04/07/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Human Events Seeks Donations To Pay For Its Outdated Distribution Model

I just got an email from Tom Winter, the president and editor-in-chief of conservative periodical Human Events. Seems like they are in a bit of a sticky wicket, money-wise, and Time-Warner is to blame, for sending lobbyists to Capitol Hill. Anyway, SEND THESE PAUPERS MONEY, I GUESS?

Dear Friend of HUMAN EVENTS:

It pains me terribly to write a letter like this, but HUMAN EVENTS needs your help.

Let me explain...

You may recall that, for several years, the federal government's taxpayer-subsidized mail-delivery monopoly -- aka the United States Postal Service -- has been hitting us with a whopping 20 percent rate increase that drove up our annual delivery costs by more than $170,000.

To put it bluntly, this is a staggering sum that we simply can't afford.

Now, it's outrageous enough that the USPS can continually jack up our rates without fearing any loss of our business to more cost-efficient competitors -- something it can do ONLY because federal law effectively protects it from private competition.

But what really burns me up is that these increases are part of a new rate system that was designed in part by lobbyists for liberal media giant Time Warner and other large publishers to benefit themselves at the expense of smaller competitors such as HUMAN EVENTS.

So instead of Time Warner's mailing costs ratcheting up like ours, the cost of delivering liberal Time magazine and other Big Media publications increase at about half the rate hike forced on HUMAN EVENTS (and that's after some of those publications actually had a decrease in postage costs while ours increased!).

Yes, those lobbyists are awful, but surely the good people at Human Events appreciate the way lobbyists destroyed health care reform and financial regulatory reform, right? From their perspective, politically, isn't this sort of a wash?

Winter goes on:

This means there's much more at stake here than the survival of HUMAN EVENTS. Free speech, and the right of conservatives to get their message out on the same terms as liberals, is also at stake.

And if the liberal media giants such as Time Warner get away with this ploy, the consequences for the future of our country -- at a time when the Obama administration is trying to turn us into a European-style socialist state -- could be catastrophic.

Actually, it's an especially catastrophic free-speech issue in the environment created by the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case. I gather that Human Events supported that outcome so, once again, from their perspective, this would seem to be a wash.

But if I could help out here, I have a suggestion. Maybe Human Events could use this thing called the "World Wide Web" to exclusively distribute their content? And stop sending things to people in the mail?

It seems to me that if your business model is, "Let's get our subscribers to send us money so that we can continue to kill trees and mail the tree-corpses to people," it may as well be: "Let's get our subscribers to send us money to subsidize a web-based distribution model that doesn't come with all these additional costs that are subject to the influence of powerful corporate lobbyists, whom we actually like and would prefer to turn loose upon America in an orgy of corporate spending, forever, BWAHAHAHA."

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