Burying the Weekly Standard

Although I didn’t care for the Weekly Standard for reasons other than those given by President Trump, I admit that I disliked this now-defunct fortnightly as intensely as he did. When a Canadian friend discovered it was about to close, he asked me in an email “What do you want for the other seven days of Hanukah?” This friend was right that I was relieved to see the magazine disappear even if I didn’t regard it, like the President, as “dishonest and pathetic.” Rather I viewed it as an utterly superfluous appendage of the neoconservative empire, which didn’t contribute anything new to our political debate that other, well-subsidized neoconservative organs weren’t already saying. I was amused to learn that the leftist Vox website regrets the loss of a publication that stood up for conservative principles. Vox’s editors fear that “an era of conservative media is over,” and they quote WS contributor Charles Sykes about how “an independent and honest” voice of conservatism has been stilled.  I suppose “independent” for Sykes and Vox means promoting the “#NeverTrump” campaign. But even in that department Weekly Standard was not particularly original.  Its editors would have had to compete for the honor of dumping on Trump, supposedly from the right, with Rich Lowry, Kevin Williamson, Ron Dreher, Ben Shapiro, David French and about half of the Allstars and news commentators on Fox News.

Revisions and Dissents... Paul Gottfried Best Price: $3.26 Buy New $29.00 (as of 11:55 EDT - Details) An obvious reason for the growing disfavor in which subscribers and funders came to view the magazine was the extent to which certain of its key figures, e.g., Max Boot, John Podhoretz, and above all Bill Kristol, unleashed their anti-Trump animus. Kristol and Boot are regularly on CNN bashing the Prez, while Podhoretz, a cofounder with Kristol of the magazine, expresses his anti-Trump bile in op-ed pieces for another neoconservative publication, the New York Post. WS may have been set up as an object of activity for two princes of neocon royal lineage, the way medieval kings accorded principalities and estates to their progeny in order to keep them occupied.

But the magazine yielded another advantage for those whose careers were intertwined with it. It gave an affiliation to news commentators on Fox, who were repeatedly introduced as working for the Weekly Standard. I notice that Ron Dreher, who is the leading blogger for the American Conservative, recalls fondly his signal honor in having been allowed to write for the Weekly Standard. In some Washington circles this fortnightly has cachet, owing perhaps to the fact its editors and contributors get on to TV with some regularity.

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