The Rackets

There was a time, back in the 1990’s, when it was fun to read the American Spectator magazine. Three things stick in my head about it. One is the fact that they would fail to print some months or it would be very late. They always had money trouble. The other thing was the irregular size of the thing. Of course, in the 90’s, the distinguishing feature was the Clinton-hating. The only person who hated the Clintons more than R. Emmett Tyrrell, was his financier, Richard Melon Scaife. Those two really hated the Clintons.

I think the last time I bothered to subscribe was maybe a decade ago. I hit the website once a week, but a search through my logs tells me I have never posted about anything contained in the American Spectator. The only writer I recognize while scanning the site is Ben Stein, who I’m glad to see is still alive. For some reason I was under the impression he was dead. Apparently, it remains popular. I checked the Alexa rankings and it is ranked #13,562 in the US. That means it is as popular as the most read alt-right web sites.

That’s a good entry point for understanding the commentariat. The Spectator is actually owned by a 501(c)(3) named The American Alternative Foundation. That appears to be a trade name. The real name is The Alex C. Walker Educational and Charitable Foundation, founded in 1968. A look at their tax returns says they have about nine million in assets and they take in about half a million in contributions. There are no paid employees listed on the tax return, so it is probably run by family members of the founders.

The interesting thing is the foundation’s mission, according to the website, is to promote environmental cleanup in Pittsburgh. How the American Spectator fits into that is a mystery, but it is a reminder that that these sorts of organizations take on a life of their own, usually becoming something the founder never intended. The reason for that is they are vehicles for rich people to funnel money into activities that they would just as soon not see their name attached. Then their is Robert Conquest’s Second Law.

Anyway, that is one reason publications like the American Spectator survive, despite not having many paying subscribers. They exist as a platform to promote ideas popular with rich people. It’s not just the underlying funding mechanism. It is the nexus of not-for-profit think tanks and educational outfits. For example, here is a story that I spotted in the Spectator the other day, about the decline in test scores. This is an increasingly popular topic with the people highly skilled at not to noticing things.

At first blush, it looks like the sort of banal political blathering that makes up most of the commentariat. “We have to fix the schools” is one of those phrases that has become a bit of joke on the Dissident Right, but it remains wildly popular with Progressives and Conservative Inc. One reason for this is it helps finance that nexus of non-profits and unread publications that keep an army of liberal arts majors in six figure positions. The article in question was produced by an outfit calling itself the American Principles Project.

The American Principles Project is a 501(c)(3) think tank founded in 2009 by Robert George, Jeff Bell, and Frank Cannon. According to their mission statement, they are organized to promote immigration reform, education reform and religious liberty. I’ll note that what they mean by immigration reform is open borders. The foundations Latino Director is former Bush hand Alfonso Aguilar, who argued after Romney lost that immigration restriction positions would cost the GOP the 2016 election. Ooops!

If you look at their tax filing, you’ll see they take in a couple million a year in grants and donations. This is enough to pay six “scholars” an average of $140,000 per year, plus expenses. One of the scholars appears to be Maggie Gallagher. Double and triple dipping is a common practice in the think tank game. Having a spot at a foundation, plus a contract with a cable outlet and a range of side projects, means even a C-list chattering skull can live a very comfortable life, without having to work very hard.

Normal people wonder why the media is so corrupt and the answer lies in the financial arrangements. Cable news channels exist only because cable monopolies exist. The monopolies exist because they are sold by the government. The rich people who own these channels hire people to extol the virtues of rich people. The think tanks and foundations provide the content and experts, so the news presenters can have an easy time celebrating the rich people. It is a closed loop designed to close off alternatives.

The same is true on the print side of the media. The small sites like the Spectator cannot afford to pay writers, so they let think tanks post their agit-prop on their site, posing it as commentary. This helps promote their causes and it helps promote the people, who can decorate their CV with a long list of publications that have found their work so compelling, they just had to publish it! The media, at all levels, is a racket financed by monied interests in order to promote the policies and programs that are good for rich people.

There is a lesson here for the alt-right. The reason the people in charge are so desperate to demonize critics and declare their issues taboo is they want to scare away the financial support. There are a lots of rich people who sympathize with the alt-right, the Dissident Right and immigration patriots. What they need is a way to support the people they wish to support, without it being very obvious. That’s the reason the 501(c)(3) was created. The political class wanted to conceal their money laundering from the public.

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Member

I feel like I have been thrown in the wayback machine. I subscribed to the American Spectator and National Review in the 80s. Emmett Tyrell’s pathetic Buckley imitation with his five dollar words. It was fun for a while though, Tom Bethell, Ben Stein were good reads.

It is really hard to fathom doing that again, either I have changed or they have. Look at all the positive changes brought by these conservatives, heartening isn’t it?

Member

I was about to say the same thing. Tyrell is a cuckservative without the Buckley flair. I got bored and stopped buying the rag. What did American Spectator ever conserve?

Ryan
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Ryan

I would imagine as a denizen of Baltimore you’ve seen The Wire. Detective Freaman’s observation is a pro po, “You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the fuck it’s gonna take you.”

George Orwell
Guest
George Orwell

Very, very interesting. The levels of nepotism and logrolling hidden below the surface gloss of normie media must be staggering. Recall the occasional stories about how so many media personalities re married to or related to apparatchiks in government. Also, this recalls other hidden aspects of favoritism that would otherwise demolish certain political pieties, such as “immigrants are better entrepreneurs than natives.” There’s some kind of special bonuses for non-whites and non-males bakes in there. Tax deferrals or incentives from Uncle Sugar for SBA loans if you can show your business is minority. One scam is since the tax break… Read more »

John Smith
Member

Some issues I have with all that, Z – perhaps you can clarify the fuzzy thinking: Flooding the nation with violent third world scum isn’t good for anyone – particualrly the rich white people you claim are responsible. Am I missing something there? (Not trying to be a dink – that just doesn’t make sense to me). And as far as rackets go – if I had money the last place I would invest it would be the media. As you and us fan boys demonstrate – the jig is up, nobody trusts them and a growing majority of us… Read more »

Dutch
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Dutch

The rich white people fear the people like you and me, and see the violent third world scum as being deployed against us, not them.

As to the media, we see it as worse than useless and actually a liability. They see it as the instrument of Soma and the way to perpetuate the brainwashing of the normies. So far, it has worked fairly well for them.

MikeCLT
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MikeCLT

Open borders = cheap labor.

roger
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roger

and keeping social solvent a bit longer.

Roulf
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Roulf

Zman has covered the reasoning behind the wealthy elite’s obsession with bringing the 3rd world into the West, from their civic religious fanaticism to the financial benefits they reap by driving wages lower and creating a nameless/faceless servile class.

The donors who pile money into these non-profit organizations have money to burn. It’s not strictly about ‘investing’ in this case. They can give a sizable donation to these foundations generating a nice tax break for themselves while at the same time financing the propaganda machine that helps keep them and their agenda in power.

Anonymous White Male
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Anonymous White Male

“As you and us fan boys demonstrate – the jig is up, nobody trusts them and a growing majority of us hold the media in utter contempt.” I think those of us in the TRUE resistance overlook the fact that we, as well as libtards and neocons, exist in an echo chamber vacuum. I bet if we looked at the source of most of our information, we would find we tend to visit sites that circulate the same themes and information. Yes, there is a difference, and I think that our friends tend to be like minded as well. So,… Read more »

Dr.+Mabuse
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Remember the great ‘autopsy’ after Romney’s 2012 loss? Conservatism Inc. is STILL fixated on their “Brownify to Victory” theory. I think they’re trying to engineer losses just so they can justify going back and forcing everyone to implement their cockamamie plan. Because their credo is “We are always right”, no matter what.

zreader
Guest
zreader

Imagine a rich guy living in a gated community in a town with a rapidly growing Hispanic population. He’s pleased to learn that the Guatemalan maids will work for less than the blacks or prole whites he used to employ, and they actually do a better job. His standard of living is going up, so what’s everybody bitching about? And if they don’t like it, why don’t they just get rich and move to the gated community? Now imagine the rich guy’s “gated community” is Manhattan or northern Virginia or Malibu. You think the rich people have more to lose… Read more »

Member

Do you really think that Sheldon Adelson or the Hiltons have any contact whatsoever with the illegals who clean their hotels rooms?

alexander scipio
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I’d argue immigration DID cost the GOP the 2016 election. It’s why we elected Trump, who has been at war with and stymied by the GOP ever since.

Herrman
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Herrman

Trump may be a Black Swan. His impact is that of pulling the curtain back on the wizard. What is seen cannot be unseen.

Tim
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Tim

Is there any conservative news site that is self supported, that is, true to its readers? Your post this morning is more in the form of investagative journalism than your typical work, and it would be nice to see the whole Conservative Inc get a financial look-see. The Federalist is one such site I’ve always been suspicious of, I think with reason. Thanks for the work that went into this post. Tim

Dutch
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Dutch

The problem is that the enlightened conservatives consider everything and question everything. The Libs and the brainwashed normies work from a list of talking points, which makes for a very consistent worldview and story line. Even at this site, look at the variety of viewpoints on things, from people who largely agree on the big picture.

Member

The Foundation Center has a good database of IRS Form 990s. Search for your favorite racket, er charitable foundation then see how much they pay for managers, marketeers, fund-raisers, travel, vice how much actually goes to charity (often listed as “programs). Most cut a check to a smaller charity at the end of the year (most states allow charities to maintain an overhead of 85%), which probably does the same 85% skim as the big name charity. It is all just a jobs program for managerial class blowhards writing paeans for the cloud or extolling the civil religion (almost the… Read more »

Zorost
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Zorost

The Daily Stormer, but you’ll need to figure out how to use a Tor Browser.

Matt
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Matt

The cable monopolies are under pressure. It may take a generation to wipe them out, but it is underway.

How many Millenials have cable?

Matt
Guest
Matt

The news monopolies will soon be Google & Facebook.

Member

I’m a Gen-X’er, and I don’t have cable. Or Satellite. I do have a comcast broadband, and they always call trying to sell me various bundles. I let the telemarketers make their pitch so they can get paid, and then I let them down easy.

Zorost
Guest
Zorost

This is the real reason for the Disney/Fox merger. They know cable is about over, and want to start up a streaming service to rival Netflix.

Member

Yes. There was a deliberate campaign to get Robert Mercer, a hedge fund guy who supported Trump and Bannon. Multiple stories on the front page of the WSJ (important to that kind of person) suggesting he was a racist who hated black people etc and supported the kkk.

It was all total libel, hidden in the way they do it now. “Mercer funds x, who many accuse of supporting white supremacy and racism.” Or ending and starting a sentence like this: “… White Supremist. Mercer…”

A.B. Prosper
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A.B. Prosper

The one upside of 3rd world and even some less organized countries like Italy in the 70’s is sometimes even the rich can’t buy security with even with guards and guns A few years ago in Venezuela I think ultra rich , think local versions of Kardeassians and the like were being snatched out of cars, kidnapped robbed and attacked even when they traveled with armed guards. They couldn’t trust the guards to die for them They were all weepy and begging for outside help and all that. Now I like the Venezuelan people I’ve met but I kind of… Read more »

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

“A few years ago in Venezuela I think ultra rich , think local versions of Kardeassians and the like were being snatched out of cars, kidnapped robbed and attacked even when they traveled with armed guards. They couldn’t trust the guards to die for them ”

I look forward to our own local ultra rich be able to enjoy the same thrilling experiences in the near future.

Burner Prime
Guest

JFC, you need to put up a NSFW warning before posting links that take you to pictures of people like Maggie Gallagher. Gott in Himmel.

zreader
Guest
zreader

She looks like a thumb with a face drawn on and a wig.

Brigadon
Member
Brigadon

terrifying or not, she’s ‘technically’ on our side.

Member

Tyrell’s thing started out as an off campus college newspaper called The Alternative, which then added An American Spectator to the name, which then became The American Spectator. They were the guys who came up with the Nuke the Whales bumper sticker, combining hits on both the No Nukes and Save the Whales campaigns.

Those were fun days. Then with age, the fact of money and survival came in to spoil things.

Member

My God, I had this flashback of when I used to read George Will on the last page of “Newsweek” when it came in the mail. My first real inkling that the media deck was stacked in favor of the Government Party was the 1992 election. The “pro Bush” columns in Newsweek would trash Bush, but tell people they should do their conservative duty and vote for him. The “anti Bush” columns were mainly just screeds by harpy leftists. It would take a few years for me to come to the realization that this was all a Government Party sham,… Read more »

Kodos
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Kodos

I’ve wondered myself about why political magazines are almost always shoestring affairs. Back when I was on the Left (the 1980s) I read The Nation. It was on cheap newsprint, almost no color printing, and they were always begging for donations above and beyond subscription prices. I also read many years ago that National Review, all things considered, didn’t have a very wide readership, despite WFB’s TV celebrity status. I guess despite how important political power is, there just aren’t very many people interested in the middlebrow commentary that such magazines offer. This post clarifies the money structure. The writers… Read more »

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

Cerno has written about how he comes from poor white stock. He graduated from law school, but the rumor is that he had some troubles passing the bar. Further gossip has it that his attorney wife did not have that difficulty, and after her options at a silicon valley start up came in the money, she and Cerno divorced. Cerno is rumored to have gotten a healthy six-figure settlement out of the deal.

He also wrote a couple of cheesy e-books with lots of typos, one of which is entitled “Gorilla Mindset.”

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

Correction. Cerno is supposed to have made millions from his divorce with his wife.

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

Money well spent!

Member

I’ve no doubt he earned every penny.

Linda Fox
Member

I’d like to see younger people – not connected to old money – bring in some new ideas. This is, as you point out, an aggregation of press releases from old-school right foundations.

Peter
Guest
Peter

I remember subscribing to American Spectator and NR in the 1990s. The former was much edgier and more fun to read. They did indeed hate the Clintons and provided red meat to people who hated them like me. Can you believe David Brock wrote for them and coined phrase about Anita Hill “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty”.

Issac
Guest
Issac

Interesting how much political orthodoxy dovetails with reactionary and evolian themes of anti-demos and ideological transcendence. Reaction views all signaling of the elite as abominable, but it is perfectly clear they have no intention of harming that which they view to be superlative. At bottom it is just another hierarchical order with more obfuscation than before. I think this sheds some light on how appeals to power are made and how progressive power can be undermined. Take that which the elite do not want from their signaling and amplify it. Take that which they do want and derive superior means… Read more »

Tax Slave
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Tax Slave

One thought that has been occurring to me over and over lately is: can we please ask Kim Jong Un to nuke Washington DC into cinders and call it good?

Spud Boy
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Spud Boy

I usually learn more from the comments section than from articles on the internet. The fact is journalists, and liberal arts majors in general, are not very smart. They lean left because they’re “well educated” but don’t earn much money, so taxes don’t bother them. The worst are ivy league liberal arts majors (and lawyers) who think they’re smart, but possess no wisdom whatsoever. Morons like Obama and the Clintons probably couldn’t change a tire, or operate a circular saw if their lives depended on it.

RafterRat
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RafterRat

As if Obama was strong enough to get the lug nuts off……..

Anonymous White Male
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Anonymous White Male

I notice that a lot of people that post make what I consider a mistake in their worldview. It is the concept of “rich people”. Since most of us are not “rich people”, we don’t see ourselves as one, but someone else might. I never considered myself rich, not being a millionaire, but I live in a “gated community”. It is a neighborhood that has gates on all the entrances and has a homeowner’s association. Would Trayvon Martin consider me rich if he were not taking a dirt nap? Maybe. Someone made an issue out of a rich person spending… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Very true. They tend to treat life as a series of transactions, as that is how their part of the world is defined. Everything is transactional, and the 99% have no basis for transacting with them, other than as their servants to meet their needs, wants, and preferences. So the 99% don’t really exist, in their world. You can see it, in action, in some of the ways that Donald Trump relates to the people in his immediate orbit. Some can’t handle the transactional elements of the relationship, and others are OK with it. Here’s the big question: Is Trump’s… Read more »

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

If Trump is useful why should the quality of his relationship with us matter?

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

Well said AWM, bravo! Millionaires are a dime a dozen.

zreader
Guest
zreader

The maids were an example to illustrate a basic, generalized worldview common amongst a certain type of people that are often referred to as “rich people.” Scott Locklin (correctly) refers to this group as “upper middle class”, even should they become substantially wealthy as Gates and Bezos have done. They are representative of a striving aspirational group as opposed to old money families like you’re describing. I’m quite familiar with how these people think because I grew up among them. I assume the readers of this site can draw the distinction between a Louis-Dreyfus or Rothschild and an orthodontist bringing… Read more »

Member

I remember coming across a rumor online during the 2012 election to the effect that Mittens had set up a bunch of phony “Excellence in Journalism” foundations to funnel money to outlets like National Review to buy positive coverage. I really have no evidence that something like this happened, but given what The Z-man has found it certainly seems to be a possibility. That year in fact was when I lost nearly all my respect for NR because they were being such obsequious rump swabbing lickspittles when it came to Rombleycare. If they were actually bought and paid for at… Read more »

Member

There was an excellent piece on the state of the US media on Counterpunch a couple of weeks ago.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/01/the-collapse-of-media-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

Well worth the read.

Jim Don Bob
Guest
Jim Don Bob

AmSpec had Mark Steyn in the early 90s.

s3379238
Guest
s3379238

Seen any of the recent articles declaring “alt-tech” such as gab a technical failure?
https://www.avclub.com/enjoy-a-look-at-the-parallel-alt-right-internet-whic-1821216079

JohnTyler
Guest
JohnTyler

Want to fix the schools? Start by abolishing Schools of Education. Graduates of these schools are immersed in total bullshit pedagogy and oft times have limited to non-existent knowledge of the subject material they are to teach. Wanna teach? Then require a real major in college and not a major specifically for “education majors.” (I have met some “education ” college students, and they are total morons; absolutely clueless and ignorant. Also bring back vocational training in schools; not everyone is interested in academic fields. Finally, allow all students to have access to “school choice” programs. Note that 1000% of… Read more »

james+wilson
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james+wilson

The paper chase is a circle jerk that keeps unexceptional people employed by employing each other on a third party dime.

Dan Kurt
Member

re: JohnTyler’s “Want to fix the schools?”

A bit off topic but welcome.

The actual way to fix Higher Education is IQ test every one who wants to go to college. If the score is 120 or higher the individual gets in. Most colleges and universities will shrink or close. Also, no government money allowed to support education is necessary as well.

To fix primary and secondary education abolish all school attendance laws, minimum age to work laws, and free public schools.

Dan Kurt

Member

That’s what the SAT/ACT’s are. Sure, there’s a little bit of skill involved, but they’re mainly IQ tests.

Dan Kurt
Member

re: SAT/ACTs are IQ tests (hokkoda) Not really any longer. It was true pre 1970 but the test have been revised to eliminate the IQ components such as the Analogies. MENSA stopped using SAT scores for entry in the 1990s. Only the GREs verbal and math correlate with IQ as an 800 verbal snd 800 math give a 163 to 165 IQ, My sister, a retired medical school professor, who was on the admission committee for over 20 years told me the MCAT also was IQ loaded but the test ha been continually changed since the 1960s as the college… Read more »