Nolte: The Indecency of ‘National Review’

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The most effective way to spot The Indecent is to watch for those who incessantly peacock their own decency … which perfectly describes the increasingly reprehensible Never Trump publication National Review.

Granted, there are still a couple of interesting contributors over there, chiefly Victor Davis Hanson and Andrew McCarthy, but this in no way mitigates National Review’s indecency anymore than a couple of innocent men wrongfully convicted turn a state prison into a Boy Scout camp.

National Review’s fall has been breathtaking. What was once the premiere source of conservative thought has become one of the most hypocritical, anti-intellectual, feelings-first, and unethical troll sites around.

In just a few short years, many, including myself, went from respecting this indispensable outlet to hardly thinking about it at all… National Review is now like a housefly you only take notice of when it insists on buzzing in your face — an obnoxious insect.

There’s nothing wrong with differing opinions or debate… that’s all good — good for America, good for democracy, good for those of us who want to be challenged, who are not afraid to evolve our ideas even as we enter middle age. And if National Review wants to embrace the Global Warming hoax and embrace Never Trump and aggressively work — in the name of decency, mind you — to undermine Trump during the general election in favor of Hillary Clinton and all those Supreme Court Justices and appeals court judges and federal judges she would have appointed, it’s a free country…

What I cannot stomach, though, is a gang of snobby Cultural Supremacists who lecture everyone else about The True Conservatism as they — in the name of decency, mind you — shamelessly suck up to conservatism’s enemies in the elite media and practically write campaign ads for Hillary Clinton.

What I mostly cannot abide, though, is a smug, self-satisfied group of pious scolds who scribble for an outlet guilty of some of the most unethical and dishonest behavior imaginable.

Let’s start with taking money from Google and then having your editor-in-chief publish an article in an establishment media publication in support of Google — you know, without disclosing he took money from Google…

But it gets worse… How about National Review taking money from Google and then publishing an article defending Google at National Review without disclosing this fact to the readers?

Listen, I get how the world works. We all gotta make a living. National Review is probably a tad desperate for cash these days —  so fine, take Google’s dirty money… Hey, if you’re willing to become the footstool for an evil, left-wing corporation abusing its power to rig the public square as a means to stifle unfettered political speech and the free exchange of ideas in favor of leftism, that’s your call.

And if that money just happens to “inspire” you to defend said evil corporation and its un-American approach to political debate and discourse — whatever floats your boat.

But what you cannot do is not disclose this blinding conflict of interest, and what you most certainly cannot do is operate under this conflict of interest while lecturing others about little things like honesty and integrity and decency and morality and virtue.

And then there’s the whole KKKids from KKKovington smear…

Rush Limbaugh is absolutely right:

One of the biggest problems that we as conservatives have was on full display all weekend long, continuing into this morning — and that is, quite simply, we have a lot of people who would rather lose gracefully with the approval of the mainstream media than simply use their heads and understand who our opposition is.

These people are scared to death of the media and the first and only thing they care about is media approval. They don’t want to be lumped in with the kids! So you have a bunch of kids from a Catholic high school standing around minding their own business, being assaulted by a militant, leftist black group and then having an Indian group with an aging leftist Indian activist named Nathan Phillips come start batting on his war drum.

Our old buddies at National Review were among the first to pile on these kids. What would make a bunch of people on our side want to destroy teenagers? I’ll tell you what would make them want to destroy teenagers: Salvaging their own reputations.

They couldn’t afford, in their own thinking, to be seen as being on the same side as these evil kids. … And right there: National Review, they start condemning these kids

Without seeing all of the video — in other words, without bothering to gather all of the facts and context — and all in an effort to assure the fake news media that National Review is not one those people, this appalling publication — probably in-between blog posts about how indecent the Bad Orange Man and his supporters are — smeared children.

The kids from Covington Catholic High School are not adults, are not of age… They are kids, they are children, and even with the knowledge that the Internet is forever, National Review told the world that these kids “Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross.”

And it was not just one self-righteous smug looking to put neon lights around his own virtue even if it meant destroying the futures of adolescents, the editor-in-chief of National Review also joined the establishment media’s smear campaign:

Sure, finally, after being cornered by the incontrovertible proof that these kids were the victims of black nationalists and a serial-lying American Indian who deliberately invaded their space, National Review took the piece down, deleted the tweets, and apologized…

But even if you forgive National Review for joining the media mob without bothering to check all the facts, even if you can look past that immature and irresponsible “first instinct” … who does this to … KIDS?

Speaking of targeting children…

What are we to make of a National Review that does public relations work for a monster convicted of sex crimes against children?

In June of 2008, Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty for procuring an underage prostitute.

And yet, in July of 2013, long after everyone knew he had not repented, National Review published a massive 1500 word article gushing over Epstein.

In the closing paragraph, the article glosses over Epstein as some “obscure figure, tarnished now by a series of scandals involving underage women, one of which led to an 18-month jail sentence,” but  nowhere is it disclosed that the author was, according to the New York Times, working at the time as a publicist for Epstein. Instead she’s identified as a science writer, and apparently one who was so impressed with Mr. Child Rapist, she was simply inspired one bright day to write 1500 purple words about this extraordinary public servant.

Here’s a taste:

Epstein is first and foremost a problem solver, interested in strategy and intellectual puzzles. He is equally devoted to physics, artificial intelligence, and the human brain. According to Nowak, Epstein was fascinated with his game theory of win–stay, lose–shift and eager to see how it could be applied to the markets. That is not to say that Epstein has no interest in purely humanistic endeavors. He has given thoughtfully to countless organizations that help educate underprivileged children, notably in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where his foundation is based. But his essence is in uncovering unsolved problems, a perhaps insatiable desire.

After getting caught by the New York Times, National Review did delete the piece, but you can still read it here, and when you do, ask yourself how this public relations puffery got past the editors. Stylistically, it reads nothing like what you read at National Review, or anywhere other than a self-promoting press release.

QUESTION: What’s the difference between National Review and Donald Trump?

ANSWER: Donald Trump never smeared children or did PR work for a man convicted of sex crimes against a child.

We all make mistakes. We all have ethical lapses. We’re all guilty of this, and we all deserve a second chance.

But here’s the difference between decent people and National Review

Once humbled by their own mistakes, decent people come down from their high horse; decent people do not continue to imperiously stride through life pretending they still have the moral authority to sneer at everyone else; decent people put away their self-righteous sanctimony, their better-than-thou pomposity…

Decent people have the decency to stop buzzing around in everybody else’s face.

But here’s the thing that strikes me the most, something striking National Review has in common with CNN and the Washington Post and the New York Times… Look at how all those good faith mistakes, all those ethical oopsies all fall one way, and by one way, I mean … to the left.

Oopsy, we accidentally wrote pieces about how the Deplorable criticisms against our benefactors at Google violate all things TrueCon.

Oopsy, we accidentally smeared an innocent group of underage, MAGA-hatted Trump supporters as Jesus-spitting-on racists.

Oopsy, we accidentally tried to rehabilitate the image of a major Democrat donor.

And, naturally, all these oopsies occurred between countless pieces lecturing the rest of us about how indecent and unethical and uncouth we all are.

 Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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