Politics & Policy

A Message from the Suit

Jack Fowler doesn’t like begging for money. But he doesn’t like the thought of NRO shutting down, either.

You yearn for NRO celebrity talk, but here you are, in deep disappointment, hearing from a Suit. Not Jonah, not Mark. Not VDH nor Andy, nor KLO, Rich, Ramesh, Jay, and Jim G. Not even lowly cruise speaker Kaj Relwof. Nope, you’re stuck with the publisher.

What say we make the best of the situation by you giving me half a minute of your time?

Comrades, I no more want to beg from you than I want my daughter to introduce me to her new boyfriend, Keith Olbermann. But my preferences yield to the one cold, hard truth about opinion journalism. Which is this: There is no money in it.

Whether manifested on paper or on the thing Al Gore invented, NRODT and NRO are opinion journals that have consistently shown for 55-plus years that this business is not for profit-seekers. The same goes for our competitors, whether on the right or left.

Yes, NR/NRO does have revenues. From the sales of magazine subscriptions. From cruises (hey, come on the next one we’re sponsoring). From advertising. From the kissing booth I man in front of the building on Lexington Avenue (okay, that’s negative revenue with the NYPD public indecency tickets). But add up all that dough and we still fall short of paying our bills.

The difference is made up by our friends. Blanche DuBois relied on the kindness of strangers. We rely on the kindness of good people who know that NRO doesn’t exist merely to entertain and inform them. They know NRO has a larger and more consequential mission. “They” are people who haven’t an iota of obligation, but who believe their own lives, and the life of our nation, would be all the worse without NRO. So — they help. Some give a sawbuck. Some a grand. No matter the amount, it is all welcome, especially since it is given freely and altruistically.

As currently constituted, NRO is as free as a free lunch, an all-you-can-eat buffet with no price of entry — but costly nonetheless. You may sup here regularly, repeatedly, but you know (and not even all that deep down) that NRO isn’t free. That something or someone is paying the reporters, the writers and editors, the bandwidth merchants, and all the other factors that go into making this conservatism’s most profound website. Is that person helping out . . . you? If so, many thanks from the Suits. If not, well, why not?

I ask respectfully. Think about it. Think about the fact that now it may be your turn to help out. To keep NRO operating, and more. If it is time for you to step up, then donate here. You have our deep and sincere gratitude, and the confirmation that any proceeds of your generosity in response to this webathon’s goes to two things: paying our bills, and, if possible, expanding our mission (and NOT our paychecks).

Perish that thought. And God bless.

— Jack Fowler is the publisher of National Review.


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