Weekly Standard shuts it doors for good, sparks feverish debate as insiders, staffers weigh in

Image: Wikimedia

After more than two decades, The Weekly Standard will be publishing its last issue and closing its doors this month.

Clarity Media Group, which owns the Standard’s publisher, MediaDC, made the expected announcement Friday, noting that the magazine will publish its final issue on December 17, according to CNN.

The Weekly Standard’s editor-at-large, Bill Kristol, tweeted out a response a short time later.

“For more than twenty years The Weekly Standard has provided a valued and important perspective on political, literary and cultural issues of the day,” MediaDC chairman Ryan McKibben said in a press release. “The magazine has been home to some of the industry’s most dedicated and talented staff and I thank them for their hard work and contributions, not just to the publication, but the field of journalism.”

Employees of the conservative publication, which has been highly critical of President Donald Trump, were directed to clear out their desks by the end of the day.

“This is a volatile time in American journalism and politics,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Hayes wrote in a note to the staff on Friday. “Many media outlets have responded to the challenges of the moment by prioritizing affirmation over information, giving into the pull of polarization and the lure of clickbait.”

“I’m proud that we’ve remained both conservative and independent, providing substantive reporting and analysis based on facts, logic and reason,” he said of the publication that was founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes.

There were scathing criticisms leveled at the publisher for choosing to shutter the magazine rather than sell it and many, like contributing editor John Podhoretz, unloaded on Twitter.

Many opined the loss of the “magazine that espouses traditional conservatism,” as noted by CNN.

Many saw its demise coming as it vociferously attacked Trump and its influence dwindled. Those who were critical of the publication and its tone were also vocal on Twitter.

But there was a push back by some who argued that the loss of the 23-year-old magazine was not, in fact, due to its anti-Trump agenda.

“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,” Podhoretz wrote in a scathing op-ed.

“There would at least be a larger meaning to the Standard’s end if it were being killed because it was hostile to Donald Trump. But I do not believe that is the case,” he added. “Rather, 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.”


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