Politics & Policy

Saving the Best Whine for Last

It’s your time.

You save the best whine for last, right? Sounds Biblical. And practical. As for successful, we’ll see how it works on the millions of you who hang out here but, so far, have refused to help keep the NRO lights on.

Does that describe you? Well, good — sorta — because I’m talking to you.

It’s been my particular task and thrill for these past umpteen webathons to wrap them up by trying to goad you, guilt you, and grrrr you into contributing. Someone’s got to do it.

Speaking of someone who’s got to do it (the “it” here refers to contributing), how about you? Could you stand being generous, even meagerly so, just this once?

Let me throw some numbers at you. Last month, several million “uniques” — individuals, in normal talk — visited NRO. If Mr. Unique came only one time, he would have found, on that day alone, more original content — from articles to editorials to the Corner and all its brother and sister blogs — than he could or would find in a single issue of the magazine (long may it reign on dead paper and on the iPad).

It takes a lot of folks — writers and editors and tech gurus, plus bandwidth and fees galore (and Jonah’s snack tab: I didn’t know you could buy Moon Pies by the crate) — to make that happen. The end result is authoritative and articulate and instructive conservatism, all for free to Mr. Unique.

Of course, it isn’t free. And no, all the ads and subscriptions and cruise cabins sold don’t come close to paying the bill.

About the typical Mr. Unique: He doesn’t visit NRO just once a month. Nope. According to our monthly records, more than a million “uniques” visit NRO not ten times, or 50, but well over 100 times per month, and many of them well over 200 times.

Obviously, a heck of a lot of people find NRO’s wit and wisdom indispensable. Now can you blame me for thinking, if only 1 percent of these million-plus multi-users — NRO Occupiers, if you will — gave ten bucks to help us cover our big deficit, we would have a little less red ink?

Dream on, Fowler.

There are real people out there — good and conscientious folks — who know that NRO cannot run on the rare gold doubloons Jonah found when snorkeling on an NRO cruise. If you are one of these kind and generous folks, thanks. Very much. We sorely needed your help, and you came through for us.

If you are not one of them, and you are a serial user of our website, and you are a bona fide NRO junkie, well then, I have to ask you to reconsider your ways.

This is the part where I would normally make snide comments about penny-pinchers who disappear when it’s their turn to buy a round, about tightwads who show up uninvited at the cousin’s summer place, about skinflints who stop by the church picnic empty-handed and then scram with twelve baskets of leftovers, about scrooges who turn off the houselights and hide on Halloween so they don’t have to give little kids candy. I’ll leave that to my more comically minded colleagues.

Still, if you find yourself a conservative who comes to NRO four or five times a day, seven days a week, try to mute that inner grinch and leave NRO a little something. How about $20? Or $10. Just this once.

Let me wrap up this webathon with a final plea. We have an excruciating operating deficit. It comes with the territory of opinion journalism. There is no money to be made in this game, and we’re not in it for riches (we’ve all got the threadbare clothes to show for it). There are no sugar daddies or mommies to pay NR’s bills, and no dearly departed person has left us a gold mine in his will. We rely, as we have for more than 56 years, on frugal ways and the generosity — reasonable and sincere — of good conservative men and women who realize that a world without NR and NRO is not something they wish to contemplate.

Simply, they have found NRO to be indispensable. By your own habits, so do you. Help us keep NR indispensible. Ten easy bucks from enough of you will do wonders. It’s your time. Contribute here.

— Jack Fowler is publisher of National Review.


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