Arment Dietrich

Spin: Blogging Under a Pseudonym?

By: Arment Dietrich | July 18, 2007 | 

If you’re really looking for the definition of spin, let me introduce you to Rahodeb, the pseudonym of Whole Foods chief executive John Mackey.

Mackey posted messages under the Rahodeb username on Yahoo chat forums for years before being revealed in a sealed court document that was filed last month by the Federal Trade Commission and became public Wednesday evening, as reported by the New York Times.  The problem with this you ask?  Some of Mackey’s posts included talking up his own company while shedding a dark cloud on the future of competitor Wild Oats.

While law experts share banter about whether Mackey’s postings and comments are illegal, I think someone should share a dictionary with him.  We could go ahead and highlight words like transparent, ethical, etc.  Falsely portraying yourself and making comments about your company and competitors are grounds for serious ethical issues.

Mackey included a note on the company’s Web site Wednesday night saying that his postings were just for fun and that they don’t represent the “beliefs, policies or intentions by either Whole Foods Market or by me,” according to the New York Times. But does that make it all better? Falsely portraying yourself and making comments about your company and competitor are grounds for serious ethical issues.

So, what do you think? Should Mackey be asked to step down based on his questionable actions?

And as a bit of a random side note, does anyone else find it ironic that President Bush cut the ribbon on the multimillion dollar new press room in the White House Wednesday, but declined to take questions? — Angela Loiacono