After 23 years, the Weekly Standard is dead. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. We’ve been strongly considering adding a new element to the NOQ Report, whether that be a podcast or video or whatever. Our plans were to explore it fully with the new year but something about the Weekly Standard story awakened a sense of urgency in me yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t agree with much of what was posted and printed by the magazine. Many of their writers were the epitome of the neoconservative movement that’s torn through the Republican Party for the past three decades, but I respected their dedication to their causes and the professionalism they displayed in their content.
Many will point to the Weekly Standard’s general opposition to the Trump presidency as the reason they’re folding. It started back in the early days of the 2016 primary season when there was still a good chance Ted Cruz could beat him. Most of them didn’t like Cruz, either, but with Jeb Bush failing early they had few viable options. So, many will say Trump, or more accurately their opposition to him, is what killed them in the end. This may be true, who knows, though traffic numbers indicate they were doing just fine online. Apparently, their subscriptions and advertising either dried up or couldn’t sustain costs; frankly I haven’t taken the time to look into the cause of their demise. The fact that they’re dying is enough to warrant a response.
In our world of “fake news” permeating across every platform, every medium, it’s a concern when anyone falls off, especially after seeing so much success. This isn’t a two-year-old blog or a local radio show getting axed. This is a news outlet that at its peak was one of the most well-respected right-leaning news and opinion providers out there. For it to fall as it has is a warning to all in the media. There’s no such thing as too big to fail. I’m not just talking about the outlets that were similar in size to the Weekly Standard. I mean the NY Times, Fox News, the Washington Post, CNN. Nobody is beyond reproach in an ever-changing media environment that is now driven in part by the critiques of public figures and the whims of a fickle yet powerful audience on social media.
It’s become popular to say in recent years that “words matter.” It’s true. They definitely do matter and in today’s world, they’re becoming more and more powerful. The President can post a Tweet about China and stocks may rise or fall by hundreds of points based on 280-characters. An average citizen can say something on a local news interview that goes viral and starts a trend until their fame-filled 15-minutes fizzles out. Look, everyone has a voice today if they’re willing to use it and traditional media is becoming obsolete. This isn’t news to anyone.
The thing that keeps the bigger players in media afloat is their ability to adapt, which means if someone as big as the Wall Street Journal fails to adapt quickly enough or adapts in the wrong way, even they could be gone soon.
Whether it was the Weekly Standard’s criticism of Trump or a failure to adapt properly or simply poor use of their funds that caused their downfall is for others to debate. I’m simply suggesting that some fall, some rise, and that’s a concern in an industry that relies on stability to keep the bills paid.
Admittedly, we haven’t been paying our bills very well. The funding I put into NOQ Report is drying up, which is what prompted consideration of a podcast or video channel in the first place. But we’re small enough to experiment. As long as we’re producing great content that the audience likes, we’ll continue to grow. Our viewership has tripled in just over two months and shows no signs of slowing.We just launched our Giving Fuel page to coincide with the launch of our new YouTube channel. Now’s the time to get funds rolling in so we don’t suffer the same fate as the Weekly Standard.
But this story isn’t about us. My concern has nothing to do with their ideology. I don’t have to be a devoted neocon to recognize their failure is bad for America. It’s the loss of important voices, which means less discourse. Less discourse means an unhealthy polarization of thoughts. Most people fear deadlock in Washington DC. I don’t. In fact, the slow, methodical way DC works is by design from the founding fathers. But I do fear deadlock when it comes to thought. I enjoy conversations and I’m made stronger by having them, even with those who are ideologically opposed to me.
I could debate the writers at Vox or Slate or Buzzfeed until I’m oozing gray matter from my nose, but I’d never want them to stop expressing their opinions. I wouldn’t want their voices shut down. We’re stronger when more voices are debating issues. Every time a publication like the Weekly Standard or Gawker or whoever falls apart, there are voices silenced. This isn’t a good thing.
America needs conversations. We need debates. I may not have liked what I considered to be pseudo-conservatism espoused by some of the writers, but I’m very concerned that they couldn’t weather the storm. Goodbye, Weekly Standard.
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One Sick Day Proves We Need More Voices in Truthful Media
On October 19, I was sick. It crossed my mind that I had finally gotten the ‘rona, but my wife’s cream of chicken soup and a few extra hours of sleep into mid-afternoon had be back up and running after a sleepless night before.
When I finally stumbled over to my computer in the evening, I was met with a deluge of concern from readers. They asked what had happened as only one article had been posted that day. Generally, we post between 10-20 daily between all of the sites, not included curated and aggregated content. Seeing that we’d only posted my super-early morning article before taking the rest of the day off had readers assuming the worst.
We have a wonderful and talented group of writers who volunteer their time for the sites and their readers. Sharing their amazing perspectives has always been a blessing to us because we cannot afford to hire anyone at this time. But having great writers is meaningless if we don’t have great editors, or at least one additional. My wife helps me read and edit stories from time to time, but I’m a one-man show when it comes to getting the stories posted.
Whenever I highlight our desperate need for donations, I note that we do not receive money from Google ads even though most in conservative media are beholden. I often ambiguously note that the money donated will help us grow. Today, I’m highlighting a specific need. We must get an editor to help take some of the load and to expand on our mission of spreading the truth to the world. One sick day proved that.
The great news is that there is no shortage of people who CAN help. I am emailed variations of resumes every week by people who are much smarter than I am. As much as I’d love to hire some of them, we simply cannot. That takes money and as blessed as we’ve been to receive donations and collect ad money (though not from Google or Facebook), we have still fallen short.
Those who have the means, PLEASE consider donating. We have the standard Giving Fuel option and people can donate through PayPal. We are also diving into what we believe is extremely disruptive technology at LetsGo.finance, the world’s first major donation portal for crypto. I’ll be talking a lot more about them in the near future. Those who prefer Bitcoin can send to my address here: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
We can get the voices out there and we’re willing to shine a spotlight on new talent. We just need the resources to make it happen. If you can help, we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you and God bless!
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