Larry Flynt pays his writers well and delivers the checks promptly. He is one boss who doesn't have disgruntled employees bad mouthing him behind his back. Current and former employees of Larry Flynt Publications always speak well of him. Hugh Heffner made Playboy magazine the highest ranked potential market for freelance writers and also made some remarkable profits with his philosophy about paying generously. Unfortunately, Hefner was so successful at making his magazine an attractive prospect for freelancer writers he had to close down the golden opportunity. Playboy articles are now all done on assignment (according to a reliable source who is a former boss) only basis. Neither freelance query letters nor submissions are accepted.
William Randolph Hearst assembled a remarkably talented posse of writers by offering them more money to work for him than other newspaper publishers could. Hearst was the source of the term "lobster shift" (AKA "lob-shift") and caused his biographer W. A. Swanberg (Citizen Hearst Bantam Books paperback p-83) to write: "The Examiner office was a madhouse inhabited by talented and erratic young, men drunk with life in a city that never existed before or since. They had a mad boss, one who flung away money, lived like the ruler of a late Empire . . . and cheered them on as they made newspaper history." Hearst was not a sexist. He did hire a red haired chorus girl, Winifred Sweet, who became a successful reporter.
Republicans, perhaps thanks to the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," believe that they should pay their workers as little as possible for the most amount of work they can ring out of their workers.
Wouldn't it be funny if a famous conservative made a bet with a wealthy Republican owner of a word plantation that she would do better than get the prols to work cheap? What if she made a bet that she could get writers to clamor for the chance to work for free? She could pose as a liberal, start up something cheap, and then get talented tree-huggers to embrace her "you don't need a paycheck" response to the idea of paying writers generously by giving them a big audience as an "ego-stroke." Then to prove that she deserved to win the bet she could sell her publication for a shipload of money and "cry all the way to the bank" with her profit. She could collect on such a hpothetical bet she had just won.
What if her writers were true ballsy Democrats who believed in workers' rights and they all went on strike during the same week she collected her sales windfall?
What if on the same day they all tuned in something that was in the public domain? Is the "Modest Proposal" essay in the public domain? Come to think of it, a strike did fatally cripple Hearst's L. A. newspaper.
On the same day the sale was announced, a friend suggested that this columnist could improve the quality of his words if he would spend more time fact-checking and double checking for spelling errors. A good city editor can turn one spelling mistake into a mortifying city room ordeal, but if it takes a goodly amount of time to turn out a contribution to the Internets done in a slap dash fashion, why should any extra time and effort be made? Fox News' personnel (Is Fox a farm club for the stand up comedian circuit?) are backed by a court decision that says they don't have to report news that is "true." If they don't waste time and money on fact checking, then why should a rogue columnist do it?
It is one thing for a Hunter S. Thompson wannabe to spend some personal funds to go to Fremantle in the W. A. (Western Australia) and spread the Gospel of online Gonzo Journalism, but it is a different thing entirely to see a Berkeley CA based web site owner and operator urge his work for free keystorkers: "We have to go out and work harder for Democrats in the next election cycle." As Tonto once said; "What do you mean "we' . . . ?" Couldn't an imaginative writer cook up a wild conspiracy theory about such an order?
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