The Tea Party News Network has itself, become news. Several staff members of the self proclaimed “antidote to mainstream media bias” have resigned, stating that the grass roots political news network has become little more than a bait and click site to draw viewers to more outlandish sites at the price of its reputation.
The Huffington Post reports that a number of staffers have resigned, stating the company’s “despicable” business practices are “immoral and unethical.”
The Tea Party News Network was started in 2012 under the leadership of Todd Cefaratti, owner of TheTeaParty.net. Yet, when readers visit either TPNN Facebook page or website, they are greeted with not only politically charged news stories, but with click bait ads and articles that run the gamut from videos of random people fighting to the new Oscar Statue on Hollywood Blvd scandal.
Most of the eccentric or violent articles and videos come from Fights.buzz and Viral.buzz, both of which are owned by Cefaratti.
In their resignation letter, ex-staff members cite that the company treats their readers as “unsophisticated simpletons” and regularly reminds it’s staff that “writers are cheap.”
The Daily Beast first reported on the site’s increasing amount of click bait articles and disgruntled staff after a brief interview with TPNN’s news director, Scottie Hughes.
Hughes was quoted as saying “we are all being pushed right now, and it is what it is for all of us in online media — get clicks, get clicks, get clicks, every one of us. Break news, break news, break news. Stories and clicks. And it is really hard for people like you and I who have studied journalism all of our lives and who have this love for real, honest news.”
Hughes admitted that the Tea Party News Network is no different from any other online media conglomerate.
“It [TPNN] is the same as any media conglomerate,” she said. “This just happens to be online, and we live in a capitalist society, so why not try to make money?”
Yet with so much attention being placed on not only politically minded articles, but those focusing on entertainment, religion, and other trending topics, it seems that the Tea Party News Network isn’t really in the media game for politics, but much more for analytics.
Tea Party groups have had plenty of news worthy events and shown support in the most unlikely of scenarios, most recently in Ferguson, MO, but the media, including the Tea Party News Network, remained strangely silent, an occurrence brought to light by the Inquisitr.
Whatever brings visitors to the Tea Party News Network sites is what gets posted, and staffers have had enough.
[Image courtesy of Liberal America]