Former Editor John Podhoretz Rages Over Demise of Weekly Standard: an ‘Act of Politico-Cultural Murder’


Following the Weekly Standard‘s announcement that they are closing up shop today, one of their former contributing editors is claiming the conservative magazine was “murdered” as part of a grab for money and viewership.

Clarity Media Group, the owner of the magazine’s publisher, MediaDC, confirmed that the magazine will shut down Friday after 23 years of serving as a bastion of traditional conservative thought. Editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes sent a memo to his writers today amid meetings with MediaDC chairman, Ryan McKibben.

As the Standard‘s closing draws bipartisan laments and questions about conservative media in the Trump era, Commentary editor John Podhoretz is railing against those who he views most responsible for the demise of his former magazine. He started things off by railing on Twitter about how writers are being forced to clear out in the next few hours, and that they’re being asked to sign NDAs in exchange for severance pay,

Eventually, Podhoretz put them blame on McKibben and Clarity Media owner Philip Anschutz, saying they allowed Weekly Standard to die.

Podhoretz topped this off in a column where he accused Anschutz of refusing to sell the Standard because he wanted “to claim its circulation for another property”

“To be sure, it has never made money. Magazines like it never make money. But its circulation has always been extraordinarily healthy in opinion-journal terms. And within the giant corporations run by the wealthy men who started the Standard and then bought it—Rupert Murdoch and then Anschutz—its annual losses were a rounding error, akin to the budget for the catering on one of their blockbuster movie productions. But if Anschutz had been motivated by an unwillingness to bear the cost any longer, he could have sold the Standard. He chose not to. He chose to kill it.

The cessation of the Standard is an intellectual and political crime. I hope and expect its subscribers, tens of thousands of whom have been with the magazine since its very first day, will demand refunds rather than serve as passive participants in this act of politico-cultural murder.”

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