Weekly Standard, RIP

The Weekly Standard has been shut down. Rod Dreher’s view is similar to mine:

Fairly or not, Bill Kristol is the brand.

That’s simply the truth — and when Kristol did ugly, indefensible things, like accusing Tucker Carlson of defending slavery, it reflected on the magazine, even though he was no longer its editor.

The Standard was relentlessly anti-Trump, which I never understood. Never-Trumpism strikes me as a mental disorder. Did they actually want Hillary Clinton to be president? Or Bernie Sanders? How can a conservative be so twisted out of shape? I still don’t get it. I’ve always thought the Standard’s problem is that there is no market for anti-Trump conservatism. But then, the magazine never made money in the first place.

John Podhoretz has a contrary view: “The Murder of the Weekly Standard.” Honestly, having read Podhoretz’s piece, I am not sure what he thinks happened.

The Weekly Standard will be no more. There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine’s demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.

John never says who the penny-ante Machiavellian is, or why he killed the Standard, except for this speculation:

I believe the fissures in the conservative movement and the Republican party that have opened up since Trump’s rise provided the company man with a convenient argument to make to the corporation’s owner, Philip Anschutz, that the company could perhaps harvest the Standard’s subscriber-base riches and then be done with it.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, beyond the fact that the magazine’s persistent–some would say crazed–anti-Trumpism could have led some in the Anschutz organization to think it was time to pull the plug. But maybe I am missing something.

Speaking for myself, I enjoyed reading the Standard for many years. Scott, Paul and I wrote for the online version of the magazine for a while, some years ago. I think it was Fred Barnes who promoted our involvement. It was a good outlet, and at that time we were very much in tune with the Standard’s worldview.

Some have noted the Standard’s pro-Iraq war stance as a factor in its demise, long after the fact. I don’t buy that. We were pro-Iraq war, as were almost all Republicans and many Democrats. (Barack Obama won the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination largely because he was the one guy they could find who opposed the Iraq war at the relevant time.) “Neocon” is, in my lexicon, a term of praise.

In any event, we enjoyed our association with the Weekly Standard, and I am sorry to see the magazine go. It is not as though we suffer from a surplus of intelligent conservative publications–or politically-oriented publications of any stripe. The Standard will be missed, however frustrated I may have been with its obsessive anti-Trumpism.

Weekly Standard, RIP.