Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The wheels are coming off the rickshaw

Keith emailed me this link last week, and although it's a month old, it's well worth reading. It appears that Ron Unz has decided to give Betsy Woodruff from National Review the scoop on how an editor of the magazine that he supposedly owns, The American Conservative, disregards the fact of his ownership.

A conflict at The American Conservative has led its publisher, Ron Unz, to claim he’s being “purged” from the magazine. And in an e-mail obtained by National Review Online, the magazine’s editor said he would resign if the board “would prefer that Ron Unz decide what we publish.”

It gets funnier from there. Editor Daniel McCarthy accuses Unz of not contributing very much to TAC; Unz claims he's the second biggest donor. McCarthy calls Unz's articles too long to publish, Unz claims they rock. I don't know why he doesn't just fire this McCarthy clown for insubordination, but publishing nonprofit online newsletters isn't my industry, thank God. My favorite part:

Unz says he also thinks the budget is being misspent.

“I checked with a few people I know who are bloggers for a few other websites,” he says, “and I found out that, based on traffic figures, TAC was basically paying a lot of its bloggers five to ten times the market rate.”

He also says that Rod Dreher generates close to half of the website’s traffic but is only paid “a very small fraction of TAC’s budget.”

No wonder the poor guy is tired. He's pulling the rickshaw with all these other fat, grumpy clowns on hanging off it. Of course he might just be better at hitting trends like Miley Cyrus, etc.

He also says the magazine is in danger of being seen as unserious.

“Some of the stuff TAC is publishing right now is so bad,” he says. “For three straight days their whole homepage was filled with articles about zombies and robots and cartoon characters and rock bands. Nobody will take you seriously if you publish that sort of stuff.”

“Maybe it’s the only stuff they can publish without paying people,” he added.

Wait — I thought they were paying people too much? I'm so confused. An ex-TAC writer summarizes the internal strife.

“The magazine largely was founded to discuss conservative perspectives that they didn’t think were well represented by the other conservative magazines,” he says. “So that, in and of itself, opens [the magazine] up to being affiliated with people who are kind of quirky thinkers; and people who are quirky thinkers tend to have temperaments where they’re going to have trouble getting along at times, and they’re going to have disagreements, and they’re going to think their disagreements are of this earth-shattering significance, when maybe they aren’t.”

Yeah, what the man said. Hilarious.


  1. Oh goody! More chum!! I'll bite. :)

    "Paleostinians"? Mwahahahaha!

  2. Just backstroking through the chum here too, but TAC's President/CEO Wick Allison recently took some sort of sponge bath in another pie he had a finger in. Don't know if he lost any serious money or just bailed because he wasn't getting the returns he'd hoped for.

    The Allison money situation in that venture is probably just as ambiguous as the differences in the DTV R.I.P. as told by editor Tim Rogers and broadcast host Melissa Pineiro down in the comments.

    No matter how much Allison likes having Dreher as his pet Schnauzer, if the dollars don't add up he's going to cut the leash and set the thing he loves free.


  3. This photograph inspires me to create another vanity Law in honor of Rod Dreher's Law of Merited Possibility (and probably others) which is only really comprehensible as a self-important branding slogan or narcissomeme.

    I've already created the important Law of Toast On Its Edge (LOTOIE), which states "Toast will always land buttered side down, except when it lands on its edge (this is a metaphor for many things)".

    Now, again inspired by Dreher's attempt to reduce himself to nothing more than a pure advertising wave front, I'm offering the Law Of The Unbalanced Donkey Cart (LOTUDC), which states, "When the flagstones shift, the donkey will lift (this is a metaphor for many things)".

    While in any footrace to overtake Terry Southern's Grindle I concede that Dreher presently has the lead on me by quite a distance, I am bound and determined to catch him, and I think my 2 Laws are a solid start.


  4. Here's another way of looking at the TAC situation. If Wick Allison were to run another internet magazine staffed by no one but random blog trolls plying their trade, how different from the current TAC would it really look?


  5. And a clear example of the Law Of The Unbalanced Donkey Cart (LOTUDC), or why even with me around Pauli's blog is more sober, reasoned and adult than TAC. In a post celebrating some guy named Caleb making judge in Kansas (thus raising his drehery suck-up-to index), two back to back comments:

    BottiS says:
    September 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Though I would be unworthy and though I’ve lived very contentedly as a single woman for 30 years now, if I were offered the choice to marry anyone in the world, I would choose George Orwell or Caleb Stegall.

    Orwell gets first nod because he saw it all and reported on it. He was brave and pleasingly unorthodox. He would also, according to reports, eat boiled eel meant for the cat so obviously you wouldn’t have to be Delia Smith to get him interested.

    Caleb is likely more holy and his great intelligence is matched by his capacity to love based on everything he’s written that I’ve read.

    Wishes for continued success and a long, healthy life.

    jaybird says:
    September 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Isn’t this the guy who thinks pet ownership is a sign of pagan decadence or something?

    Whoazers. I think that beez some dangling donkey there, not conservatism.


    1. Yeah, I was wondering if something was afoot with Caleb Stegall. Awhile back I noticed that Stegall disappeared from LinkedIn, and my guess is that a lot of the crazy stuff that he has written online has been disappeared along with The New Pantagruel, his old blog.

    2. Keith, all I can say is: LMBO!

  6. Keith: "narcissomeme" and "a pure advertising wave front".

    You have a way of capturing the essence of things.