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

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.