It has been a long time since the name Angelo Carusone has graced these pages.
Carusone is the go-to guy at Media Matters for organizing boycotts and secondary boycotts against people with whom Media Matters disagrees, with Rush Limbaugh as the prime example.
Carusone’s efforts were documented here with regard to the Boycott Rush and Stop Rush efforts last year, which ended up devolving into infighting when it was infiltrated by someone who spilled the beans on the effort:
- Media Matters astroturfed the Limbaugh secondary boycott
- Independent Rush boycott group coordinated with Media Matters
- $100,000 of ‘grassroots’ anti-Rush activism
- #StopRush turns into #MediaMattersStopped
- #StopRush better at taking down progressive Twittersphere than stopping Rush
- What did Krystal Ball know, and when did she know it?
The tactics employed by Carusone were time tested — take political opposition into business disruption, while using the First Amendment as a shield.
But is it really as much of a shield as Carusone thinks? At what point does political speech become tortious interference with contract or some other tort when used to organize boycotts and secondary boycotts and to terminate relationships? It’s something in which I have a more than theoretical interest.
We may find out, as Donald Trump has threatened to sue Carusone over Carusone’s attempt to distrupt Trump’s relationship with Macy’s, via Hollywood Reporter:
Trump attorney Alan Garten has sent a cease and desist letter to Angelo Carusone, organizer of the online campaign Dump Trump, and threatened to seek damages of “not less than” $25 million if the protest continues, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Carusone tells THR he plans to continue the protest and called the threat of legal action “bullying” on Trump’s part.
In a letter dated Dec. 27, Garten charged Carusone with undertaking “malicious efforts” to interfere with Trump’s business relationships and spreading misinformation about the size and success of the protest.
“Rather than simply engage in lawful protest, you have apparently made it your mission to interfere with and intentionally disrupt Mr. Trump’s long-standing and well-established business relationship with Macy’s as well as his contractual dealings with other third parties through mob-like bullying and coercion,” reads the letter from Garten, executive vp and litigation counsel at The Trump Organization.
(The letter can be read in full here.)
Markos at Daily Kos is rallying the troops behind Carusone.
I will be following this because, as mentioned, I have more than a theoretical interest in the subject.