World's Dumbest Editor Incurs The Wrath Of The Internet

by Jason Toon

Rejoice, webizens, for today will forever be remembered in the annals of crowdsourced Internet vengeance! When writer Monica Gaudio discovered that a magazine she'd never heard of, Cooks Source, had reprinted an article from her web site about medieval apple pies without her permission, she wrote to the editor asking for an apology and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. Here's what world-class bonehead idiot Judith Griggs, editor of Cooks Source, had to say in response:

"...honestly Monica, the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we just didn't 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!... If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain... We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me!"

Yes, Griggs actually asked the writer to pay for the privilege of being ripped off! And scolded her for seeking "monetary gain" in the form of a donation to a college! Not to mention, the only reason the original piece seemed "in need of editing" is because it reprinted old English recipes with the original spellings. And all THAT comes on top of her absolute ignorance of copyright law: "the web is considered 'public domain'"??? This must be what happens when you get drunk on the power of running a freebie giveaway recipe pamphlet.

It's not hard to see what comes next. The story quickly hit Reddit, was tweeted by superstars like Neil Gaiman, and now the Cooks Source Facebook page flickers with the torches of an enraged e-mob. It goes on like this for hundreds and hundreds of comments:

And of course, in this post-BP era, there's already a fake Cooks Source Twitter account.

I'd hate to be Judith Griggs today. But the unique combination of ignorance and arrogance in her email makes me think it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

(Thanks for the heads-up, Kevin H.!)