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Buy up and run what you can, close down what you can’t

Buy up and run what you can, close down what you can’t

Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, writing in The NY Post, suggests that Republican billionaires and money people use some of their dollars to buy up women’s magazines and websites, keep almost everything the same, except get rid of the anti-Republican content:

Mitt Romney and the GOP lost, but it wasn’t for lack of money. They spent a lot; they just didn’t get enough bang for the buck.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson alone donated $150 million. But Romney lost anyway, especially among unmarried women….

My suggestion: Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s Web sites.

One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female “low-information voters.” Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.

Since, by definition, they don’t pay much attention to political news, they get this sense from what they do read. And for many, that’s traditional women’s magazines — Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Ladies Home Journal, etc. — and the newer women’s sites like YourTango, The Frisky, Yahoo! Shine, and the like.

The thing is, those magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft — or sometimes not-so-soft — hits on Republicans.

For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women’s Web sites. And I’d hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what’s there now.

Let me add a corollary suggestion:  Reduce the size of the mob.  Buy up name brands like Newsweek which are used as cover for anti-Republican messaging but not worth running, and shut them down. 

It may go against your instincts to knowingly throw money away, but didn’t you just unknowingly do that in 2012 anyway?

Don’t wait for 2014 or 2016.  Think strategically not reactively.

And save some of the crumbs that fall from the table for advertising on conservative blogs.


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I don’t disagree, but do need to comment on Newsweek reference. Didn’t they basically refuse offers from conservative buyers?

If there’s anything the 2012 election taught us is that conservatives – more correctly, classical liberals – have been focusing all their hope, energy, and money on the wrong prize. It’s about the *culture* first and foremost.

Excellent point, that we basically threw away money this last election. The consultants enriched themselves at the nation’s expense. Arurim hema!



How else does a prickly, perpetually aggrieved young woman who has doors opened for her her entire life … who goes to an Ivy League school and writes about her “blackness,” and who only feels proud of her country for the first time when it elects her young, supremely inexperienced and unqualified husband to the presidency … how does she zoom up to have such high favorables among the general public?

It leaves one scratching one’s head. When one of Luke’s old high school classmates raves about Michelle Obama on Facebook and ends with, “Who doesn’t love her?” Luke is terribly tempted, but precluded by his stifling sense of decorum to ask back,

“What’s to love about her?”

And then it dawns on him:

The View. Redbook. Oprah. Ladies Home Journal … etc., etc., etc.

We may laugh. But laughing and being defeated are not mutually exclusive.

Culture is the whole ballgame. People who consider themselves completely disinterested in politics are easily reached through some things we may laugh at … at our own peril.

    Cutting out the PC crap, Michelle Obama is one mean, black bitch. I read she has continually turned down requests to help [fundraising?] and more closely associate with her alma mater, Princeton. I read she returned just once to see Cornel West.

    So double-wide gets a free ride at Princeton, and then doesn’t feel the least bit obligated to give a little back. But isn’t that typical behavior for a democrat?

    I was going to write a blog post about the Glen Reynolds proposal, but unfortunately, didn’t get around. Mommy press is particularly horrendous. I used to subscribe to Parents (and now they are sending me their crap for free). I wrote about them from time to time; they must be taking orders from above. It’s thinly veiled socialist/O propaganda, and in terms of political orientation that publication is no different from any other parenting rag.
    New moms need to get medical and social advice, and we like it peppered with pictures of cute babies (hello, hormones). Unfortunately, today it’s only available packaged with lefty propaganda.

We’re now just figuring this out?

“Think strategically not reactively.”


And that is a great trick to living, generally.

Decide what you are going to be every day to live the life you want, and be that rather than bouncing from reaction to reaction.

    jimzinsocal in reply to Ragspierre. | December 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I agree as usual but lets take that thought abit further. The notion of reaction v strategic thinking.
    Im not big on “building a firehouse at the site of the most recent fire” thinking. Yet time and time again Republicans shot themselves in the foot by reacting without strategy only to have the narrative stolen or usurped.
    Think for a moment if you will …back to the religious issues associated with ObamaCare and birth control/abortion.
    Our Republican representatives were quick tp pounce on the issue without thinking strategically.
    And what happened? The efforts no matter how principled were reframed by liberals as a war on women.
    Very poor strategy. The entire mess could have been avoided by thinking for a moment and not rushing to a position and narrative that turned out very wrong.
    Id be cautious so soon after the election to adopt any policies that may turn out horribly.
    In other words, the electorate at this point in time may be far different once the Economy turns around. Its a funny thing that people behave far differntly when unemployment is at 5% verses the stagnant 8% we see now.
    Republican focus should be on “lets get to the good times again” with positive plans beginning at state level. We should make noise about state improvements where Republicans are in control of policy.
    Proof beats any other efforts.

      Ragspierre in reply to jimzinsocal. | December 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      To my way of thinking, strategeryical thinking starts from keeping in mind first principles, along with the Golden Rule (“make it positive”).

      John Marshall…one of our first and greatest jurists…was famous for laying out a series of irreproachable logical (and popular) foundations, leading to his conclusion on an issue.

      I think Reagan had that knack, too. But a BIG part of it comes from it being part of your very being, something you can speak from your core without any great need to think about it first. It also helps if you…like Reagan…spend a few decades practicing and honing your words.

That’s not a bad idea buying up women’s magazines and such but, do really think the owners of Newsweek would have sold it to a conservative for $1? I don’t. And, unless it is a bankruptcy sale where the highest offerred amount wins, I can’t imagine the owners selling out to a conservative group. Remember, yes, there are quite a few progressives who like to make money (quietly), but I also believe that a majority of them would rather sell a property at a lower price to a progressive than to the higher bid from a conservative. As that great American philosopher, Forrest Gump, would opine — stupid is as stupid does.

Isn’t Facebook becoming more commercialized due to its drop in value? What about buying ads (for redirects) on Facebook? (I don’t use FB because I like my privacy so I may not know what they have to offer visitors.)

The best move would be to carve out a new brand to compete head-to-head with the MSM from a solidly conservative point of view.

1) There isn’t one today.
2) Conservatives would flock to it. As it is, they put up with FoxNews.
3) It should use the content of the right-wing blogs and compensate the authors with a share of the revenue.

Finally, make it start from the grassroots and search among the grassroots for the best talent for hosting. Fresh faces, real voices, conservative and constitutionally based.

That’s a winner of an investment.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

A 16 year old kid called into Rush recently and said he believed many of his friends will be voting Democrat when they turn 18 because they are ignorant about how our economic system works.

My wish is that Roger Ailes will convert one of the three prime time hours of programming on FNC into pure education about basic free market economics and liberty along the lines that Milton Friedman’s PBS program “Free to Choose” did 30 years ago.

Having Sean Hannity report what happened in the news that day then bring on a conservative to give the conservative viewpoint and a Democrat for Sean and the conservative to beat up on doesn’t do much to win hearts and minds. As someone who agrees with Hannity most of the time it is gratifying to watch, but it’s not really educational and I doubt it’s converting people. It helps Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert and MSNBC lower their programming costs who replay the FNC clips then mock them.

Many (but not all) of John Stossel’s shows on Fox Business have this educational component to them, but I doubt they get a wide audience.

    Neither Hannity nor Stossel does a great job of explaining basic economics. Sowell and Walter Williams are both terrific, but I doubt they would be available for such a gig. There must be someone out there, though, who could do a good job of explaining conservative economics.

    Such education is very badly needed, however. Little economics is taught in K-12 education and what there is tends to be strongly Keynsian. No wonder so many people think that government spending actually helps the economy.

and it’s not just women’s journals and groups of course … think of the infiltration of the whole “Green” movement, where a capitalist society has provided safe food and air, yet is demonized by these “green” communists as evil poisoners.

These fraudulent narratives are developed from grade school lessons, plus sustained by Hollywood messaging in their sitcoms, then news media adoptions of socialist script as “settled science”. The women’s mags maybe serve as the hymnal that keeps many of Obama’s Stepford wives singing the same silly songs, breathing in airs of superiority.

But buying the likes of Newsweek may be like putting new wine in old wineskins. Maybe billionaires could start their own “Sustainable Home and Garden” magazines. (Or something like Beck is trying, but with broader appeal.) More filling, better taste? My more sophisticated female Facebook friends seem really big on the home gardening thing, which seems a stronger suit for conservatism.

JackRussellTerrierist | December 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Living my entire life until a year ago in California, Ground Zero for leftist policy and political dogma, I have said a thousand times that the reason conservatives are losing ground is because we rely on the electorate to have the common sense to ignore the illogical and dangerous drivel foisted on it by the libtard media and entertainment industry, and that a meaningful solution would be to become competitive in those arenas. We shouldn’t expect to be successful in the long-term with the notion that we will capture their minds once every four years during election season while the electorate has been bombarded with leftist thought 24/7/365 , especially when you factor in the dumbing down by the public school system such that most have zero critical thinking skills to begin with.

Seriously guys, Redbook, BHG, and LHJ are what my mom reads, and she is not part of the demographic you are discussing! While those magazines are read by women, it is not the “low-information” segment.

Now, on my daughter’s coffee table I see: Allure, Shape, InStyle, O (the Oprah magazine), W (the magazine, not the former president). And even more influential than the magazines and aging websites like Facebook are new trendy websites like Pinterest. If you want to reach the trendy, low-information segment, you need to identify the trendy, low-information media.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to donb. | December 14, 2012 at 8:20 am

    With the media market rapidly fragmenting it’s not just an issue of determining the next hot venue. There has to be a subversive quality to the creative talent if they are to capture and hold the interest of the target audience. After all, low information voters tend to be turned off by anything that looks too substantive.

    The media has been playing a variation of the con in the Emperor’s New Clothes. They announce themselves as the smartest people in the room and ridicule anyone who disagrees, all the while reducing the public debate to a referendum on who and what is cool. It is going to take some keen image makers to wean those who have become addicted to politics as a fashion statement into considering alternative viewpoints.

Oh, no, don’t buy and shut down liberal publications … buy them and refocus them. A good way to reach voters who don’t care about politics is to buy and continue marketing publications they already read.

I think you’re underestimating the power of brand loyalty and the public’s interest in popular continuing features and publications. What better way to market conservative ideas to liberal women than to co-opt the magazines and websites they already read?

For God’s sake, I don’t need Romney and his Establishment ilk controlling any more media outlets than they already do.

[…] William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection offers an added suggestions as well: […]

Glenn’s suggestion is a smart one, of course. Were it not for Rupert Murdock and his money, conservatism would exist in the mass media only through Rush Limbaugh’s daily efforts.

But more importantly, Glenn’s idea spotlights the long- term challenge to conservatives posed by the near-total liberal control of the institutions that most influence our culture — mass news media, the entertainment industry, the creative arts, and the education establishment. Given the radical transformation of the culture of the past 50 years as a guide, any prudent forecast for the next 50 years would have to assume total leftist victory, whatever happens in one or another election cycle.

Getting conservative activists, much less GOP politicians, to respond to this challenge will not be easy. They are people used to caring about politics and elections, and as soon as the next election is on the horizon, they will focus their time and energy on winning it — and that goes for bloggers too!

Glenn rightly points out that running a glitzy cool website is not all that expensive. It’s even cheaper to underwrite a movie production. With a zillion cable channels hotly competing for audience, it’s not rocket science to launch a TV series. And the best news? Any of these enterprises might return handsome profits!

[…] Read more on this at Powerline and Legal Insurrection. […]

I pointed this out days after the election regarding magazines aimed at Hispanics in particular Latina magazine which is run by a man who donated to Schumer, and many online magazines/websites aimed at Hispanics that run content that is pro-dem and anti-repub.

    ASR in reply to ASR. | December 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I’m working on my attempt at this – COMING SOON – my site is called “Hollywood Gurkha” – motto: Always Keep Your Cell Phone Charged

Let’s not forget Time Magazine. The big newspapers. And Hollywood. The propaganda infiltrates all media that has an over-representation of artsy-fartsy, tree-hugger, and gay men.