Arianna Huffington has responded to the class action lawsuit filed Tuesday by Jonathan Tasini on behalf of a group of unpaid Huffington Post bloggers, calling it "utterly without merit."
Huffington called Tasini's assertion that the HuffPo's unpaid bloggers are nothing more than "modern-day slaves" unoriginal — pointing out that argument has been made before — and "deeply offensive."
"Perhaps it's fitting that Tasini filed his suit on April 12," Huffington wrote, "the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War."
Huffington claims she has emails from Tasini that highlight her long-held justification for not offering to pay bloggers — that the Huffington Post gives bloggers a national platform to promote themselves:
I'm looking at the proof of it right now: multiple emails (now collected in a legal file) Tasini has sent to me and the HuffPost blog team over the years, extolling the virtue and value of blogging on HuffPost. In one, he gushes over HuffPost's ability to create buzz and drive traffic to his website. In another, he enthuses over the fact that the National Journal picked up and linked to one of his HuffPost blog posts. In a third, he recommends a friend who would like to blog on our site.
Read Huffington's entire response here.