October 26, 2008

Building the new elite

I’ve been told, via email mass, that it’s the future of news! Me, I have my doubts.


I report, you decide.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:40am

Comments (52)

  1. oooooh, best of Bill Whittle

  2. Sorry, I see no Goldstein.

    My future will have Goldstein.

  3. After a dozen clicks and a crashed computer every.fucking.time I try to see PJ”TV” I’m through with them. Nothing is that interesting.

  4. if you had a show I would give them monies but you don’t so there’s that. You’re the whole point of alternative media while meanwhile the pajamas people are all like hey you over there your stuff has style and temperament just like the mainstream media yay we love you. I should have a talk with them but I don’t think they’d listen. You know who I really don’t like is that Washington guy that looks like Andy Richter.

  5. “conservatives” seem to feel the future of the “Army of Davids” is to turn it, as I’ve said before, into “10 or so Davids, packaged in every way possible, and then some random Jews who we keep on staff, but almost never link.”

    The business plan seems to be to create an online news organization that relies on a series of nobody stringers, then a bunch of “name” pundits who are given radio shows, tv shows, special column placement, blog feeds, etc.

    The rich get richer, and the powers that be get their vanity stable of familiar names.

    Meanwhile, smaller sites like mine — that have a good consistent and loyal reader base, and so have proven that they could reach a broader audience, were they marketed effectively (and this was the promise early on) — are struggling to survive, working not for the big money that these other folks are getting, but rather because we despair over the state of the country.

    But let’s face it: passion can only carry one so far after a while.

    Ironically, one of the downfalls of speaking honestly about such things is that you further alienate yourself from these big sites, who studiously ignore you and don’t link, at times it seems as a form of punishment.

    And so, as with the left model, the right side of the blogosphere is being consolidated, with a handful of key sites all one really needs to visit.

    It’s the same kind of distillation process the MSM has always used; and to watch it happen to an idea that I believed in has been dispiriting.

    If and when Obama wins the election, I’m going to have to find a way to raise more capital or else fade away. I think I have a lot to offer the “conservative” movement — specifically, agitating for the classical liberal ideology that we, as citizens, should be compelled to examine. I can help, in my own small way, save the GOP from itself.

    But not if I’m shut out of the conversation.

    Luckily, today is Sunday, so I can rest. I have a catch wrestling instructional series that I’ll be involved in coming up in December, so I may as well just train for that. Clear my mind. Decide on my future.


  6. Michelle Malkin is not elite she’s sublimely unfascinating.

  7. You know who’s elite for real was that Tony Snow. I miss him.

  8. Meh-It’d be better with a Jeff G segment…

    You oughta just do your own vid stuff…Or maybe get together with Pat Santee and the sanity bunch…

    They’re a bunch of psychologists, and look to underlying analytic neurosis for causes, instead of the approach you take…But you all might have good chemistry…

    I know she’s cited some of your essays in the past..

    I still think you should be submitting to NRO…

    I’m just sayin’…

    Best Wishes…

  9. I think you should have a show where you call Ric and psycho and say hey what do you think about this thing here. That would be neat and Ric might do it but psycho probably not. Also Juliette Ochieng. Actually there’s a wealth of possibility really. nishi would be fun too. Where is she anyway?

  10. No Linux support at PJTV; fuck ’em.

  11. The business plan seems to be to create an online news organization that relies on a series of nobody stringers, then a bunch of “name” pundits who are given radio shows, tv shows, special column placement, blog feeds, etc.

    Hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar, must be a wildly successful format somehwere. Well, since they don’t have the corporate deep pockets of MSNBC maybe they’ll only suck one one-thousandth as much.

  12. Thoughts from an ex PJ member:

    Perhaps it is because organizations like Pajamas Media originate in Hollywood that they are so susceptible to whatever is blowing in the PC wind. The threat of “no work” in Hollywood for failing to toe the party line is a real one. Ironically, this pressure to conform to leftist rules mirrors the infamous “Black List” of the mid-20th century which threw so many actors, writers and directors out of work. The new Hollywood has its own black list now, but its lines are occupied by conservatives, not by mindless leftists, of whom Barbra Streisand is probably the icon.

    Pajamas Media didn’t need the little headache we induced in their organization. And, frankly, being pushed out was a relief given the onerous skyscraper ads we had to mount on our sidebar. Both sides breathed easier after we were gone.

    What remains troubling is the decision to push us out because one of our guest writers dared to write a “what if” that the owners found offensive. It is a worrisome example of how crippled our language — and thereby our critical faculties — have become, thanks to the pressure that the PC rules exert on all of us, from Larry Summers to Joe the Plumber to you and me.


  13. I agree: no Linux, no bookmark

  14. What’s sad is that they don’t see the irony in what they’re doing at PJM. I mean, if they claim that the premises of their ideological opponents are invalid, why would PJM emulate the old-media business model that they find so offensive? (“We hate them, so we’re going to be just like them!” WTF???)


    “We attended the same schools peopled by the same advocates of left-wing ideology they attended, but they’re full of shit and we’re not!”

    I’m either living in an old Monty Python skit or the world has gone absolutely bugfuck insane.

  15. Doesn’t bother me, really. As long as the desire is there to set up an alternate that works, anyway. People will try different models until one is found that works best.
    this isn’t it, I think. Maybe re-visit Dennis the Peasant’s original scheme?

  16. The problem with the Old Media was never the business model, to my mind. It was the fact that they were engaged in fraud. If I could believe anything that I read in the NY Times, I would be more than happy to buy it. Instead at this point, I’d have to buy it, the WSJ, and then fact check both online to have any clue as to what’s going on.

    If PJM can do what the Old Media was supposed to do, and save me four hours a day that I don’t have, they can use the old style of broadcast all they want.

  17. Michelle Malkin is not elite she’s sublimely unfascinating.

     But she’s cute – doesn’t that count for anything anymore?

  18. The really goofy thing is that most of those guys don’t benefit at all from being on television (Malkin, of course, is an exception).

  19. I hated her for her dubai ports thing. She had the same opinion on that what stupid people had. Now when I look at her I see an idiot.

  20. I’ve been watching intermittently since the Republican Convention, and I have yet to see the first sign of Pajamas.
    Other than that, it’s been worth the pittance.
    More important is building the base for something besides the Media Electoral College.

  21. Malkin is bright and energetic, and she really IS a reporter. So let’s not sell her short.

  22. We are at some pivot point I think. Esp. with the little-c One!-servative media pundits jumping ship and not seeing an obvious base for rebuilding the movement at present.

  23. Pig mode = on

    I could watch a show with Malkin, Palin, Dr. Helen, and Jeri Thompson in pajamas.

    Pig mode = off

    Yes, Malkin is a good writer, and also has great TV presence (aside from her attractiveness — she has the right energy level to carry it off). I don’t agree with all of her positions, but that’s a different issue.

  24. She was very on the mark with that poor child what scritched up her face. When you scratch your face and then make up a story to the police and Drudge makes you famous your life is pretty much over isn’t it? That’s very sad. Me I could never scratch my face. That would just be crazy.

  25. Jeff, you and Bane are the only bloggers I’ve ever given a dime to. I have complicated demands of my intellectual input.

    Oh, and maybe Ace once, years ago.

    You work hard, write well, and provide provocative insights. Plus, armadillos! What use has an armadillo for pajamas?

  26. The armadillo may return.

    For my sanity.

  27. The world’s full of friggin’ idiots…except for Jeff. …and sometimes I’m not so sure about him.

    If their epistimology, their basic assumptions, their preconceptions, their bottom line, their cognitive biases, an ideological driven narrative, if that stuff is the same as those they wish to replace or compete with…the outcome is the same. “Some animals are better than others.” iow, in this case, if you (PJM) adopt the business model, you adopt the underlying philosophy. “Some animals are better than others.”

    e.g. Malkin offers a different ideological pov than her opponents. valid enough. On the other hand, she decries the rhetorical tricks the ad homs and the over blown rhetoric of her opponents…while practicing the same things she claims to abhor. She claims to want to se a unified America, but what she preaches is division. “Some animals are better than others.”

    Glenn Reynolds makes claims of being a libertarian, however many of the comments he posts and the rhetoric he uses are far from anything resembling libertarian principles. Libertarianism is a convenience, not a principle by which he lives. IOW, like Malkin, he hasn’t thought it through or examined himself to see if what he proclaims matches what he says and does. “Some animals are better than others.”

    PJM has done the exact same thing. The end result is division, not freedom or liberty or a unified America. As with what their ideological opponents promote, the end result will be violence and oppression. Dissenting voices will not be allowed.

    Who am I to say such things?

    That is my point. To a large extent, I think that it is also a reflection of Jeff’s point. iow, Jeff doesn’t buy into their foundational epistimology…so in the eyes of a PJM, Jeff doesn’t really count. “Some animals are better than others.”

  28. “some animals are better than others” comports, somewhat, with a meritocracy. YMMV and I’m sure it will.

    But on the larger question of business models:
    The obvious difficulty in monetizing the net is the resource – links and words – are hyper-abundant. Its as palpably absurd as marketing air or conversations. Sure, you can charge, but I can just go elsewhere. You can place ads, but they’re not what I’m there for and I can block them, so so what? And if they become too obtrusive, I don’t visit anymore.

    The key to note is that a site gets linked or noted b/c it serves a self-interest. Money, self-aggrandizement, flattery, reciprocality, all the good or bad logical leaps to support good or bad reasoning, rarity or humor – these are the causes to link something.

    But those do not relate to site prominence or popularity.

    What does do this whether or not the visitors are invested in the site’s success. dKos is poplar not for its diaries but b/c the KosKids believe it gains them influence – which it does on some levels. PJM does not. Blogcritics is a success b/c it gets their critics goodies for free to review. PJM gives you occasional peaks behind the curtain, but little else. Blogger is/was a success b/c it gave you a soapbox of your own. PJM spoonfeeds.

    Is there a ‘profit-sharing’ model to be made still in the blogosphere? Maybe.

  29. If your business model, your underlying assumption, is based upon Keynes, you’ve automatically adopted a big government, socialist paradigm.

    The problem is that we have have all been indoctrinated by a system that declares that we have no value in the marketplace (even the marketplace of ideas) except that which the reigning economic theory approves. No one in America has had free market access for more than 70 years. No one. We have not experienced or enjoyed a free market system in America since at least 1913 and arguably not since the Civil War. New ideas, inventions, innovations and independent thought are not welcome, here. However, we’ve always been told the opposite by all of our traditional institutions. In real world practice, the reality is just the opposite. You will not be rewarded for being better, more efficient, or more intelligent…unless you conform to the ideological narrative. If you are not pre-approved by those institutions, you have no value. That is the reality, regardless of performance. The reality is one of submission to the state and of implicit and helpless slavery, not of individual sovereignty as offered by the Constitution.

    National socialism is currently the predominate platform of the Republicans while a presently weird form of Marxist-communism is the platform of the Democrats. Neither of which is an ideology predicated upon liberty, either of thought or of productive exchange between individuals or corporations. Both ideologies are exclusive not only in principle (elitist ‘meritocracy’) but in real world practice. Neither ideology allows for anyone to question its foundational premise. Both ideologies punish those who do not conform. This punishment more often comes in the fashion of exclusion from opportunity. Jeff will not conform to PJM’s national socialist ideology, therefore he is excluded from the opportunity to participate. Of course, that’s their choice. Where they have failed is in declaring themselves to be inclusive of voices opposed to the current political and social paradigm. They lie not only to others, but to themselves. Plus, they have unequivocably adopted and practice Keynesian economics, which is exclusive on its face, both in theory and in practice. ‘Some animals are better than others.’ Change the economic theory, which is at the bottomline of any culture or civilization and you profoundly change that culture or society and how it interacts with others and treats its members.

    In a free market system the only thing that counts is productivity and value. In an ideologically driven culture and society, the only thing that counts is absolute an complete submission – physically, mentally and emotionally – to the predominate narrative.

  30. At its heart, PJM wants to be a brand. That’s why it acts like a brand, complete with the jealousy with which it guards the public image of that brand. Once you’re dependent on advertisers you have to worry about offending those people who write nasty-grams to advertisers.

    Trying to be an information brand for purposes of profit is what’ll get you every time. It’s what led print and broadcast media down the path to oblivion, because whatever else anyone might say about corporate decisionmakers, the majority of them tend to live in large cities that tend to have a decidedly bluish cast to their voting patterns, which means at some point the fear of not being invited to all the right parties comes into play.

    The love of status has wrought far more evil on free men and women than ever the love of profit has dreamt.

  31. I don’t want status. Just a living, if I’m to spend my time this way.

  32. Dancing Armadillo currently on “special” assignment with the Dolphin in a Pea Coat…

  33. @17 If you want a great video ‘look’, look no farther than Liz Stephens (and that guy she vlogs with).

    I’ll stick with Breitbart TV, thanks, Pajamas, but you guys are so imperious that you’re a turnoff.

    Nothing at all imperious about Liz Stephens.. )

  34. Following the link in this post is the first time I’ve ever gone to PJ[anything], because I know who’s there — plus, apparently, some black guy with an outsized headshot. Which is a sad-looking thing.

    Perhaps part of the problem viz our beloved’s being scorned by PJ: that “some Italian wedding bartender” pic from up left just wouldn’t look, uh, professional.

    (I can smell Roger’s hat from here.)

  35. The love of status has wrought far more evil on free men and women than ever the love of profit has dreamt.

    It starts with student council I think and the farce just percolates on and on.

  36. That’s a wedding photo, psycho.

    But you got the Italian thing right. Hell, I was in my 30s before I figured it out.

  37. Jeff, the “you” in my comment was generic, not directed at you personally.

    There is an argument that PW is a brand in its own right, but ain’t nobody here thinks you’re ever going to fear being disinvited to the “right” parties.

    As far as most of us here are concerned you can’t be disinvited to the right parties. You’re the one who throws ’em.

  38. Warren –
    You’re a smart guy, seriously, but nearly none of that applies in a net context.

  39. >>I don’t want status. Just a living, if I’m to spend my time this way.

    Pragmatically, to some extent, status is required, but I think its more reflective of whatever than a thing in itself to strive for. Plenty of attention whores on the net with no status to speak of, you know?

    But if its a living you want, you have to look at what commodity you offer that isn’t on offer elsewhere. You have brand loyalty first, since a lot of folks hang out here and no where else. Second you have camaraderie, for which the above is also part of. So fund drives and eyeballs for ads are the primary revenue stream so far, I guess.

    I could make lots of other observations on what is commoditized on the net and why, but it’d probably water down the point at present.

  40. Comment by urthshu on 10/26 @ 5:54 pm #
    Warren –
    “You’re a smart guy, seriously, but nearly none of that applies in a net context.”

    In a sense, to a certain extent, I think you are correct. If a person doesn’t ‘buy in’ to the current economic paradigm, at least to some extent, how can he put food on the table or keep a roof over his head?? However, it always comes back to Keynes. w/o Keynes, there’s no tax system as we know it today. w/o Keynes, there’s no such animal as a fiat dollar system. w/o Keynes, no one says, “The government oughta do something!” or “There oughta be a law!” Because we do ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ is, for ourselves and for others. w/o Keynes, there’s no such a thing as “too big to fail.” w/o Keynes, monetization of the internet is not a problem. w/o Keynes, there’s fewer – if any – regulations on business, finance or industry. w/ Keynes, the government can do pretty much anything it wants. If you, as in ‘Some animals are better than others,’ control the gold, the wealth, the value within a system, you control the system. If you control the system, you control/manipulate/enslave the people within that system. In this specific case, that ‘system’ is the internet.

    Additionally, while you seem to have addressed the immediate problem, as many thousands have done before yourself, I was hacking at the root. Until you identify the root causes, you can’t change a damned thing. If the motor in a car has a blown head gasket, you’re wasting your time standing around arguing about what brands of oil you should use to help stop that gawd-awful noise and get some power back under the hood.

    You can hack at the branches all day long (immediate problems). It needs to be done…but sooner or later, if you sincerely want things to change, someone’s gonna haveta hack at the roots (causative agents).

  41. I’m a root hacker.

    And most people — from progressives to many folks at NRO — don’t much seem to like it.

  42. Thats fine as far as it goes but I do not think you’re speaking to the narrow issue of ‘making a living’ at blogging in particular.

    Keynesian economics in an ‘information wants to be free’ structure? It just doesn’t seem to relate well, if at all. Pixels aren’t money, they don’t obey the same laws. Words and the weaving of them are not hardly the finite resource of gold.

    Its very possible I’m missing some particular that seems self-evident to you, granted. Its possible we’re just talking past one another, too.

  43. I enjoy Whittle. The rest can go bah.

  44. Comment by urthshu on 10/26 @ 8:24 pm #
    “Keynesian economics in an ‘information wants to be free’ structure? It just doesn’t seem to relate well, if at all.”

    Bingo. Information always wants to be free. Like a fractal, recursive structure (think: Mandelbrot Sets or Garrett Lisi’s E-8 structures) information always seeks its highest level of complexity. Keynesian economic theory seeks to restrain and to control that which cannot be controlled. Economically speaking, Keynes tried to harness and enslave the power of the universe. The free flow of – and access to – information. He tried to simplify that which cannot be simplified.

    Netscape went bankrupt (hostile takeover) because it restrained access to information. Most of the print media stocks have become penny stocks, with a few even devolving to junk status or outright bankruptcy…because they tried to restrain and control access to information. Microsoft is in trouble – and they are – not because they tried to dominate the IT market – which they did try to do – but because they tried to restrain and control access to information. In the end, Keynesian economics will collapse in just the same fashion. The global collapse of Keynes’ theories is now happening before our eyes.

    In the meantime, the problem Jeff is facing wrt to PJM is one which we will all soon face in one fashion or another. How to make a living during the collapse of one paradigm and the rise of another? A paradigm in which we can all rise to the level of economic complexity at which we are comfortable.

  45. The answer, Warren, is ‘shrooms — and lots of ’em. While we’re waiting, that is.


  46. It’s interesting to note that, as of right now, the following sites have the new Obama “redistribution” audio story:

    Protein Wisdom
    Ace of Spades
    Michelle Malkin
    Little Green Footballs
    The Jawa Report
    Drudge Report

    PJM doesn’t have a word about it.

  47. Comment by Jeff G. on 10/26 @ 11:19 pm #
    “The answer, Warren, is ’shrooms — and lots of ‘em. While we’re waiting, that is.

    Ok. But I want some good beer to wash them down…Kinda moderates the buz, too…

  48. Hell, my blog has been a PJM blog from the very earliest beginning – and at first I got something out of it. A share of ad revenue, mostly, but otherwise, just one of the ‘nobody stringers’, on occassion thrown a link by one of the lordly big guys. Then I wandered off to write books, and Lately? Diddly. So much for a thousand flowers blooming and an Army of Davids.

  49. PJM doesn’t have a word about it.

    But McCain is talking about it on the stump this morning.

  50. They have it now, Pablo… several hours behind the rest of the blogosphere.

  51. Hey, they said the FUTURE of news, not the RIGHT NOW of news…

  52. Well, McGraw Hill was on my site for 12 minutes, linked from my comment on this thread. Nice to know our High School text book publishers are reading the Right Stuff. Hell, they outlinked to Velociman, so I’m sure between you and he, the poor blog-browser is muttering to himself as he walks the mean streets of NY.