Jonah Goldberg is leaving National Review in the coming months to start a new conservative media company with Steve Hayes, who was editor-in-chief of The Weekly Standard when its owner shut it down in December.
Details: Goldberg and Hayes tell me they plan a reporting-driven, Trump-skeptical company that will begin with newsletters as soon as this summer, then add a website in September, and perhaps ultimately a print magazine.
- Hayes, the likely CEO, and Goldberg, likely the editor-in-chief, are the founders.
- Hayes tells me about the startup, which doesn’t have a name now: “We believe there’s a great appetite on the center-right for an independent conservative media company that resists partisan boosterism and combines a focus on old-school reporting with interesting and provocative commentary and analysis.”
Hayes and Goldberg are seeking investors.
- Goldberg joined National Review in 1998 and was the founding editor of National Review Online. He’ll continue as a fellow for the National Review Institute.
The reason to be skeptical about this has less to do with the anti-Trump conservative bent as the media environment into which Scoop will be born, from which Hayes’ Weekly Standard just exited. Non-partisan and non-ideological media are doing poorly these days, so bringing another media company into this atmosphere seems like a dubious idea.
That is a bigger issue than the “Trump-skeptical” viewpoint. Whether you like Trump or not (and recall Trump deserves praise when he does good things and criticism when he does bad things), at some point — 2021 or 2025 — the GOP will become a post-Trump party. Then what? Does the GOP revert to Reaganesque optimism and belief in free markets and free trade? Does it delve further into opposition to the idea that those from outside this country might have something positive to bring here?