As many readers may already be aware, I originally launched this small webzine five years ago in the wake of my sudden and unexpected purge after eight years as publisher of The American Conservative:
- Why The American Conservative Purged Its Own Publisher
Ron Unz • May 29, 2018 • 5,800 Words
Since TAC had been the primary venue for my own writings, I was faced with a major challenge, but a sudden insight changed this picture.
I realized that many other writers and columnists had also been purged from mainstream publications, and that these prominent victims could constitute the core contributors of an entirely new publication. Hence was born The Unz Review, entitled “An Alternative Media Selection” and bearing the descriptive subtitle “A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media.”
Obviously alternative media websites had existed on the Internet from its earliest days, but nearly all of these had always been centered upon a particular ideological or political orientation. But The Unz Review was intended to include most of these frequently contradictory perspectives, hosting material both Left and Right, conspiratorial and racialist, fascistic and anarchistic, with very lightly moderated comment-threads.
Although many doubted that a webzine providing such varied and conflicting viewpoints would ever attract any significant audience, I do think that we have. Our steadily rising readership reached nearly three million monthly pageviews and 45,000 monthly comments in September and October. Moreover, this strong and steady growth has come despite our suffering some of the same “soft censorship,” especially upon Social Media, that has been inflicted upon most other alternative media websites, whether Left or Right, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory.
According to the Alexa.com estimates, many of these other popular webzines have lost half or more of their traffic-rankings since the January 2017 crackdown, while ours has increased by almost 50% during that same period. And our daily traffic surpassed that of TAC about one year ago, and has remained significantly ahead every month since that time. Here’s a comparison table of UNZ.com over the last couple of years with roughly forty mid-size, mostly alternative websites.
|Alexa Traffic-Rankings||Relative UNZ.com gain from…|
|The Unz Review||46,980||39,119||33,569||26,503||—||—||—|
|The New Republic||10,205||11,383||15,515||18,006||+213||+133||+47|
|The American Conservative||37,693||34,096||39,363||30,982||+46||+34||-0|
|The Vineyard of the Saker||76,101||44,295||55,249||40,688||-5||+36||-7|
|Moon of Alabama||166,737||75,814||103,935||81,229||-14||+58||-1|
|Op Ed News||80,713||79,623||200,404||253,143||+456||+369||+60|
|American Herald Tribune||205,437||153,977||149,470||233,252||+101||+124||+98|
|Paul Craig Roberts||42,958||48,201||64,018||67,495||+179||+107||+34|
|The Occidental Observer||214,917||142,140||177,970||236,670||+95||+146||+68|
|Counter Currents Publishing||222,925||111,370||126,374||118,054||-6||+56||+18|
|The Right Stuff||102,741||41,539||39,503||43,949||-24||+56||+41|
|The Daily Stormer||40,255||17,258||—||17,284||-24||+48||—|
|Signs of the Times||18,978||14,755||18,002||25,005||+134||+150||+76|
Less than two years ago, we were towards the lower end of the traffic rankings of these dozens of webzines, and now we are near the very top. For example, during this period our relative traffic ranking has grown by 229% over that of Counterpunch and 34% over that of TAC. Even more remarkably, our traffic has improved by 133% over the venerable and very mainstream New Republic, placing us at roughly two-thirds of the readership of that century-old publication.
Our stated role as a refuge for the purged and the persecuted has become an increasingly important one as other publications have become conforming to the ruling dictates of the Corporate Media, perhaps for fear that they would be branded “Russian Fake News.”
This unfortunate situation has been especially true of the late Alex Cockburn’s once fiercely iconoclastic Counterpunch, which has shown the door to many of its most popular writers, including Israel Shamir, Paul Craig Roberts, Mike Whitney, Diana Johnstone, Linh Dinh, and C.J. Hopkins, all of whom are now published here instead. As a likely consequence, Counterpunch‘s traffic-ranking has dropped by nearly 60% since the beginning of 2017, falling far behind our own rapidly growing readership numbers.
The obvious problem with offering ideological fare scarcely different than that of mainstream left-liberal publications such as HuffPost and Salon is that you are directly competing with HuffPost and Salon, and their vastly larger footprint assures them the lion’s share of the market.
It’s interesting to note that our considerable growth has occurred even as we have published articles at least as controversial as those of any of such other publications, and in many cases, much more so.
Just as my own 2013 purge launched this webzine, ongoing purges in the media are spurring its expansion, even into new forms of content.
For 17 years, Bonnie Faulkner’s hour-long Guns & Butter was one of the most popular and controversial shows airing on the leftwing Pacifica radio network, headquartered in Berkeley, California. And then just a few months ago, the show was suddenly cancelled and its complete archives scrubbed from the KPFA website, allegedly for its “controversial” content. Personally, I strongly suspect that Pacifica‘s severe financial problems may have allowed outside donors the necessary leverage to finally remove a long-standing thorn in their side.
Regardless, KPFA’s loss is our gain, and I’m very pleased to announce that Guns & Butter has now joined The Unz Review as our first podcast, with the website software having been extended to handle that additional form of content. This includes the hundreds of Guns & Butter shows aired since 2001, with hopes that some additional past shows will soon be located and added.
The most recent Guns & Butter podcast is available on the Home page and the sidebars of all other pages, as are the complete archives here:
Just as with all other Archive pages, shows my be filtered by time period, such as the 22 shows that aired in 2016:
Shows may also be filtered by Guests, and here’s the link to the 21 shows featuring economist Michael Hudson:
It was apparently the broadcast of portions of the “Deep Truth” conference in July that led to the sudden cancellation of Guns & Butter, and here’s one of those shows, which featured our own Philip Giraldi:
With our software now able to effectively organize and present podcasts, we will consider adding additional ones in the near future.