UnHerd, while claiming to be apolitical, has a right-wing sugar daddy in former Liberal Democrat donor and businessman Sir Paul Marshall

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UnHerd exists as part of a right-wing ecosystem of people, think-tanks, and publications that cosplay as outsiders while having access to the people at the heart of power and often having had access to the levers of power themselves at some point UnHerd cries that no one listens to it, while holding a hedge fund boss’ golden megaphone. And its free thinkers just happen to say exactly what that Brexit-obsessed big boss likes to hear.

https://brokenbottleboy.substack.com/p/the-weird-history-of-the-cow-site

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UnHerd is an online magazine founded in July 2017.

The website is edited by former Daily Telegraph and Independent journalist Sally Chatterton[2][3] following Tim Montgomerie‘s departure in March 2018.[4][5] Freddie Sayers joined the magazine in 2019 as executive editor, having previously been editor-in-chief of YouGov and founder of the British news and current affairs website Politics Home. As of January 2021 the website has 14 full-time editorial and production staff.[6]

The site’s columnists include Giles FraserEd WestTanya GoldJohn GrayJames BloodworthMatthew GoodwinMaurice GlasmanJulie BindelMichael Tracey and Douglas Murray.[7]

The website exists without a paywall: its operating budget derives from an endowment by former Liberal Democrat donor and businessman Sir Paul Marshall.[13][14] The site intends to switch to a subscription-based model later in 2020.[15][14] In early March 2021, UnHerd launched a membership subscription allowing access to exclusive online events.

Ian Burrell wrote in i that UnHerd‘s “mission is to stand aside from the rest of the news pack and ‘to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking'”. The science writer Tom Chivers’s pieces, some of the most popular on the site, weigh data without necessarily coming to conclusions.[14]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UnHerd

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Morning Star

Standpoint, the Critic and UnHerd: who’s their daddies?

SOLOMON HUGHES looks at the phenomenon of flash right-wing media that doesn’t make any real money, existing only to satisfy the political desires of right-wing men with deep pockets

MORNING STAR readers are, by definition, familiar with the world of left-wing newspapers and magazines.

There are political and stylistic differences between, say, the Star and Red Pepper or Tribune. And there are newer, web-based kids on the block.

But there are common features, especially around money: many fundraising drives among readers, lots of reaching out to trade unions for support, modest pay for staff.

These magazines and publications have a place because they have fought for it on shoestring budgets.

But there is another world of political magazines — glossy-looking ones with very right-wing “sugar daddies.” They pay well but rely on millionaires more than actual readers.
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The Critic doesn’t publish detailed finances like Standpoint but we can assume that this right-wing froth also gets very generous subsidy.

Web-only news site UnHerd has some similarities: UnHerd’s “sugar daddy” is Paul Marshall, an investor with an estimated £600m fortune.

Marshall used to be a big Lib Dem donor. He pushed the Lib Dems to more free-market Orange Book politics, which led them to their coalition with the Tories.

Marshall broke with the Lib Dems over Brexit, which he firmly supported, but his support for UnHerd suggests he still wants to play a political role.

UnHerd is not as wildly right-wing as the Critic, reflecting his Lib Dem background.

But the website is keen to knock the left and promote a variety of right-wing bugbears: Murray gets a lot of space and UnHerd is particularly keen to promote anti-immigrant arguments, especially ones aimed at dividing up workers — they even have a special search button for articles about the “white working class.”

The media has long involved moguls who put money into newspapers so they can get their voice heard in politics, but they were also very driven by the commercial need to sell papers — the Times or the Spectator, say, have pretty healthy circulations.

But Standpoint, the Critic and UnHerd are, to my mind, much more driven by their right-wing sugar daddies’ urge to buy a place in politics: where we know the figures, the level of subsidy looks, frankly, ridiculous.

Unfortunately, while they are rich men’s megaphones, they get treated seriously by the mainstream press — in part because their right-wing views fit well, in part because they are glossy, but also mostly, I think, because they will pay a slumming mainstream journalist very well.

Nobody in the national press wants to draw too much attention to how heavily these magazines are subsidised or point to their more shockingly right-wing content — because they might want a bit of work from them some time.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/standpoint-the-critic-and-unherd-whos-their-daddies

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It’s the site for awful people which pretends it’s ‘rational’.

Mic WrightJul 28, 2020

Have you heard of UnHerd? If you’re a consumer of UK political doggerel and slightly wrongheaded assertions cloaked in the pseudo-emotion free trappings of ‘rationalism’ you may have. The British news comment site, founded in 2017, is also know to its detractors as “the cow site” due to its unusual cattle-based branding.

Edited by the eminently pleasant Sally Chatterton, who I had some dealings with when I was a contracted writer on the Telegraph Comment desk, it was founded by the eminently contemptible Tim Montgomerie, a former Times columnist and recently an advisor to Boris Johnson. He left the site in March 2018.

When he announced UnHerd, Montgomerie made the now infamous comment which led to the “cow site” dig:

“Today I’m unveiling the icon that will top those emails – a cow, who like our target readers, tends to avoid herds and behaves in unmissable ways as a result.”

Montgomerie’s career to that point was perfectly summed up by Simon Childs of Vice:

Editor Tim Montgomerie is a Thatcher fan-boy who became comment editor for Times in 2013 and lasted a year before resigning. He still had a column, which he used to make a big huffy deal publicly when he quit the Conservative Party last year, to protest David Cameron wanting to stay in the EU. Previously he had edited ConservativeHome, the “grassroots” Tory comment website that has been owned by billionaire Michael Ashcroft since 2009. Before that, he wrote speeches for William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith, two failed Tory leaders. The UnHeard looks set to be another huge and epic contribution to British public life.

UnHerd columnists include Giles Fraser — the turbulent Brexit priest and shit-stirrer — John Gray — the philosopher turned shit-stirrer — Matthew Goodwin — the man who had to eat his own book on television and shit-stirrer — and Douglas Murray — who is a shit that’s always stirring. There are also writers like Tom Chivers, another ex-Telegraph colleague of mine, who does the ‘eminently reasonable analysis of a current event from a tediously rationalist perspective’ pieces, providing ideological air cover for the real headbangers and bringing in the FBPE crowd.

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UnHerd doesn’t have a paywall and exists purely due to the largesse of former LibDem donor and Brexit enthusiast Sir Paul Marshall, a hedge fund multi-millionaire who started his firm, in part, with money from George Soros. There’s obviously no issue at all with being in business with George Soros but some of UnHerd’s more UnHinged fans might not see it that way, give Soros’ centrality in some truly bogglesome conspiracy theories beloved of the far right.

Why do I dislike UnHerd? Because it purports to be ‘reasonable’, ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ while pushing a relentless right-wing, cruel and populist agenda. It clothes itself in respectability but it is as dangerous as any YouTube cesspool.

Again, Simon Childs summer up the lie of UnHerd’s commissioning policy perfectly:

The site that claims to be for unheard voices, while its contributors are a parade of people who already have big media profiles, or are think-tank directors with books out.

UnHerd exists as part of a right-wing ecosystem of people, think-tanks, and publications that cosplay as outsiders while having access to the people at the heart of power and often having had access to the levers of power themselves at some point UnHerd cries that no one listens to it, while holding a hedge fund boss’ golden megaphone. And its free thinkers just happen to say exactly what that Brexit-obsessed big boss likes to hear.

https://brokenbottleboy.substack.com/p/the-weird-history-of-the-cow-site

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1 Response to UnHerd, while claiming to be apolitical, has a right-wing sugar daddy in former Liberal Democrat donor and businessman Sir Paul Marshall

  1. Pingback: Israeli vaccine chief: We have made mistakes / UnHerd | weehingthong

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