Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Who Mourns For a Dumbass?


From Vox:
“Not a natural death”: the Never-Trump bastion Weekly Standard may be shut down 
“This is not about dwindling subscribers. This is about strip-mining TWS for its assets.”

The future of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard is at risk as the magazine’s ownership, MediaDC, is reportedly refocusing its attention on its other main publication, the Washington Examiner. And the Daily Caller is reporting that the magazine could be shut down as soon as December 14, though the company that owns MediaDC (and thus TWS) told CNN that it is continuing to explore possibilities and “does not have any news to share” at this point.

As one source told me, “This is not about dwindling subscribers. This is about strip-mining TWS for its assets” — namely, the magazine’s subscriber lists.

At the heart of the troubles is the Weekly Standard’s turn against Trumpism, which has proven a losing bet in a conservative movement that has increasingly embraced the president. MediaDC reportedly wants to jettison the anti-Trump brand of the Weekly Standard but use its subscribers to bolster the more pro-Trump — or at least Trump-agnostic — Examiner...

Our story begins in September of 1995, when Australian fascist media mogul Rupert Murdoch was on one of his periodic American media property buying sprees, and decided to give Irving Kristol's son Bill (and Bill's friend Fred Barnes) a big sack of wingnut welfare cash to create The Weekly Standard and staff it with the dregs of every Conservative think tank in D.C.  The first Managing Editor of this "redoubt of neoconservatism" was a gentleman named David Brooks.  At the time, Mr, Brooks' talents had led him to the position of op-ed page editor of the Wall Street Journal where his job consisted of not reading or understanding things that his employees were printing on his op-ed page.

Since then -- and by the standard (weekly or otherwise) of any sane society -- Bloody Bill Kristol has been an infamous and spectacular failure at almost everything.  A failure as a political prognosticator.  A failure as a strategic thinker.  A failure as a foreign policy thinker.  A failure as the voice of Conservatism as it actually exists in the real world.  A failure as David French's presidential hype-man.



In other words, a truly world-class failure as a haver-of-opinions on pretty much every subject you can think of.

And yet, for all of that and so much more, Bill Kristol has been wildly successful at one thing -- keeping his reserved seating at the Beltway media table.  From Politico in 2013:
...
Kristol, who said he was "treated nicely" at Fox News, declined to comment on the incident. "I had a great ten years at Fox, but it's also been fun being a free agent," he told POLITICO. "Fox seems to be doing great without me being on all the time, I hope I'm doing ok being on all the other networks some of the time."

Indeed, Kristol has become a coveted free agent since leaving Fox News. He has made multiple appearances on ABC's "This Week" (where he was a panelist in the 1990s) and NBC's "Meet The Press" (he will join the roundtable again this Sunday). He has also made multiple appearances on CNN's "Crossfire" and on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I enjoy the flexibility of being a free-agent and the variety of the shows, which have been stimulating," he said. "It's also fun getting a rise out of the MSNBC viewers."

Kristol hasn't severed ties with Fox News completely. He appeared on Fox News Sunday's roundtable on Sept. 15 -- but this time as a guest, not as a contributor.

Kristol said it was very possible that he could strike a deal with another network in the months ahead...
I would say that this situation is inexplicable, but it's really not.

There are undoubtedly plenty of people who can explain why an incompetent ghoul like Mr. Kristol has floated effortlessly from one, highly paid, high-profile media position to the next for years.

Why he has been able to embed his idiot son-in-law, Matthew Continetti, into the Beltway media so deeply that they frequently follow each other on the same cable news show (and no one ever mentions their familial ties.)

Why a very-nearly-post-pubescent person named Mr. Jonathan Greenberger managed in just a few short years to go from being the the editor of his college's Student Life newspaper -- 


-- to having enough firepower at ABC News to hire one of the most demonstrably awful human beings on Earth for yet another turn in front of the cameras because Mr. Greenberger believed Bloody Bill Kristol to be an "original thinker with a unique perspective":
Jonathan Greenberger, executive producer of "This Week," said in a statement Kristol is "an original thinker" that will make their team stronger:

“Bill makes our outstanding team of contributors and analysts even stronger. He’s an original thinker with a unique perspective on the political and cultural landscape, and we look forward to hearing his voice on the 'This Week' roundtable on a regular basis."
As I said, all of this could be explained quite easily by the people who are members of the Beltway Club ... except based on all observable evidence, one of the preconditions being granted membership in the Beltway Club is making the Unbreakable Vow to never speak of inconvenient horrors like Bill Kristol being both a platinum card-carrying member of the Club and an incompetent ghoul.


However, one things that virtually every jumped-up Beltway bigot, climate denier and simpering drivel-monger has in common is that their mass-media teevee credibility is always underwritten by their close association with some established, printed-on-paper newspaper or journal or think tank.

Something solidly brick-and-mortar with a paid staff and business cards and office managers.

And so, when the poisonous Rich Lowry --


-- or the odious Ben Domenech --


-- or Bill Kristol's aforementioned son-in-law --



 --show up on your teevee, the corporations that put them there vouch for their credibility by giving you the name of the publication with which they are associated without bothering to mention that said publication may be, say, America's most respected journal of white supremacy, or a dark-money-funded cesspit of conspiracy mongering and Trump groveling.

 In this way the craven Beltway media and the deplorable Conservative media have propped each other up for decades -- each leaning on the other like two drunks shambling ever onward towards abyss and dragging the rest of us along behind. In this way, the careers and fortunes of virtually every conservative pundit -- from unhinged gorgons like Ann Coulter and unreconstructed torture pimps Marc Thiessen to professional Conservative revisionists like Michael Gerson and David Brooks -- have been extended decades past their sell-by dates.

Furthermore, in this toxic, codependent ecosystem, Conservative newspapers and journals and think tanks and radio stations and book publishers and teevee networks are not merely wingnut welfare petting zoo for depraved goons with terrible opinions and policies.  They have become bases of operation for colonizing the rest of the media and the rest of American politics with those terrible opinions and policies.

Which means that, as the co-founder and senior editor of a national political magazine Bill Kristol, has not only has a licence to print money, he has the clout to bestow the gift of Beltway media reserved seating to others people, and collect political chits from those people to be cashed in as needed.

And while that has been a jewel beyond price for Mr. Kristol, it has never had anything whatsoever to do with journalism.

So here our story ends.  With the savage elder gods of Conservatism begetting a monster even more savage than themselves.  A monster that fed on the rage and racism they provided in such abundance until it grew powerful enough to overthrow them.

I'm sure somewhere in the depths of Tartarus, Cronus is laughing his ass off.



Behold, a Tip Jar!

2 comments:

Robt said...

Maybe Kristol needs the assets so he can invest in Bill OReilly Pid-casts or better yet, the mark Levin and Glenn Beck re adventures in resurrecting the Blaze (so I hear).

e.a.f. said...

if they're original thinkers they wouldn't be on these news channels peddling their re worked opinions on nothing of any major interest to any body but themselves.