I know it may seem strange to be launching a fundraiser now, and just for Water Cooler, but there is method to this special appeal. Water Cooler provides both economic and political coverage, and at a time when former Clinton Administration official Brad Delong announced, following the purge of two Sanders-supporting writers, that those deemed to be too far to the left will be “gleefully and comprehensively trash[ed]” come November.
Independent funding is key to having an independent editorial point of view. As Matt Stoller wrote in 2011:
The truth is, you can get lies for free. Wall Street is only too happy to buy advertising, to make sure you hear from their well-credentialed experts. If you are not paying for your media, though, then they are. And you aren’t the customer, you are the product being sold. While this arrangement works, what it means is that you’ll get lies for free. And this is a very expensive proposition. So I hope that you’ll consider, if you haven’t already, putting some dollars towards the Naked Capitalism fundraiser. If you can’t afford much, give only a few bucks. If you can afford more, give more. If you can afford to give a lot, give a lot. It will pay for itself, I guarantee you. This isn’t just giving, it’s a statement that you are want a different debate, a different society, and a different culture. It’s about saying you are tired of the lies you are being fed for free, and are willing to put your valuable resources into reshaping how information in our society flows. It will help policy-makers understand that if they make good decisions, they have allies, and if they don’t, they have enemies.
The success of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump shows that citizens recognize how badly neoliberalism has failed, and they want to turf out the current misrulership class. And in response, political incumbents, their big backers, and their media allies are trying to tighten their hold on messaging, and that in turn is leading to actual or promised punishment of those who refuse to fall into line. This escalated focus on progressives, most of whom aren’t even all that leftist, shows how intensely elites perceive the need is to persuade the public that the center of political gravity in the US is to the right of where it actually sits.
We’ve been able to deliver independent, hard-hitting commentary, analysis, and original reporting because we are independently funded. Lambert volunteered to add Water Cooler as an additional feature so we could be more timely and comprehensive. But Water Cooler is a separate store front within Naked Capitalism to pay for his considerable effort on it over and above all the work he already does on the site (and for which he is paid out of the annual fundraiser). Lambert has a separate Tip Jar in Water Cooler, under his Plantidote.
Despite Water Cooler getting high traffic levels all this year and lots of action in the comments section, donations to it fell sharply in the first quarter and have only started to pick up now. To be crass, Lambert is making well under a living wage for his work on Water Cooler and that is not right. We need you to live up to what we hope is one of the widely-held values in the commentariat, that people should be paid fairly for their work. That means digging into your wallets, whether a little or for a lot, and chipping in for Water Cooler.
We’d like to get broad-based participation from the NC community. So even if you can only make a small contribution, we’d still appreciate that, because we also have readers who can make much bigger donations. Our target is 200 donors, and we’d like to return to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as possible.
Here is the link to Lambert’s Tip Jar. Please click the hat!
If you are allergic to PayPal (note that you can use a credit card or debit card on PayPal), please use Lambert’s contact form to obtain his physical address, to which you can send a check.
* Yes, Lambert also gets paid out of the annual fundraiser, but that is for the considerable amount of work he does besides Water Cooler, such as DJing the site, helping manage the comments section, managing a lot of the tech issues, and helping in tooth-gnashing over other “business of running the business” matters.