Civil and political discourse has suffered a huge loss with the demise of The Weekly Standard after 23 years of sharp, insightful commentary.
Ironically, the magazine — conceived in the wake of the 1994 Republican triumph in that year’s congressional midterms — folded just weeks after the GOP suffered a significant electoral setback.
Some are suggesting the magazine — which shared parent ownership with The Post for its first 14 years — was killed for being too critical of President Trump. But none of our sources are buying that claim.
After all, as John Podhoretz, who co-founded the magazine with Bill Kristol, notes, not being a team player was always part of The Weekly Standard’s DNA.
And that was deliberate: “Our loyalty was to the ideas in which we believed,” he writes, “not to the Republican Party.” In that respect, it provided a vital platform for trenchant and incisive conservative opinionizing, as well as important hard-news reporting, feature writing and biting satire.
Equally significant was its “back of the book” cultural coverage of movies, music and especially literary affairs.
The magazine never had a huge circulation, but its readers included many of Washington’s most important political figures. And all knew that each issue contained must-read articles that always helped shape political discourse.
The magazine’s owner, Clarity Media Group, is shifting subscriptions to the magazine version of another of its products, The Washington Examiner. But insiders doubt boosting the Examiner was truly sufficient reason not to just sell the Standard, and suggest a personal vendetta is at work.
Whatever the cause, The Weekly Standard’s demise is a real loss. Its founders aimed to guide the conservative movement and keep it honest — and they gave it their best. RIP.
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