Free Website Staffed by Volunteers Fails to Meet Internet Reader’s Expectations

by Walter Krankheit on January 9, 2012 · 19 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Articles,Culture, High & Low


Local man Jim Wheeler has finally had enough of the free website Front Porch Republic, which boasts an annual budget of less than $500. Although Wheeler contributes neither money nor content to the site, and has no connection with it whatsoever, he is so selflessly concerned with its success that he has decided to go public with his feelings that the site fails to always live up to his standards.

“I’m not asking for too much,” said Wheeler, taking a brief break from filling Front Porch Republic’s com-boxes with his usual line-by-line rebuttals to more than a dozen recent posts, a task to which he charitably devotes more than half of each waking day. “When I head online, I don’t just want to be able to read long-form cultural commentary and analysis that is cogent, penetrating, insightful, and free. I also want to play my part in ensuring that it is ideologically correct.”

Wheeler said that Front Porch Republic (FPR) sometimes compares unfavorably to at least three of his other most-frequently-visited sites, which together have a combined annual budget of $15 million and full-time staff of 24. “Each of those sites publishes almost twice as much content as FPR,” noted Wheeler, “and they’re way more active on Twitter. It’s like FPR doesn’t even care.”

Front Porch Republic has especially irked Wheeler by allowing its volunteer authors to occasionally publish pieces that present opinions which do not entirely coincide with his own. The politically conservative sites that Wheeler frequently visits “almost never publish anything with which the CNP [Council on National Policy] disagrees — and if they do, they have the courtesy to publish an immediate retraction,” gushed Wheeler. “I doubt that FPR even runs its posts by Ed Feulner or one of his lieutenants before going live with them. It’s a freaking disgrace!”

At first, Wheeler attempted to deal with this dire situation by gently correcting authors in the com-boxes. But as the errors and heresies mounted, he found that stronger measures became necessary. “I moved pretty quickly to what I considered light facetiousness, but it just didn’t do the trick,” Wheeler lamented. Phases during which Wheeler engaged in snark, sarcasm, open mockery, and ad hominem attacks followed in quick succession.

Yet FPR persisted in pursuing a course characterized by philosophical diversity and intellectual independence, which last week finally threw Wheeler into a rage. He now uses not only FPR’s com-boxes, but other Internet blog outlets as well, to voice his anger and disappointment at this free site’s unpaid writers’ failures to deliver daily content with which he is in complete agreement. “FPR owes me and other readers the website of my desires,” stated Wheeler. “If that means that I must provide the *correct* viewpoint after every post, by God I’ll do it.”

“But eventually I’ll need to be paid.”

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Susan January 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Wheeeeew – who’d a thunk?

avatar Portia Williams January 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Of course, com-boxes, not to mention websites themselves, are the logical products of the utter rootlessness brought about by liberal meritocracy, so Wheeler can hardly be blamed for his actions. We are all complicit.

avatar Jake Meador January 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

A decent laugh, but kinda a cheap shot too, don’t you think? It may be a free site, but you publish high-quality content and haven’t minded going toe-to-toe with other publications in the past. Not sure if this is selling yourself short or a low blow, but it’s kinda disappointing either way.

avatar nancy January 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm


avatar Praj January 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Ha! Wonderful.

avatar Robb January 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Yummy… Rather “oniony” of you all… More please.

avatar Patrick Deneen January 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I want to distance myself from this posting. I endorse neither monarchy nor irony. If this keeps up, I will remove my name from the masthead, and return all the funds I have received from my association on this site.

avatar Nixon Is Lord January 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I suspect Jason Peters wrote this under a pseudonym, and I object once again to his pernicious theology and his sexually-charged puns, both very subtly on display in this post.

avatar Anymouse January 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

“Of course, com-boxes, not to mention websites themselves, are the logical products of the utter rootlessness brought about by liberal meritocracy, so Wheeler can hardly be blamed for his actions. We are all complicit.”
Utterly correct. I need to stop posting in these com-boxes, but I haven’t moved to a place that doesn’t have Internet access yet.

avatar Andy January 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

This has become really embarrassing and childish.

avatar Mark T. Mitchell January 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

I agree, Andy. I’m not sure who’s minding the store at FPR, but clearly the editorial standards need to be tightened. Even a big tent needs limits.

avatar Jim Wheeler January 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

You just don’t get it. Not surprising, given your views.

avatar Michael Umphrey January 10, 2012 at 11:54 pm

It’s hard to find something to say that’s “not unkind and not untrue”–but worth the effort.

avatar D.W. Sabin January 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Yes, Peters is a Bounder.

Deneen, to cash out, do you have change for a fin?

avatar Rob G January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

~~Rather “oniony” of you all~~

Indeed. The post could have been improved in one way only — the presence of an exclamation point at the end of the title, as in:

“Jerry Springer Guest Says, ‘She think she all that but she not!’

avatar Marion Miner January 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Count me in with those who’d rather distance themselves from this sort of article. “Embarrassing and childish” reflects my feelings as well. Let it die.

avatar Flat Head January 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Not funny! Humor ought not be had at Ed Feulner’s expense!

I see no problem with responding to criticism via humor.

On a serious note, I think one problem with sites like this–applicable to all blogs that have some particular theme (which is most of them)–is that posts begin to get a bit stale.

How many times can you talk about place, limits, liberty without repeating yourself?

avatar S. Hawking January 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm

This post failed to meet my expectations.

avatar robert m. peters February 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Mr. Flathead,

Your words: “How many times can you talk about place, limits, liberty without repeating yourself?”

I have deduced, perhaps wrongly so but I think not, that this site is at its core dedicated to speaking to living creaturely and living Christianly.

One cannot live creaturely or Christianly without living in place with a keen sense thereof, within limits with a keen awareness thereof, and without liberty which is not to be confused with the tolerance of narcissistic whims in the anti-culture.

These things, an an age utterly bereft of them, can never be stale; however, a given piece about them can, on a given day, even with the best of writers, be less than the best. That is true in all domains of life. I am said to be among the best at frying chicken; yet, from time to time, I do not do the best job. That does not, however, negate the fact that good fried chicken is good!

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