Glenn Reynolds has a curious op-ed in the New York Post today:
Where big GOP bucks could matterObviously, I don't have to point out the condescension (dumb dames will vote Republican if they read cynically planted GOP propaganda in fashion rags!). And, of course, it never occurs to him that the left-leaning content in women's magazine might reflect the sincere beliefs of the editors and writers -- nope, it must be a calculated attempt to brainwash.
... I think that rich people wanting to support the Republican Party might want to direct their money somewhere besides TV ads that copy, poorly, what Lee Atwater did decades ago.
My suggestion: Buy some women's magazines. No, really. Or at least some women's Web sites.
One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female "low-information voters." Those are women who don't really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who's mean and who's nice, who's cool and who's uncool....
[Traditional women's] magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft -- or sometimes not-so-soft -- hits on Republicans....
There’s nothing new about this, of course. In her 2004 book, "Spin Sisters: How the Women of The Media Sell Unhappiness -- and Liberalism -- to the Women of America," Myrna Blyth (a former Ladies Home Journal editor) explained in considerable detail the variety of "Mean Girls" feminism that the women's media aim at their readers with every issue....
For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women's Web sites. And I'd hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what's there now....
But Reynolds apparently has an ulterior motive in writing this op-ed, one he's not honest enough to acknowledge.
You see, last week Reynolds posted this on his blog:
NOT ONE OF THE SPIN SISTERS, a new women's magazine, Verily. Yay, Verily!Verily, as we learn at the link, is a women's magazine/Web site/iPad app that's currently in development, and that -- surprise! -- in many ways matches the Perfesser's description of what moneyed Republicans should be investing in. Its editors have been selling the magazine, mostly in the Catholic media (Catholic News Agency, Christopher Closeup), and describing it in ways that make it sound as if it's trying to be part of the right-wing culture war:
Though "Verily" is a secular magazine, it's grounded in the values that Kara and Janet learned growing up and have come to appreciate more in recent years. Kara, for instance, admits that she's been a "typical young Catholic" who would go to church on Sunday, but live the rest of the week in ways that didn't necessarily reflect her beliefs. "For me, it's been this slow journey of [discovering] how I reconcile the person I want to be with [how] I'm living...It's been a matter of following those moments of clarity where I knew what I was supposed to do, and trying to come closer to God's truth in the decisions I make every day."Did I mention the fact that Verily's "culture editor" used to be a managing editor at First Things, the Catholic magazine founded by Father Richard John Neuhaus that became an extremely influential source of high-toned right-wing propaganda?
...Janet explains, "Fashion, style, make-up and beauty -- all those surface, seemingly-frivolous things -- can be redemptive in the sense that they can crown and highlight the true beauty in a woman depending on how she chooses to use them... It's all integrated. It's how we engage in our relationships and how we live our lives that reflects how we feel about ourselves. And when we know that we’re worthy, we start dressing [differently]. All of a sudden, shorter skirts don't feel as comfortable anymore. You start looking at clothes differently. You want things to fit you; you don’t want to fit yourself to the clothes."
Is this the point of the Reynolds op-ed? To drum up money for Verily, even though Verily is never mentioned once? Seems likely to me. It sure would have been nice if Reynolds had been honest about his motivation for writing the piece.
And on the question of whether this would be money well spent for GOP fat cats, I say: be my guest, guys.