Glenn Reynolds is right: conservatives should buy glossy women’s magazines

Vogue cover

One of the books that saw me traverse from Left to Right was Myrna Blyth’s Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness — and Liberalism — to the Women of America, which exposed the profound Leftist tilt of decidedly non-political magazines. Until reading that, I’d never thought about the politics being slipped in between doses of fashion, make-up, and dating advice.  These magazines, probably more than any other type of publication in America, shape women’s political and social attitudes.  They’re pro-unlimited abortion, pro-union, pro-Big Government, pro-promiscuity, sympathetic to illegal, rather than legal, aliens, and generally pro a whole bunch of other things that don’t align well with conservative values, national security, American economic health, etc.

I’ve talked before at this blog about the way that conservatives cannot win the political debate until they first turn the culture around.  Consistent with Andrew Breitbart’s teachings, I’ve thought in terms of television, movie, and news shows.  But Glenn Reynolds says that we ought to be looking at the even softer underbelly of women’s magazines:

Mitt Romney and the GOP lost, but it wasn’t for lack of money. They spent a lot; they just didn’t get enough bang for the buck.


My suggestion: Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s Web sites.

One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female “low-information voters.” Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.

Since, by definition, they don’t pay much attention to political news, they get this sense from what they do read. And for many, that’s traditional women’s magazines — Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Ladies Home Journal, etc. — and the newer women’s sites like YourTango, The Frisky, Yahoo! Shine, and the like.

The thing is, those magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft — or sometimes not-so-soft — hits on Republicans.

Please read the rest here.  It’s eye-opening.  Then, write to any billionaires you know and tell them it’s time to get into the fashion and publishing business.

In a sane world, the editor of Vogue Magazine, a publication ostensibly devoted to women’s clothing, wouldn’t be such a political figure that she is being bandied about as the probable U.S. Ambassador to England.   Anna Wintour turned her magazine and her cachet into a Democrat get-out-the-vote machine.  She probably deserves the reward Obama is sending her way, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and accept the status quo.

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  • Ron19

    Maybe a decade ago, Scientific American got a new editor and started pushing a left/liberal agenda: abortion is good, Christianity and big business are bad, socialistic societies are good.

    I only bought S. A. occasionaly back then, because even the subscription was expensive.  I stoppped buying it at all, even if it looked like it had a good article or two.

    Same for National Geographic.   

    Astronomy has just made the same move, and I just canceled my subscription.

    Science News has just had a hint of the same leftward move, just a little nudging.  It will bear watching.  

    These are some of my favorite magazines.  I miss the ones that have turned their backs on me, and if S. N. does the same I’m going to miss that one, too.    

    There are other science/technology magazines that are less space flight and more NASCAR.  These might also be candidates for a conservative takeover.  They don’t even have to push right; they just need to go back to being neutral.


  • bobeatonnh

    Yes, great idea. I also, have been trying to promote the idea that conservatives should be purchasing shares in the major metro papers ie Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.
    Shake up the Boards of Directors and get some truth telling conservatives writing for the papers.
    Only way in the long run to change the direction of the great idea THE UNITED STATES!
    Enjoy your Blog hang in there.

  • David Foster

    My perception is that these magazines (the women’s magazines) influence politics mainly by transmitting the message “”progressives” are cool” rather than “”progressives” are right.”” Might be hard to achieve the same effect with conservatives.

  • lee

    Reader’s Digest has gone down the political left toilet. Though they sometimes give it the ol’ college try to actually cater to their more conservative readership.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left’s propaganda arm is interesting in their diversity and breadth of reach.
    The fact that they make money, while talking about socialism, often times mirrors the fact that Castro’s Cuban execution revolution was fomented by two classes. The poor and the rich. The rich didn’t realize until too late that they weren’t going to be the ones in charge of this new socialist paradise, however. Castro kind of killed them all.
    Vogue peeps won’t notice it in time either.

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  • derfelcadarn

    I agree teaching 50% of the population that the only thing holding them back is themselves, is the best way to change this nation for the better

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  • LindaF

    A great project for younger Conservative women would be to network, approach some politically like-minded people with disposable income, and persuade them to fund a magazine – something that could be sold in the supermarket.

    A starter project, to prove the need, would be to do an online mag – put it out there, and see what happens.

    I’d gladly add an article or two for such a project – with the proviso that, should the mag get funding, I’d get a paid slot in the company. I suspect that many would also do so.

  • LindaF

    Let’s start circulating some noise about this.

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