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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Progressive Bloggers Are Money-Grubbing Corporatists

So says Chris Bowers of OpenLeft, on the occasion of the hiring of Nate Silver by The New York Times (what possibly could go wrong?):
Only five years ago, the progressive political blogosphere was still predominately a gathering place for amateur (that is, unpaid or barely paid) journalists and activists unattached to existing media companies and advocacy organizations. Those days are almost completely over. Now, the progressive blogosphere is almost entirely professionalized, and inextricably linked to existing media companies and advocacy organizations.
Bowers lists three reasons why progressive bloggers have gone corporate.

Reason No. 1 is money:
Now, those bloggers do pretty much the same thing they did before, they just (quite understandably) do it for a much better salary from an established organization.
Reason No. 2 is money:
Another trend, less common than the first, has been for blogs like Daily Kos, Fire Dog Lake and Talking Points Memo to transform themselves from hobbies into professional media outlets and / or activist organizations. These blogs have increased their revenue stream to the point where they can hire multiple full-time staff
Reason No. 3 is money:
Many bloggers have also found a way to make a living by combining their blogging with blog-friendly advocacy and consulting work.
I would add a Reason No. 4, which has nothing to do with money:
Thumb-sucking insecurity.
Parting question:
At what point have these progressive bloggers made enough money?
Don't look at me. He wants to know.

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  1. Money for blogging is nice, actually, although we've got jobs (unlike these people).

  2. They're all really full of it. I hadn't been to open left since I caught David Sirota in a lie, and left a comment, very polite language, only pointing out why he was wrong, with sources to back my claim up, as to why he was wrong, rebutting his lie. My comment was deleted and I was banned. I'd already been feeling crushed that the elected officials I'd believed in where frauds, and had looked up to Sirota to a certain extent.. but I think that moment was rather liberating. I think it was the first time I actually felt that I was no longer a democrat or a liberal any more.

    Open left is farcical, it's not widely read, and it actually chased off many of it's original readers, because they abandoned any pretense that they actually believed in civil rights, or cared about anything other than themselves.. but I don't think they get that.

  3. Hang on now. This isn't just a lefty/progressive thing. Reasons 2 & 3 apply to more than a few righty/conservative/libertarian bloggers: Drudge, Breitbart, Hewitt, Malkin, many of the PJM folks, etc. (not Insta of course). These people earn their living through a combination of blogging, speaking, advocacy/consulting, journalism, etc.

    On the other hand, I can't think of any prominent lefty/prog bloggers who haven't sold out. Except maybe for Kaus, who was a long-time Slate affiliate but now has a "real" day job (if campaigning for Senate can be considered a real job, that is).

  4. Well, I can't say that I blame them for this. I'd far rather be making a living doing what I'm doing now for free. It's hypocritical, of course, but then, what about progs isn't hypocritical?

  5. When a conservative blogger finds a way to earn a living by blogging, that's aligned with conservatism. When a progressive does it, it's selling out according to their own ethics.

  6. Nate Silver is one of the few sane liberal bloggers around ie. his factual assertions seem legitimate and he seems honest about his own biases and perspectives.

    He deserves a gig in the MSM much more than Ezra Klein.

  7. Bowers is a member of the oldest profession.

  8. xcept maybe for Kaus, who was a long-time Slate affiliate but now has a "real" day job (if campaigning for Senate can be considered a real job, that is).

  9. and those "media" companies are usually funded by George Soros...unfortunately the RIGHT does not have a Soros or WE would CRUSH the left!

  10. I guess us Capitalistic Conservative Republican bloggers need to be more like those Progressive Democratic Corporate bloggers? Well, since I'm partially a "money blogger", I guess I need to start linking Michael Moore more, lol.