RedState Is No More

RedState's owners have engaged in a mass purge of talent.

I've told the RedState writers that I am happy to take them and put them on the writer stipend here. It isn't much, but can help. That said, if you haven't donated to keep us afloat, now would be a really good time. Thanks.

The site name will linger, but RedState is all but dead now. I have invited the fired writers here.

When RedState started in 2004, it was about collaborating between all sides of the GOP and, after I took over, had a real grassroots focus. Since the Salem purchase of Eagle Publishing, the grassroots focus went away as did the community building aspect in favor of clickbait with analysis.

Thankfully, Salem is retaining some very good writers who have long been at RedState, but today engaged in a mass purge of most of the writers.

My understanding from the writers is that there were two contracts, one more expensive than the other. Most of those on the expensive contracts were tossed, though some very good ones will stay. Of those under the cheaper contracts, it seems the dividing line was loyalty to the President. In fact, among those under the expensive contracts, I'm aware of some writers having near equal traffic generation, and those insufficiently loyal to the President were fired.

This is not a surprise as the same thing appears to have happened in Salem's radio properties and one of its hosts has told me he felt he had to be quiet about his Trump criticisms on his national radio show.

It is unfortunate, but the reality is that Salem never had any idea what to do with RedState and it was very obvious. It is one of the many reasons I chose to retire from the site after a ten year run as editor. They've really stopped driving a conversation among conservatives in the past few years as they turned to clickbait and now will really just be a clickbait site it seems.

That is unfortunate. It is also one reason I wanted to start rebuilding a community here. Readers are welcome, and the RedState community is welcome. Anyone can create an account and start writing, and we hope our focus will be less on clickbait stories and more on a resurgent conservatism not tied to cults of personality.

Comments
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DriverZn
DriverZn

Probably, Neil, was the one I was always upsetting. I agreed with him on most, ~80%, of things. But that other 20% got some interesting responses.

matthewgh
matthewgh

Just the same name and same vile attitude.

shocked
shocked

And I've always enjoyed your comments on RS, as they were thoughtful and free of guile. Glad to see you here.

shocked
shocked

I wondered what happened to you and several others over the last few months. Now I know. Glad to see you here. I won't be going back to RS.

matthewgh
matthewgh
etbass
etbass said (edited): I think RedState started downhill when Erick left. Now it very well may be that Erick saw the direction and got out as it started more that it occurred because he wasn't there. Reading his take on what happened, without knowing the ins and outs, it appears to be the latter. I noticed a trend toward click-bait headlines. Many articles were simply a summation of a story from somewhere else and a couple lines of commentary. The goal seems to be to get as many articles out as possible and as many clicks as possible on that article. Having a conversation or informing people were way down the list. Now that I hear that the contracts were directly tied to that, it makes perfect sense. I am not blaming the writers. When you give incentives for something, you get more of it. I really enjoyed the community of commenters more than most of the articles. After repeated articles by Patternico, containing verifiable false information, I made the comment that he either didn't care about accuracy or he was just being a "dishonest hack". For that, Caleb Howe disabled my account without any warning. Maybe I was out of line (though it was true and not that nasty, in my opinion). The funny thing is that the writers were often much more vicious than that to other people and to commenters, but when someone called them out, their solution was to ban them. I would often warn people, when I could sense that the moderators were about to ban them. Most new commenters didn't realize the quick trigger finger most of the moderators had. There is a fine line between cleaning up the comments, so they don't turn into a cess pool like most websites and just being unwilling to read any criticism and be taken to task for bias, intentional or not. Most of the RedState commenters had thoughtful takes on things, even if we disagreed, as opposed to the written diarrhea that populates most online comment sections that make you feel dumber just by reading it. All of this happened after thousands of comments, so it isn't like I was mistaken for a new troll. I know that I am not the only one that happened to. Strieff was quick on the ban hammer, but he typically warned people first. Since then, I began to read RedState less and less. Currently, I would spend less than 15 minutes per week reading anything. Without the commenting privaledges, the articles just really weren't that good. And frankly inferior to the information presented here. When you lower the quality of your content and treat long time readers that way, it is no surprise that traffic was declining.

I agree that the quality of the writing probably started downhill when Erick left. However, the viciousness and thin skinned rude behavior of some of the writers and moderators has flourished there years before Erick ever left and no doubt Erick knew about it and likely condoned it.

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