Someone sent me an email asking me why I cared about what Barbara Bauer did to Absolute Write. I've never queried her, never lost money to her, never knew anything about her except that she was on the 20 worst agents list. Well, for one thing, I liked the Absolute Write site. I've used it in my own agent search, I've posted on the boards, etc. What she did was not fair, and it was immature.
But I think what bugs me the most is that stuff like that hurts legitimate agents by association. I've met a lot of the romance agents, and I like almost all of them. Most of them work hard for their clients, they give of their time to help educate unpublished authors, and most of them are fair, honest, and above board. Yet every time one of these non-working agents does something to hurt authors, talk gets started about agents in general. Everyone dredges up the horror stories--the wait times, the form letters, the less-than-polite conversations. Hey, everyone's human. We all have our bad days. I could tell you horror stories about romance authors too. There are some nasty ones out there. Some are rude, crude, or just full of themselves. When I run across them, I write them off my list of authors to buy. I talk about them among friends, and we all agree we wouldn't buy their book if it was the only thing available in the world to read. But we don't call their ISP and demand their website be yanked.
Hmmm, maybe we should. :)