POLITICS

Conservative Magazine The Weekly Standard To Fold After 23 Years

The magazine was critical of Trump — and a major booster of the catastrophic and bloody Iraq War.

The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication known for being critical of President Donald Trump and a key intellectual force behind the disastrous U.S. war in Iraq, is set to close after 23 years.

Clarity Media Group, which owns Standard publisher MediaDC, announced Friday that the magazine’s final issue will publish on Monday, according to CNN.

“For more than twenty years The Weekly Standard has provided a valued and important perspective on political, literary and cultural issues of the day,” Ryan McKibben, chairman of MediaDC, 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.”

Staffers have known something “bad” was coming since at least last week, when Clarity Media revealed it was “exploring a number of possibilities” for the publication, according to Politico. The magazine’s founder, William Kristol, had already publicly floated a possible sale or merger with its expanding sister publication, the Washington Examiner.

Some say the Standard shuttered as a direct result of it resisting moving further right under the Trump administration.

The New York Times said The Weekly Standard was in danger specifically because it found itself on the wrong side of Trump, and because editor-in-chief Stephen F. Hayes had a penchant for investigative reporting and banning “alt-right-style, partisan clickbait stories.”

“And the outcome has called into question whether the conservative media world can abide journalism that questions the new orthodoxy,” the Times’ Jim Rutenberg wrote earlier this month. 

The paper’s most lasting legacy may be its role in promoting the Iraq War, as its editors wrote in the months after 9/11 that they hoped “the president will courageously decide to destroy Saddam’s regime.”

“It is past time for the United States to step up and accept the real responsibilities and requirements of global leadership,” reads an editorial co-bylined by Kristol in January 2002. “We’ve already tried the alternative.”

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