Free Republic: Color Inside the Lines, Please!

by Carol A. Valentine
President, Public Action, Inc.
Copyright, May 2000
May be reproduced for non-commercial purposes

May 3, 2000--Free Republic [ ] claims to
be an "online gathering place for independent, grass-roots
conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of
governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption ..."

Free Republic boasts its dedication to the principles embodied in the
Bill of Rights, most prominently the First Amendment and the right to
free speech; it presents itself as an Internet alternative to the
controlled media.

But Free Republic is merely FAKE Internet opposition to the controlled
media.  Evidence: Free Republic revoked my posting privileges, just
hours after I posted an expose of another "fake opposition" Internet
journalist- Matt Drudge.

On May 2, I sent out an article entitled "Do You Take Matt Drudge
Seriously?" to my personal mailing list.  Shortly after 12 noon, I
posted it to Free Republic.  It attracted a lot of attention, and
hundreds of people read it shortly after I put it up.

Someone on my mailing list who received the article like it, so he
posted it on Free Republic, too, not realizing I had already done so.

Sometime in the late afternoon, after 932 people had read my original
post, it was removed from the Free Republic board.  The second posting
was also removed, after 132 people had read it.  Several hours later,
the article was reposted a third time.  This time the article received
111 hits before it was removed.  All in all, 1,273 people saw the

I wrote to the man in charge of Free Republic, Jim Robinson
("JimRob"), to ask him why the article had been taken down.  His
response was: "Stay off my website."  Allow me to repeat his words:


I have included Jim Robinson's e-mail to me below, with full headers.

Should you read/contribute to Free Republic, "JimRob," has a cute name
for you: You are a "FReeper."  If you go to

you will see a list of prominent "FReepers."  One of those luminary
FReepers is none other than--MATT DRUDGE.  That's right--Drudge is one
of theirs.

No doubt abut it, the molders of public opinion do not want citizen
journalists who speak truth to be heard.  The Usenet newsgroups are
potentially wonderful forums for these independent researchers and
writers.  So in order silence news and debate, spooks troll the Usenet
newsgroups, savaging posters and making Usenet unsafe for all but the
most hearty.  We can think of these spooks as sharks trolling the open

Holding tanks are then created for those who wish to get away from the
sharks.  Let us call these tanks holding tanks for guppies.  Free
Republic is one of these guppy holding tanks.  Your posts are accepted
there as long as they don't step on *really* important toes, or
contain *too* much truth.  Truth that cuts too deep is not good for
guppies ...

Specialty mail lists or listservers are also created for feeding
guppies and providing a "safe environment" (read: rubber room).
Moderators can quickly isolate trouble makers and kick them off, just
as "JimRob" of Free Republic kicked me off.

Molders of pubic opinion want people who are new to the Internet
diverted from the Usenet newsgroups quickly.  They want the newbies
relegated to their proper holding tanks where they can be fed approved
food pellets.  It won't do to have the guppies exposed to dangerous
ideas.  The controlled environment must be maintained at all costs.

How can we handle this?  Deluge the guppy rubber rooms with the hard
truth, or bypass them completely?  Use the Usenet newsgroups more and
more?  Don't like those strategies?  Then implement your own!

Bottom line:  To hell with the torpedoes, full steam ahead!


Now for "JimRob's" e-mail, and a copy of the article that so offended


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From: Jim Robinson <>
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Stay off my website.

"Carol A. Valentine" wrote:

> Mr. Robinson:
> I posted "Do You Take Matt Drudge Seriously?" to Free Republic on May 2,
> shortly after 12 noon, after sending it out to my personal mailing list.
> Some hours later, a person on my mailing list, Hugh Turley, read the
> article in his in-box and liked it.  Not realizing I had already posted
> it on FR, Hugh sent it up again.
> But surely you did not remove MY original post because Hugh posted it
> again?  Wouldn't that be a great way for people to have each other's
> posts censored?
> I can't imagine why my original posting disappeared.  Can you help me
> out on this?

Jim Robinson

Free Republic, LLC
P.O. Box 9771
Fresno, CA 93794

======The Matt Drudge posting that "JimRob" didn't like ====

"Do You Take Matt Drudge Seriously?"

Seriously, do you take Matt Drudge seriously?  The people who matter

Go to the Drudge Report [ ] and click on
"Drudge Says Goodbye to Clinton At White House Dinner":
[ ]

and read about Drudge's conversations with the glitterati at the White
House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton last
Saturday night, April 29, 2000.

It was a black tie event.  Among the guests were President Clinton,
Madeleine Albright, Jamie Rubin, William Cohen, and Janet Reno.  In
this age of terrorism paranoia, can you imagine the security at the

Yet Drudge asks us to believe that he--dressed conspicuously in an
Elian T-shirt while the others were in black tie--slipped into the
party without the consent of the Secret Service and successfully
gatecrashed the event.  How likely is that?

Drudge tells us about his conversation at the event with Jamie Rubin
of the State Department and Christiane Amanpour of CNN.  Obviously
they know Drudge and are not surprised to see him.  The conversation
between the three is familiar and jocular.  It sounds like Drudge is a
regular at these events.

Wearing his Elian T-shirt, Drudge also manages to address President
Clinton.  All without being thrown out.

How likely is it Matt Drudge poses any threat to those who run the
show in this country?  They treat him like their household pet.
Perhaps there's a lesson in that for the rest of us.