. Yeah, Wareagle’s comment is 100% on the money.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:41 am

  19. Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:34 am

    I know absolutely nothing about Loesch and Breitbart’s organization. But it looks to me, from my limited view, that the organization needs to find a leader, and whatever they have right now just doesn’t cut it.

    It maybe should have been Loesch, but that became apparent only in the second half of 2011. They were actually touting her as the leader (or face) of Breitbart according to the lawsuit, all the while being in disputes with her.

    And finally, when she attempted to leave, trying to chain her to Breitbart.com (at least for another year) all the while cutting off her access and not letting her write anything.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2012 @ 8:42 am

  20. The latest circular firing squad.

    Plus, this…..
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/romney-tagg-campaign-obama/2012/12/23/id/468865?s=al&promo_code=1146E-1

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2012 @ 9:39 am

  21. askeptic,

    That analysis seems wrong to me. I thought Romney was great as far as his drive goes. If his advisers were worried about anti mormonism, they were fools. Evangelicals were the one group who actually turned out for Romney, after all. Telling all those stories of personal generosity would be OK.

    What Tagg’s analysis overlooks is that Romney has a record and it is a record of flip flops and progressive policies and spending and taxing.

    I’ve heard explanations for this, such as that this was better than the alternative in MA had a democrat run the state (probably true). But I think this basic problem is what paralyzed Romney. Romney can’t effectively attack Obama for things Romney did. Explaining the difference is sophistry and comes across poorly. Obama’s campaign merely had to maintain that paralysis with attention on anything that would suggest Romney is insincere. The 47% comment (which I actually liked) and the etch a sketch comment were great examples.

    Romney had lost before he even got started. His nomination was the moment Obama won because you can’t talk your way out of your record. It’s a shame the establishment failed to see it or preferred losing to reform (I think there was a little of both). The grim solace I take is that I don’t think the competitors to Romney would have won. They were each flawed pretty badly. If we ignore that politics is showbiz, then Santorum or Perry could have had a chance. I tend to try to ignore the merit of prime time pizzazz, which is why I tend to favor politicians with great records who may have terrible on TV performance.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 12/24/2012 @ 9:58 am

  22. Well, there was a problem, with squaring the circle, this happened with Dole, who had collaborated with the Democrats, back in the 60s and 70s, with McCain, and now Romney, Masscare was too close to Obamacare, for there to be a up distinction, He did carve Newt like a Christmas goose good though, even if he had to use Tom Brokaw’s monotone, to do it.

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:03 am

  23. He should have listened more to Murphy, and less to Stevens (who proved himself incompetent) –
    and given more credit to his own counsel instead of the entreaties of his wife and son.

    But, sans Romney, who would the GOP have nominated?
    That is a question that will drive a lot of late-night chats, and adult-beverage consumption.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:06 am

  24. Mike ‘Iceberg’ Murphy, who openly disdained the Tea Party, even before it came into being, And we’ve gotten the measure of Christie haven’t we,

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:09 am

  25. I’ve had some interaction with a handful of people at Breitbart.com, though not Loesch, and it’s been uniformly positive. I have the entire site on RSS feed, and find it invaluable; they put out so much good stuff it’s hard to keep up.

    For those interested in some of the specifics involving Loesch’s lawsuit, below is what I posted on the Althouse blog a couple of days ago, with my tentative reactions.

    ————

    Having also looked at the complaint, I agree with the 10:07 a.m. comment.

    Loesch’s claim seems simple:

    (1) Breitbart.com allowed its initial one-year contract with her to go month-to-month starting in October, 2010 (failing to give notice to extend it another full year); and

    (2) she gave her 30-day notice to end the month-to-month arrangement, on 9/13/2011.

    Apparently Breitbart.com then tried to invoke an option on the third of three years, starting in October, 2012.

    I’m unfamiliar with the specific Missouri (or possibly California) law applying to the contract, but it seems odd that after allowing a contract to go month-to-month, a party could later try to resurrect a full-year option. But possibly there was some sort of understanding or side deal on that, or there’s some sort of industry practice to support Breitbart.com’s position.

    I’m unsure why this is in court. The contract calls to mind a football or basketball coach contract. If, somehow, Breitbart.com, it has a right to Loesch’s services through October, 2013, then isn’t she like the coach who wants to leave to coach for another team?

    In such situations, the coach simply stops coaching for the first team, signs a contract with the second team — even though that risks a breach-of-contract suit — and the second team negotiates with the first team a settlement of any contract breach (and of course a settlement of any claim that it tortiously interfered with the original situation). That is, a buyout of the coach’s contract with the first team. Often the whole deal is done up front.

    When John Calipari moved to Kentucky in 2009, Kentucky bought out his contract with Memphis for $200,000. USA Today recently had a story on how successful college athletics programs make tidy profits collecting buyout money when their coaching stars switch to other schools: http://usat.ly/Sdu2zD.

    You don’t see the coach file suit against the first team complaining that being held to the full term of the contract is “indentured servitude in limbo.” (Second page of complaint — note to complaint-writer: it helps to use page-numbering).

    The “indentured servitude” reference seems dicey (as others here have noted). It hardly seems like peonage if Loesch in fact signed a contract binding her through October 2013. I better understand the “limbo” part, as apparently she’s not being assigned any duties. But if Breitbart.com’s still paying her, while not assigning her to do anything, what to hard-working Loesch is “limbo” might seem to others a paid vacation.

    As to Breibart.com telling prospective employers it currently has a contract with her through October, 2013, I don’t see why that’s a problem as long as it has a good-faith basis to believe it validly triggered a third year on her contract.

    As a business decision it seems fine if Breitbart.com uses a basketball-coach model for its contracts, so that if some other media organization wants to pick off one of its stars, it has to buy out the contract. A gig with a high-profile site like Breitbart.com can quickly turn a talented, initially obscure, person into a star, just as a gig on “American Idol” can turn an unknown into a star, an opportunity that carries with it long-term contracts entered into up front.

    But if Breitbart.com is going to continue to press its contract claim rather than just let Loesch go and wish her luck, to avoid brand damage won’t it need to explain, at internet speed, the legal and factual basis for its view that Loesch is contractually bound to it through October 2013? One can quibble with some of the asides added to the complaint, but it tells a pretty simple story that Loesch terminated her contract, fair and square, months ago. Loesch is a justly popular and respected figure. It’s hard to root for an organization not dominated by a single, popular and respected person, especially if the organization doesn’t explicitly and promptly set out a competing narrative.

    Comment by Badger Pundit (4ffaea) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:21 am

  26. Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:06 am

    But, sans Romney, who would the GOP have nominated?

    Newt Gingrich! Or Rick Santorum. Unless maybe some other candidate would have run.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bda33a) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:21 am

  27. A bunch of people now in charge at Breitbart.com who didn’t understand that Breitbart, taking point, shined in the light generated by those following his leadership. They probably never will understand. Get good people, get them what they need to do their jobs, and get the hell out of their way. You’ll look great. This is a crowd saying “I’m in charge, now!”, and I somehow doubt that Breitbart ever said that.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:23 am

  28. Seven weeks after another utterly disastrous campaign by the eGOP’s designated loser is kind of the wrong moment to admit that “daddy didn’t really want to run.”

    MITT SURE SEEMED TO WANT TO RUN WHEN HE WAS RELENTLESSLY BASHING EVERY OTHER, MORE CONSERVATIVE GOP CANDIDATE IN THE PRIMARIES!

    Mitt waged a relentless, and apparently scorched-earth campaign against his GOP rivals and then went all weak-at-the-knees when he faced Obama.

    But this has been the theme for eGOP candidates since 1988. Beat the HELL out of conservative candidates in the primaries and then roll over and choke in the general election.

    The eGOP seems satisfied to sit at the table, even if it is the ‘kiddy table’, and reap the scorn of progressives at every turn as long as it makes them feel self-important while they literally push failed progressive plans that draws scorn and derision from the progressives.

    The eGOP is doomed. It is only a matter of how long it takes for them to die, choking on their own spittle as everyone else waits for a merciful act of euthanasia.

    Reagan is the only transformative candidate the GOP has run since 1965. They won two landslides with his policies and have spent the last 30 years running away from Reagan’s winning and successful policies! THEY DON’T WANT TO WIN! THEY DON’T WANT TO GOVERN AS CONSERVATIVES. IT CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ANY MORE CLEAR.

    We may have already lost our Constitution. Four more years of Obama is going to see a continued and continuous shredding of the Constitution. And if one of the remaining conservative justices gets sick in the next four years it will be impossible to stop the Marxists.

    If the eGOP runs another John McCain or Mitt Romney in 2016, it will certainly be the end of our Constitution and the possibility of a central government based on the concept of limited, enumerated powers…

    Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 12/24/2012 @ 10:29 am

  29. http://theothermccain.com/2012/12/24/memo-from-the-national-affairs-desk-chains-rattling-and-whos-that-ghost/

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 12/24/2012 @ 11:45 am

  30. I read the lawsuit, and it seems like a “please just let me go.” The $75K is only to establish she’s in the proper forum, and she was nice enough not to name names and burn bridges.

    Some of the folks over there have burned a few, as many people have mentioned.

    I think they are overreaching, to their detriment. Criminy, just write some good articles! Their shining star is no more; time to come back down to earth.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 12/24/2012 @ 2:07 pm

  31. Thank you for your insight, prefounder. I’ll give it the attention it deserves.

    Well, what it may have lacked in insight it more than made up by being so articulate.

    Comment by BLBeamer (1376ff) — 12/24/2012 @ 4:38 pm

  32. 27.WarEagle82, Truer words have never been written. Thanks and Merry Xmas.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:33 am

  33. Whittle/West 2016

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/25/2012 @ 2:40 am

  34. I have to say that, if the facts as alleged in the lawsuit are even close to accurate, I don’t see where the Bigs thought they had a legal leg to stand on.

    It’s pretty shabby.

    The thing is, under California law, we frown on the whole idea of being able to keep someone from plying their trade wherever they want anyway (See Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code Section 16600 et. seq.), and you just can’t claw back an option after allowing one in the chain to expire like that, unless it was a very very oddly written contract.

    The thing is, when the big boss at a personality driven business dies like this, its usually payback time for whoever takes over against the other disciples. I’ve seen it over and over (as a business attorney) and it always ends badly…. usually for the guy who takes over, and the business, as they are sued out of existence by the former employees/partners they tried to take advantage of.

    And the jackals on the left will just be waiting for a corpse they can feast on. So it doesn’t end up well for the rest of us either.

    Comment by StuckInLAwithZombies (7c1e50) — 12/25/2012 @ 6:13 pm

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