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WTF MSM!? RIP The Weekly Standard?

Conservative Review

A sinking ship?

Days numbered … In the mid-nineties, at the height of the Clinton administration, Rupert Murdoch launched two right-leaning media enterprises. Predating Fox News by a year, The Weekly Standard was founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, and John Podhoretz and funded by Rupert Murdoch. As of 2006, according to The New Yorker, the Standard was losing Murdoch over a million dollars a year.

After News Corp’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch sold The Standard to Clarity Media Group, which operated it under its MediaDC subsidiary. MediaDC also runs The Washington Examiner.  According to multiple reports, over the past year, tensions have grown between the NeverTrump leadership of the Standard and MediaDC. These reports mention that Standard leadership had been given a green light to work on finding a buyer for the magazine.

Oliver Darcy at CNN reports that MediaDC has decided to stop the sale, and a meeting is scheduled for late next week between MediaDC chairman Ryan McKibben and The Weekly Standard’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Hayes. The Daily Caller’s Joe Simonson reported that a Standard editor said, “There is no budget for [The Standard] at all.”

Things don’t look good.

An antagonistic tone … Not only has the editorial team at The Weekly Standard taken a decidedly NeverTrump tone – abandoning their previously held principles if Trump also holds them – they have been antagonistic towards others who were willing to give Trump a chance.  Standard writers held particular scorn for anyone who dared to be critical of their NeverTrump sacred cows such as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

In August 2017, Jonathan Last, a film critic and digital editor at The Weekly Standard, took Conservative Review and Mark Levin to task for daring to out Flake as something less than a conservative. The occasion was the publication of Flake’s book, “Conscience of a Conservative.”  After Media Research President Brent Bozell cited Flake’s “dismal” Liberty Score, Last tore into the Liberty Score and this publication. I responded:

Last saves his most egregious point for the end: “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: Trumpism corrupts.” Conservative Review doesn’t stand for one politician or the other; it stands for timeless principles. Where those principles align with the rhetoric of a particular politician, it is wise to guide that politician to live up to those principles. If people find common ground with Trump on certain issues, does that make them, to use the pejorative, “Trumpkins?” Is it really conservative to stop believing in a principle just because someone you loathe also believes in it? If that is your position, is it not you who are a “cultist?”

Earlier this week, BlazeTV’s Steve Deace took an in-depth look on his program at how NeverTrumpism is now a cult, precisely because people like those at The Weekly Standard have abandoned principle for hatred.

The vitriol and condescension of those at The Weekly Standard toward their fellow conservatives may have become its undoing.

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