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Anatomy of a Freeper...
Radio Bloger ^ | 12/17/04 | Generalissimo Duane

Posted on 12/17/2004 9:05:01 AM PST by Valin

Anatomy of a Freeper...

For those of you who just stumble around Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt, Powerline or The Corner, and a couple of internet sites to get your dose of non-Ratherised news, you may not have ever heard of a "Freeper". In a minute, I'm going to use the following example to give you a window into their world.

Freepers are people who post to a rather interesting bulletin board service called Free Republic. A lot of my blogging friends know about them, but surprisingly enough, not very many of them view them as a news source they visit frequently. I think the Freepers are an essential element in gathering news. If you go in with the right mindset, and know what you are looking for, it can be a goldmine of information.

Hugh Hewitt has often called freepers the Coast Watchers of the new media. When news happens, either in print, on radio, or on television, someone will post a link, and much of the meat of the story, as the beginning of a thread. Within minutes, if the story is juicy enough, just like flies, freepers all over will descend on the story and give their two cents worth.

Here's where the discernment of the person surfing has to come in. There are saboteurs who will immediately try to spin the story, especially if it's political, and there will be people from every walk of life taking their shots until the end of the thread takes the original picture the story paints and turns it into a Picasso.

Here's an example of the wit, sarcasm, sincerity, & speed of the Freepers:

11/29/04 In Linn County, Iowa, there is a small town called Robins. Population of 1,806. There is an accidental shooting of Lyle Rusk, the town's police chief, by one of his own officers. The story was reported on local Cedar Rapids television, link here.

12/16/04 10:01PM PST The story is found by a freeper and a link is started. Remember this is a very minor story in the overall scheme of things, so there is a delay between when the event happens and when it's reported on FR. If it's a major news story, a thread will appear in seconds.

12/16/04 10:04PM PST Five responses, largely cynical, have already been posted.

12/16/04 10:05PM PST The first Barney Fife reference made, including this picture.

The neck injury to the chief was serious, and the recovery process is going to be long, but all indications are that he's going to be fine. But when you read that he'd been accidentally shot by his own officer, tell the truth. Didn't this image flash in your mind? If there is a punch line in a news story, no matter how tasteless, at least one Freeper is going to use it.

12/17 12:11AM PST In just a little over two hours, there have been fifty-four responses to the original story. Many have been humorous, many have been respectful and prayerful, and many have been from people who have obvious law enforcement background dissecting how something like this could have happened in the first place.

Remember this is an obscure story. When the Rathergate story broke, there were responses, theories, and updates literally every time you hit the refresh button. Freepers are very much part of the face of new media. They are also very much a part of the blogosphere.

The speed at which news travels on sites like this is the reason why liberals can no longer dominate the media and control the spin to suit their agenda. The news moves too fast. There are too many people who see stuff and post it, and there are too many smart people to praise it and spread it around if it has merit, and dissect it like a frog in biology class if it's bogus.

In cases like Rathergate, a bogus story can be proven false, spread all over the world, and completely discrediting of the original reporter before he/she comes to work the next morning.

Sometimes the content in the threads is not for the feint of heart, but if you cruise the latest topics, you will often find news literally as it's being reported anywhere in the world.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Free Republic; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: fr; freeper; freerepublic; generalissimoduane; hewitt; hughhewitt; newmedia; rathergate
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1 posted on 12/17/2004 9:05:01 AM PST by Valin
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To: Valin
The speed at which news travels on sites like this is the reason why liberals can no longer dominate the media and control the spin to suit their agenda. The news moves too fast. There are too many people who see stuff and post it, and there are too many smart people to praise it and spread it around if it has merit, and dissect it like a frog in biology class if it's bogus.
Hallelujah! :-)
2 posted on 12/17/2004 9:07:27 AM PST by William of Orange (Can anyone help me with HTML tags? Private mail me! Thanx :-))
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To: Valin

Except for the "feint" of heart part, this report is right on...


3 posted on 12/17/2004 9:09:41 AM PST by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: Valin

Awesome.


4 posted on 12/17/2004 9:09:43 AM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: RonDog; doug from upland; ALOHA RONNIE; OXENinFLA; JohnHuang2

ping


5 posted on 12/17/2004 9:12:10 AM PST by Valin (Out Of My Mind; Back In Five Minutes)
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To: Valin

This is hugh and vey series!


6 posted on 12/17/2004 9:13:02 AM PST by Redcloak ("FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS!" -Teresa Heinz Kerry)
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To: Valin

OK.......five responses.....


7 posted on 12/17/2004 9:13:13 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Valin

Exactly why I love being a freeper...news is posted fast.


8 posted on 12/17/2004 9:14:26 AM PST by yellowdoghunter (Liberals should be seen and not heard.)
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To: William of Orange

The other aspect of FR that is such a strong tool in breaking the MSM dominance of news and agenda control is that no longer must one be a subscriber to Lexis/Nexus to find news from yesterday to 100 years ago.


9 posted on 12/17/2004 9:14:29 AM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: Valin
just like flies

Flies????

hrurmp!
10 posted on 12/17/2004 9:14:57 AM PST by TomGuy (America: Best friend or worst enemy. Choose wisely.)
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To: Valin

Yeah, like that.


11 posted on 12/17/2004 9:14:59 AM PST by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: Valin
FR is one of the great culminations of the "culture of the net". The left just doesn't GET it. They simply don't comprehend it. Oh sure, they use it, but their inner nature and true character prevent them from using it efficiently, as it works best.

The "culture of the net" reflects freedom, which could very well be why we thrive in it, and they flounder in it. I don't believe the left loves true freedom enough to embrace the culture that we are already part of.

Anybody who trolls DU can see the contrast. It's just NOT coming together over there.
12 posted on 12/17/2004 9:15:11 AM PST by hiredhand ( "Pudge the Indestructible Kitty" lives at - http://www.justonemorefarm.com)
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To: Publius6961

Well that's me. Shy, retiring, loath to give an opinion or criticize anyone.



That's my story and I'm stickin with it!


13 posted on 12/17/2004 9:15:24 AM PST by Valin (Out Of My Mind; Back In Five Minutes)
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To: Valin

he called us Flies! BZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


14 posted on 12/17/2004 9:18:52 AM PST by Die_Hard Conservative Lady (I have left this blank for a reason....)
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To: Valin

Fierce Warlike tribe bump.

*Harrumph, flies..Grrr.*


15 posted on 12/17/2004 9:19:01 AM PST by Darksheare ("His heart went dead underneath her gaze" - The Book of Foreshadowed Sorrows.)
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To: Valin
Free Republic changed my life and my world completely. When I came here, I was an anthropology grad student saturated in Marxist ideology and had never had a serious conversation with a conservative in my life.

Boy, did I get the tar kicked out of me that first year.

16 posted on 12/17/2004 9:21:05 AM PST by wizardoz
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To: Valin

What about a gratuitous picture of Anna Kournakova?


17 posted on 12/17/2004 9:22:44 AM PST by Eagle Eye ("Yeah? Now imagine that times 30 and in a small room.")
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To: Valin
If there is a punch line in a news story, no matter how tasteless, at least one Freeper is going to use it.

Boy, he's got that right!

Dan

18 posted on 12/17/2004 9:22:47 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Valin
The speed at which news travels on sites like this is the reason why liberals can no longer dominate the media and control the spin to suit their agenda. The news moves too fast. There are too many people who see stuff and post it, and there are too many smart people to praise it and spread it around if it has merit, and dissect it like a frog in biology class if it's bogus.

That is why I expect some form of regulation, control or tax on blogging. The only reason it has not been done yet is because they haven't figured out how.

19 posted on 12/17/2004 9:23:01 AM PST by Armando Guerra
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To: TomGuy

"Flies???? hrurmp"


but remember, it's flies on you-know-what. Strictly as observers, of course, NOT depositing our offspring to hatch and feed, like the Dems do with kids in public schools....


20 posted on 12/17/2004 9:23:52 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Ask WWJJD? What would Jesse Jackson Do? Find out & STAND AGAINST IT!)
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To: Valin

Not to mention, Freepers were first to post their personal observations of the Challenger as it exploded into pieces and fell into East Texas.

(Acknowledgment by Wall Street Journal.)


21 posted on 12/17/2004 9:24:30 AM PST by Humidston (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1282122/posts - Blood on the Potomac!)
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To: TomGuy
flies? why, that would make JimRob:
22 posted on 12/17/2004 9:25:08 AM PST by ZinGirl
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To: Valin
Within minutes, if the story is juicy enough, just like flies, freepers all over will descend on the story and give their two cents worth.

Hey, I resemble that remark! Bzzzzzz bzzzzz....

23 posted on 12/17/2004 9:26:03 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Valin
I called Trent Lott's office four hours before Clintoon sent the missiles into Afghanistan and the Sudan. I knew the targets and the approximate time of launch. I knew the cost of the "get Monica off the news" attack. Lott's office had the FBI contact me how I knew such things. FreeRepublic.
24 posted on 12/17/2004 9:26:07 AM PST by vetvetdoug (In memory of T/Sgt. Secundino "Dean" Baldonado, Jarales, NM-KIA Bien Hoa AFB, RVN 1965)
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To: Valin
Now matter what the subject of a news story is, some the thousands of member of FreeRepublic are likely to have years of experience in a related field of expertise. That includes everything from landing an F-14 on a carrier, to medicine, to law, to journalism to typing with 1970's era typewriters, to whatever.

That is why the research departments at so-called "professional" news agencies are rank amateurs when compared to FreeRepublic.

25 posted on 12/17/2004 9:26:12 AM PST by Polybius
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To: Armando Guerra

SHHHH!


26 posted on 12/17/2004 9:26:33 AM PST by Valin (Out Of My Mind; Back In Five Minutes)
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To: TomGuy
just like flies

I too take offense to that characterization...
If we're flies he's just (errr) 'larvae' of a particular genus...
27 posted on 12/17/2004 9:27:20 AM PST by Barney59 (Honesty is the only policy...)
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To: wizardoz
The tar kicked out and a lot of common sense knocked in!!!

Every freeper adds something unique to the convesation. Even lib perspectives make us think!

28 posted on 12/17/2004 9:29:04 AM PST by OldFriend (PRAY FOR MAJ. TAMMY DUCKWORTH)
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To: Armando Guerra
From the time of the blue dress on Drudge, her heinous was calling for regulation of the internet.

They are constantly trying to figure out how to shut us down.

29 posted on 12/17/2004 9:30:50 AM PST by OldFriend (PRAY FOR MAJ. TAMMY DUCKWORTH)
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To: wizardoz
Boy, did I get the tar kicked out of me that first year

LOL. I've taken a beating or two myself, and I came here as a conservative.

Funny thing is, conservatives come in many stripes and colors with various views and positions. Liberals ALL have to toe the same dogmatic line, or else.

My, and most FReeper, philosophy allows contrasting opinions, liberalism does not.

30 posted on 12/17/2004 9:30:56 AM PST by 11Bush
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To: Valin

Good to have you among us, Valin. A true FR Hero!


31 posted on 12/17/2004 9:31:16 AM PST by Humidston (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1282122/posts - Blood on the Potomac!)
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To: Valin

What? It took us four whole minutes to get the Barney Fife photo out? Where is Kurt Russell ("The Miracle" hockey coach) with his whistle? We have GOT to cut some time off that.


32 posted on 12/17/2004 9:31:35 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: Valin

I am not thrilled with being liken to a fly... I just hope the average FReeper lifespan is longer.


33 posted on 12/17/2004 9:32:26 AM PST by CyberCowboy777 (Zip it Hippie! - http://www.casualconservative.com/)
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To: Valin
They forgot to mention that male Freepers have shrines dedicated to Ann Coulter in their homes.

At least, I assume other Freepers also have Ann Coulter shrines. If not, there's something wrong with them. ;)


34 posted on 12/17/2004 9:32:26 AM PST by holymoly (Merry Christmas! http://tinyurl.com/5mxvw)
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To: Valin

Duane, with all due respect, misses some of the greatest features here: a news story thread will often have incredible research posted on the story and players. Likewise, many Freepers are "connected" providing inside information on some stories as well as technical knowledge. Lastly, there is the activism aspect which helps shape the news that is reported. This is an incredible place. Thank you Jim Robinson & all Freepers...


35 posted on 12/17/2004 9:32:40 AM PST by eureka! (It will not be safe to vote Democrat for a long, long, time...)
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To: Valin
Sometimes the content in the threads is not for the faint of heart...

Oh, look - the spelling fairy's been here!

36 posted on 12/17/2004 9:33:46 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Valin
Within minutes, if the story is juicy enough, just like flies, freepers all over will descend on the story and give their two cents worth.

Huh?

37 posted on 12/17/2004 9:33:47 AM PST by spodefly (I've posted nothing but BTTT over 1000 times!!!)
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To: Eagle Eye

She's married now.


38 posted on 12/17/2004 9:34:15 AM PST by hchutch (A pro-artificial turf, pro-designated hitter baseball fan.)
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To: Valin
[ Here's where the discernment of the person surfing has to come in. There are saboteurs who will immediately try to spin the story, especially if it's political, and there will be people from every walk of life taking their shots until the end of the thread takes the original picture the story paints and turns it into a Picasso. ]

Picasso SUCKED, still does..
I prefer "turns it into a:...BLOGOSCAPE... with Robinsonian engrams"..

39 posted on 12/17/2004 9:34:39 AM PST by hosepipe (This Propaganda has been edited to include not a small amount of Hyperbole..)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Valin

I'm trying to figure out how to make a post that is at the same time tasteless, funny, prayerful, informative, insightful and all the rest of the things the author mentions.


41 posted on 12/17/2004 9:36:10 AM PST by Protagoras (Christmas is not a secular holiday)
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To: William of Orange
The speed at which news travels on sites like this is the reason why liberals can no longer dominate the media and control the spin to suit their agenda.

We are the new media, and we're moving at the speed of "Post."

42 posted on 12/17/2004 9:37:16 AM PST by Terabitten (Proud member of the Free Republic wolfpack)
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To: spodefly
Help me...help me...
43 posted on 12/17/2004 9:37:28 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Tragically Single
If we're flies, though, maybe that should be at the speed of pest...
44 posted on 12/17/2004 9:38:27 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Valin
and dissect it like a frog in biology class

That's an interesting phrase and it's mine!

Generalissimo Duane must visit here alot;)

From a letter I sent to cbs radios' Dave Ross about rathergate and posted in a thread a while back;
We dissect each story "like it was a frog in 8th grade biology class",we call on all our resources to find the truth.

45 posted on 12/17/2004 9:40:55 AM PST by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve to keep us free)
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To: spodefly

Spode, quit that and comment on the story.
;-)

/ laugh laugh


46 posted on 12/17/2004 9:40:58 AM PST by Darksheare ("His heart went dead underneath her gaze" - The Book of Foreshadowed Sorrows.)
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To: ZinGirl; jimrob

I'd prefer to think of JimRob as Joshua or Caleb, not Lord of the Flies!


47 posted on 12/17/2004 9:43:24 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Ask WWJJD? What would Jesse Jackson Do? Find out & STAND AGAINST IT!)
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To: Protagoras

see my #20, for my attempt at same....


48 posted on 12/17/2004 9:46:18 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Ask WWJJD? What would Jesse Jackson Do? Find out & STAND AGAINST IT!)
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To: Redcloak

Yup. . .let's hope the moose that bit my sister doesn't come in and steal my cheese.


49 posted on 12/17/2004 9:48:28 AM PST by Gunrunner2
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To: Blurblogger

Good job, you could be as famous as me someday.


50 posted on 12/17/2004 9:48:56 AM PST by Protagoras (Christmas is not a secular holiday)
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