Two Democratic political consultants are suing rich website owner Arianna Huffington and her business partner Ken Lerer, claiming that Huffington and Lerer stole their idea for The Huffington Post. How convenient that it was called "The Huffington Post," then!
The story of the genesis of The Huffington Post is legendary, among the kind of people who would care about how The Huffington Post started: In Arianna's Brentwood lean-to, where she had gathered with a bunch of friends after the 2004 elections, drinking Mad Dog 20/20 and talkin' media. According to Arianna, she and her companions "discussed creating a platform that would be a combination of 24/7 news and a collective blog. That was the beginning of the Huffington Post."
James Boyce and Peter Daou, two Democratic consultants, disagree. Boyce and Daou claim that the next day, they both met with Huffington and Lerer, to discuss a memo that Boyce had sent Huffington, outlining a website where "political luminaries and public figures should be invited to blog." (Some of the floated names for the site include "The Stassinopoulos Report," "Arianna's on Fire" and "Arianna Says.") Lerer and Huffington, the consultants say, shook their hands at the end of the meeting and said "It will be great to work together."
It seems pretty unlikely that Boyce and Daou will prevail, given that they "have no written contract, and no evidence that Huffington and Lerer considered them formal partners," and that they'd have to prove that their idea for The Huffington Post was specific, concrete and unique. Which, come on.
But there's another reason to doubt Boyce and Daou! And that reason is that Andrew Breitbart actually invented The Huffington Post. Really! Just ask him! He told Wired in March,"I created the Huffington Post. I drafted the plan. They followed the plan." Well, that settles that, doesn't it?