Arianna Huffington, fresh off the sale of her website to AOL for $315 million, told unpaid bloggers that threatened to strike to go ahead because no one will notice.
The Wrap reports:
She argued that blogging on the Huffington Post is equivalent to going on Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart or the “Today” show to promote their ideas.
And, she said, there are plenty of people willing to take their place if they do.
“The idea of going on strike when no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.”
So far the efforts of the writers at ArtScene and Visual Art Source, who are refusing to contribute any additional material unless they get paid, are having trouble gaining any traction.
Unpaid bloggers publicly grumbled that Huffington was only able to strike such a rich deal because their contributions helped build HuffPo. They know that going on strike will likely have little effect on the site as bloggers aren’t exactly in short supply.
Huffington told the audience at the paidContent Conference Thursday that she employs 183 paid journalists, giving them generous benefits. They are assigned stories and work overtime when necessary, responsibilities the bloggers don’t have and that comparing the two is “absurd.”
The bloggers in question no doubt contributed in some degree to HuffPo’s success. Based on the reaction to date, they offer an inflated sense of their worth to Arianna, especially now that she has cashed in her chips.