Why I Denied David Frum’s Website A Spot In The Blogads Conservative Hive


It’s no surprise that a guy like David Frum would be defending Dave Weigel, who resigned from the WAPO after his private comments mocking conservatives went public and proved exactly what conservatives have been saying all along: –: that he: is hostile to the right and had no business writing a blog called: : “Inside the conservative movement and Republican Party.” In other words, we have a guy who doesn’t like the conservative movement or the Republican Party, being billed as a real Republican, and writing an: “Inside the conservative movement and Republican Party” column from the outside.

That’s a big pet peeve of mine about the mainstream media — but, more on that in:  a:  moment. For now, let’s circle back to Frum’s comments near the end of his piece,

4) Weigel’s private comments confirm what is obvious from his writing: he is not a member and supporter of the conservative movement. He’s a critical but knowledgeable outsider. Some see that as a disqualification for his job as a writer. Some even suggest that the only way to cover conservatism “fairly” would be to hire a committed conservative. Thus blogger John Hawkins:

Here we have a leftward leaning Libertarian writing a column called ”Inside the conservative movement and Republican Party with Dave Weigel.” Except Weigel isn’t a conservative, he isn’t a Republican, and he relentlessly runs down Republicans and the conservative movement.

You may say: Well who cares what John Hawkins think? Reasonable point — except that Hawkins is the person entrusted by Google to determine who may join the conservative blogads cloud. (Disclosure: He decided that FrumForum could not participate. We no longer qualified as conservatives because we had criticized other conservatives, particularly Rush Limbaugh.)

Ah, I’ve been waiting for this.

You see, I don’t work for Blogads (or Google. Not sure where that came from), but I do indeed run the Blogads Conservative Hive (It’s : a great place to buy conservative ads).

In May, someone representing Frum’s blog wrote me (I don’t see the point of dragging his name into it), noted that FrumForum had joined Blogads, and asked to be included in the Hive.

Now, as a general rule, I try to be very open minded about who gets into the Blogads Conservative Hive. If they’re generally friendly to conservatives and seem to have a mostly conservative audience, I don’t mind having them on board. So, aside from conservative blogs, there are Libertarian blogs in the Hive and there are blogs I’d call center-right. It goes without saying that there are plenty of issues where members of the Hive, myself included, don’t see eye-to-eye.

Still, to the best of my recollection, there have only been two bloggers ever denied a spot in the Blogads Conservative Hive for ideological reasons. One of them was Charles Johnson from Little Green Footballs whom,: ironically, I sponsored at Blogads and invited to the Hive, and then later booted from the Hive after his blog went completely off the rails to the Left. In that case, I didn’t even get to discuss it with Charles because my emails bounced (I assumed he blocked them — yes, I’ve been told he does that sometimes)…although I really tend to doubt that he cared since I’m undoubtedly just conservative creep #8,642 to him at this point.

The other blog denied entry into the Blogads Conservative Hive for ideological reasons was FrumForum.

I did at least try to be nice about it. Here’s the initial response I sent:

I’m afraid that I don’t consider FrumForum to be a conservative website, so I’m going to have to decline to add you to the conservative hive. Still, there are other hives and if you check around, you’ll probably find one that FrumForum fits in better with.

Nice enough, right? A couple of days later, I got this response back with David Frum cc’d on the email,

John,

I shared your e-mail refusal to add FrumForum.com to the Blogads advertising hive because you don’t consider it conservative to David and he said, “.. You may tell him from me that I consider this decision a fascinating news story in its own right.”

I ask that you please reconsider the add. I have copied David on this message should you like to explain your decision directly.

As regular readers of RWN have probably guessed, I didn’t like the pretentious tone there or the implied threat. You see, David Frum has played this little game before. When AEI sacked him from his $100,000 year gig that he never showed up for, he went boo-hooing to the Politico,

David Frum told us last night that he believes his axing from his $100,000-a-year “resident scholar” gig at the conservative American Enterprise Institute was related to DONOR PRESSURE following his viral blog post arguing Republicans had suffered a devastating, generational “Waterloo” in their loss to President Obama on health reform. “There’s a lot about the story I don’t really understand,” Frum said from his iPhone. “But the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under. AEI represents the best of the conservative world. [AEI President] Arthur Brooks is a brilliant man, and his books are fantastic. But the elite isn’t leading anymore. It’s trapped. Partly because of the desperate economic situation in the country, what were once the leading institutions of conservatism are constrained. I think Arthur took no pleasure in this. I think he was embarrassed. I think he would have avoided it if he possibly could, but he couldn’t.”

We talked at length afterward with an AEI official in an effort to get a specific response to Frum’s charge. …Frum, who will be 50 in June, had been on the payroll since leaving the Bush White House in 2003. He acknowledges he was very seldom at the office. But he maintains he developed and spread conservative ideas — AEI’s stated goal — with the 300,000 words a year that he writes for his blog, FrumForum.com; his weekly columns for CNN.com, The Week, and the National Post of Canada; his biweekly offerings for TIME and American Public Media’s “Marketplace”; and his three TV and three radio appearances in a typical week. He also landed Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty for an AEI retreat last month that included donors. Frum tells us that regardless of his dismay with the party, he’ll stay registered GOP.

Here was my response to that at the time and the sentiment still stands,

Let’s be honest: there are probably a hundred people just as qualified as Frum for that cushy gig at AEI and with the rest of them, you’re not going to have to wonder if they’ll “stay registered GOP.”

Furthermore, the whole idea that conservatives aren’t supposed to get down on people like Frum, Meghan McCain, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, etc., etc., is insulting. At least liberals have the chops to let everyone know that they despise conservatives. These people pretend to be on our side, undercut us at every opportunity because they think it’s good for their career, and then whine if they get any blowback for it. If these people want to make a career out of cutting off conservatives at the knees for the amusement of the Left, I don’t see any reason why conservatives should go along with it or worse yet, hand them cherry $100,000 jobs on a silver platter for the privilege of being insulted.

So, after reading that, you know how I feel about people like Frum. You also know that I didn’t like his little implied threat. Now, let me repost the email followed by my response to Frum’s representative — and, : yes, Frum was cc’d on my response:

From Frum’s representative:

John,

I shared your e-mail refusal to add FrumForum.com to the Blogads advertising hive because you don’t consider it conservative to David and he said, “.. You may tell him from me that I consider this decision a fascinating news story in its own right.”

I ask that you please reconsider the add. I have copied David on this message should you like to explain your decision directly.

From me:

I used to like and respect David Frum. Then, I guess he decided being a small fish in a big conservative pond wasn’t good enough for him. That’s when it appears to me that he made a business decision to trash conservatives for the amusement of the Left. Whatever his motives may be, that’s his decision.

But, if that’s what he wants to be known for, I’m certainly not going to do anything to help him stick a shiv deeper in the back of people who believe the things that I do. Maybe some people are willing to turn a blind eye because they know and like David personally, but I’m not his friend, I genuinely don’t consider him to be a conservative or even someone who’s friendly to the conservative movement, and I’m not willing to give him a pass for the way he behaves.

So, if you or David think it’s a “fascinating news story in its own right,” knock yourself out. Maybe David can write about it the next time he sneers at conservatives for Newsweek.

You may tell David that from me.

Guys like Frum want to have it both ways. Being a “Republican / conservative” who tells liberals what they want to hear about the Right is a career niche — and it can pay big dividends. Note all the places that Frum said he appears in that AEI related article,

His weekly columns for CNN.com, The Week, and the National Post of Canada; his biweekly offerings for TIME and American Public Media’s “Marketplace”; and his three TV and three radio appearances in a typical week.

Yet, according to Alexa, even I have not just one, but TWO websites that get more traffic than Frumforum.

Right Wing News: Alexa Traffic Rank: 48,922
Linkiest: Alexa Traffic Rank: 57,054
FrumForum: Alexa Traffic Rank: 69,535

So despite all the tongue baths from the mainstream media, Frum still can’t attract and hold an audience even as big as mine — and honestly, I’m small potatoes compared to some of the bigger bloggers out there.

That begs a question: why is David Frum getting a column at CNN? How is it that Time has a guy like this writing for them? What’s the purpose of putting a guy like Frum on TV as opposed to all the genuine conservatives who dwarf his traffic and can obviously draw a bigger crowd?

Let’s say you don’t like my material — well, I’m a peon compared to Ed Morrissey & Allah at Hot Air. Ace from Ace of Spades HQ has proven he can draw and hold a big audience. Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit does phenomenal work and probably draws and holds 4 readers a day for every one Frum has. How come those guys aren’t writing for CNN? Where’s their column at Time? Where’s their blog on the Washington Post explaining the conservative movement?

There’s an easy answer to that question: the mainstream media loves “conservatives” and “Republicans” who will trash whomever the Left hates most. So, if you’re willing to talk about how Sarah Palin is a hick, Glenn Beck is a crank, Rush Limbaugh is bad for the country, and the Tea Party is bad for democracy, the mainstream media will reward you:  –:  and because conservatives pride themselves on being open minded, they’ll all too often give you a pass for your atrocious behavior — especially since the MSM doesn’t insist you play their game all the time. As long as you’re willing to say what they want about the people they hate the most, they’ll reward you with a cover story at Newsweek and then in your off time, you can churn out a few articles to point gullible conservatives towards while you’re trying to guilt them into taking you seriously by crying “epistemic closure!”

This is what David Frum does for a living — and don’t think he doesn’t know it. Even the people who write for him know it. I ran into someone who writes for his blog at an event once. He was extremely defensive about writing for them. I must have heard him tell at least three people, myself included, something akin to, “I write for FrumForum, but please don’t hold that against me.”

Long story short, everybody has to make a living. But, I’m not interested in helping people like Frum play this little game where they try to cripple conservatives publicly while coming around on the back end to milk us for money. If Frum wants to be a dancing monkey for the Left, let them come up with the money to pay for the tune.

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