Celebrating in the New York office.

We’re Number One—Thanks to You

You’re one of 630,591 Free Pressers. Help us make you one in a million.

Some people follow sports. Others are into gambling. Or drugs. 

Me? I get my high from the Substack leaderboard. Yes, I am exactly that cool.

The scream of joy I let out in our Los Angeles newsroom when we discovered we had become the top publication on the platform was what I assume most people feel when their favorite team makes the Super Bowl. 

Who knows how long it will be until some enterprising publication overtakes us. I sleep with one eye open. But for today, at least, we’re No. 1. It feels damn good. 

In three years, we’ve gone from a little blog—shout-out to those of you who have been here since we were Common Sense—to a full-fledged news organization.

Covering the RNC Debate with Peter Savodnik at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

We have more than 25 full-time staffers.

We have bureaus in New York and Los Angeles.

Free Press staff have birthed two babies and two more are on the way. Our first wedding is next weekend. (Mazel tov, Lars!)

We have merch! (We just restocked your favorite hats, and I’m told sweatshirts are on the way.)

We’ve put out more than 180 episodes of Honestly. And The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling has more than 12 million downloads across seven episodes.

Some 1,600 of you showed up to watch us debate the sexual revolution. . . and we’ll see more of you tomorrow in Dallas.

Most importantly, we put out thousands of stories that have driven the news and shifted the culture. They’ve led to congressional testimonies. They’ve been cited in circuit appeals and Supreme Court filings.

And sometimes, as NPR editor Uri Berliner did yesterday with his brave piece about how his own publication lost America’s trust, they’ve broken the internet. (Meantime, we won the only March Madness bracket that matters: Ground News just named us the most trusted source of news on Twitter.)

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How have we done it? Not by reading books on optimization or management or start-ups. Not by trading our reputation for clicks or by pulling punches. 

We did it thanks to you. 

You have made all of this possible. All 630,591 of you (not that I check the number obsessively).

So today we’re here with big thanks, and with an ask: we want one million people to become subscribers to The Free Press. We want to build a community of one million people who still believe in honest, independent journalism. 

We think there are many, many more of you out there. People who are neither left nor right, who are seeking sanity, common sense and truth. Our bet is that we’re actually the majority of the country. And our plan is to reach each and every one of you.

But let’s start here: with one million Free Pressers.

Share The Free Press

If you want to help us reach that goal, spread the word about The Free Press to your friends. Forward this email to your friends. Or your enemies. Especially your enemies.

Hit the share button just above to forward our stories to your colleagues, to your roommates, to your PCP. Call your hip grandma and tell her to go to and join our community. 

Or, at the very least, send someone Nellie’s TGIF or Douglas Murray’s Things Worth Remembering. They’ll never look back.

Freaking out about the top spot with Nellie.

I’m so proud of what we’ve built together so far—and so grateful. 

Okay: one million. Let’s go.

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our Comments

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