Published On: Wed, Dec 14th, 2016

Bill Kristol Quits Weekly Standard — So What?

Bill Kristol - Founder/Editor,  The Weekly Standard

Conservative Bill Kristol has left The Weekly Standard. Kristol, the journal’s founder, has been its editor since its inception 21 years ago.

Kristol will hold a smaller role as editor-at-large as current senior writer Stephen F. Hayes and editor Richard Starr take over the magazine’s top editor job.

The Weekly Standard was established to be a conservative version of The New Republic and many of its early writers came from that rival publication. It has been criticized over the years for being nothing more than an echo chamber for America’s political right and an unabashed backer of Republican politicians.

Some are speculating that Bill Kristol may have been forced out because of his very vocal opposition to Donald Trump’s Presidential candidacy. And he continues to criticize Trump’s moves since the election, such as this one slamming his choice for Secretary of State.

Many, however, have pointed out that Kristol lost much of his credibility over the years because of his many unsupported claims made on television news shows such as his insistence that the Kurds, Shia and Suni in Iraq could “just get along, ”

He served as the chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle 25 years ago. Then Bill Kristol tried to follow in the footsteps of his much more successful father Irving Kristol. But where Irving Kristol was a true intellectual and the philosophical godfather of what became known as the Neoconservative political movement, Bill Kristol has been not much more than a media whore, a talking head who just wants to be on TV.

Bill Kristol released the following statement in The Weekly Standard in which he attempts to put a positive spin on things:

“After 21 years as editor, I’m very pleased to announce that I’m moving over to become editor at large and that my longtime colleagues Steve Hayes and Richard Starr have agreed to take on the responsibility for day-to-day management of the magazine. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the welcome opportunity to work on longer pieces while continuing to write weekly editorials and contribute to the website. With Steve and Richard at the helm, the magazine couldn’t be in better hands.

“I thank all of you—colleagues, contributors, readers, and friends—who’ve made my stint as editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD such a great experience. When we started the magazine in 1995, we hoped we’d last a while. It’s gratifying that we’re still going strong a generation later, and I appreciate more than I can say the efforts of all those who’ve made this possible.”

Stephen Hayes told CNN Money, “I don’t think readers should expect too many changes in the magazine — in either its tone or content. So much of that was driven by Bill — and Richard Starr and I will be relying on him to continue providing that guidance. We’ll continue to do the kind of reported opinion and long-form narrative journalism that has been a trademark of TWS.”

But The Weekly Standard never achieved the level of intellectual honesty and greatness that magazines like The New Republic and The National Review did in their heydays. It was started at a time when the cable news channels and talk radio had already succeeded in dumbing down the political debate in America into one liners and half-truths. Now it has turned to out right fake news on line.

So will Bill Kristol’s firing, retirement, moving on or whatever it was make a difference? Of course not. He surely hasn’t.

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