The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

On Media, Money and Membership

Posted on | May 18, 2011 | 27 Comments

“Since 2003, Soros has spent more than $48 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news — journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations.”
Dan Gainor, Vice President for Business and Culture, Media Research Center

Did Mitt Romney Mention That He Can Raise $10.25 Million in Eight Hours?
New York magazine

Arrogance, vanity and myopia are not traits particular to Republicans, and one might even suppose that perhaps liberals are more prone to such personality flaws. Nevertheless we are struck by the sharp contrast between how George Soros employs his wealth — to build a media infrastructure for advancing his broad political agenda — and how wealthy Republicans spend their own money: To advance the narrow personal ambition of Mitt Romney.

Why are rich Republicans so clueless? They are shoveling money at a candidate who suffers tepid support among the GOP grassroots and is therefore unlikely to win the nomination. The only purpose served by their contributions would be to pay salaries for Romney campaign staff and fees to Romney’s consultants, and to buy airtime to broadcast Romney’s campaign ads.

So Romney’s wealthy contributors are clueless as per the political landscape for the 2012 presidential campaign. But they are also clueless as to the entire question of how best to spend their money if — as we might reasonably suspect — their general desire is to advance the Republican cause. What Soros does with his money is infinitely smarter than what Republicans do with theirs.

It was my friend Jimmie Bise Jr. who pointed this out in September 2009: During a single three-month span of that year, Republicans contributed $4.3 million to the doomed campaign of Charlie Crist.

How’s that workin’ out for ya?

Jimmie has calculated — and I agree with his calculations — that you could run a pretty spiffy little conservative New Media operation for $500,000 a year if you knew what you were doing. But the problem is connecting (a) people with $500,000 to (b) people who know what they’re doing in terms of online news.

If you grant that Jimmie and I are correct about this estimate, do the math yourself: For the $4 million that the permatanned RINO Charlie Crist collected during that single three-month span of 2009, you could fund eight spiffy little New Media operations for a year (or four such operations for two years). And FEC contribution limits do not apply to people making “investments” in news operations, so that the rich Republicans would not be restricted in their generosity toward New Media, as they are toward political candidates.

Soros has figured this out. Rich Republicans have not.

Furthermore, consider how rich liberals are willing to act as “angels” toward their media pets. I made this point yesterday in regard to Tina Brown, who lost $80 million during two years as editor of Talk, after losing $40 million during a three-year period as editor of The New Yorker, and who has most recently pushed back the goalposts of projected profitability at the Daily Beast to somewhere between (a) three years and (b) when hell freezes over.

Does it not occur to you, my clever readers, that these are not merely business losses, but are in fact a sort of charitable endeavor to support the propagation of fashionable liberalism?

As our friend Da Tech Guy points out, “profit is not the goal of those who invest with Tina Brown”:

She is part of a club, an elite . . . 
[W]hen people invest in Tina Brown, their return is to be part of that “In” crowd. To be invited to the party, to be able to say to people: “Oh yes I was at that event with Tina, we met Bernard Henri-Levy and we had a marvelous time.”
It’s all about being a member, Invest in Tina Brown and you can hobnob with the great.

Yes, but what Pete overlooks is this: Being a magazine editor gave Brown enormous influence in deciding who belongs to the “in” crowd. And one hand washes the other: Does Mika Brzezinski crave favorable coverage from the Daily Beast? “Oh, let’s invite Tina Brown onto Morning Joe!”

Liberals think the rest of us are so stupid we can’t see how the game is played. And given the way Republicans waste their money on useless endeavors like Romney 2012, who can blame them for thinking we’re stupid?

Somebody hit my tip jar, and think about this: Even if a million of you would give me $20, that still wouldn’t equal the amount that Tina Brown lost during an average six months of producing Talk magazine.


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