Whither Krempasky?

Despite breaking a non-disclosure with a PR rep (above, far left), we slept soundly last night.

Collateral Damage asks: “Hmmm, what if you substitute the words “human being” for PR rep? If you did indeed make a commitment to him then aren’t you obligated to keep it? Isn’t that one of the reasons Consumerist exists: To record when companies do not keep their commitments to their consumers?”

A PR rep is not the same as a human being. Consumers are the victims, often of PR folk’s disinformation campaigns.

Here’s what happened: months later, we told a small podcast two details about the off-the-record conversation. A week later, Krempasky wrote us an email dripping with thinly veiled venom. We exchanged emails increasing in rancor. At the end, we decided we were sick of keeping the conversation secret anymore and decided to out it all.

We may be paid and thereby “pro” bloggers, but we never went to j-school. There’s no “ethics” class at Gawker University. We do have a duty to a good story.

What’s of greater service to consumers and reader? Not reneging to a PR agent on his influence peddling session with you or disclosing or how Walmart, through said agent, is trying to squelch blogosphere dissent? In this case, you got a twofer. A bargain!

Looking back, we regret saying, “Ok” when Krempasky declared, “This is off the record.” However, we don’t regret breaking that promise, and will gladly do it again for our readers. Using “professional courtesy” to hide the influence peddling of the agents of the world’s largest retailer is the very skulduggery and backroom dick-shaking we abhor.

One regret does linger… that we didn’t kiss and tell sooner.

Previously:
Krempasky, Walmart Apologist, Responds To Consumerist Outing
Walmart Is Mad At The Consumerist

Comments

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  1. GenXCub says:

    Oh the backroom dick-shaking… there’s a youtube of this right?

  2. daberkman says:

    Right, but aren’t you afraid that this will hinder tips and such in the future? I’m not necessarily saying the Krempasky deserved the treatment he got but… for your own welfare, wouldn’t potential tipsters be put off by this? Would it not be wise to re-state exactly what your policy is when asking for anonymous tips throughout the Gawker Universe?

  3. Thou hast not sinned.

    There was no virtue in Krempasky’s motivations. He wanted to get you off his companies’ backs and he didn’t want to be publicly accountable for that particular ambition.

    He doesn’t get to do that, though.

  4. dancemonkey says:

    The problem is that off the record conversations can be useful in and of themselves. You can use information gathered through an off the record discussion to find other leads to follow. If you break your promise to keep it off the record, that avenue of investigation may be closed to you down the road with someone else.

    It may seem righteous now, and I agree that PR people are generally scum and don’t deserve us to keep their secrets, but this may come back to bite you in the ass somwhere down the line.

  5. Adam, this isn’t a “tip.” This is a mercenary for some incredibly wealthy companies asking Ben to kindly not use his teeth as he handles those respective companies’ shvanzes. That Ben disclosed this attempt at stifling the critics of Wal-Mart only improves his credibility in my eyes. It says “Hey, I’m not going to do back room deals with dirtbags — I’m here to keep the little guy informed.” It’s very different from Ben, say, exposing the identity of a hypothetical tipster who has been leaking chilling information about lax security at an equally hypothetical financial institution.

    I think that Ben’s conduct here is absolutely in keeping with the ideal mission for a blog like Consumerist. Should companies trust Consumerist to keep their secrets? If doing so benefits those companies at the expense of the consumer, absolutely not. Better to send that message now.

  6. Tim Nudd says:

    “I’ll honor our agreement if you’re a good guy” is tough, because deciding case by case who’s a good guy and who’s not is inefficient for the blogger and not reassuring to future sources. It slows down the flow of information, basically, which may not serve the goals of the site too well. (In that sense, a commitment to a douchebag from Walmart PR may be indistinguishable from a commitment to one’s readers.) Having said that, this other course of action better upholds the commitment to be funny.

  7. kad9k says:

    I did go to J-school, and was taught that there really is a lot of grey in the “off-the-record” rule. A good example is the Judith Miller/Scooter Libby debacle — she was lauded by some journalists for “protecting her source” while plenty of others argued she should have revealed it for the greater good. It’s true that “off-the-record” is a professional courtesy extended to sources, but the fact of the matter is when a journalist breaks it, he’s really burning himself. Sometimes it’s just a choice of whether it’s worth it to do so in service to his readers.

  8. FMF says:

    To me the issue is about trust and personal integrity. There’s very little in life worth breaking your word over and calling your credibility into question — and a sharp email exchange isn’t one of them.

    Danilo, even though this may not be a “tip,” the whole issue calls Ben’s personal credibility into question. Will he keep his word in the future? Maybe or maybe not — who’s to say?

    Possible scenarios: a worker in a company wants to leak information about an illegal practice but doesn’t want to be identified. Can she trust Ben to keep her hidden? Or suppose a company realizes it does have problems and wants to improve it’s customer service. Do they consult Ben? Will he keep their admission of bad service a secret while they work to improve? Maybe or maybe not. You can come up with example after example where personal integrity is called for, but if someone breaks it, he/she isn’t going to get the same access, influence, information, etc.

    Personally, I wouldn’t ever trust a person again who had promised me one thing (like keeping something off the record) and then did the exact opposite (like making it public). That’s not really an issue here since I’m sure Ben isn’t worried about having Krempasky’s trust. But there are more audiences to consider than just Krempasky.

    For instance, will other bloggers trust him? Will readers trust him? (I know this incident has changed my image of him.) Will companies (who deserve to) trust him do so? Maybe most will. But certainly some will not — and rightfully so.

    I’m sure I’ll be in the vast minority on this issue on this site, but let me end with a couple additional thoughts:

    *Call me old-fashioned, but two wrongs still do not make a right.

    *In our efforts to help consumers overcome the injustices of large companies, let’s not become worse ourselves than the monsters we oppose.

  9. solmssen says:

    Ben – you may not like what you agreed to by going off-the-record, but you agreed to it. No one held a gun to your head. Breaking your word, even to a PR flack, reduces your credibility in all things, it does not enhance it. If you don’t like going off the record, don’t do it, but don’t agree to it and then break that agreement.

    That’s my position. Obviously, others feel differently.

  10. Harvey Birdman says:

    Wow, this reminds me of all that media hand-wringing over trading off-the-record comments for White House access.

    Anywayz, it’s re-dunk-ulous to sniff about professionalism like the Consumerist is the Wall Street Journal. This is a PR flack asking you to soft-pedal consumer complaints (to co-opt your site, basically). Besides, your tips and information come from consumers, not from corporations, so who cares what corporations think? (besides your ad director) It’s the heat from bad publicity that corporations respond to, not some blog’s insider connections.

    Keep on with the funny.

    -p.s., I’m an attorney who practices consumer law, if that gets me on your membership list.

  11. Triteon says:

    I’m sorry to do this, but Ben’s action was wrong. Regardless of Krempasky’s duties in a PR firm, regardless of the vitriol many of us hold toward Wal-Mart and regardless of the curriculum at Gawker U, an agreement is an agreement– however hastily made. As it’s been said before: if we don’t have our word, we have nothing.

  12. I think Adam makes a good point that this could somehow affect anonymous tips. We expect Ben to be the neutral judge when it comes to judgements such as “keeping agreements”. I think most anonymous tipsters would be terrified if Ben were to suddenly reneg on his agreement to keep them anonymous… however…

    I think Ben has to use his internal ethics radar whether or not that person can be trusted. Krempasky doesn’t exactly cut the mustard. An anonymous tipster vs sleazy PR rep are indeed two different things.

  13. ‘Oh the backroom dick-shaking… there’s a youtube of this right?’

    I think that would be on XTube instead of YouTube.

  14. Kornkob says:

    I’d have to ring in on the side of those who think Ben should have kept his word. It’s not good for future folks to have any reason to question the integrity of the Consumerist staff. Furthermore, Ben’s initial comments seem to indicate that his word cannot be trusted.

    “We didn’t tell you about this fateful meeting until now because one, we had agreed not to, but more importantly, we wanted to play it out and see what happened” This seems to indicate that Ben stating that he will keep someone’s confidence can only be trusted if nothing interesting happens.

    On another note: am I the only person who doesn’t see exactly what it was this PR guy ‘did’ that was so horrible? Seems to me that there was an off the record conversation followed by the PR guy getting irked that Ben didn’t consider it all that off the record and eventually Ben outed the whole thing.

    I don’t get the sense that a) the PR guy ever did anything sleezy during his interactions with Ben b) that the conversation about ben’s interview was all that hotly charged– seemed like a typical terse email exchange, not some flaming arguement. Where’s the ‘bitchy’ emails that the post refers to?

  15. frankensize says:

    What most of you Krummy-apologist morons fail to realize is that the agreement was null and void when Krempass said “What can I do to keep Wal-Mart off your site?” IS THAT HONESTLY A QUESTION FOR BEN?? He should have directed it to Wal-Mart execs. Fuckin’ idiots. Absolutely inexcusable.

    Any ethical cesspool you may think Ben stepped his big toe in by “breaking the agreement” does not compare to what Krempole was trying to do. Ben’s job is to be the CONSUMERIST – that is his primary objective and no fuckin’ journo code-of-bullshit should trump that.

    This is like a criminal giving up a name for immunity in a murder investigation, only to reveal he killed a few people too. Sorry folks, no deal. Book ‘em.

    Did Ben lose credibility? Not a speck. On the otherhand, Edelman and Wal-Mart lost a shitload. Clean up in aisle 4, gentlemen.

  16. magic8ball says:

    I’m interested in the implications of the disclosure of “off the record” information in light of current legal discussions about whether bloggers enjoy the protection afforded professional journalists. If you are not a “professional” journalist, are you entitled to keep your sources anonymous when, say, a grand jury wants their identity? If you are entitled to the same protections that a professional journalist (supposedly) enjoys, are you bound by the same code of ethics?

    And at a personal level, I’ll admit that I’m a little bit bothered by the fact that Consumerist reneged on a commitment it made, even if it was a commitment to a weasel. Integrity is one of the things Consumerist wants coroporate entities to embrace; why should Consumerist itself be exempt from behaving that way?

  17. mactbone says:

    Yes, I’m sure that when someone asks you to keep seomthing “off the record” it means you mindwipe the exchange and never let the existence of that meeting ever become public.

    Ben says “OK” to a guy who say “This is off the record.”

    Ben tells podcast that he met a guy who told him information off the record and was interested in not getting bad publicity at his site.

    People aren’t going to trust him? Are you dumb? He can absolutely say he met someone, no question. Relaying a sentence from that meeting isn’t the best idea nor the worst. The sentence certainly didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. However none of this will affect tip contributions. The Consumerist has built the reputation that if you’ve got an issue with a company you can talk to them for help in resolving. If you found the best service ever, you can spread the gospel here. If you hate your company, you can let the world know why it sucks here. How could all of that disappear in one sentence?

    Get off your high horse.

  18. Tulletilsynet says:

    Think of the awful consequences now. Whores will question your sincerity. (Towards whores.)

  19. daberkman says:

    In all truth I think Ben did the right thing, I’m just worried about his actions hampering further tips for him. Although I’m sure most tipsters can distinguish between breaking a promise of confidentiality in a juicy exchange of information and breaking a reluctant agreement to confidentiality to an obvious PR guy.

  20. xboxishuge says:

    Eh, to hell with the people complaining. No one reads this site because it’s unbiased and fair. They read it because it does what it can, in it’s own way, to fuck over the companies that spend their lives trying to fuck over everyone else. That PR hack was a dirtbag, and he got what was coming to him.

    Basically, I don’t mind the Consumerist playing dirty, as long as they’re on my side. This little spat just further proved that they are.

    Plus the post used the word “skulduggery” and, for that, I love it.

  21. AcilletaM says:

    Kornkob’s words mirror my own on this issue but I have a related question to submit for consideration about anonymous tipsters and the Consumerist. How far would the Consumerist go to protect a source?

  22. technogirl says:

    I have to agree with what appears to be the najority that breaking one’s word is wrong – regardless of what one thinks of the ethics of the person you gave your word to. Saying (or implying) that one is exempt from reasonable ethics simply bacause they didn’t go to journalism school is, in my opinion, a cop-out.

    I think the right thing to do here is review the situation, and offer an apology for agreeing to something that you could not do. The right thing to do is waive the Walmart offer. The wrong thing to do was to accept it under false pretenses.

    Isn’t making public various company’s lack of business ethics what the Consumerist is supposed to be about?

    I though that was what it was about. But now you have given me reason to wonder …

  23. Triteon says:

    to Kornkob: “I don’t get the sense that the PR guy ever did anything sleezy during his interactions with Ben” I think tacitly offering a bribe is pretty bad. (That’s what I sensed Krempasky was doing.)
    to Acilleta: “How far would the Consumerist go to protect a source?” Great question! Allow me to follow-up– How much would it take for Consumerist to kill a story?
    There’s a serious issue of credibility of this site at stake now. And Frankensize– not everyone is apologizing for Krempasky, we’re just questioning Popken. There’s a huge difference in those issues.
    Ben, I’m glad you did waht you thought was right. And I’m also glad you opened the situation up to comments. We readers are always here to watch the watchers.

  24. frankensize says:

    trite-on: if you’re questioning popken, i have no respect for you (because you have no respect for consumers) and your stance as a “watcher-watcher” is meaningless. krempasky signed his own death sentence. there is no ambiguity here. if you think there is then go fuck yourself because you are no friend of the consumer.

  25. frankensize: What most of you Krummy-apologist morons fail to realize is that the agreement was null and void when Krempass said “What can I do to keep Wal-Mart off your site?”

    You nailed it right there. Krempasky’s question made him “fair game” for this discussion (apologies, Scientologists).

    There is no possible motive here that can justify that question with any sort of pure intent.

  26. MattyMatt says:

    I can’t believe Ben put the word “ethics” inside of scare-quotes.

    Also: if I was an insider at a company with a hot consumer-related tip, I would think twice about coming to Consumerist with it. Can I trust them to keep my identity secret, or might they decide to turn on me and make my identity public unless I fully cooperate with them?

  27. Crap, MattyMatt. Totally crap. There’s a broad and clear distinction between whistleblowers and cover-up artists. This was an act against the sneaky and dishonest, not a random betrayal of some sacred trust. I’d still trust these guys with my secrets.

  28. frankensize says:

    Thanks for the wide-opening testimony, MattyMatt. If you fail to see the difference between 1) a scumbag PR person trying to manipulate and lie for a company and 2) a company insider who wants to expose something unjust, then please move on from this site. You are not needed and will not be missed. Some of us here care first and foremost about the consumer. THAT is where credibility and trust matters most.

  29. Kornkob says:

    Triteon says: to Kornkob: “I don’t get the sense that the PR guy ever did anything sleezy during his interactions with Ben” I think tacitly offering a bribe is pretty bad. (That’s what I sensed Krempasky was doing.)

    Where’s the bribe again? Seems like a pretty reasonable statement to me– honest, forthright and succinct (and that’s granting that it’s a direct quote and not a pithy paraphrase).

  30. amazon says:

    I don’t understand what all the boo-hoo is about.

    Hello? Isn’t this site about keeping the consumers informed? Isn’t that what happened?

    Since when are screwing ourselves over for big business?

  31. were_only_gonna_die says:

    maybe what Ben did was a minor thing, and maybe it is all blown out of proportion now. but it’s being talked about and discussed quite a bit here, and apparently corporations and news media read this sight. so whether or not it didn’t really matter, some credibility of this site may be lost, and next time someone like nightline is doing a consumer related story they may simply pass on an interview with Ben.

    the consumerist seems to actually be having an impact and affecting change in the public arena, so i think that the editors should take a little more responsibility. maybe this started as an amusing blog for consumers to voice their complaints, but if it’s going to be anything other than that maybe it should be run a little more respectably.

  32. ADM says:

    I don’t think you can have it both ways: you can’t agree to discussing something “off the record” and then later claim, “I’m not a journalist, so journalistic ethics don’t apply to me.”

    “Off the record” has a specific meaning in journalist circles, a meaning you explicitly agreed to when you said “Okay.”

    I think it was a mistake to go back on your agreement with this guy, and it’s a bit of a mistake to try and defend your actions by calling him a weasel and so forth.

    As others have pointed out, it also runs the risk of damaging your credibility with other companies who, lately, have been contacting you to straighten out the complaints filed here. If a company is reluctant to work with or through Consumerist to address service issues, it undermines the ultimate purpose of the site, doesn’t it?

    I’m not on a “high horse” here. I’m glad that Consumerist has accomplished what it has in its brief life, and I’m sure Ben is trying hard to navigate this new landscape. But, I’d hate to see the site’s influence jeopardized because of a failure to keep one’s word, especially when, as someone else pointed out, there’s wasn’t much to gained (by the site or its readers) by reneging.

  33. Triteon says:

    So, what is the Frankensize agenda? You have quite a bit of gall in saying “…please move on from this site. You are not needed and will not be missed. Some of us here care first and foremost about the consumer. THAT is where credibility and trust matters most.” Frank, you’ve been a commentor for a little over an hour. But feel free to drop some more f-bombs, name-calling and mass generalizations.
    Meanwhile I’ll let my views speak for themselves. I just want to know if Popken will insist on Russell Crowe playing him in the movie!

  34. Triteon: Please, Tobey Maquire for sure.

  35. frankensize says:

    There was *everything* to gain by exposing Kreme-pie as the scumbag that he is. The respect of thousands, some might say. Are we honestly having this discussion?? There is no need to repeat his proposition to Ben for the millionth time, but if you can’t grasp what’s wrong here, then please do your apologizing for shills somewhere else.

    Triteon, boo-hoo on my brief commenting status. (Again, are you serious? Sounds like a big ninny schoolyard complaint.) What IS important is that I’ve been a consumer ALL MY LIFE. And don’t worry, your views DO speak for themselves. Fortunately no one can hear you when you’re choking on corporate cock.

  36. RandomHookup says:

    Just to tease him, Anne Hathaway can play his girlfriend.

  37. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    Since when do you try to buy somebody — the PR guy’s comment was an obvious attempt at a bribe (or a threat, in which case it was no less protected) — and then gain some moral ground by crying that they “told on you”? And your excuse for your behavior isn’t, “Gee, I’m a professional and I should be fired for trying to bribe (or threaten) a news source”, but, “I told him not to tell and he said OK”??

    GIVE ME A BREAK, people. Ben — you know people don’t like tattlers. Thank you for informing your loyal readers of the truth, that Walmart’s PR guy was trying to schmooze (or eventually threaten) your site, which we love, into silence. But you know people don’t like tattlers, honey, so please try not to have it come out that way in the future, hmm? There’s a good boy. Thank you.

    And Mr. PR guy, there’s a special place in Hell for rotten little jerks like you, and I hope you know it. You’re a consumer too, you know. Which makes you a traitor.

    -M

  38. Trai_Dep says:

    Maybe if there’s some sort of policy like, and I’m just saying what *I* would do, as a conversation starter:

    Interviews on background are generally discouraged. Exceptions MAY be made in the case of whistle-blowing, involving consumer-side conflicts or when discussing GENERAL industry issues.

    Odds are quite good that if you’re representing a company in a dispute, Consumerist is loathe to grant background status. Assume it’s not unless explicitly agreed to, and for an agreed upon period of time.

    …would something that that address all concerns? Improvements?

  39. Trai_Dep says:

    and,

    PS: attempts to bribe Consumerist will almost certainly be too good to pass up. Our readers, simple people that they are, would be so highly amused that we lack the willpower to keep these attempts secret. So don’t try it, even if under super-deep-background.

    :)

  40. Mr. Gunn says:

    Ben doesn’t have to respect any kind of convention. It’s his site and he can do whatever he wants, provided it’s both legal and Mr. Denton doesn’t veto it, right? So maybe he’s lost credibility in the eyes of a “marketing douchebag”. Big fuckin’ deal. People are still going to send in tips and stories, and other people are still going to read those tips and stories, and there ain’t a goddamn thing Walmart, Edelman, Samuel L. Jackson or anyone else can do about it as long as Ben remains unbribable.

    Ben, in the future you’ll be attacked by PR companies. The angle of attack will be to accuse you of favoritism towards certain companies who you don’t have stories about as often as some others. To maintain credibility, you’ll try to spread around your coverage, or to cover the companies your accused of favoring. When you do this, they’ll have you, because they’ll essentially be controlling what you report on. How do you address this? Well, hopefully your site members will investigate the sockpuppet institutes that are putting out this bogus info. Another strategy for dealing with it? Laugh. You can’t permanently lose credibility as long as you stick to your guns.

    In the future, PR companies will attempt to bribe you again, too. We’ll be watching for this. You won’t be able to tell the difference between a sockpuppet institute that’s trying to discredit you through claims of favoritism and actual users who think you’re on the take, but someone will be able to work out the difference. That someone will be a member of your site.

    In short, fear your members, because they’re the only thing that can both keep you honest and protect you from slimeball PR campaigns.

  41. etinterrapax says:

    Frankly, I’m more encouraged by Ben’s full disclosure of a bribe attempt by a large corporation than I would be by the abstract notion that he “keeps his word.” Disclosing that information is a different kind of commitment to truth, and a much more concrete one. Moreover, the only thing Krempasky had to gain from Ben’s silence was leverage against the site and against Ben’s integrity where the consumer is concerned. Any kind of NDA between them would signal to me that Ben was more concerned about covering his ass than about the mission of the site. And I don’t believe for a second that Krempasky wouldn’t have used that conversation if it served his purposes in the future. I really doubt the tips from consumers are going to dry up over this..

  42. Nancy Sin says:

    The fact of the matter is that Kru..Krum… whatever his name is offered the off-the-record preface, which Ben agreed to only before he knew that Wal-Mart was trying to buy him off.

    That’s like an acquaintance approaching you and saying, “Okay, this is just between me and you,” and you nod in agreement with no expectation of what you’ll be hearing, “but I’m fucking your best friend’s husband.”

    Your first obligation is to your friend, not to the acquaintance. In the grand scheme, breaking your “agreement” with the acquaintance might be unethical, but walking around knowing something that someone you actually care about and not informing them is much more unethical.

    Sorry to be Captain Obvious here but I think it needs to be reinforced that Ben’s work is not to make deals with Wal-Mart, and him blowing the whistle on this little adventure makes me trust him and the content on this site 100x more now.

  43. bitplayer says:

    Sheild laws to extend to bloggers the Apple case established that.Ben I hope you don’t beat yourself up about this too much… Mistakes happen in journalism. Let it go and move on..Over time your rep will either go up or down based on the quality of your work.

  44. Brianron says:

    My Two Cents:

    I marvel at the “I Want It Both Ways” actions of the PR flak. All these people are constantly talking about is how bloggers aren’t journalists, but guys in their pajamas writing about whatever they want. Then, the moment that they get caught being sleezy (“What can I do to keep Wal-Mart off your site?”), he suddenly wants to claim that he looked at Consumerist as a true journalistic site.

    This hand-wringing is silly. The Edelman guy was trying to subvert Consumerist’s readers by getting Ben to, in essence, sell out by making an undercover agreement on how to keep Wal-Mart off the site. And Ben busted him.

    So, this means that, in the future, PR flaks are going to be more circumspect when speaking to Ben? Now there’s a big loss of valuable, candid information.

  45. Magicube says:

    I’m less likely to send in tips about companies I know now, knowing that you don’t think ethics are important. What would prevent you from outing me and my relationship with a company if you don’t adhere to any kind of ethical standards?

    Sure, you’re not journalists, but you’re trying really hard to have their impact and credibility.

    Good luck with that. You fucked up.

  46. Magicube says:

    Looks like my comment wasn’t posted.

    If I give you a tip about a company I work with, what’s to stop you from “outing” me and causing me a headache or job loss? Nothing. If you can’t uphold your commitments, you can’t expect anyone to trust you.

    Maybe you’re not journalists, but you seem to be trying pretty hard to have that kind of credibility. Instead you’re somewhere at the level of Star or Enquirer.

    I’m sure you’ll still be a lot of fun to read, given that you have no problem fucking people over, but this lack of ethics on your part will have a chilling effect on readers’s whistleblowing. At least it should.

  47. B Borrman says:

    Wouldn’t this whole discussion have be moot if Ben’s response to the “what can I do…” question was: “Go back to your client and tell them to start thinking of the consumer before the dollar?”

  48. Trai_Dep says:

    Magicube, you have an inadaquate grasp of what almost everyone else seems to get. There’s a huge difference btn a consumer fwd’g a tip, a whistle-blower exposing malfeasance and a PR flack or company rep trying to deceive the public thru Consumerist. Or (stupidity of stupidities) trying to bribe Ben.

    Akin to the NY Times Judy Miller case. Much hand wringing by ninnies about journalist priviledge, ignoring the fact that Miller wasn’t protecting whistle blowers but rather was a spear carrier of those people ending up being exposed as lying about WMD to get us bogged down in Iraq instead of taking out Osama.

    Ethics demand that protections are deserved. Carrying water for Wal-Mart or Haliburton doesn’t pass this test.

  49. Triteon says:

    We’ve gone way off the subject over the past 24 hours without answering the real question here: (for GenXCub) Oh the backroom dick-shaking… there’s a youtube of this right?
    And just to add fuel to the fire: Edelman does work for the American Red Cross as well. Will anyone argue that we shouldn’t trust the nice folks who volunteer to collect our blood and give us cookies, then help us after the latest natural disaster?
    I think Magicube has an informed grasp of what many in this post have said. Ben’s taken his shots, and also has his supporters. Now back to youtube…

  50. Can I accuse you of misquoting me? Not that you did, but I’ve always wanted to accuse someone of this.

  51. frankensize says:

    Magicube and Triteon are idiots. There is no other explanation for their complete lack of logic. I’m sure Ben is really shaking in his off-brand boots about the prospect of losing tips from the likes of you. There will be no shortage of respectable whistle-blowers. Now fuck off you douchebags, leave the commenting to the real consumer warriors around here who GET IT.

  52. Triteon says:

    If having an opinion makes me an idiot, then so be it. I’m in exceptional company– with those whom I agree on an issue, and those who I don’t.

  53. frankensize says:

    You’d be a much better person if you just admitted you’re wrong. Don’t be shy. It’s good for the soul.

  54. Brianron says:

    “Magicube and Triteon are idiots.”

    Brianron’s an idiot, too.

    Oh. Wait.

  55. Ben Popken says:

    Let’s keep it clean, folks. Everyone has a right to an opinion.