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Forbes is a case study on how conservatives lose institutions

Forbes is a case study on how conservatives lose institutions

The minnow eats the whale, again

I’ve noticed, but not commented on, how the only time I go to Forbes.com anymore is to read a liberal attack on conservatives.

I’ve wondered, has Forbes changed?  Yes it has.

We lose institutions by allowing the minnows to eat the whale.

It happened to my alma mater, Hamilton College, which acquired the liberal Kirkland College across the street in the late 1970s, and then allowed the leftist Kirkland faculty to take over the school. Hamilton now is so unhinged that it would not allow The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization to locate on campus.  It’s a story told at campuses across the country.

The same thing apparently has happened at Forbes, once a bastion of free market capitalism. It acquired the far left True/Slant, and then appointed the founder of True/Slant to a key position which has resulted in Forbes — at least on its highly trafficked website — becoming a vehicle to attack the right.

Robert Stacy McCain, writing at The American Spectator, has the details:

Over the weekend, professional golfer Phil Mickelson complained about tax increases (including state income taxes in California) that he said had pushed his marginal rate to 63 percent: “I’ve got to make some decisions on what to do.” That incited a scolding from Syracuse Universtiy professor Len Burman, who said Mickelson should “stop whining” because he was so “lucky” to be one of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

Well, just another cranky liberal academic, eh? We are not surprised to learn that Burman served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, nor are we surprised that Burman founded the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institute, a liberal think-tank. What is perhaps surprising is that Burman published his attack on Mickelson’s “whining” at Forbes.

Forbes was once a leading advocate of free-market economic policy and has published such famed conservative writers as P.J. O’Rourke and Peter Brimelow. The magazine’s publisher Steve Forbes sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000 on a platform advocating a flat tax. His father, the late Malcolm Forbes, proudly named his private jet the “Capitalist Tool.”

Yet in recent years, the online version of Forbes has become increasingly notorious as a hive of strident left-wing opinion. Forbes publishes environmentalist blogger Steve Zwick, who has waged a one-man jihad against the free-market Heartland Institute for its criticism of climate policy. Last February, Zwick used his Forbes blog to promote a hoax in which a fake document purported to show Heartland’s “secret strategy.” Forbes also publishes Rick Ungar, who became notorious in 2009 for a column with the headline “Send the Body to Glenn Beck,” blaming the talk-radio host for the alleged lynching of a Census worker (who, as it turned out, had committed suicide).

What happened to Forbes? Two words: Lewis Dvorkin.

A former AOL executive, Dvorkin got funding from Forbes in 2009 to start a Web site, True/Slant, that lasted a little more than a year before it was taken over by Forbes in a deal that brought Dvorkin into the company with the title of Chief Product Officer. (Dvorkin’s “Copy Box” column is a lot of jargon-crowded hype about the awesomeness of the “product”; he recently defended the concept of “sponsored content” in the wake of last week’s debacle in which the Atlantic published an “advertorial” for Scientology.) Dvorkin’s July 2010 deal also brought under the Forbes online umbrella several of True/Slant’s left-wing staff and contributors, including Zwick, Ungar and, apparently, Professor Len Burman.

Can anyone cite an example of where a prominent liberal publication has brought in a conservative in a leadership position and allowed the conservative to turn the publication on its political head? I can’t think of an example.

This is one of the reasons we lose.

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“O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.”

You can see this in application over and over. One reason is that the Collective is aggressively acquisitive, and will subvert any organization or human enterprise to its own political and ideological use, regardless of how innocuous its founding. Cf “United Way”

Another reason is that Collectivists are NOT content to allow a forum for opposing views to exist, and assertively work to slam shut any such forum, concurrent with marginalizing and shouting down any dissenting view, as here with Mickelson.

A further reason is that Collectivists have no respect for the property of others, and will attempt to use it for their own purposes.

There are others…

    Squibob in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2013 at 2:31 am

    “O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.”

    I stopped reading Scientific American over 10 years ago when I finally noticed the lefty bias in what I thought was the bastion of the Scientific Method.

      snopercod in reply to Squibob. | January 24, 2013 at 6:37 am

      I let my subscription to Scientific American lapse about thirty years ago when they started publishing leftie hit pieces as “science”.

        teapartydoc in reply to snopercod. | January 24, 2013 at 7:16 am

        Funny. Me too. I was even getting Scientific American Medicine. It was a couple of huge folders in three ring binders. I’d get updates about every month or so and take out an old chapter and replace it with the new. They were bulky, but a good way to keep abreast of things. I haven’t seen one of these for years now. I wonder how many other docs quit the mag and this other because of the blatant leftism.

        mhjhnsn in reply to snopercod. | January 24, 2013 at 7:24 am

        Me, too, in the early 1980s when SciAm ran several pieces advocating unilateral nuclear disarmament (remember “nucear winter”) as if that policy conclusion was science-based. Of couyrse it took “global warming” in the late 1980s and 1990s for them to really jump teh shark, but by then I was long gone.

      cfraizer in reply to Squibob. | January 24, 2013 at 7:11 am

      It was 20 years ago for me. Bye-bye SciAm!

      Ragspierre in reply to Squibob. | January 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

      I LOVED “Popular Science”…right up until I detected their “greening” about three decades ago.

      That green crap is EVERYWHERE…like mold.

    Amen. That’s always been the right’s disadvantage. We genuinely support freedom of thought and of expression. The left loudly pays lip service to these ideas, but their actions are very different.

Not a publication, but vis-a-vis Burman at Syracuse, at least my alma mater Cornell has Jacobson.

Let’s not forget the leftists in neocon clothing completely subverting conservatism itself. Exhibit A, as long as we’re talking about periodicals: Rich Lowry and the gang at National Review.

To my knowledge, Steve Forbes is still alive? Why would he allow this? Another example of one of ours, who supposedly fronts one of our principles, allows the message to be co-opted by the left. Makes you wonder if he has principle, or is in reality an opportunist. I never trusted him, looks like with good reason. It’s wisely said ,beware of the second generation of wealth.

    The Steve Forbes principle is $$$.

    ’nuff said about him.

      lewy14 in reply to george. | January 24, 2013 at 1:07 am

      Steve Forbes’ other principle is _power_. Not unlike his father.
      The Reagan years definined the Forbes brand – not the other way around.
      What worked then is not working now. So change! And stay on the right side of the power equation.

      When I was young and liberal it seemed to me that establishment conservatives were utterly unprincipled.

      Turns out I was right.

I read years and years ago that the only jobs the old Soviet Union worried about getting for their people at the start of the UN, was the Employment department. Because they control who gets in after that… That was done in the 40s; it’s been 70+ years – if people are going to refuse to learn from history, they better get used to repeating it.

It really is amazing how easy it has become for the leftist education system to turn otherwise normal young people into rabid narcissists.

And narcissism is the only thing that can explain the rage with which these twisted people attack other people’s independence. It must feel good to sit so high in judgment upon someone who’s actions start messing with your denial. In this case, it’s group-think.

These people remind me of the runners in the Forest Gump movie, who started to run with him across the country, as if they have found a spiritual/religious center by doing so. When Gump arbitrarily decided to stop running, they were suddenly left high and dry. One of them cried out, “What do you do now?” That is EXACTLY the point these people will do ANYTHING to avoid being in. They’ll destroy the nation first. (They’re doing so, aren’t they.) So if they would destroy their nation rather than mess with their narcissistic denial, what’s Phil Mickelson?

I can’t think of any liebral publications that have been converted by a conservative from within. Then again, look at how many liberal publications fail under the weight of their liberal nonsense – Newsweek being the greatest recent example.

You are right about Forbes. I began reading it in the college library 33 years ago and have subscribed almost continually since. It used to be a stellar publication: conservative and grounded in the realities of business and investment.

In the last years since the current Mr. Forbes and current editor took over it has fallen very far. Sure, like all magazines it has lost advertising revenue and has had to cut back its writing staff. But now it is less than worthless tripe.

We are presented with a regular section of photos of Mr. Forbes hobnobbing in social settings. “Look who I associate with!”. Articles on productive business have been replaced by articles on how to give your capital away to some social cause – as if productivity and trade are not social causes. Reality based reporting on companies and businessmen has been replaced by the theoretical musings on business theory by ‘never were’ scholars.

I have tried to end my subscription but somehow they keep prompting my aged mother to renew it as a gift.

It is sad really, very much like the republican party.

Tea is where the vigor is now.

Can anyone cite an example of where a prominent liberal publication has brought in a conservative in a leadership position and allowed the conservative to turn the publication on its political head? I can’t think of an example.

Perhaps the NY Post is an example and a publication going ‘right.’

It beefed up its conservative view point in the 1990s.

Before that it was a just a rag. Now it is a right-leaning rag.

Fox News went from a nothing, to a conservative-oriented News organization. Sadly, through O’Reilly (scummy person), it is now slanting left….

why?? Same as Steve Forbes: $$$$$

TIME and Newsweek went from being major LIBERAL publications to e-trash…..all without any conservative help. Had Newsweek “gone right” it might still be around

    I believe Jerusalem Post was once a liberal publication. It’s center right now.
    I’m not sure why Forbes is interested in publishing his magazine I don’t know, but I’m not sure his magazine is all that important for winning elections. He might look into buying a few mommy rags (Parenting, Parents, American Baby) and firing their editorial boards. Most of their features are either recycled “ages and stages” crap or the news on baby fashion. When needed they strategically enter politics, always on the left, of course.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to george. | January 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Murdoch bought The Post in 78 & put out an am edition which in Murdoch’s operating style makes better use of printing & distribution assets.

    He was forced to sell in 88 due to conflict in setting up Fox , though he got it back in 93 .

    Since then it is a hobby for him because he likes a bit of a print fun. Who can forget ‘Headless Body in Topless Bar’?

    Of course The Post was the creation of Alexander Hamilton & Murdoch has a soft spot for print history. He once rescued The Greenwich Village Voice.

    Bill Quick in reply to george. | January 24, 2013 at 12:21 am

    They would rather go out of business than go right. Capitalists seek profit. Leftists seek control.

Michael Barone on how the NY Times, the WaPo, etc., recruit from liberal publications, but not conservative ones:

“The evidence suggests that editors at the NYT and the Post have found it natural to recruit from the liberal magazines but that it does not seem to have crossed their minds to recruit from the conservative magazines. Why not?

Here’s my guess. I once had a conversation with an executive at one of the three broadcast network news organizations that went about like this. “Don’t you think the fact that 90 percent of your people are Democrats affects your work product?” “No, it doesn’t affect our work product at all, because we have professional standards of objectivity,” etc., etc. “Then what you’re saying is that your work product would be the same if 90 percent of your people were Republicans?” “No, then it would be biased.”

In other words, only liberals can see the world objectively. Conservatives are inherently biased. If that’s your mind-set, it makes sense to recruit people from the New Republic and the American Prospect, and it makes no sense to recruit people from National Review, the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator.

Maybe that’s not the real explanation, but it seems to fit the facts of the case.”

Read the whole thing:

“Why Conservatives Are Not Hired by Mainstream Media.”

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/barone/2006/03/29/why-conservatives-arent-hired-by-mainstream-media

1. Attempts to grow a media audience can backfire.

Sure, our documentaries on survivalist trekking are doing well, but just think of the ratings if we add teen romance!

2. To rephrase the post:

Why has the Gramscian project been so successful? Why hasn’t an offsetting counterGramscian project appeared?

Good questions. Important questions. (If I may say so myself.)

But I have no answers that are good enough to post, even as brainstorming.

3. Maybe counterGramscian opportunities will appear as the higher education bubble continues to deflate. Universities may become less supercilious about filthy right-wing money than they currently are. The trick will be to establish the conservative enclaves so the host university cannot take them over. The Hoover Institution is an example.

    Bill Quick in reply to gs. | January 24, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Why no counter-Gramscian project? Because the Gramsci approach is inherently, unavoidably dishonest, and honest people (honesty is one of the principles valued by conservatives) sense that and are repulsed by it. Leftists, on the other hand, are enamored of the notion that the ends justify the means, and so have no problems with it.

      TallDave in reply to Bill Quick. | January 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      You nailed it Bill.

      It’s one of those “prisoner’s dilemma” situations where behaving ethically is a losing proposition.

      OTOH, as a great man once said, “It’s not enough to survive, we have to be worthy of survival.”

      By ‘counterGramscian’, I do not mean ‘mirror image of Gramscian’.

      I favor attempts—ethical attempts, of course—to reintroduce conservative/libertarian thought into parts of the culture from which it has been pushed out.

      I resist the temptation to think we lose because we’re so doggone noble. It’s way too easy to turn that thought into a cop out.

    teapartydoc in reply to gs. | January 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I think the higher ed bubble will go down like a snowball down a hill, and I think the catalyst will arrive in the form of a conservative institution that decides that if it is going down it will take the rest of education with it. The disruption will occur when an institution decides to use it’s certifying power thusly: 1. It will realize that the only power keeping higher ed afloat is signaling to employers. 2. It will realize that testing is the way that that signaling occurs. 3. It will see that it can keep a part of itself alive in the form of an on-line institution that charges only for testing. 4. It will begin offering all course content on-line for free. 5.It will sub-contract with already existing testing centers for it’s on-line students to document the knowledge and skills they have obtained on-line. 6. It will create contact centers with industry for job interviews. 7. Parents will begin to refuse to send their kids to bricks-and-mortar universities.

Can anyone cite an example of where a prominent liberal publication has brought in a conservative in a leadership position and allowed the conservative to turn the publication on its political head?

Don’t lose the forest for one measly tree. Forget (for just a few seconds anyway) Forbes online. Remember instead municipal governments across the country, likewise the public school systems, academia and higher education, Hollywood, and the media generally. Conservatives have ceded all of these institutions to the left. And things will continue to get worse until we take them back, or at least re-infuse them with a strong dose of conservatism.

It didn’t get this way overnight. Leftists have been systematically working at taking over these institutions this for a long time, at least 90 years, maybe longer. It’s going to take a coordinated and concerted effort from the right to fix. Breitbart got it and was making the effort (that’s one reason why his passing was tragic). David Horowitz at Front Page Magazine gets it too. We need to ramp it up.

    TallDave in reply to G Joubert. | January 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Unfortunately, as Bill Quick alludes to above, that would require behaving as unethically as they do — hiring based on political prejudice instead of who’s going to do the best job, stoking racism, etc.

    I don’t want to live in an America where we whip up whites against blacks for political gain.

      Willy in reply to TallDave. | January 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      That’s about how I feel. It doesn’t appeal to me to “take over” something or work to indoctrinate people. That’s leftist crap.

      I think what we’ll see instead is an increasing number of conservatives who quietly withdraw from leftist-controlled institutions. More home schooling, more migrations to communities of like-minded people. At least these are courses of action that my wife and I are looking at.

Forbes is so yesterday.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Never go near The Economist without one of those silicone baby bibs with the scoop on the bottom.

So instead of the $30 I stopped giving Forbes a few years back it’s time to up my subscription to Legal Insurrection. Here’s to more insurrection (legal of course) in 2013!!!.

It could be argued that when Andrew Sullivan took over at The New Republic that he was a conservative brought in to lead a center-left publication.

Of course, this was was back in the 1980’s before Andrew Sullivan had gone off the deep end.

Same thing happened to West Germany. They annexed their Communist neighbor, gave its citizens welfare and voting rights, and their left-wing minority suddenly became a voting majority. Oops!

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to DaveA. | January 24, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I disagree. The DDR was Germany – in fact the original Prussia. The west & south were the weaker Hanoverian & Bavarian principalities.

    Angela Merkel is DDR trained & is hardly left. she is however much smarter & stronger than Willie Brandt ever was or any of those other Flower Pot men.

    I think the Oesterlander are the stronger .They were not mollycoddled by The Marshall Plan

    with the east back Germany is again Über alles in the Eu at least.

Concerned Citizen | January 24, 2013 at 12:48 am

I run a fairly large conservative / alternative web site (top 1000 site). I made the mistake of hiring a liberal person who had worked for me at a past company to help run it. This person was VERY expensive and they immediately started staffing the place with “like minded” (liberal people). Conservative stories were spiked and traffic was anemic because there are oodles of liberal news sites, while a majority of the population consider themselves to be conservative. We weren’t making money.

About a year ago, I decided to take control back and fired everyone “with an Obama bumper sticker in the parking lot”. Traffic immediately went up 20% and it’s now up 300% from where it was. Costs went down dramatically. The site is now profitable and growing by leaps and bounds.

Don’t believe one thing they say in any mainstream news source for ANYTHING!!!

    DINORightMarie in reply to Concerned Citizen. | January 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    This is what the left do!

    They did it with EVERY STATE (Ohio is one great example) with our voting “system” (especially federal elections) – just check out WHO COUNTS THE VOTES and is working the ballots and machines at the polls (i.e. making sure they are printed and out on time for the military to get them; calibrating those machines and “responsible” for the absentee voting!). Check out who has control of the bowels of any government agency which makes decisions about housing, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security (state and federal administrators), etc.

    They’ve done this with nearly all non-profit and philanthropic non-profit “foundations”, aka “charitable foundations,” too. Like the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Society, The Annenberg Foundation (founded by liberals, in fact, for this very purpose!), which spawned The Annenberg Challenge (which Billy Ayers and Obama “chaired” and used to hand money out to leftist groups by the boat-load!), etc. Check out this list and tell me – which of these are NOT leftist money laundering/”philanthropic” groups?!

    Holder has done it with DoJ – staffing with attorneys and other staffers who basically are set in their positions for life! And they are as left or MORE left that him!! Ask J. Christian Adams if you don’t believe me.

    It’s what they do – and NO ONE has either countered them, or attempted to stop them.

    Read “Radical in Chief” by Stanley Kurtz. Really. It is sickening how the left has OPENLY, and purposefully, don this!!

    Minnows eating the whale. Perfect!

American taxpayers were fortunate to have invested in the development of the Internet in the late 20th century. Internet/Web has and continues to disintermediate those gatekeepers who would control access to information, to protect politicians from the American people — a betrayal of their core mission.
Forbes, like Newsweek, is no longer a credible source of news. Who needs them?

All of this reminds me of a good read on institutional capture, available free online in PDF file format:
http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/a_pdfs/gncf.pdf
or, if you insist on having a hard copy, it’s available on Amazon. The title is:

Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church by Gary North

Part 4: Analysis of the Liberals’ Strategy
may be especially pertinent for the more general pattern.

Forbes might be losing conservatives but it’s gaining Objectivists

I was going to mention Fox News, but they’ve pretty much gone over to the dark side as well. I got so disgusted with them a couple years ago that I cancelled my satellite package that included them. If I wanted to watch the likes of Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, Susan Estrich, Gerraldo Rivera, et. al., I’d watch CNN.

How could One Small Voice change a “good, solid, conservative” magazine like Forbes?

I think it will be a Banner year for Forbes. Somebody call an EMT.

(Does Forbes have an architecture column?)

Prior to his death in Iraq, Michael Kelly managed to turn The Atlantic rightward in the articles it ran and editorially. While he was in charge, I thought it was a very good magazine. Following his death, Fallows took the magazine back to the left and I let my subscription lapse.

DINORightMarie | January 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

I re-post this here, so it won’t get “lost” in the thread – this, along with the “minnow eating the whale” of the MSM (which always leaned left, but went hard left on steroids in the 1990’s, IMHO), and the education system are why we have a well-oiled machine that is so tough to fight:

This is what the left do!

They did it with EVERY STATE (Ohio is one great example) with our voting “system” (especially federal elections) – just check out WHO COUNTS THE VOTES and is working the ballots and machines at the polls (i.e. making sure they are printed and out on time for the military to get them; calibrating those machines and “responsible” for the absentee voting!). Check out who has control of the bowels of any government agency which makes decisions about housing, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security (state and federal administrators), etc.

They’ve done this with nearly all non-profit and philanthropic non-profit “foundations”, aka “charitable foundations,” too. Like the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Society, The Annenberg Foundation (founded by liberals, in fact, for this very purpose!), which spawned The Annenberg Challenge (which Billy Ayers and Obama “chaired” and used to hand money out to leftist groups by the boat-load!), etc. Check out this list and tell me – which of these are NOT leftist money laundering/”philanthropic” groups?!
Holder has done it with DoJ – staffing with attorneys and other staffers who basically are set in their positions for life! And they are as left or MORE left that him!! Ask J. Christian Adams if you don’t believe me.

It’s what they do – and NO ONE has either countered them, or attempted to stop them.

Read “Radical in Chief” by Stanley Kurtz. Really. It is sickening how the left has OPENLY, and purposefully, don this!!

Minnows eating the whale. Perfect!

DINORightMarie | January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

Oh, and never forget The Frankfurt School.

They spawned the minnows.

Who could possibly think that Obama is Muslim or has Muslim leaning tendencies? Well this woman at Forbes, that’s who!

http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/24/muslim-barack-obama-opinions-contributors_islamic_president.html

Prominent tax exempt foundations fall victim to this as well. For example both the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation have gone leftist. Can you imagine either Ford or MacArthur holding leftist views while they were alive. And the original Rockefeller was a devout free market capitalist, but all his charities have gone leftist as well, in addition to his descendents.

If I was a rich conservative, who wanted to form a charity, and keep it from going leftist, I would draw up a list of questions on political views, and make it a part of the charity bylaws that nobody can be employed there unless they can answer the questions in a non-leftist manner (define the required answers as well as the questions), and swear an oath that their answers are truthful, and make it grounds for dismissal if they take actions in violation of those principles.

The right falls into this by agreeing with the lefts premise of the “tolerance” of differing opinion. Conservatives allow the left to give opposing opinion on their forums in the false notion that the left will reciprocate and live up to that very notion of “tolerance” that libs push.

Most conservatives have no clue on what they are dealing with in the left. None.

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