Here Are the Two Reasons We Write About Ted Nugent All the Time
As you already know, we here at MetalSucks (heh, we here, it’s just one dude with thyroid issues) write about Ted Nugent a lot. We make a point of expressing our contempt for his personal and political views in posts about him, but we write those posts none the less. And during my tenure as EIC of the site, those stories have seen a lot of traffic – but the comments are always the same. Either people hate Ted, or they ask us, Why? Can’t you stop giving him a platform? He wouldn’t exist without you.
I believe in transparency in these situations. The mystique of the media is honestly bullshit, and anyway, you probably know at least half of why we write about him. But for the record, here are the two reasons we write about Ted Nugent all the time.
Reason 1. Because you guys sure do love to read about him!
You just write about Ted Nugent for the clicks, people tell us. And that’s true, we do. And you click! OH, HOW YOU CLICK!
Ted stories are HUGE for us. Why? Because everyone loves a freakshow, even if they feel bad about it afterwards. And according to the analytics, y’all love to see the depths of this conservative crackpot’s depravity and the sheer audacity of the mental acrobatics he uses to justify his opinions. You click by the hundreds of thousands. So we run it.
This is a microcosm of a bigger issue in metal media. Every year, places like us and Loudwire and Revolver get told to cover REAL metal, not mainstream shit and blithering nutcases. But when we do reader polls, and ask people what we ought to cover, motherfuckers come out in droves for BABYMETAL and Shinedown. When we gather our data to see what you did read about, it’s usually the celebrities and the dickheads. And as someone who finds the concept of being a tastemaker pretty pathetic, I’d rather give the people what they want. And the democratic response, according to our numbers? More Ted, please.
Let me make it clear: if Ted Nugent posts get under 1,000 pageviews apiece, we will not write about him as much. If it doesn’t move the needle, we don’t write about it. That’s why we don’t write about your cool local bands all the time – because according to how often people click those stories, a ton of our readers don’t actually care about them. And for the record, your comments, even if they’re comments asking why we write about him or calling us clickbait, are good for the site. It’s called engagement. Vote with your engagement.
When you call MetalSucks ‘clickbait’ for running Ted Nugent stories, I can’t help but think of people who sue McDonalds because they got fat. There are tons of beautifully-written, culturally-important articles out there that can be part of your mental diet. It just means you gotta consume healthy content. No? You don’t actually want that? Enjoy your Chicken McNugents.
Reason 2. As a chronicle, for posterity
Look, someday something big will go down with Ted. Maybe he’ll run for office, or write a peace anthem, but more likely than not, he’ll die. That’s not an insult or a slight against him, it’s just true. People die, and the ‘classic rock’ generation is getting on in years. One day, I’ll die, you’ll die, and Ted, who’s 73, will die.
And when Ted Nugent dies, the people who like his music and the machine he’s built around himself will portray him as an angel (some figuratively, but many literally). They’re going to have someone paint a mural of Ted jamming next to Hendrix in Heaven. And when we say to them, Wait, but that guy defended South African apartheid, and said that being a gun owner was like being Rosa Parks, his supporters will look us dead in the eye and say, I don’t remember that. You’re just making this up. Where’s your proof? The Trump presidency taught us this: they’re going to straight-up tell us that the truth didn’t happen.
But if you go to metalsucks.net/tag/ted-nugent, you can see a chronicle of who Ted Nugent is. On this digital scroll is video and audio and social media that gives you insight into Ted Nugent. And this way, hopefully, people won’t buy into a whitewashing of his personality. They’ll know the guy as he was.
I’d like to think we do this for most metal stars, including ones whose music we enjoy. But the truth is that not all of them feel the need to shout their opinions from the rooftops as often as Ted, or, say, Aaron Lewis or Kid Rock does. And when they do, they’re usually not as driven in their vehemence and boorishness as those guys. Gene Simmons says dumb rich guy stuff a lot, sure, he’s a rich guy, there you go. Ted Nugent also says plenty of dumb redneck shit that we don’t cover, ’cause it’s par for the course. But when he condemns the most famous drummer in modern rock for doing drugs a week after his death? That’s one for the books. That’s worth remembering.
A warning, too: Ted would exist without people writing up his opinions. Ted and people like him are out there. We’re sorry it bums you out when you see them in your news feed, but maybe it’s better to know than not. That way, when your favorite musician, say, takes part in a riot and breaks into the Capitol building, you won’t be one of the rubes on Twitter saying, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! WHO KNEW?!
So why do we write about Ted Nugent? So we have it on the books. So we know. So that someday, when Ted’s people pray the digital age has dulled our attention spans enough that we couldn’t possibly remember the awful shit he said and did, we can say, Actually, here it is. We wrote it down.