A Blustery Day In New York
And I’m not talking about the weather. The bluster is coming from a master practitioner – Donald Trump. Trump recently had one of his lawyers send a letter to Angelo Carusone, the organizer of a “Dump Trump” movement, threatening to bring a $25 million lawsuit if Carusone did not “cease and desist.” Carusone has been urging Macy’s to stop selling Trump products on the ground that Trump’s persona is inconsistent with Macy’s brand. You can read Trump’s letter here. What is most interesting about the letter is the total lack of any detail. The letter is long on adjectives – “egregious”, “pre-meditated” and “mob-like” — but short on nouns. It’s very clear that The Donald is upset, but it’s not at all clear that he has any case. Perhaps his proof in this case is in the same file where he has the “proof” that President Obama has a phony birth certificate. Just sayin’. The fact is, it’s okay to organize a boycott to protest a company’s stance on political issues (see Chick-fil-A) or its decision on who should endorse its products (see Michael Vick). Trump may consider that “mob-like” but another term for it is “First Amendment protected activity” (admittedly “mob-like” is more catchy). Carusone seems unfazed. He’s engaged The Public Citizen Litigation Group to defend him. Here is their response. And just a note to Mr. Trump – since that group works for free, don’t count on outspending Mr. Carusone. And one more note to Mr. Trump’s attorney, Alan Garten, who told The Hollywood Reporter that “the protest had no negative effect on the sales of Trump merchandise at Macy’s.” I’m not sure that a comment like that is going to do much for your damage claim!