Saturday, July 12, 2008

How the Internet can get a ball rollin' even if you didn't really mean for that to happen

It all started innocently enough.

Don Callaway, who writes the Enormous Incongruities blog in Brazoria County, made what seemed to be a rather innocent observation about the TV commercials for "TaxMasters" he'd been seeing.

"This guy, Patrick Cox, President of Tax Masters, must have one hell of a big ego to feature his fat mug on an expensive television ad I just saw on FoxNews..."

(Please see poor reproduction of Patrick Cox mugshot from TV ad, upper right.)

Callaway wrote that way back in February of 2006, ending his post thusly:
"Anybody else see this commercial? It was so bad I am starting to think I imagined it."

That was about the extent of it -- just a blogger commenting on a commercial that he found mildly irritating.

But pretty soon Callaway started hearing, via email, from all sorts of people who are mad as hell at TaxMasters for the way the Houston-based company handled their tax problems.

The complains and various responses from the company continued and were dutifully posted by Callaway on Enormous Incongruities.

Before long, if you Googled "TaxMasters" the Enormous Incongruties coverage of the company appeared at the top of the Google search list, which apparently didn't sit well with the company, which just the other day demanded that Callaway remove all his posts regarding TaxMasters or face consequences of the "judicial" and "non-judicial" variety.

Callaway didn't take kindly to the letter.

He responded on his blog:
" fucktards over at TaxMasters can rest assured that I take your threats seriously; however, I will not be removing any content from my personal web log. I advise caution while determining what action is “appropriate” as there might well be none.

I am not sure what “non-judicial” actions there are available to TaxMasters. Is that where they send someone over to kick my ass? I hope so."

I don't know Callaway personally, but have been checking his blog regularly for years. He strikes me as a bit of a prickly fellow (and a crackerjack photographer when he photographs wildlife), and I have come to the view that he doesn't take threats lightly, though I could be wrong.

Likewise, I have no idea what kind of operation TaxMasters runs, though I tend to side with Callaway's initial view that the company's TV commercials are lacking in something, even though they evidently drum up a lot of customers, some of whom are ready to kick somebody's ass.


Anonymous said...

I love your turn of phrase... "didn't take kindly to" but am left wondering if you didn't call me a prick or something.

This whole thing is funny if it weren't for them threatening to sue. Up till now I've been more or less blase and somewhat frustrated at TaxMasters' domination of my blog through absolutely no effort of my own. But since I've been through the barrel with lawsuit bullies before, no, I don't take kindly to a cease and desist order. I consider it a declaration of war. A petty war, but war nonetheless.

I'm pleased you like my wildlife photography and appreciate the plugs.


Banjo Jones said...

you're not a prick, just prickly, which isn't a bad thing. if they sue you, maybe you can call the ACLU. good luck, D.