A gas from the past

The Doughy Pantload's conservatism for people with good taste

(c) 2012 Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license

Oh, here’s a treat:

Substack’s first media company is The Dispatch, a center-right site founded by former Weekly Standard and National Review editors.

And guess who the ex-NROnik is! 

Two significant figures in the conservative media world — Stephen Hayes, former editor-in-chief of the now defunct Weekly Standard, and Jonah Goldberg...


...formerly senior editor at National Review — say they see opportunity in the center-right, conservative-but-not-kneejerk-pro-Trump political news space.

JustTheTip Trumpers, if The Bulshit isn't doing it for you, try this new model!

I signed up for their site and I have to say so far it’s not groundbreaking. Today there’s a review of Tuesday’s debate that’s par for the course (“Getting to the top is an extraordinary challenge—and Warren has succeeded. Staying there might prove even harder”); ditto an “impeachment update” (“If Hill’s characterization of Bolton’s views are accurate, it’s trouble for the White House”).

Scroll down and there's a “What Are We Doing” mission statement from Goldberg, Hayes, and Toby Stock which does not seem designed to arouse fervor —”we want to build a genuine community, with regular engagement,” they tell us, and you can just hear the chairs squeaking and punters coughing in the auditorium. 

Further down they give us a taste of their Conservatives With Good Taste POV: Now that America’s political parties have grown weak,

many news outlets do the work once properly carried out by the parties: opposition research, ideological messaging and even political organizing. As a result, much of what passes for political journalism is really party work by proxy.

I’m trying to think of when political journalism wasn’t “party work by proxy.” I think back to the 60s and 70s; while Goldhayestock’s observation might be true of mushy-middle sorta-liberal establishment pundits like Drew Pearson and Russell Baker, it certainly was not true of conservative columnists like James J. Kilpatrick and William F. Buckley. The Right has been militantly pushing its agenda for decades in every area of life including and especially in journalism, though we’re supposed to be too polite to notice. Nonetheless Goldhayestock portrays this as a recent, anomalous trend:

This is true across the ideological spectrum, but it is most worrisome on the right. The conservative movement was not intended to be a handmaiden to a single political party.

No, it was supposed to be the handmaiden of a single ideological movement.

What is good for the Republican Party may be good for the conservative cause, and vice versa. But that is not axiomatically so.

This is our hint that Goldhayesstock are using the GOP as a red herring — rather than talk about the liberal vs. conservatives struggle to which they’re still committed, they want to talk about radical Lib-Left-Dems, ideologically unattached Republicans, and, sitting way off to one side in a shaft of heavenly light, True Conservatives looking contemplative:

For instance, it would be an unalloyed victory for conservatives — and America — if the Democratic Party fully rejected socialism, abortion-until-birth and its growing obsession with wholesale gun confiscation. But that would not be good news for a Republican Party and conservative media complex increasingly invested in a strategy of polarization and demonization of Blue America. This points to the original purpose of the conservative movement, not just to defend those ideas, institutions and principles that make America an indispensable nation, but to persuade those who disagree with us.

“Socialism, abortion-until-birth and its growing obsession with wholesale gun confiscation” is a great example of the conservative method of persuasion right there in the paragraph where they declare themselves Above Such Things. I’ve been covering these guys for 16 years and I am here to tell you, except for occasional feints at policy, “polarization and demonization of Blue America” is pretty much all conservatives do.

These guys go in this vein for a while, eventually summoning a little feeble rah-rah: “we are a small and merry band, boarding a pirate skiff with limited provisions amidst choppy waters crammed with well-equipped battleships,” etc. You may get the impression there’s nothing even worth making fun of here. But! Suddenly! You realize that part of the offering is the return of Goldberg’s G-File:

I think the Kingsman parody showing Donald Trump slaughtering a bunch of journalists is gross. But I also think the media are making too big a deal about it…

The old tub-o-guts has still got it! 

The video has been around for over a year. It wasn’t really a major feature of the conference, nor apparently part of its official programming. And thanks to the media’s hyping of it, millions more people have now seen it than otherwise would have. 

So really when you think about it it’s you libtards’ own fault faarrrrrrrt. Later Goldberg says some bad things about Trump and then, as if actually hearing readers tell him “this isn’t why we’re giving you our precious email addresses”:

Adam Schiff has a kind of superpower. He can say wildly partisan, often flatly dishonest, things, but sound like a sober statesman with very grave concerns. He reminds me of that old Vick’s ad... Schiff is not a non-partisan statesman, but he plays one on TV.

Hey-o! We get more gab about Schiff's paraphrase of a Trump statement, which Goldberg, like Trump and most of wingnuttia, seems to consider a plot to misrepresent Trump as a bad man (“a bogus version... Trump had good reason to be pissed off”). Then, resuming the traditional pee-dance Goldberg does when he can’t defend either side of a proposition, he yaks about what a maroon Trump is.

Well, it’s early innings; old G-Files relocated to the Dispatch page give us a reminder of what a fully engaged Goldberg is capable of. For example, there’s an examination of “woke” comedy that contains this gem: “but it hardly takes a lot of imagination to see the woke Twitter brigades and campus Comstocks as modern day Puritans, furious that someone somewhere is living or thinking wrong.” Henri Bergson, look out!

Come to think of it,  maybe I should just come back in six months and see if they haven’t all been asphyxiated.