Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moneyed Speech, Honeyed Speech

A silly title but I'm just getting going today and deserve to have a silly title.

This post is about speech and money. The famous lefty philanthropist George Soros has donated Media Matters of America a million clams! As Atrios points out, why shouldn't Soros do that? After all, the wingnut blogs have accused him of funding everything on the "left" for years.

Sadly, Mr. Soros is not funding this blog. I even wrote him an e-mail when I first got started as a Divine Blogger and asked for a donation. Never got an answer.

That is not important (except for me), but it's indicative of what is going on in political blogging on the left/middle and on the right. The right pays people to speak and to write, and they pay very well indeed, and usually this payment comes from the pockets of a few billionaires who fund the various think-tanks (and most so-called conservative grass root movements, too). If you are an anti-feminist you will make big bucks writing your creed (Christine Hoff-Sommers, say) at one of those philanthropic think-tanks, but if you are a feminist you are left to the market forces, poor thing.

Now think about that! The conservatives always adore the market forces but they don't let those buffet their magazines, newspapers or blogs. The funding of those has nothing to do with market forces.

The liberals and progressives often talk about the problems with markets but they let their magazines and blogs struggle in those cold waters of capitalism without much help. This split is not complete. But it exists, and the irony is painfully clear to me, especially because there are pretty good economic reasons why advocacy sites will never be a good candidate for market funding.

What it ultimately means is that the people on the right are moneyed and the rest of us must write with a honeyed tongue to get any donations at all. (See how I got that title into the post?) More importantly, it means that the right easily out-writes everyone else in volume.