- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2015

Several Tea Party News Network staffers resigned at once in protest of what they described as the company’s “despicable practices,” aimed at what they perceived as more for making money that advancing the principles of freedom.

A letter signed by several staffers to TPNN owner Todd Cefaratti and to Kellan Guida stated: “The TeaParty.net Facebook page was built using non-profit dollars and resources and yet the hundreds of thousands of dollar a month being generated from traffic … are being funneled to a for profit company with no transparency. Even if you could find a way to make that legal, it’s immoral and unethical.”

The letter also stated: “You regularly show contempt for the people who make all your financial success possible. 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,” Mediaite reported.

Meanwhile, notable tea party figure Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher told the Daily Beast that the site had gone sensational, all to make a buck.

“I won’t click on those damn stories,” he said. “It’s about these shock factor. It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with clicks. …”

The Daily Beast also reported that tea party staffers were unhappy with the posting of stories that in their view wouldn’t even have been selected for the tabloids.

Scottie Hughes, TPNN’s news director, told the Daily Beast that “nobody talks politics 24/7” and that the site posts what people are talking about.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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