The private sector economy has gone woke – and the left is loving it. Not only are progressives turning to the government to do their bidding for them, but the insipid culture has also seeped into the private market, too – or at least it is trying. Unlike the state’s use of force, the public can voluntarily choose to become woke with those who offer goods and services or decide to spend their dollars on brands that prefer to avoid lecturing their customers. One far-left organization has learned the hard way that the woke business model is not a sound one.
The Death of ThinkProgress
ThinkProgress, the progressive news website launched in the shadow of the Bush administration and rose to prominence in the Obama years, shuttered its web portal doors. After 14 years reporting on issues of the day from a left-leaning viewpoint, its parent organization, The Center for American Progress (CAP), announced the closure.
The publication ceased operations on September 6. A dozen employees are poised to lose their jobs, but they will be given severance through the end of November and health care coverage through the end of 2019.
It will soon be converted into a digital venue where CAP scholars and CAP Action staff can publish analyses.
CAP defended the move, explaining that it could no longer supplement its ballooning revenue shortfall. According to internal documents obtained by The Daily Beast, TP recorded a $3 million budget deficit, and $350,000 of the gap was due to tumbling ad revenue.
The think tank noted that it did speak with 20 different publishers to acquire the digital property, but nobody was interested.
Navin Nayak, CAP Action Fund executive director, said in a statement:
“We are very sad to announce that after more than two months of searching, we have been unable to identify a new publisher for ThinkProgress, and we are left with no choice but to close ThinkProgress as an independent enterprise focused on original reporting.
ThinkProgress and the hundreds of journalists who have worked there over the past decade, many having become leaders in their field, leave behind a deep and unique legacy of helping the country move toward truth, justice, and progress.”
ClimateProgress, which had merged with TP nearly a decade ago, will return to founder Joe Romm.
Being Woke Will Cost You
The newest thing in the business world is being woke. Corporations want to virtue signal to consumers just how progressive bona fides. Brands will try to build their woke credibility by proving that they too can fight racial injustice by paying ex-quarterbacks millions of dollars or they can combat toxic masculinity by insulting 90% of their customer base, or they can reverse climate change by … removing miniature shampoo bottles.
While some multi-billion-dollar companies can get away with being woke and going as far as shunning profits, most businesses are not able to make a go of it. And, yes, this does include the news media.
ThinkProgress was woke before it became a fashion trend.
Here are some headlines just this past summer:
- “Not only women have abortions. Is pro-choice rhetoric catching up with that reality?”
- “Public television to bring back racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semite Pat Buchanan as show panelist.”
- “How the US women’s soccer team helped me rediscover my patriotism.”
- “Trump promotes new video, complete with whitesupremacist symbol.”
- “Ken Cuccinelli just took his racist interpretation of the Statue of Liberty poem to another level.”
It is hard to take these headlines seriously, considering both their absurdity and the blog’s questionable past.
Tom Woods, who has been the target of TP for several years, labeled it “the left-wing thought-control site” and “the enforcers of allowable opinion.” The eminent libertarian historian and commentator pointed out one incident involving a TP editor, Ian Millhiser, who complained that former Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IW) was tapped to become the new ambassador to China.
Millhiser tweeted: “I’m sure the governor of a small, rural landlocked state full of white people will totally know a whole lot about China, and stuff.” But Branstad has had a tremendous amount of trade experience with China, so Millhiser had to withdraw his statement out of shame and ignorance.
We will not mention the few other hilarious takes from Woods out of respect for the dead! Suffice it to say, conservatives and libertarians will not be shedding tears over the demise of such a publication.
The Marketplace and the State
Of late, it does appear that Leftists cannot win in the marketplace of ideas or voting booth. It is clear why they seem rather desperate to expand the power and scope of the state and why they appear frightened of any prominent individual, like Dave Chapelle, or a successful business, like Chick-fil-A, expressing indifference to the herd. Without force and pressure, then most reasonable people will not heed to the left’s anointed wisdom of subsidizing foreign abortions, identifying a dozen different genders, or guaranteeing free money and jobs to tens of millions of Americans.
What was a standard convention in American society decades ago, it is now uniquely heroic just to possess independent thinking – and the left suffers as a result.