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More Regnery Hilarity

By 8:00 last night when Howie Klein and I were at dinner I still had Armenian food coming out my nose at the very thought of the Regnery wingnut welfare battle. It is maybe the funniest thing in recent memory:

In Regnery’s case, according to the lawsuit, the publisher sells books to sister companies, including the Conservative Book Club, which then sells the books to members at discounted prices, “at, below or only marginally above its own cost of publication.” In the lawsuit the authors say they receive “little or no royalty” on these sales because their contracts specify that the publisher pays only 10 percent of the amount received by the publisher, minus costs — as opposed to 15 percent of the cover price — for the book.

Mr. Miniter said that meant that although he received about $4.25 a copy when his books sold in a bookstore or through an online retailer, he only earned about 10 cents a copy when his books sold through the Conservative Book Club or other Eagle-owned channels. “The difference between 10 cents and $4.25 is pretty large when you multiply it by 20,000 to 30,000 books,” Mr. Miniter said. “It suddenly occurred to us that Regnery is making collectively jillions of dollars off of us and paying us a pittance.” He added: “Why is Regnery acting like a Marxist cartoon of a capitalist company?”

You have to be a full-throttle idiot to engage in this kind of distorted reasoning, and it’s yet another example of how so much wingnut outrage is engendered by a lack of understanding of just how things operate. Take away the sheer moral decrepitude and the overarching humorless, fishwife perspective of Michelle Malkin and what you’re left with is someone who gets everything wrong all the time because she doesn’t understand how the media operates, and doesn’t trouble herself to learn.

Do these authors really not understand that it takes incredibly deep pockets to do what they’re accusing Regnery of doing, and that they are the beneficiaries of it? That when Regnery is basically giving away books for free it’s not making any money off them, and is doing so in order to get them on the New York Times’ bestseller lists, from whence so much of their publicity and further book sales are generated? That 30,000 people aren’t going to buy their crappy books at full price, and most authors would kill to have their works seeded out there at such great expense?

All the mouth breathers went apeshit when I first started writing about wingnut welfare, but even though the names and faces have changed, the story is still the same:

When the wingnuts chant their talking points like a bunch of tambourine-beaters at the airport, they want to be paid for their efforts. And Pajamas Media was set up to do just that. They received by some accounts $7 million dollars to subsidize 70 right wing bloggers, and if you look at their sites there are no ads, many don’t even identify their affiliation with a logo. Look at some full-on loon like the Confederate Yankee who earns his/her 800 hits a day by having seizures over Google’s attempts to mock Christmas with Jesus butt plugs. The General will easily draw twenty times the traffic with his rapier-witted takedown, but the Confederate Yankee probably earns a lot more money than the General. These illiterate zeros are being paid out of principal, not out of any ad revenues. They are all Armstrong Williams.

The Pajamas Media folk ridicule the liberals they have bought for the purpose of rendering them neuter and biting their heads off like chickens in some geek show. Let’s just be clear, they didn’t offer this gig to James Wolcott who could tear them to shreds and blow the pig up from the inside, and they didn’t want anything to do with Crooks and Liars who draw more traffic in a day than all these fools combined simply by putting their cretinous droolings on video clip display. They are not there to make a profit. There is no “business model” involved. And every criticism they all laid at the feet of every East German factory worker after the toppling of the Berlin wall — they have no ability to work in a competitive environment, they know they will never be fired — comes into play. They’re fools, but they’re subsidized fools. They never have to worry about traffic, they never have to be even a little bit clever or creative or think or even spell right.

I mostly called them Communist welfare queens just to piss ’em off but the irony of Miniter referring to Regnery a “Marxist cartoon” just because he can’t think of anything worse within his limited intellectual horizon is not lost.

On the other hand, Republicans are generally crooks so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Regnery is stealing something from somebody somewhere.  What with the writer’s strike and all, the discovery process in this case could start filling a huge entertainment void.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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