Several staffers resigned from the Tea Party News Network (TPNN) on Thursday, saying they were tired of the right-wing news outlet’s “despicable practices,” which they lambasted as “immoral and unethical.”
TPNN was started in 2012 by Todd Cefaratti, founder of TheTeaParty.net. It was billed as an “antidote to mainstream media bias.” But the staffers who offered their letters of resignation say it has become nothing more than a haven for click bait, including videos of fights and car crashes.
The change in format has even ticked off Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” who inserted himself into the 2008 presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. Wurzelbacher, said:
“I won’t click on those damn stories. It’s about the shock factor. It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with clicks. How far are they willing to go to compromise their integrity? It makes me sick, it makes me angry. It makes me want to go kick someone’s ass.”
The resigning staffers also said the powers-that-be at TPNN were using viewers of the site purely for profit instead of representing the goals of the Tea Party:
“The staff who work around the clock to produce timely and breaking content is regularly reminded that ‘writers are cheap.’ The audience is regarded as unsophisticated simpletons. The activism that built all the infrastructure is considered a ‘pain in the ass’ not as an opportunity to save the country.”
In the 2014 election cycle, parent company TeaParty.net took in more than $6 million in contributions. But it now sounds like the rattlesnakes are starting to turn on each other as the movement seeks to expand its reach via new forms of media. And when you upset Joe the Plumber, you know you’ve gone too far.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org