That's a way to make you feel good about blogging, huh? To be attacked by both Dick DeVos and KayBee Hutchison?
DeVos is suing 30 anonymous bloggers and YouTube users because he believes they are among a group for former distributors who sued Amway and were put under a gag order by the judge in the suit.
In the lawsuit filed this past week in Ottawa County Circuit Court, Quixtar seeks an injunction and damages of more than $25,000 against the posters, identified only as John Does.
Quixtar believes the videos and other postings are part of an organized effort by former distributors who unsuccessfully sued Alticor and are under court order not to disparage the company or disclose proprietary information, according to the lawsuit.
Quixtar plans to ask for permission to subpoena various online companies to figure out who posted the materials, spokesman Rob Zeiger said.
According to the Grand Rapids Press, an Alticor representative said the court action was merely to identify anyone who might be associating with those under court order, rather than expressing their own personal opinions.
Zeiger told the paper that his company was not interested in pursuing people not associated with the former employees, and would even reimburse their legal fees if there was no connection. "An individual who is expressing their own opinion, we don't have a problem with that," he said. "They're not doing anything wrong."
I thought at first this might be an attempt to neutralize the power of anti-DeVos blogs, which had been really effective against him in the last governor's election in MI. I need to see the complaint here, because I'm not sure the allegations made in the YouTubes actually relate to the failed lawsuit against Amway. So DeVos risks amplifying the blog material which appears like it may be factually correct: that is, that Amway's online division Quixtar, sucks. (Full disclosure, I have a family member who was a Quixtar believer before he became a Southern Baptist.) That'd be nice, huh? If in pursuit of a bunch of people who tried to bust the pyramid scheme, DeVos actually informed more people that Amway is a big hoax?
KayBee Hutchison, for her part, is complaining about bloggers because--wait for it--they don't follow the esteemed principles of journalistic ethics.
In response to a question on another subject, she volunteered this:
The mood of the country right now is pretty frustrated. People don't like the partisanship -- there's kind of a toxic atmosphere about politics -- I think the blogs, interestingly, feed on that. The intemperate nature of blogs, and the lack of accountability, have had an overall toxic influence on our elections. These blogs are cynical and mean -- on all sides. I don't think that's good. Even if you disagree with the mainstream media, there's a sense of integrity and honesty and standards. There are journalistic standards, which blogs don't have.
UPDATE: KBH's office called and emailed this morning (Saturday) to say that she was talking about "anonymous" bloggers only.
KayBee, if you're wondering, my real name is Marcy Wheeler. And I challenge you to examine whether the journalists who are reporting on you are really upholding those vaunted journalistic standards. Because what you appear to believe are journalistic standards may be nothing more than Beltway cravenness (though I can see why you'd like that).
And while you're talking about "lack of accountability," I've got some comments about the behavior of the Senate I'd like to chat with you about. After all, you might want to be calling for the resignation of Ted Stevens or David Vitter before you start attacking citizens for their lack of accountability.