I will apologize in advance for the length of this post, this particular controversy has quite a few layers to unpack and I have strong opinions on all of them. Over the past week, there has been a fair amount of grousing from progressive writers over their newfound knowledge that certain writers got financial deals from Substack to start their newsletters. Most of the complaints were sour grapes dressed up as outrage, ranging anywhere from “why is Substack paying THOSE writers and not me?” to “why is Substack giving THOSE writers a platform at all?” This whole sour grapes/outrage cycle seemed to be based on an assumption that every big-name writer that has joined Substack recently -- Andrew Sullivan, Matt Yglesias, Bari Weiss, Matt Taibbi, et al -- received financial compensation from the platform to do so. To respond to the rumors Hamish McKenzie, co-founder of Substack, released a post
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