Is conservative new media worth as much as the occupods?

by Datechguy | December 12th, 2011

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Is conservative new media worth as much as the occupods?

I must admit I’m a bit jeal­ous of the occupods in one respect when I see this post at Don Surber’s blog.

Some­how, they were able to spend a few months in the fall camp­ing out and protest­ing against the work­ing class while not work­ing themselves.

They are in that upper 1% who do not have to work.

I don’t begrudge any­one what they already have, if they are rich enough to hand out then that’s fine. My jeal­ously is based on how, well their friends on the left (and in the unions until the use­ful idiots were no longer use­ful) man­aged to kick in to keep them in tents, food and protests for two months. The tens of thou­sands of dol­lars that occupy New York, Occupy Oak­land and occupy Port­land (before their 20 grand was stolen) came from some­where.

The left makes an effort to keep those who fight their bat­tles sup­plied and ready to fight. On the right it is a bit leaner. Con­sider when New York Mag­a­zine men­tioned Mitt Rom­ney raised over 10 mil­lion in under 8 hours what Stacy McCain wrote:

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.

And lets remem­ber when Jim­mie Bise crunched the num­bers fur­ther based on not even Mitt’s 10.3 mil­lion or Her­man Cain’s 7 mil­lion sit­ting in the bank but on Char­lie Crist’s 4.3 mil­lion dol­lar quar­ter from 2010:

Do you know how much good report­ing we could get with a bud­get of just $500,000 a year? Think about it. Play with the num­bers. You think I couldn’t land Vadum and McCain for 70 grand a year, plus add in Ace and Moe Lane for blog­ging power at the same amount? That’s only $280,000. Set aside fifty grand for tech stuff (host­ing, design, trou­bleshoot­ing) and adver­tis­ing, another 60K for expenses (to pay reporters to go on the road and for free­lancers), 60K for an edi­tor, and 50K to me for super­vis­ing the whole oper­a­tion and there you go. There’s $500,000 a year. And that doesn’t count any poten­tial income the site might get from out­side adver­tis­ing, which you know it’ll get. As the site grows, the bud­get can creep up, but only for peo­ple who will add direct value to the site, but we add on as adver­tis­ing rev­enues war­rant the increase.

Think of a major league team build­ing a farm sys­tem and look at the long terms from those num­bers as Jim­mie Does

Divide $500,000 into $4.3 mil­lion. That’s how long I could run a hypo­thet­i­cal con­ser­v­a­tive news site with the money dun­der­headed con­ser­v­a­tives gave Char­lie Crist in just three months. Mean­while, Stacy had to rat­tle the tip jar so hard his teeth ached to get just a few hun­dred bucks to do some orig­i­nal report­ing in rural Ken­tucky. That’s ridiculous.

No what’s ridicu­lous is what hap­pened a few days ago. Before the blog­ger con­fer­ence call with Rick San­to­rum Fri­day Stacy McCain sug­gested I should make a point to record the call so I can use clips on the radio show. I replied I don’t have the nec­es­sary equip­ment for my line. He men­tioned it is avail­able at any Radio Shack for $50 – 75 bucks and I was forced to reply that I don’t have the $50 – 75 to spend for it.

The left is fund­ing it’s occupods and its new media to the point where TPM is get­ting ques­tion time on GOP can­di­dates con­fer­ence calls. Mean­while for­get the $70K in Jimmie’s exam­ple. Since June I cov­ered the St. Anselm debate in NH, the Dart­mouth debate from the spin room, reported live from blog­con includ­ing reports on the occupods, Cov­ered Her­man Cain, Mitt Rom­ney, Sarah Palin and Rick San­to­rum in NH, Bar­ney Frank’s press con­fer­ence and tea­party and GOP events and more. Yet although the radioshow is man­ag­ing to cover its expenses the results of my Novem­ber fundraiser were so dis­mal that I’ve closed out my 401k (tax hit not with­stand­ing) to keep up with the house bills for the next sev­eral months.

For­get the 70K that Jim­mie was talk­ing, for 70% of that I could not only sup­port the blog and the house but travel to cover the can­di­dates with­out won­der­ing if Free­dom­works can help with the cost of a plane ticket. For 40% of that I could sup­port the blog and house for a year and still cover events in a 150 mile radius with­out help and with the 10K that Mitt is will­ing to bet that pays for 3 months and 300 posts not count­ing the Under the Fedora Col­umn at the Minor­ity report and the Conservatory.

It’s a frus­trat­ing thing. In 2011 so far over 560,000 vis­its have been recorded on this site and the old. There has been a lot of words both writ­ten and quoted in sup­port of con­ser­vatism, here on the blog, else­where on the net and even a piece than ran in the New York Post dur­ing Wein­er­gate. How much is that worth to the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment? How much is a radio show that reaches six states fea­tur­ing and high­light­ing con­ser­v­a­tive writ­ers from all over the nation? You would think it would be worth at least as much to the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment as the occupods are to Soros and the left.

Yet, as a con­ser­v­a­tive I under­stand that my work is only worth what some­one is will­ing to pay for it. It doesn’t mat­ter if I drive north to check out the Gin­grich Hunts­man debate today, the ques­tion is. What is that grow­ing set of eye­balls on the blogs and ears on the radio worth to the con­ser­v­a­tive movement?

I sub­mit that it’s cer­tainly worth the $200 a week I need to pay the house bills, or the $500 a week that can sup­port the blog for a year. In fact I’d dare to say it’s worth the $800 a week it would take to finance 6 trips a year to cover big events.

And I’m just one blog­ger, there are at least a dozen other blog­gers on the right worth at least as much if not more. Stacy again:

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.

As I’ve said before my adver­tis­ers are look­ing for a return on their invest­ment and that what they should be look­ing for, but if you are look­ing to advance the con­ser­v­a­tive cause in both the short term (an elec­tion cycle) and in the long term (to get the word out there and change minds) I sug­gest that if you are a con­ser­v­a­tive this site and sites like it are an invest­ment in chang­ing the nar­ra­tive or as Stacy put it:

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?

There are an awful lot of us work­ing very hard to advance con­ser­vatism, I sug­gest it’s made a dif­fer­ence. If that’s not worth con­ser­v­a­tive sup­port and con­ser­v­a­tive dol­lars I’d like to know what is?

Update: How Ironic is it that this post gets an Insta­lanche while I’m up at St. Anselm Col­lege cov­er­ing the Gin­grich Hunts­man debate
[cap­tion id=“attachment_33144” align=“aligncenter” width=“450” caption=“The stage just before the debate”][/​caption]

(pho­tos, video and inter­views to be up soon)

Update 2: Appar­ently I was up too soon after being sick and crashed in the mid­dle of writ­ing my Newt & Hunts­man post. But if those who hit DaTip­Jar yes­ter­day want to know what they paid for here is my cov­er­age.

I’ll have the Hunts­man event up later today.

Update 3: Boy I really struck a nerve in Kim Du Toit from comments:

DTguy: this is the actual rea­son I quit. I worked over ten hours a day, every sin­gle damn day, on my blog, which gar­nered tens of thou­sands of unique views daily. Every­one praised me and told how great a blog it was, right up to the time I would need money to pay the bills. Then I’d pub­lish a bleg and get more angry com­ments about “spong­ing” than I got con­tri­bu­tions, like my own time, hun­dreds of hours per week, was just… worthless.

It’s not just me. For some rea­son, con­ser­v­a­tives think that media spon­sor­ship is beneath them – why else do you think that even wor­thy orga­ni­za­tions like National Review and Patriot Post have to grovel for money all the time? If they’re strug­gling, what chance do indi­vid­u­als like you (or me, for that mat­ter) stand?

Read the whole com­ment.

Update 4: Now a Meme­o­ran­dum thread and linked by Atlas, the Lonely Con­ser­v­a­tive, the west­ern expe­ri­ence and Gold­fish and Clowns

Update 5: Ladd Ehlinger weighs in:

Con­ser­v­a­tive donors would rather donate to celebri­ties like Chris Christie or Mike Huck­abee, or pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates they’d pre­fer to see win — with­out rec­og­niz­ing how much “oomph” a par­tic­u­lar blog­ger or other might give to that candidate’s efforts.

Through all of this, one has to won­der why Mike Huck­abee needs a PAC. Or Karl Rove. What exactly are these PACs doing? Are they “win­ning” any­thing? Or are they sim­ply churn­ing donor money for the aggran­dize­ment of the celebrity?

Soros and his ilk fund Media Mat­ters, Think Progress, et. al. Con­ser­v­a­tives toss their money into landfills.

And for those who may be tempted to jump into the com­ments and screech about the Koch Broth­ers, as far as I can tell, their pat­tern of fund­ing is the same as all the other con­ser­v­a­tives. I may be wrong, but the impres­sion I get is, when they’re not fund­ing NPR doc­u­men­taries on string-​theory, the Kochs are toss­ing their cash into the celebrity land­fill, too.

I must admit I’m a bit jealous of the occupods in one respect when I see this post at Don Surber’s blog.

Somehow, they were able to spend a few months in the fall camping out and protesting against the working class while not working themselves.

They are in that upper 1% who do not have to work.

I don’t begrudge anyone what they already have, if they are rich enough to hand out then that’s fine. My jealously is based on how, well their friends on the left (and in the unions until the useful idiots were no longer useful) managed to kick in to keep them in tents, food and protests for two months. The tens of thousands of dollars that occupy New York, Occupy Oakland and occupy Portland (before their 20 grand was stolen) came from somewhere.

The left makes an effort to keep those who fight their battles supplied and ready to fight. On the right it is a bit leaner. Consider when New York Magazine mentioned Mitt Romney raised over 10 million in under 8 hours what Stacy McCain wrote:

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.

And lets remember when Jimmie Bise crunched the numbers further based on not even Mitt’s 10.3 million or Herman Cain’s 7 million sitting in the bank but on Charlie Crist’s 4.3 million dollar quarter from 2010:

Do you know how much good reporting we could get with a budget of just $500,000 a year? Think about it. Play with the numbers. You think I couldn’t land Vadum and McCain for 70 grand a year, plus add in Ace and Moe Lane for blogging power at the same amount? That’s only $280,000. Set aside fifty grand for tech stuff (hosting, design, troubleshooting) and advertising, another 60K for expenses (to pay reporters to go on the road and for freelancers), 60K for an editor, and 50K to me for supervising the whole operation and there you go. There’s $500,000 a year. And that doesn’t count any potential income the site might get from outside advertising, which you know it’ll get. As the site grows, the budget can creep up, but only for people who will add direct value to the site, but we add on as advertising revenues warrant the increase.

Think of a major league team building a farm system and look at the long terms from those numbers as Jimmie Does

Divide $500,000 into $4.3 million. That’s how long I could run a hypothetical conservative news site with the money dunderheaded conservatives gave Charlie Crist in just three months. Meanwhile, Stacy had to rattle the tip jar so hard his teeth ached to get just a few hundred bucks to do some original reporting in rural Kentucky. That’s ridiculous.

No what’s ridiculous is what happened a few days ago. Before the blogger conference call with Rick Santorum Friday Stacy McCain suggested I should make a point to record the call so I can use clips on the radio show. I replied I don’t have the necessary equipment for my line. He mentioned it is available at any Radio Shack for $50-75 bucks and I was forced to reply that I don’t have the $50-75 to spend for it.

The left is funding it’s occupods and its new media to the point where TPM is getting question time on GOP candidates conference calls. Meanwhile forget the $70K in Jimmie’s example. Since June I covered the St. Anselm debate in NH, the Dartmouth debate from the spin room, reported live from blogcon including reports on the occupods, Covered Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum in NH, Barney Frank’s press conference and teaparty and GOP events and more. Yet although the radioshow is managing to cover its expenses the results of my November fundraiser were so dismal that I’ve closed out my 401k (tax hit not withstanding) to keep up with the house bills for the next several months.

Forget the 70K that Jimmie was talking, for 70% of that I could not only support the blog and the house but travel to cover the candidates without wondering if Freedomworks can help with the cost of a plane ticket. For 40% of that I could support the blog and house for a year and still cover events in a 150 mile radius without help and with the 10K that Mitt is willing to bet that pays for 3 months and 300 posts not counting the Under the Fedora Column at the Minority report and the Conservatory.

It’s a frustrating thing. In 2011 so far over 560,000 visits have been recorded on this site and the old. There has been a lot of words both written and quoted in support of conservatism, here on the blog, elsewhere on the net and even a piece than ran in the New York Post during Weinergate. How much is that worth to the conservative movement? How much is a radio show that reaches six states featuring and highlighting conservative writers from all over the nation? You would think it would be worth at least as much to the conservative movement as the occupods are to Soros and the left.

Yet, as a conservative I understand that my work is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It doesn’t matter if I drive north to check out the Gingrich Huntsman debate today, the question is. What is that growing set of eyeballs on the blogs and ears on the radio worth to the conservative movement?

I submit that it’s certainly worth the $200 a week I need to pay the house bills, or the $500 a week that can support the blog for a year. In fact I’d dare to say it’s worth the $800 a week it would take to finance 6 trips a year to cover big events.

And I’m just one blogger, there are at least a dozen other bloggers on the right worth at least as much if not more. Stacy again:

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.

As I’ve said before my advertisers are looking for a return on their investment and that what they should be looking for, but if you are looking to advance the conservative cause in both the short term (an election cycle) and in the long term (to get the word out there and change minds) I suggest that if you are a conservative this site and sites like it are an investment in changing the narrative or as Stacy put it:

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?

There are an awful lot of us working very hard to advance conservatism, I suggest it’s made a difference. If that’s not worth conservative support and conservative dollars I’d like to know what is?

Update: How Ironic is it that this post gets an Instalanche while I’m up at St. Anselm College covering the Gingrich Huntsman debate

The stage just before the debate

(photos, video and interviews to be up soon)

Update 2: Apparently I was up too soon after being sick and crashed in the middle of writing my Newt & Huntsman post. But if those who hit DaTipJar yesterday want to know what they paid for here is my coverage.

I’ll have the Huntsman event up later today.

Update 3: Boy I really struck a nerve in Kim Du Toit from comments:

DTguy: this is the actual reason I quit. I worked over ten hours a day, every single damn day, on my blog, which garnered tens of thousands of unique views daily. Everyone praised me and told how great a blog it was, right up to the time I would need money to pay the bills. Then I’d publish a bleg and get more angry comments about “sponging” than I got contributions, like my own time, hundreds of hours per week, was just… worthless.

It’s not just me. For some reason, conservatives think that media sponsorship is beneath them–why else do you think that even worthy organizations like National Review and Patriot Post have to grovel for money all the time? If they’re struggling, what chance do individuals like you (or me, for that matter) stand?

Read the whole comment.

Update 4: Now a Memeorandum thread and linked by Atlas, the Lonely Conservative, the western experience and Goldfish and Clowns

Update 5: Ladd Ehlinger weighs in:

Conservative donors would rather donate to celebrities like Chris Christie or Mike Huckabee, or presidential candidates they’d prefer to see win – without recognizing how much “oomph” a particular blogger or other might give to that candidate’s efforts.

Through all of this, one has to wonder why Mike Huckabee needs a PAC. Or Karl Rove. What exactly are these PACs doing? Are they “winning” anything? Or are they simply churning donor money for the aggrandizement of the celebrity?

Soros and his ilk fund Media Matters, Think Progress, et. al. Conservatives toss their money into landfills.

And for those who may be tempted to jump into the comments and screech about the Koch Brothers, as far as I can tell, their pattern of funding is the same as all the other conservatives. I may be wrong, but the impression I get is, when they’re not funding NPR documentaries on string-theory, the Kochs are tossing their cash into the celebrity landfill, too.

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