We haven’t had much in the way of discussion regarding the dust up between Stephen Crowder and the Daily Mail last week here at the Q Tree, but it’s one of the most important stories out there right now, hence, me actually being compelled to write about it.
First off, what happened.
Stephen Crowder left The Blaze in December over disgust with message suppression due to content being sanitized so that he – and other content providers to The Blaze – and his social media channels would not be deplatformed. This happened AFTER a merger with another media company. Apparently, The Blaze, like so many other online publications relies quite a bit on ad revenue to pay staff, or so they want said staff to believe. Really, in the history of all media, that has been a business model used by journalism, specifically.
When Crowder left, his audience, supposedly the largest in the online world, presumably left with him. That meant, a loose cannon who believes in the true conservative movement, not the milquetoast one pushed at us everyday, has the largest audience in conservative online media.
Somewhere in the background, Crowder received an offer from another online publication, one of several, that offered him a lot of money – $50 million, which, apparently Daily Wire has to spend, or anticipates having to spend on this endeavor – to be his distributer for a set amount of content over four years. That money would have to cover his staff and running his shop, with financial penalties for not producing content or being deplatformed.
Somehow, some way, this was a straw for Stephen Crowder, and he kind of snapped. On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, he put out this video, which is worth a watch in its entirety.
The first a lot of us saw of this was an article from Sundance who has been harping on the big money behind all of this for years.
The problem he outlines is an inside baseball dynamic taking place in the background of the conservative media. It essentially boils down to a financial issue CTH raised a long time ago when the first signals of this troubling trend started. Most of the “well known” conservative media outlets have been purchased and co-opted by a financial system that ultimately controls their content.
Essentially, online media has had a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the last decade.
For some inexplicably reason that may well have to do with all of the other online content creators’ reaction to the whole fiasco, the Daily Wire came out, and said they were the shop looking to co-opt Crowder and his Mug Club, and they published the actual contract offer.
From there, a whole lot of finger pointing at Crowder came from the voices of Conservative, Inc., including JP Sears, actually, among various outlets, and all concentrated on the $50 million dollars he turned down (almost as if it was coordinated) and not the true message Crowder was trying to send:
BIG TECH IS HAVING CONSERVATIVE, INC., DO THE DEEP STATE’S WORK FOR THEM, AND THEY ARE DOING IT USING CONTRACTS AFTER SEDUCING YOUNG TALENT.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First off, what Crowder’s objection is that the young and upcoming content producers in the America First conservative movement are being tied up in multi-year contracts by shops with better reach, which will – and I’m sure do – put a “chilling effect” (that’s an actual communications law term) on the content, by bending it to what the overlords at the social media platforms will allow to be published. This is EXACTLY the same tactic used in entertainment – specifically the music industry – to tie up talent for years and strangle creative development. (Think Prince/The Artist formerly known as Prince when he legally changed his name to get out of a contract with the record label. This is essentially the same sort of thing.)
This is now, and always has been, the Achilles heel of online publishing in the conservative media realm. The people behind the platforms themselves make the rules of the sandbox, and EVERYONE plays by them, or content is suppressed or made financially disadventageous. The independent people who actually survive in the conservative online world are not financially dependent on their content production efforts or have adopted different business models, like donations and merchandizing.
Multiple sites where I used to produce content went under because we could not spread word of our content on social media sites. Several people were banned, and the algorithms throttled reach. This is unquestionably by design. We all know that.
Crowder’s message is not just that this is happening, but that he is willing to find a way to give the grassroots voices of conservatism – not what Conservatism, Inc., is peddling – a platform, and he will find a way to finance it.
After the Daily Wire put out the actual contract offer, and Conservative, Inc., piled on regarding the money, Crowder responded:
It’s not just business, it’s about the country, saving it, and doing it in spite of big tech, big con, and the deep state trying to essentially bribe the content producers into doing their bidding. Crowder’s sin, then, to Conservative, Inc., is exposing what they are doing with proof.
Personally, I applaud Stephen Crowder for taking this stand and standing on the courage of his convictions. The reaction by the rest of the crowd certainly did show some true colors, as well.