IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Media marketing on a whole new level

Media outlets routinely try all kinds of gimmicks to obtain the contact information of potential readers, viewers, or listeners. But Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller, a conservative online outlet, appears to be breaking new ground in media marketing.

Carlson's site, like many of its rivals, are eager to have folks sign up for its daily email updates, and to that end, those who submit their email address will be registered to win a free 9C1 semi-automatic handgun -- engraved with the Bill of Rights.

Because sometimes, a free totebag and travel mug just won't cut it.

But what makes The Daily Caller's marketing strategy just a little more provocative is the far-right voice the website has partnered with as part of the gun giveaway. In this case, the 9C1 semi-automatic handgun is manufactured by Jim Pontillo, who, as Simon Maloy explained, has some colorful political opinions of his own.

These weapons are made by Jim Pontillo, the owner of FMK Firearms. In addition to making guns, Pontillo moonlights as a lunatic conservative writer. We pointed out yesterday that he's written a smattering of columns for Human Events, one of which extolled the patriotic ardor of modern-day secessionists. And it turns out that, until recently, Pontillo blogged enthusiastically at his website,

I'll confess I'd never heard of Pontillo until this week, but the Media Matters report includes some pretty remarkable excerpts of the gun manufacturer's published works. Pontillo has joked about President Obama turning the White House into the "Black House"; he offered a defense for the Civil War, saying it's "natural to understand the Confederate rebellion"; and he described Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070 as "a warning to a despotic administration that the American people are only going to tolerate a limited amount of assault on their sovereignty," adding that the law is "a precursor revealing dissatisfaction turning to action."

This is who The Daily Caller partnered with as part of a marketing gimmick to get conservatives' email addresses?

When Dave Weigel asked Carlson about his comfort level with Pontillo's piece on Arizona's immigration law, Carlson replied, "A little rebellion once in a while isn't a bad thing."

I'm reminded from time to time that there are fairly dramatic differences between media outlets that lean to the right and outlets that lean to the left, and what kind of messages their respective audiences find compelling.