The April, 2016, edition will be the final print edition of Soldier of Fortune magazine. The magazine was started in 1975 by Robert K. Brown, and has been a resounding success. The end of the print edition does not mean the end of SOF. It means that SOF has made the successful transition from dead tree status to that of totally recycled electrons. Not many publications have been able to make such a successful transition. According to the Wall Street Journal, the SOF website had 430,000 unique visitors in January, and has almost a million followers on facebook. From wsj.com:
Its website has limited traffic, attracting 430,000 unique visitors in January, according to comScore Inc. But its Facebook page is frequently updated and has nearly a million followers.I am not surprised that SOF has been able to make a successful transition to a purely digital format. SOF has always been an new media outlet. It was one of the leading and early manifestations of new media, that was not invested in the ethos of the "progressive" movement.
I became aware of SOF fairly early, about 1977. When I was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, the official student newspaper, ran a "review" of SOF. I read the review. The reviewer was so infused with political correctness that they based the entire review on one advertisement inside the front cover of the magazine. Then the reviewer bragged that he had not read a single word of a single article in the magazine.
I was incensed. I found a copy of the magazine, read it cover to cover, and renewed my subscription. Then I wrote to the Cardinal and thanked them for directing me to this interesting source of information. To their credit, I believe they published my letter.
I influenced SOF policy on at least one occasion. SOF had sold advertising for the extremely racist and totalitarian novel, The Turner Diaries. I had read the book, as it was advertised as a distopian Second Amendment novel. It is a profoundly evil book, in which a tiny minority of power seekers are mightily pleased with their destruction of 75% of the human race, if only they manage to occupy top positions of power at the end. I wrote SOF and sent them my copy of the the book, so that they could see for themselves how evil it was. They replied that I was correct, and that they would stop accepting advertisements for the book.
I learned many things from SOF that I did not find from other sources. They covered conflicts around the world in a depth and with an attention to detail that no other easily found outlet had. It is a natural conversion from the cumbersome and slow medium of a glossy print magazine to the fast paced and easily distributed medium of Internet digital media.
Nothing in the First Amendment requires a private publication to accept advertising for an item that they ideologically oppose. Exactly the opposite is implied. I am proud that I was able to alert SOF to the content of the Turner Diaries.
A decade or two later, I was able to meet with Colonel Brown for a half hour or so. We discussed domestic and international affairs. Robert K. Brown was a leader in breaking the hold of the media cartel. He helped me escape the constraints that the "progressive" media had woven into most American's mindset in the 1970's.
I last saw Colonel Brown at the NRA meeting in Nashville in 2015. He appeared in the press room, just a few minutes after I had prayed that he would. Mike Vanderbough and I had been looking for him all day; Mike had a reason to meet with him that seemed important.
Colonel Brown looked healthy and fit for a man in his 80's. I hope he has a long and healthy life. He deserves it. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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