Webathon

It's $25,000 Challenge Grant Time in Reason's Annual Webathon!

Your donations are why Reason retains its recognizable form after more than a half-century of publishing.

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Here in the opening half of Reason's annual Webathon, in which we ask you, dear readers and listeners and viewers, to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit foundation that makes all of our work possible (and does other great stuff besides), I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane and appreciate together how far you've helped us come since our first modest little cup-rattle back in 2008. But first….

WON'T YOU PRETTY PLEASE DONATE TO REASON RIGHT THE HELL NOW??

How far have we come in 12 years? Well, see that orange box in the upper right of this page, with its 355 donors and $61,000 in donations after 48 hours? That's already more Webathon loot than we raised in each of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. But wait, there's more!

In that first year, our bell-ringing produced a grand total of $13,000. On this very day in 2020, by contrast, we are announcing a special challenge grant of nearly double that!

That's right, there is a married couple dear to our hearts, with a last name bearing a familial resemblance to my own, who today are announcing a $25,000 challenge grant. That means: If you donate $10, we magically get $20. If you stroke us a check for $24,999, then (beep-boop, beep-boop)…damn near 50 large! Lookit all that math!

Please double the impact of your money by donating to Reason today!

This money does something far more important even than nurturing Peter Suderman's cocktail habit, Katherine Mangu-Ward's pot brownie recipes, or granting C.J. Ciaramella extra license to write about Dungeons & Dragons. This allows …(inhales deeply)…Reason to stay Reason.

Here's what I mean by that. On a purely functional level, your generosity—1,300 of you gave us $370,000 during our Webathon last year!—allows us to stay in business, which is no small thing in the world of opinion magazines. We no longer count among our publishing brethren The Weekly Standard (shuttered in 2018), Governing (2019), or, uh, the International Socialist Review (2019). Take that, commies!

But just as importantly, having a diversity and depth of funding sources make us almost unnaturally resilient and consistent over time. No head-snapping editorial zig-zags for us.

Consider this: Just 16 days ago on The Reason Roundtable podcast, the magazine's editors in chief of the past two decades spent some quality time talking about the newest book from a Reason editor in chief from the decade before that. That's 30 years of a magazine's leadership happily exchanging ideas based on the same broad frames of reference.

Now let's compare that continuity to the tumult at, say, The New Republic, the progressive warhorse that when we began doing these Webathons was still run by lefty-tweaking hawk Marty Peretz and edited by Franklin Foer. Peretz replaced Foer with Richard Just in 2010, then sold the magazine in 2012 to babyfaced Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes, who re-hired Foer, then so quickly purged the mag of its contrarian past that Peretz soon lamented in The Wall Street Journal that "I don't recognize the magazine I used to own." By the end of 2014 there were so many editorial changes and publishing pivots and staff revolts that I headlined one Webathon post that year, "Donate to Reason! Because Jesus Christ, We Sure Aren't The New Republic!" The Hughes era ended in 2016, and TNR is now on its seventh editor change over a span that Reason has had all of two.

I do not for one moment mean to pick on our journalistic frenemies, but rather to use their turmoil as an object lesson in the advantages of our funding model, and its dependence especially on you. As I wrote back when TNR staffers were still hi-fiving about all the new money, and media columnists were gushing over the exciting fate of the onetime "in-flight magazine of Air Force One," I made this point about publications in our category:

Political magazines, which as a rule do not cover expenses through subscriptions and advertising, have two basic ownership models: Get an ideologically and/or culturally sympatico rich person (or "vanity mogul," in Jack Shafer's memorable phrasing) to subsidize the losses, or just organize as a nonprofit (Reason chose the latter road decades ago).

There are plusses and minuses to both–as Shafer points out, "Hughes should be able to sustain the magazine's annual losses—which Anne Peretz, the ex-wife of former owner Martin Peretz put at $3 million a year—for a couple of hundred years after his death"—but one aspect I certainly enjoy about the Reason way is that it is literally impossible for a single person (let alone a single person with deep political connections to the sitting U.S. president) to impose his or her will on the editorial decisions of a normally configured nonprofit publication. The basic editorial thrust is therefore much more resilient and consistent in the long term, much less subject to the temporal whims and temper tantrums of a lone deep-pocketed journalistic novice.

Your donations, and the sheer number of you donating, amounts to force protection against this editorial enterprise suddenly rendering itself unrecognizable based on the direction of the wind—of anybody's wind.

Do you derive value and perhaps even occasional pleasure at having a consistent (if consistently weird) libertarian voice working in the fields of journalism and commentary, while constantly expanding its reach and impact? Do you enjoy doubling the impact of your dollar? If so, please consider DONATING TO REASON RIGHT THE HELL NOW!

UPDATE: You krazy kids met that $25,000 match in just four hours! Wow, thank you! Say, that gives me an idea….Maybe someone ELSE wants to make a challenge grant. If you are ready to double the donating pleasure of this terrific community of individualists, please send an email to Britt.paul@reason.org. Gracias!

NEXT: Good News About Gridlock

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. In first for the flood of “Not just no, but FUCK no” comments.

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  2. If I start donating again will Reason write articles advancing my interests too? How much is the Charles Koch plan?

    1. Notice unreason has less donors for more money?

      As of right now 476 for $119k. Such a shame they destroyed the Reason brand.

  3. Given your horrible performance on lockdown tyranny, I have no reason to donate this time. You’ve been a disgrace to any outlet that claims to be libertarian over the last 9 months. Piss off.

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      1. This bot has been red pulled.

  4. Nope. You wanted Biden, and you’ll get a Socialist (Harris) running twice as an incumbent (the Constitution lets you serve 10 years if you take over the last part of someone else’s term).

    You watched “The Science” being used for freedom and economy killing lockdowns without questioning the 40 cycle PCR or our less restrictive definition of a C19 death, both of which will be changed now that there is a Dem in the White House. This will be used to say “submission to a Government that followed The Science saved us all and we must continue to submit or be Science Deniers” once case and death counts drop due to the new definitions.

    Free minds and free markets? Nope, submission to The State that saved us all. You could have put yourselves on the record before that happened, but you lacked the balls to do so. Orange Man Bad.

    Enjoy our new Wall Street Wars and sellout to human rights abusing China – what’s a few dead non-Anglo foreigners when there is an Orange Man to remove.

    Seriously, fuck all of you with Postrel’s dick. She has more of one than anyone else left on your staff. Eat cat food. Blow random organs coming thru holes in mens’ room doors. Sell your organs on the Chinese black market. Do anything but ask me for a dime.

    Die, Reason.

    1. You forgot how they summarily dismissed glaring election irregularities and legitimate claims of fraud. Reason is simply a re-branded mouthpiece for the left.

  5. study in the uk study in the uk, Best course choice for your better future with distance learning ?

    1. Fuck you and your studies mate.

  6. I want any donation that I may make to be earmarked for masks and distancing classes. JUST LOOK AT THAT PHOTO.

    1. Gillespie looks like Emo Fonzie… and is that particular shade of blue the hair colour of choice for libertarian women? Rommelman has it too.

  7. Fonzie’s jacket would look better if it properly fit him. Thrift store chic isn’t actually chic.

  8. So, you don’t like Reason. You are not donating to Reason. So why are you here? Why not go somewhere that thinks like you think, god forbid!

    1. Yes we should all enter echo chambers where we don’t have to hear a dissenting voice right.

      You’re ridiculous.

    2. Why can’t the lefties just have another bubble they can go to without any counter thought. Hrumph hrumph.

    3. “Why not go somewhere that thinks like you think”

      Oh wow, you do realize that this magazine is still ostensibly libertarian, right?

    4. That’s cute. You think we come here for the articles.

  9. Thank you, but I prefer the market of free ideas. And the idea of free markets. Make is as a business based on whether people want what you’re selling. Don’t come, hat in hand. That’s not Libertarian or libertarian.

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  11. Which of the donors told you to fire Shikhia Dalmia?

    1. All of them?

  12. “Your donations are why Reason retains its recognizable form after more than a half-century of publishing.”

    Not true. Charles Koch’s donations are why Reason no longer retains its recognizable form after nearly a half-century of publishing.

    Joe Biden, left wing Democrats and media propagandists are far greater threats to libertarians and libertarianism than Trump or other GOP leaders.

    Trump has been our most libertarian president since Cal Coolidge nearly a century ago.

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  13. Dig the blue hair.

    1. It distracts from the hideous dress pattern.

      1. dresses are for removing anyway.

  14. I get paid more than $120 to $130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I do… Here is More information.

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