“Guy came to me a couple of years ago begging me to help him find money,” said Breitbart News’s Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon of National Review’s former publisher Jack Fowler.
Bannon’s comments came during Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily in conversation with co-host Alex Marlow.
Describing the National Review as “pathetic,” Breitbart News’s Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon recalled how the ostensibly conservative news media outlet’s former publisher Jack Fowler begged him for fundraising help several years ago:
The National Review publisher, this is how pathetic they are. Guy came to me a couple of years ago begging me to help him find money. They’re not a for-profit thing, they lose money. It’s just a cash drain, their donors aren’t coming out… Begging with his tin cup out. “Hey, introduce me to some donors. We need money. We’re broke.”
National Review’s financial difficulties, said Bannon, were related to its management’s lack of understanding of the “new media” landscape. He contrasted National Review’s ineptitude in this dimension with Andrew Breitbart’s aptitude: “Here’s the thing they never got that [Andrew Breitbart] got: Andrew understood new media.”
“These guys are just a magazine nobody reads with a website nobody goes to,” surmised Bannon. “Nobody read them, anymore. Nobody pays attention. They have no influence.”
The wife of National Review Online’s (NRO) David French previously sought to monetize a relationship with former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), said Bannon:
I think his wife was trying to suck up to the Palin family. They were sucking up to Palin family years ago. Another disaster. They were trying to do one of the girls’ biographies, or something, and that’s what these kind of people do, right? Hey kinda go from thing to thing to thing to try to pay the rent. How do you take a guy like that seriously?
Despite broadly staking out a “Never Trump” editorial position (with some dissent) and seeking to subvert then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, National Review markets itself as a “conservative” news media outlet.
Breitbart News is about “the voice of the people,” said Marlow, “that’s why we’re populists.” This news media outlet is displacing the previously held influence of ostensibly conservative news media outlets, added its Editor-in-Chief: “That’s what this is about, that’s this year’s been about, and it’s about the diminishing voice of the pundits.”
The ostensibly conservative “Never Trump” commentariat, added Marlow, had damaged its political bona fides among grassroots conservatives:
Never Trump had the toughest year [in 2017]. It’s gotta be these guys who tried to help Hillary Clinton to win an election because Trump wasn’t a true conservative. But what have we gotten? We’ve gotten an across-the-board conservative president. We’ve gotten a guy who’s deconstructing the administrative state, gotten us incredible judges, passed a tax cut that was championed by basically all Republicans.
Donald Trump’s presidency amounts to an “unbelievable moment for conservatives,” added Marlow, noting that “Never Trump fought against the man that got all that done.”
Ostensibly “Never Trump” conservatives, said Bannon, had lost their political credibility by offering de facto support to an existential threat to America manifested in the Clintons; framing them as beyond political redemption: “So a lot of these guys are saying now, “oh, my gosh. He actually may be a conservative.” Guess what? Too late. You don’t get to redo it. Too late. You wanted Hillary Clinton. You wanted the total destruction of this country… We don’t care what you have to say.”
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.