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« Lester Holt Will Present the Defense for Ashli Babbit's Executioner | Main | Australia Descends Into Fascism -- But For Your Health and Safety, You Understand »
August 25, 2021

Emerald Robinson: I Confess -- It Was I Who Mercy-Killed The Weekly Standard

This whole article is worth reading, but let me cut to the really juicy part.

The revelation of secrets.

Secret One: The angry phone call from a Bret Baier staffer, over, she thinks, making life difficult for Bret Baier's college roommate and best friend Steven Hayes.

A week or so after my essay [about the fundamental secular liberalism of NeverTrump "conservatives"] appeared, I got a very short and shrill phone call from one of Bret's staffers -- who was a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter, no less. When I picked up the call, she was angry and breathless and did not want to do small talk. She said: "You don't know what you've done, you don't understand the damage you've caused to this show." I asked her to calm down, and be specific. She hung up instead.

This bizarre exchange piqued my interest enough to watch Bret Baier's show that night, which was an emotion I rarely felt for Special Report. Sure enough, Bret Baier ended the episode with an odd little "farewell" segment to Stephen Hayes. The gist of it was that Hayes was suddenly taking "a one year vacation to Spain" with the family. My first thought was: who does a video farewell when they take a vacation? The whole thing was pure baloney. It was now perfectly clear why Bret's hysterical staffer had called. Apparently my essay had been a crucial factor in getting Stephen Hayes kicked off TV. Someone over at corporate had finally looked at the piss poor ratings Bret was getting and the light bulb went off: no one wants to listen to Hayes anymore. That was certainly true. (A few months later, the sour puss A. B. Stoddard also disappeared from the Special Report show - this time without a video farewell.)

Hayes getting axed left me surprised. How was I to know that Fox executives could read? How was I to know that Baier and Hayes were roommates in college? Did Hayes sail to Spain on one of those idiotic cruises that he was always pushing on his subscribers? Jonah Goldberg had been taunting me from the pages of the National Review that the Never Trumpers were all doing fine – and then suddenly none of them were doing fine. In his video farewell, Hayes wanted everyone to know that he'd be back in a year, and that he was still the chief editor of the Weekly Standard magazine. Both of these statements actually turned out to be false.

🚢 🚢 🚢

Well I'm not sure she's right about that. My own sources tell me that Steven Hayes had long planned to spend a year with his family in Spain, and had delayed doing so for some time.

In other words, The Spanish Escape was not just a cover story.

Though, who knows, it might have been partly a cover story. It could well be that they decided that now was finally the right time to get out of America, what with Hayes' job going bye-bye. He and his wife may have had a long-standing plan to go to Spain, but I've had a long-standing plan to spend a year in France and Italy. I haven't done it yet, obviously.

But if Emerald Robinson writes an article that exposes me for the Soyboy Beta Cvck I obviously am, who knows, maybe then I'll get out of Dodge.

The Spanish Escape might have been a real or real-ish idea, but it may well be that the sudden implosion of NeverTrump might have crystalized that idea, at last, into an operational plan.

🚢 🚢 🚢

The next secret: Clarity Media actually contacted Emerald Robinson to ask her who they should fire, and who, if anyone, they should keep.

The people at Clarity Media, which owned and managed the Weekly Standard, wanted my advice on hirings and firings at the magazine. Well, really, they wanted to know who they could not only let go -- but who they needed to toss out of the building with great force and speed. Who were the people who had wittingly helped Hayes and Kristol destroy the magazine’s readership and reputation? Who was worth keeping? And who had burned their bridges so badly among other conservatives that their name on the masthead of any future publication would scare subscribers away?

The owner's plan was to launch a Washington Examiner glossy magazine to match the newspaper, using the operating funds of the now radioactive Weekly Standard. It was an interesting conversation -- weighing the careers of so many writers in my mind, and trying to be fair. Should Andrew Ferguson be sent to the salt mines? Could Bill Kristol be forced to tattoo "Trump was right" on his forehead to collect his pension? Perhaps Hayes could pump gas at a truck stop in his hometown for awhile? I had a lot of creative staffing ideas in that vein. I was actually the secret author of the strategy note on the Weekly Standard's future that Clarity Media commissioned from the DC consulting class. I know: that seems impossible to believe, but only if you're not a believer. Suffice to say: my cause was righteous.

On December 14, 2018 Clarity Media gathered the staff of the Weekly Standard together for one last conference call, and let everybody go. (That wasn’t my advice, by the way. I believe in mercy.)


The top people had chosen a kamikaze mission against Trumpism but had only managed to blow themselves up. Bill Kristol was already on the payroll of Democrats and seemed too shocked, or medicated, to care. As for Stephen Hayes, his entire career had totally dissolved in five short months.

🚢 🚢 🚢

Here's what I can add:

First, you may remember that I have talked a lot about Weekly Standard pissboy Jim Swift's public Twitter campaign to get Washington Examiner reporter Selena Zito fired.

He kept retweeting people accusing her of inventing entire quotes and entire people in her coverage of Trump supporters that the media had overlooked. He basically joined a coordinated (paid?) political operation to get her fired and in fact drummed out of the journalism industry entirely.

This was bizarre not because Jim Swift was attempting to cancel a conservative-leaning journalist -- that's par for the course for this crew -- but because she was in fact a co-worker, as both the Washington Examiner and Weekly Standard were owned and operated by Clarity Media.

I have never seen before someone publicly attempting to take out a colleague -- and not being told to stop it by his bosses, like William Kristol and Steven Hayes.

I'm not a fool; I know this kind of cutthroat ratf***ing goes on all the time in organizations.

But behind the scenes. Not right out in the open on a public forum.

So my first bit of information here comes from a source familiar with the Weekly Standard, who believes that Jim Swift's plan was to so badly damage the Washington Examiner that Phil Anshutz, owner of Clarity Media, would be forced to keep the Weekly Standard in print.

If two children are competing for Daddy's Love (and money), one sociopathic child may think: kill the other child and then Daddy will be forced to love me.

I can't confirm that. And my source wasn't told this motive by Swift himself.

I can say that it jibes with something Swift said to another source, though.

🚢 🚢 🚢

Here's the context for my second bit of information: NeverTrump and the Conservative, Inc. whiners who say that the Weekly Standard was "murdered" make this claim based on the belief that some people were interested in buying the Weekly Standard and keeping it afloat. Most likely as a Fake Conservative Anti-Republican propaganda outlet, which is what it had become anyway.

The Standard was allowed to keep on operating -- all the while losing Phil Anshutz money -- while they sought out a White Knight Leftwing Investor to buy the worthless neoliberal rag.

But then, suddenly, Clarity Media and Phil Anshutz pulled the plug, and would not entertain any offers to buy the magazine. (I don't think they had any actual offers, just "possible interest.")

And here's what a source tells me about that. This source has acquaintances in Clarity Media itself.

And he tells me that the sudden decision to kill the Weekly Standard, rather than trying to get some minor amount of money in selling it, was provoked by the realization that a Weekly Standard employee, Jim Swift, was attempting to destroy the other Clarity Media publication, the Washington Examiner.

And that he was being allowed to do this, at least tacitly, by Steven Hayes, Jonathan Last, and Bill Kristol, any of whom could have -- and should have -- immediately ordered him to stop his online campaign to cancel Salina Zito.

But no one seemed to have done that.

And at that point, my source says, the Phil Anshutz made the decision, "F*** these little ratf***ing c***s***ers, I'll just end the magazine, fire them all, and convert their subscription list to a subscription list for the new successor magazine I'm starting."

So, per this source: Jim Swift's Gay Ops campaign actually backfired, big-time.

Now, I'm not 100% sure that it was only that that killed any deal for selling the worthless money-pit called the Weekly Standard.

The bosses at the Weekly Standard had serially ignored or subverted efforts by Clarity Media to turn the Weekly Standard into an actually-influential, highly-trafficked magazine.

Phil Anshutz was not bothered by its increasingly neoliberal politics, but by the fact that it was failing to attract readers and show influence, even in the small sphere of Beltway-born-and-bred-neoliberals-pretending-to-be-conservatives.

So Anshutz and Clarity Media already were annoyed at the Weekly Standard. It wasn't just losing them money, but Kristol and Hayes were arrogant, recalcitrant, and defiant in deciding they would continue losing money exactly as they saw fit, without any "interference" from the actual owner.

Insubordinate, really. Incapable of managing themselves, and defiant of any efforts to impose management on them.

They even started paying out huge salaries to late-comers like Charlie "3-Wives" Sykes! Just throwing out money to a bunch of useless, audience-poor NeverTrumpers in some kind of Grifter Charity effort.

Anyway, Clarity Media already had a reason to pull the plug. But my source says the Jim Swift Gay Ops Incident was the last straw among many last straws.

🚢 🚢 🚢

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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