Many people would say that Jonah Goldberg’s current employer, National Review, is already anti-Trump. Known for his barrage of #NeverTrump articles (in the issue of full disclosure, I’ve written my own barrage of #NeverTrump articles), Goldberg is enemy number 1 for many of President Trump’s most ardent supporters. They view the writer as a traitor to the conservative cause. Well, it appears that Goldberg is doubling down on his #NeverTrump position because the news broke this morning that he is leaving National Review in the coming months to help create a new conservative media company that is “Trump-skeptical.”
First reported by Mike Allen for Axios, Jonah Goldberg is teaming up with Steve Hayes, who was the editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Weekly Standard. According to Allen, “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.”
The new company doesn’t have a name yet and is seeking investors. Jonah Goldberg will serve as its editor-in-chief with Hayes stepping into the CEO role. According to Hayes, “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.”
Without knowing the ins and outs, this seems like a risky move for Goldberg, who will remain as a fellow for the National Review Institute. Many people believe that The Weekly Standard failed in large part due to its anti-Trump bias. In today’s political climate, playing within the bounds of identity politics is almost essential and any centrist position is viewed with suspicion. I, for one, am skeptical that Hayes is correct when he insists that “there’s a great appetite on the center-right” for this kind of media company. I guess we’re all going to find out.