Democratic advisors Peter Daou and James Boyce are carrying on with their bitter lawsuit claiming that Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer stole their idea for a liberal Drudge Report and cut them out of control and ownership of The Huffington Post.
Though many of the pair’s claims were dismissed in October, a judge allowed them to go into discovery on a theft of idea claim, according to paidContent. An amended complaint filed yesterday alleges that emails and meeting minutes between Ms. Huffington, HuffPost editor Roy Sekoff and the late Andrew Breitbart reveal a plan to cover up Mr. Daou and Mr. Boyce’s involvement, which we’ve excerpted below:
Because Defendants knew that they had stolen the idea for The Huffington Post,they also knew that they needed to develop a false account of the website’s origins that cut Boyce and Daou out of the picture. Huffington and Lerer discussed this problem during a meeting with Sekoff and Breitbart on March 29, 2005, where the four of them discussed possible responses to press inquiries on the subject of how and when the idea for the website originated.The minutes of that meeting reflect the deliberate creation of a false and fraudulent “narrative” to explain the origin of the idea for The Huffington Post. As reflected in the minutes, the participants at this meeting asked: “How did the project get started? What’s the narrative? …How did the idea for the Huffington Report originate?” In response, Breitbart proposed this answer: “I knew what was missing in the blogosphere, I just needed the rolodex to be able to putit all together, and Arianna provided that. … Arianna called Andrew to talk about an alternative to the Drudge Report. Andrew called Arianna about the group blog – there’s nobody he knows besides Arianna who could make this work.”
The minutes reflect a follow-up question: “So how did Kenny come into the picture? How did he and Arianna come together to work on this project?” This time, the answer was proffered by Sekoff and Breitbart: “It doesn’t matter.” Breitbart then added: “He met you and is retired and excited to leave retirement to join you in this project.” After briefly discussingthe function of the website, the minutes record a return to a discussion of the “narrative.”Breitbart states, “It’s all about coming up with the group blog.”