by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I don’t think most people who read the news are too stupid to understand the news. I think they are too dishonest.
I am frankly embarrassed that we’ve found it necessary to append a note to Zachary Evans’s report on anti-Semitism to emphasize that quoting a person to illuminate his sentiments does not constitute an endorsement of those sentiments. That’s obvious. Every mentally functional adult is able to understand as much. But because there are people who want to smear National Review for political purposes, they pretend that an article about anti-Semitism written by a veteran of the Israeli military is itself an exercise in anti-Semitism. I have a hard time believing that is an honest error, because people dumb enough to make an error like that, and make it honestly, can’t read. …
… National Review recently has started literally labeling certain positions as dissenting (“To the Contrary,” we call it) because Rich Lowry does not want to spend the next eleven months explaining that Ramesh Ponnuru’s views on impeachment are not those of National Review corporately. Again, I find it hard to believe that there is anybody reading NR (or reading anything else) who is actually dumb enough to need that explained to them, but it is useful to certain people to pretend otherwise. I know that NR gets a lot of grief over my work, because I am less inclined to follow the party line on Trump and on much else. I do not work for politicians and am not running for office; party lines are not my thing.
The servility of so much of conservative media in our time is astounding. I understand that there are partisans in the audience who want NR and other publications to function as party organs, but I am surprised and embarrassed by how abject and obedient conservative media has largely become.