First he was frozen out of Pfizer. Now Peter Rost has been booted from a popular Web log.
Rost, the former Pfizer marketer canned for his qui tam suit against the firm and public advocacy of reimportation, found a roost for his industry criticism at mega-blog The Huffington Post but quickly ran afoul of management.
The immediate cause of the breakup was his public feud with the site’s technology manager, who had criticized his posts in comments. "It seemed like his blog was becoming about personal grudges," proprietor and ur-gadfly Arianna Huffington told The New York Times, adding acidly: "That would have been no problem if the posts were interesting."
Rost accused his in-house assailant of posting surreptitiously and manipulating the site’s ranking system to promote his critiques of Rost – a charge Huffington denies, noting that the employee in question posted under his surname and arguing that the site’s promotion system is immune to abuse. The site has since adopted a policy banning employees from commenting on posts.
Huffington also cited the increasingly personal nature of Rost’s posts, as his subject matter expanded beyond blasting Big Pharma to include an injured bird he found in his front yard, his youthful modeling career and a friend’s affair. At Huffington’s urging, Rost had migrated his more personal musings to his own blog.
At his new online home, http://peterrost.blogspot.com, Rost noted that his Huffington Post posts frequently ranked among the top five for a given day, and said: “Huffington Post is falling in a similar trap Pfizer fell in when they fired me. At Pfizer I had the #1 performance vs. sales forecast, so I generated my numbers in hard cold cash. At Huffington Post I generated the numbers in hard, cold readership numbers. But none of that matters to any corrupt organization.”
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