As Katherine Mangu-Ward announced this morning, Reason's annual webathon is underway.
Between today and Tuesday, December 6 we're asking readers of Reason.com to give what they can to help pay for Reason magazine, Reason.com, and Reason TV. All donations go to Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes the mag, website, and videos, and they are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Not a bad two-fer: You get a write-off even as you help fund the planet's leading source of politics, culture, and ideas from a principled libertarian perspective.
Go here to donate and get information on what sort of Reason swag is associated with various giving levels. For $50, you get a bumper sticker with the brand-new Reason logo (this top-secret development won't be revealed until the end of the year!). For a gift of $100, you get the bumper sticker plus a print-and-digital subscription to the magazine (including 50 years worth of online archives!) and invites to Reason events in your area. For a thousand bucks, you get all that, plus a T-shirt, books by Reason authors, a private lunch with a Reason editor in Washington, D.C., and an invite to Reason Weekend 2018 in Palm Beach, Florida. There's something for every giving level.
We don't simply expect you to open your wallets; we work hard day-in and day-out to be your libertarian voice in the media. Katherine, Matt Welch, and I will be making the case for donations over the next week and I want to start out by talking about Reason TV, the video platform of Reason. Launched a decade ago in October 2007 thanks to the vision, inspiration, and dedication of TV legend and Reason Foundation Trustee Drew Carey, Reason TV has released 2,500 videos that have pulled nearly 100 million views on YouTube alone (we've garnered millions more on Facebook, too, since that platform started hosting video a few years ago). Drew approached us and told us that he always loved the magazine and now that the prices of cameras and editing technology had dropped through the floor and the internet offered unlimited, virtually free distribution, it was time to start doing online film.
Our videos range from early, path-breaking documentaries hosted by Drew about the deadly costs of the drug war and the need to create markets in human-organ sales to award-winning videos saving Cleveland through free-market, libertarian reforms to info-rich parodies of UPS ads that explain how powerful corporations try to rig markets in their favor.
Take a look at that one, produced by Reason TV's managing editor Meredith Bragg and a finalist for National Magazine Award:
Since Day One, we've been committed to "free minds and free markets" and to substantive conversations about all sorts of topics related to human freedom and flourishing. Consider our single-most-watched video on YouTube, which is about how tiny "micro-houses" can help people live in affordable style if only cities would change zoning laws that make housing more expensive and out of reach:
When Reason TV isn't shining a light on regulatory abuses, the war on drugs, and foreign-policy disasters, we're talking to a wide range of leading thinkers, policymakers, and figures such as Camille Paglia, Rand Paul, Penn Jillette, and Edward Snowden. And where else are you going to find people standing up for the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly for Juggalos, the federally vilified fans of the horror-core rap group Insane Clown Posse?
And we're also having fun producing viral vids such as our wildly popular libertarian parody of Game of Thrones:
Our goal with all of this isn't to preach to the choir; it's to win over new believers in "Free Minds and Free Markets." And it's to explore and expand how libertarian ideas and policies will make the world a better, freer place. It's to get the attention and interest of people who are sick and tired of a world where the only choices in politics are between the Roy Moores and John Conyers of the world.
We think we've got a better way to run government and create a society that is fair, wealthy, innovative, and interesting as all hell. Like our print and online journalism, our videos introduce and interrogate movers and shakers who are creating new ways of living even as we also hold powerful people accountable.
And with 10 years under our belt, we're barely getting started at Reason TV, where we've got a bunch of great new offerings, including the following:
- Stossel on Reason. Reason's video collaboration with broadcasting legend John Stossel debuted this past summer. The videos are a mix of documentary and investigative segments, interviews with high-profile individuals, man-on-the-street exchanges, and video op-eds that bring the 19-time Emmy winner's signature style to online video. Here's an instant classic, an expose of a New York City public bathroom that cost a whopping $2 million.
- Mostly Weekly. Mostly Weekly is a libertarian answer to This Week with John Oliver and The Daily Show. Hosted by Andrew Heaton, a former congressional staffer, stand-up comic, and writer for Fox Business' Kennedy, and written by Sarah Rose Siskind, who writes for Neil deGrasse Tyson's Emmy-nominated National Geographic show Star Talk, Mostly Weekly takes no prisoners while explaining why net neutrality is another name for government control of the internet, just how stupid President Trump's Cuba policy really is, and why taxpayer funding of sports teams is wrong. The series' greatest contribution to humanity so far? Heaton and Siskind read Hillary Clinton's campaign book, What Happened, so you didn't have to.
- The Reason Podcast. We launched the Reason Podcast, a thrice-weekly free audio download that has become one of the top 200 News & Politics podcasts at iTunes, a year ago. Each Monday, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Matt Welch, and I talk through the top stories of the week. Other episodes include in-depth, fast-paced interviews with authors such as P.J. O'Rourke and The Martian's Andy Weir, newsmakers such as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Rand Paul, and Reason staffers such as Jacob Sullum and Shikha Dalmia. Take a listen below to Duke University political scientist Michael Munger talk about mistakes in Nancy MacLean's anti-libertarian book Democracy in Chains and why too many libertarians celebrate a non-existent "perfection" in the marketplace.
If this sort of stuff gets your blood pumping and gives you hope for the future, please donate to Reason's annual webathon. Your gift is tax-deductible, which is great, but far more important, it helps underwrite our efforts to spread the word about the benefits of "Free Minds and Free Markets." We can't do what we do without help from readers like you. So please check out the donation page (yes, of course, we take bitcoin!) now and help fund the next glorious decade of Reason TV!