Late last year, political journalists who had been canceled and/or ostracized by the young at their New York Times jobs started to flee en masse to Substack. Many of them chose names for their blogs that were just OK, and none of them were quite as crisp as “politics dot substack dot com.”
Which, by the way, I own.
Three summers ago, I thought about becoming a political cartoonist for a day. Substack was a new platform at the time, and with ease, I was able to nab the URL politics.substack.com. My art was confrontational and militant. No sacred lambs here!
After three posts, I could no longer bear the weight of being a visual artist and returned to my studies, my family, and the written word.
Politics.substack.com is the perfect URL. When a reader is looking to learn about government and elected officials, their hands automatically start to type “politics” into their web browser. It is one of the most natural things a human body can do. And now, with the rise of Substack and the dearth of places that let their writers write about real politics —ones that the libs don’t want you know to know about — Substack is the place to go for the completely unedited capital-T Truth. So naturally, we are led to perhaps the most powerful URL politics.substack.com.
Since I am not using the URL and I am trying to afford a studio apartment, I thought I’d reach out to many of the exiled politics writers on Substack and see if they wanted to purchase my rare url. Of course, I checked first to make sure what I was doing was alright in the Substack bylaws. Hamish McKenzie, Substack’s cofounder, told me, “We haven't heard of any such sales, and we don't have any rules prohibiting that yet. I hope you make $20 million.”
Lulu Cheng Meservey, VP of Communications at Substack, said, “That’s fascinating! Can’t wait to see how it goes. The good thing here is that you have full ownership of your content, IP, and mailing list, everything. In theory an NFT would probably be possible too. No brigade of corporate lawyers to deal with here since everything is yours.”
With their explicit blessings, I went forth and emailed not only the Substack converts who might be looking for a landing page to drive traffic, but also to political writers and figures. I sent everyone some version of the following to everyone:
I'm a writer who has been sitting on the URL politics.substack.com for some time, and I'm wondering if you'd like to purchase it for anywhere between $80 and $800,000.
I did accidentally address my email to former Vox writer and famous Substacker Matt Yglesias as “Hi Glenn,” due to a copy/paste mishap after emailing Glenn Greenwald, but other than that, I was extremely respectful, and the range of money I was asking for was large enough to accommodate everyone.
Including those two, here is a list of everyone I asked to buy politics.substack.com:
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams
Slate politics writer Jim Newell
Libertarian John Stossel
Memoirist/First Gentleman of South Bend Chasten Buttigieg
Branding agent/Twitter personality Eitan Chityat
Zionist intellectual Eve Barlow
New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb
New York Magazine writer at large Rebecca Traister
Washington Post senior politics editor Peter Wallsten
LGBTQ+ activist Charlotte Clymer, the only person to respond to my email. “That's so kind of you to offer,” she said. “But I'm happy with what I have. I know you'll find a great buyer.”
Celebrity “friend” Yashar Ali
The Atlantic politics editor Nick Baumann
The Daily Caller White House correspondent Anders Hagstrom
New Yorker chief Washington correspondent Jane Mayer
Would you believe not a single one of them has bitten yet? On politics.substack.com? Possibly the best address for a Substack ever?
If you’re interested in buying politics.substack.com for anywhere in between $80 and $800,000, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m willing to negotiate.