Craigslist CEO: South Carolina AG's antics 'simply beyond the pale'

Summary:The war of words between Craigslist and South Carolina Attorney General Harry McMaster is escalating. In this round, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster wants an apology for McMaster's political showboating and failure to fully consider "the implications of your accusations.

The war of words between Craigslist and South Carolina Attorney General Harry McMaster is escalating. In this round, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster wants an apology for McMaster's political showboating and failure to fully consider "the implications of your accusations."

In a fine post (Techmeme), Buckmaster calls McMaster's bluff. McMaster said over the weekend that "we have no alternative but to move forward with criminal investigation and potential prosecution.”

McMaster's statement came after Craigslist revamped its adult entertainment listings. Enter Buckmaster's demand for an apology.

Buckmaster argues that if McMaster is going to pursue Craigslist it should chase all companies that offer adult entertainment ads. 

Many prominent companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, and Village Voice Media, not to mention major newspapers and other upstanding South Carolina businesses feature more “adult services” ads than does craigslist, some of a very graphic nature. For a small sampling, look (careful NSFW) here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

Have you fully considered the implications of your accusations against craigslist? What’s a crime for craigslist is clearly a crime for any company. Are you really prepared to condemn the executives of each of the mainstream companies linked above, and all the others that feature such ads, as criminals? 

It's a good argument. But there's no glory in chasing those larger companies. Instead, McMaster will continue his Craigslist crusade. It's all about the politics and McMaster wants to earn points for a governor race. 

Buckmaster concludes:

We’re willing to accept our share of criticism, but wrongfully accusing  craigslist of criminal misconduct is simply beyond the pale. We would very much appreciate an apology at your very earliest convenience.

Buckmaster may be waiting for a while.

Topics: AT&T, Microsoft

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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