Most of you are already well aware that I am no fan of Heat Street. In fact, I think TheRalphRetort.com has been the single greatest critic of the site. You can search at the tag at the end of this article if you would like to explore some of those critiques, but it’s safe to they were already well explored by members of the Heat Street staff. Numerous hit pieces against yours truly have been posted there in retaliation against me. I find that bit of business rather amusing, but after today a more pertinent thought springs to mind.
Will those attacks even remain in existence outside of archive links? Yes, as you all know by now, Heat Street is shutting down in August and I could not be happier.
Mike Cernovich said something about this development on Twitter that caught my attention. Obviously I don’t have the comment readily available here in the Loudoun ADC, but it was read to me earlier in the evening. Going by memory, it said something to the effect of ‘Heat street had potential, but much of that was killed by bad editors. It was an overpriced TheRalphRetort, which is better’. That me laugh, because I’ve had the conversation with my friends on numerous occasions.
I have personally called Heat Street a Breitbart clone, but that’s mainly because I didn’t want to seem like an egomaniac. It’s far more accurate to label them a TRR clone, albeit a more anti-Trump version. Other than that aspect, and the shitty orange color scheme, they copied the style and topics of this very site down to the letter.
So, why didn’t it succeed, especially with all that Murdoch money behind it? There are several reasons. The original face of the site was Louise Mensch, and as she went further and further into the Looney Tunes land, she took some of the Heat Street credibility with her. It also looks like they spent way too much money on stuff like Facebook ads, and staffing. The website would probably not be folding if it come in at half the cost. Quite obviously it’s not profitable, or else, it wouldn’t be getting shuttered. The likelihood is it was very unprofitable.
Also, while they jacked my ‘beat’ and some of my writing style, there’s something to be said about being independent and authentic. I can write things that simply cannot be published on Murdoch property. Not only that, even most of those who hate me will acknowledge that I speak my mind with little regard for how people feel about my work. Of course I enjoy when people like my stuff, and I take reader’s feelings back into consideration, but I gotta be me. In short, I’m real. Heat Street has always come across as phony.
There’s a good reason for it: they’re fake as fuck.
I really did always believe I would outlast the half-ass hacks at Heat Street. Still I must admit the quickness of my victory did take me somewhat by surprise. In actuality it’s a victory of genuine opinion and commentary over corporate backed bullshit. Boy, is that a sweet sentence to be able to write! I hope to be able to to express it repeatedly in the future.
P.S – Yes, I’m aware that the Heat Street branding will apparently be carried over to MarketWatch in some form or fashion. I think it’s still very safe to say that this experiment in controlled opposition flamed out in a major way.