Over sixty years ago President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans about the "military industrial complex." In 2022, anyone who cares about individual liberty and our American tradition of freed of speech, fears the "media bureaucratic complex." Social media, print media, and television alike, are now dominated by would-be "opinion shapers" and Op-Ed writers, not journalists.
If you are old fashioned and sentimental, and love those old black and white movies about scrappy journalists chasing stories and old fashioned newspaper wars, you know the great days of newspapers are long gone. A few generations ago the average American city had dueling dailies and weeklies. Now the average American city barely has a newspaper. We can argue about how it happened. Radio stole the best talent of the 1930s. Television lured the talent --the talent who happened to have good hair-- in the 1950s. Twenty years ago the internet lured away the audience. Now the tech titans of social media are telling us what we can see, and people are censoring themselves for fear of being "shadow banned" or put in "Facebook Jail" by Big Tech. Meanwhile, in the world of traditional print newspapers, they're busy slamming mainstream Republicans when they're not busy trying to hustle us to buy high priced ads.
The Washington Post used to be a serious newspaper. It used to be the kind of newspaper Hollywood writers wrote movies about. These days it is owned by a tech billionaire whose writers boldly push narratives rather than reporting facts. Back in 2020 the WaPo was pushing the narrative that inflation wasn't a bad thing. Now, in June of 2022, we're paying $6.49 a gallon for gas, and inflation is hurting millions of working families.
We would never dare suggest that the writers at the Post apologize for their inability to report the obvious. We've given up hoping the writers at the IJ get their act together and practice a bit of journalism --we'd love it if one of the Leftist writers at the IJ called us up and actually wanted to have a real live debate about inflation, education or crime. Instead, a year and a half into the Biden presidency, they're still harping on about Trump and Russia.
Sorry, we're old-fashioned at the MarinGOP, we actually think individuals who identify as "journalists" should make an effort to cover the news, not just recycle debunked narratives. A couple of years ago the MarinGOP spent SIX THOUSAND dollars to take out a full page ad in the Marin Independent Journal. Whether or not it had any impact on anything except our bottom line, and the Marin IJ's bottom line, is questionable. We can say that one of the IJ's most senior Op Ed writers is a strident Democrat who used to be in public office. We have yet to meet a single registered Republican who works for the IJ.
Fair enough. We don't want tokenism. We don't expect fair coverage in the press. We don't even expect members of the press to leave their politics at the door. But we would like a press capable of confronting issues that impact the lives of average citizens. As a society we are losing faith in our traditional institutions --like the press-- in part because those institutions no longer have faith in average Americans.
A couple of months ago when the IJ offered us the "opportunity" to buy more advertising we decided to look around and see if there was a more creative, and cost effective, way to do real outreach. Maybe reach out to the two hundred thousand Marin residents who don't waste money buying the IJ? (Yes, that isn't a typo. Currently there are roughly 259,000 residents of Marin County. Sunday circulation of the Marin IJ currently hovers around 30,000 copies.)
So we decided to build on our successful social media approach. We've been branching out beyond Facebook for over a year now. (Although we are still maintaining our Facebook page. Because we believe in being in the public forum.) We're currently on Rumble and we're also on MeWe. Social media is, in general, not friendly territory for conservatives. (Or even liberals who dare to still believe in free speech.) But we refuse to back down, and we refuse to be silenced. We don't cower in private chat groups, or hide behind password protected websites. We believe in outreach which means we face the social media onslaught of nutty troll attacks on a daily or weekly basis. We've successfully grown our social media following by roughly 43% over the past 18 months.
But, you can't run an outreach program strictly on social media. In the real world you need to get out and about.
The topics we are focusing on --inflation, education, crime-- are topics voters care about.
A few weeks ago we raised the money and hired a digital billboard truck illuminated with our message to tour Marin.
It was a beautiful sight to see. Teenagers cheered. Men gave the thumbs up, cellphones emerged from sunroofs to take pictures.
And yes, there were some curses and screams as well. But so be it. We don't believe in censorship, and we definitely don't believe in self-censorship. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing. We refuse to be boxed in by the media-bureaucratic complex. And we refuse to be shouted down by the crazy woman in the parking lot of Costco.
If you didn't have a chance to see our truck live in May it may be making an encore appearance before the general election in November. If you want to see it, or get more involved, please call, email, or drop by the office.
We also hold regular monthly meetings. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, June 23rd.
For the record, digital marketing is awesome.
(By the way, if you want to join our e-mail list please click here. We don't sell or share the list, and we make an effort to keep subscribers informed of local Marin events. In May the MarinGOP hosted our regular meeting, had our digital truck tour the county for 5 days, and posted our candidate endorsement list. The Marin Republican Women, Federated hosted a 7 candidate "cookie and candidate" meet and greet, the Log Cabin Republicans announced their Summer Sailing trip, and the Novato Republican Women hosted 3 candidates at their regular luncheon.)