Ever wonder where the NeverTrumper Conservatives came from?
In 2018 someone caught a top dog at Google bragging that they had donated money to conservative think tanks and magazines to get them to go easy on Google and not criticise their anti-Trump and anti-conservative bias. Emerald Robinson heard the rumors, and waited while the Wall Street Journal sat on the story. “The tape sounded like a smoking gun” she said, but nothing happened.
Finally, after she got confirmation from an insider, she broke the story on Twitter, hoping the WSJ would get into gear. Instead she was attacked by the National Review editor, who she hadn’t named, but who must have been feeling guilty because he did the full flame-throwing mockery non denial response. Later Breitbart and Wired ran stories, but a whole lot of others didn’t.
So this is partly a story of the complete sell-out of National Review, but it’s also a tale of all the other media that didn’t shine a light on it. Readership sank, the NeverTrumpers were shifted sideways to non-positions on a non-magazine, but the NationalReview board took a bad situation and made it worse. Read Emerald Robinson’s withering conclusion:
How The National Review Sold Its Soul to Google
Did the editors of the National Review learn anything from this debacle? Of course not. The feckless Rich Lowry recently handed the magazine over to the world’s only living Evan McMullin voter Ramesh Ponnuru — who was absolutely nobody’s choice to steer the magazine back to popularity. (If anything, Ramesh Ponnuru represents an even greater slide into snide effeminacy than Lowry, and few thought that was possible.) Defeat seems to be the brand for these boys. In any culture war, Rich Lowry and the gang have always been the first to stand athwart history, crying: “We surrender first!” They’ve been so weak and defeatist during the Trump years that a year’s subscription to the magazine could be marketed as an estrogen supplement.
Meanwhile the funding of the magazine now relies even more heavily on Big Tech money: the back page of the June 1, 2021 issue was a full-page Facebook ad. Inside the same issue, in case you missed the point, there was a two-page ad from Google. The National Review didn’t bother trying to win back its old subscribers by becoming more conservative. Instead, it flipped them a giant middle finger. This final insult might lead us to think the unthinkable about the soy boys who sank Buckley’s flagship. The same feeble metrosexuals who attacked the Covington Catholic boys, and printed pro-Jeffrey Epstein articles, and tried to discredit Carter Page, and pushed the Russia Hoax might not actually be conservatives after all. Their role does not seem to be halting the Left. Their role seems to be: pretending to be conservative in order to persuade actual conservatives to lose gracefully to the Left.
Conservatives must finally recognize something that’s very depressing and very important: the conservative intellectual movement in America didn’t just fail. It aided and abetted the Left for money. The Left bought off the Right’s leading conservative intellectuals. And its think tanks. And its “flagship” magazines. This is not hyperbole or conjecture. I’ve got the receipts. Until conservatives understand the depth and breadth of that betrayal, they won’t have any chance of rebuilding that movement out of the ashes any time soon.