On Tuesday, news broke that the magazine The Weekly Standard might close its operations in the coming weeks.
According to One America News Network:
CNN reported that Editor-in-Chief Stephen Hayes informed his staff that the magazine’s existence is in jeopardy.
Sources told CNN that the leaders of The Weekly Standard had been at odds with its publisher, and that Hayes had been permitted to look for another owner, but that MediaDC had then said it was not interested in selling the magazine. MediaDC also owns The Washington Examiner, which may soon offer its magazine as a weekly publication.
Clarity Media Group, Inc., the parent company of MediaDC, released this statement to CNN:
It is no secret that news organizations across the U.S. are dealing with an evolving business landscape. The Weekly Standard is dealing with these same issues. Clarity Media has been exploring a number of possibilities regarding the future of The Weekly Standard. At this time, Clarity does not have any news to share about its evaluation process.”
The Weekly Standard, founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, strongly supported George W. Bush during his presidency but has been more critical of President Trump, especially editor-at-large Bill Kristol. In September he said, “We are thinking of and doing preliminary work to prepare for a primary run against Trump. People aren’t going to say they will run against Trump unless they have the infrastructure but I’ve been trying to persuade people that it may not be that difficult.”
After the November 2018 election, Kristol said, “We’ve started laying the groundwork for the possibility of a serious challenge to President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary,” adding, “President Trump is less dominant than many people think. Polls show it, focus groups show it, and the Republican House seats we lost in suburban districts that we’d held for years show it, too.”
But other writers from the Standard are more nuanced; contributing editor Jay Cost has criticized Trump, but also wrote in August, “ … the indicators right now suggest that we can look forward, finally, to a noticeable uptick in wages for average Americans. For this president, that would be yuuge. Americans are willing to tolerate a lot from a president if the economy is good. Bill Clinton retained fantastic job approval ratings during the Monica Lewinsky scandal because the economy was going gangbusters. Similarly, if Mr. Trump can go back to the voters in 2020 and say, ‘I delivered on meaningful growth,’ my hunch is that Americans would re-elect him.”
Another nuanced perspective comes from writer Jonathan Last, who wrote, “Someday there will be a Democratic president giving rhetorical cover to Antifa thugs and attacking an independent counsel and refusing to release her tax returns and pushing through a Supreme Court justice of questionable moral worth (or packing the Court) and passing single-payer, socialized medicine on a one-vote majority—and a whole host of other things we can’t even imagine yet. And when that day comes, the same people who revel in Trump’s norm-defying antics now will be screaming bloody murder, oblivious to the fact that they helped create this timeline.”
Pundit Erick Erickson commented on Twitter, “One of the great things about Weekly Standard and National Review is that I still think the most interesting debate to be had on the right is between those who defend the President at all costs and those who like a lot of what he has done, but are still deeply skeptical of him.”