Trump Mocks Closure of ‘Never Had a Clue’ Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard: ‘May It Rest in Peace!’

Conservative weekly magazine with anti-Trump stance announced Friday it was shuttering after 23 years

Last Updated: December 15, 2018 @ 3:08 PM

Donald Trump took aim at The Weekly Standard a day after the conservative magazine announced it would shut down on after 23 years.

“The pathetic and dishonest Weekly Standard, run by failed prognosticator Bill Kristol (who, like many others, never had a clue), is flat broke and out of business. Too bad. May it rest in peace!” the president wrote on his Twitter account Saturday.

The magazine, founded by commentator Bill Kristol in 1995 but which has suffered in recent years as a rare conservative voice of anti-Trump opinion, confirmed the closure on Friday. The last issue will be published on Dec. 17.

“Despite investing significant resources into the publication, the financial performance of the publication over the last five years — with double-digit declines in its subscriber base all but one year since 2013 — made it clear that a decision had to be made,” he added. “After careful consideration of all possible options for its future, it became clear that this was the step we needed to take.”

Shadows had loomed over the magazine, which has defied other conservative media outlets by taking a consistently anti-Trump stance since the 2016 election, with questions about the Standard’s financial health as well as Clarity’s plans to expand its more pro-Trump outlet The Washington Examiner to include a weekly magazine of its own.

“All good things come to an end. And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard,” said founding editor Bill Kristol in a tweet. “I want to express my gratitude to our readers and my admiration for my colleagues. We worked hard to put out a quality magazine, and we had a good time doing so. And we have much more to do. Onward!”

There had previously been some chatter that Clarity would merge the two publications, but that possibility was ruled out on Friday. A rep for Clarity declined to comment on how many staffers would be laid off from the magazine. The decision to fold the Standard is a blow to legacy anti-Trump conservative media, which has come under growing audience pressure to fall into line with the current administration.

The decision by Clarity brings to an end one of the most influential conservative magazines in the country. Founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes and published by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, the magazine was purchased by Clarity media in 2009. It’s most recent editor was Stephen F. Hayes.

The Standard is the second major media property to fold up in just weeks. In November, millennial media outlet Mic laid off its entire editorial staff after months of declining traffic and the cancellation of its Facebook Watch program led to a cash crunch.