Friday, May 30, 2014

How Conservatives Use This One Weird Trick to Out Themselves As Douche Nozzles

I get email. Lots and lots and lots of email.

Some of that is my own fault. I'm a promiscuous subscriber to political lists, even lists relating to ideologies I oppose. Because know your enemy and because, hey, one of my jobs is commentary aggregator.

Some of it is not my fault. I have damn near burned up the IntarTubes trying to get "conservative" site Town Hall to stop filling my inbox up with crap. I understand that others have run into a similar situation: Click the unsubscribe link. Mail stops coming. A few days later, mail starts coming again. Rinse, repeat, but sooner or later messages start arriving again with subject headers like:

This Might Have Just Killed America

And internal text like:

America has been dealt yet another major blow. ... America may soon fall victim to the powers of the East. ... just last week, Putin may have delivered Obama's final blow. ... How to Take Advantage of Obama's Lack of Action ... remarkable opportunity .... there has never been a better time to speculate .... I am not only going to introduce you to this explosive opportunity, but also introduce you to a Company that is poised to take advantage of this upcoming growth market.

And hey, if they are going to keep sending it to me no matter how many times I tell them to stop, I guess I'll just use it in a blog post.

Now, here's the thing:

This email is sent via Town Hall, but is presumably one of their "partner" (read: Paying advertiser) emails, even though this particular one doesn't say so (some of them do say so).

I have nothing against companies that offer speculative investment opportunities based on current events. But when a "conservative" site takes money to expose its audience to a message at odds with its own claimed message, one has to wonder just how sincere the claimed message really is.

In theory, the "conservative" message is "America is in crisis ... let's save it."

But the constant stream of spam (a term I don't use willy-nilly but which applies when I tell you to stop sending it and you keep sending it anyway, Town Hall) carrying the message "America is in crisis ... hey, let's see if we can make a buck on that!" is in direct conflict with the former message.

It's not just Town Hall, by the way. I'm only picking on them because NewsMax, et. al actually honored my unsubscribe requests. A lot of these "conservative" outfits play the same game. I've been reading their emails since the Internet first got big. They love it when there's a Democrat in the White House. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have been their biggest profit centers. The only trick in their bag during the eight-year Bush Interregnum was to dance on the graves of the 9/11 dead.

Interestingly, most "progressive" outfits take a very different tack. Their advertisers don't say "the Republicans are killing America, here's how to make money off it." Instead, they say "here's a company that embodies and/or supports our cause -- you should do business with them."

Not that I think "progressives" are any better than "conservatives," mind you. It's just that "progressives" are better at aligning their advertising with their ideological messaging so that they're not fighting against themselves.

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