Because It’s Spam, It May Be Even More Mercenary—and Hypocritical


The last time that I did a post on a digital advertisement distributed by the National Review, I was chided by one of my readers, presumably someone on the Right, for trying to base a political argument on an analysis of ephemera—on an analysis of a piece of e-mail that was, after all, “just spam.”

But when a publication with a strong political slant distributes anything, it should be certain that it is something that it wishes to endorse, especially if it frames the advertisement as a personal message to its readers.

Consider this e-mail now being disseminated by the National Review:

“Dear Reader,

“Retirees have received an insulting 1.32% annual increase to their Social Security checks under the Obama administration.

“And the rumors around D.C. suggest certain politicians want to drastically decrease your payments, and soon!

“So when we stumbled upon this weird trick that can add…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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