Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 21, 2011
POLITICS/BUSINESS: Concentrated Ignorance

The Soros-funded "Think Progress" (two lies for the price of one!) pays a number of writers to obsess about finding the Koch brothers under their bed. Powerline's John Hinderaker administers a spectacular beat-down to one of those writers, Lee Fang, on the subject of a particularly loopy conspiracy theory about oil futures. It's quite clear that Fang does not know even the first thing about the commodity futures markets or the oil business, and makes one glaring error after another on the subject - not minor errors, mind you, but errors like not having the first clue how markets work, how oil companies make money, or how oil prices were affected by the global economic slowdown in late 2008.

It can often be frustrating dealing with left-wing blogs, because they have so much more paid manpower and free time compared to the largely volunteer corps of conservative blogs, which are disproportionately staffed by people with day jobs and families. But in cases like this one, what matters more is the competitive advantage of the conservative blogosphere in having more people who have actual experience in the business world.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:11 PM | Business • | Politics 2011 | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

If the conservative blogosphere has so much more experience in the business world, how come it is so poorly funded? I would think that, with all that business background, funding would be a piece of cake.

Posted by: Magrooder at April 21, 2011 4:36 PM

Business is conservative?
Then how come the mainstream media, owned by corporations, is liberally-biased?

Let the logic pretzeling begin.

Posted by: Berto at April 21, 2011 7:00 PM

Conservative businessmen are using their resources to create jobs and increase their market share. Liberal business, like Soros, are using their resources to topple governments and pervert the system.

Posted by: maddirishman at April 22, 2011 11:07 AM

Magrooder, the obvious answer to your question is that, from all appearances, one doesn't get one's money's worth. Conservatives aren't much for pouring money in with poor results. Soros, I guess, is.

Posted by: spongeworthy at April 22, 2011 11:54 AM

there exist people, who, as they gain success in their lives, take on the liberal attitudes as a version of social climbing. All that is required is a desire to fit in with a certain group, a willingness not to examine the precepts of American liberalism with a skeptical eye, and the willingness to forget one's earlier circumstances, when the wealth was being created in the first place.

I have a friend whose summer home is becoming his year-round home, located in the bluest of communities, who has done something along those lines, and I have occasionally congratulated on being able to afford to be a new liberal. He understands exactly what I mean by it.

Posted by: DD at April 22, 2011 12:00 PM

There's a longer answer to Magrooder's question, beyond the obvious outsized impact of Soros on the funding of the left-wing blogosphere, but it has to do with the nature of conservative donors/advertisers as well as the differences in ideology.

Let me offer an example: a number of the left-wing blogs have gotten a good deal of ads, and I assume significant ad revenue, over the years from public employee unions. Public employee unions are classic, textbook special interests: they benefit in a very direct, pecuniary way from winning particular elections and getting people elected who owe them and can reward them from the public treasury.

Most of the funding of right-wing institutions comes from people and institutions with much more diffuse and amorphous interests in public policy, and that makes it harder to convince them to invest in websites that do work that can help turn the tide in elections - winning doesn't hit their bottom line in the same way. And corporations in particular, unlike unions, tend to want at least the appearance of bipartisanship; they'd rather give 60/40 and have it all put on the table in ways that are visible to the candidates, rather than put efforts into actually influencing electoral outcomes.

Posted by: Crank at April 22, 2011 12:03 PM

"Conservative businessmen are using their resources to create jobs and increase their market share. Liberal business, like Soros, are using their resources to topple governments and pervert the system."

This is either one of the funniest things ever written or, taking the theme from GOP politicians, it was not intended to be factually accurate.

Posted by: jim at April 22, 2011 1:00 PM

"...they'd rather give 60/40 and have it all put on the table in ways that are visible to the candidates, rather than put efforts into actually influencing electoral outcomes."

Crank, it's called hedging your bet. Conservatives use their efforts to influence the politician, they don't care which candidate is elected, as long as the winner acts in their (special) interest.
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Also, i have to agree with jim. That line about conservatives creating jobs is either the funniest or stupidest thing one will read on the internet today.

Posted by: Berto at April 22, 2011 1:26 PM

Jim and Berto should read more.

Posted by: maddirishman at April 22, 2011 5:33 PM

Mad, you are a non-stop source of hilarity. Seriously, your incredibly obtuse and wildly inaccurate comments help brighten our days. Please keep it up.

Posted by: jim at April 22, 2011 6:31 PM

Since conservatives like to pretend that facts proving their theories wrong don't exist, we'll pretend there are no Koch brothers funding wing nut causes.

Posted by: Magrooder at April 22, 2011 10:07 PM

ZOMG, KOCH BROTHERS UNDER MY BED 11!1!1!!

If you have seriously convinced yourself the right-blogosphere is awash in Koch brothers money, you are operating on a plane of counterfactuals I cannot reach. The reality is that they tend to spread the bulk of their donations to think-tanky stuff that's not especially activist.

Posted by: Crank at April 22, 2011 10:45 PM

Crank,
Agreed. The Koch Brothers aren't funding right-wing blogs. They're too busy funding the Tea Party, and convincing the clueless the poor have too much sway on national politicians.
No worries for you, Crank, being a rube is not yet illegal.

Posted by: Berto at April 22, 2011 11:06 PM

It's hard to decide what's more bizarre about the Think Progress/Zang affair: That Soros, who knows how markets work (or else he couldn't manipulate them) exercises no supervision over his ignorant hirelings, or that progressives like Zang are willing to work for a former hireling of the Nazis.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at April 23, 2011 1:03 AM

Crank,

My comment was not directed to just the blogosphere, rather to your constant resort to "crying poor" for the right.

In any case, if you think the Koch brothers "spread the bulk of their donations to think-tanky stuff that's not especially activist, . . . you are operating on a plane of counterfactuals I cannot reach."

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?printable=true

The Tea Party is "think-tanky"? Really?

Posted by: Magrooder at April 23, 2011 10:03 PM

One reason that conservatives don't fund right-leaning blogs is that they are not needed as much as left-leaning blogs. There are a number of right-leaning opinion outlets, such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, etc., that make money because people tune in to listen or watch. On the other hand, as Air America showed, liberal opinion outlets don't seem to survive on their own, so the void gets filled by the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and other liberal blogs. They need funding, or there will be a lack of liberal opinion in the media other than Keith Olbermann, who I suspect is like Ann Coulter can be for conservatives -- bombastic and garnering attention, but not really a serious representative of his or her side's opinion.

Posted by: Will at April 25, 2011 10:41 AM
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