The Left bought off the Right’s leading conservative intellectuals, think tanks, and “flagship” magazines

The Left bought off the Right’s leading conservative intellectuals, think tanks, and “flagship” magazines. By Emerald Robinson.

There were rumors in the summer of 2018 that an audiotape was circulating that would send shockwaves through the think tanks of Washington and the conservative intellectual movement in particular. A top Google executive had been recorded telling his fellow employees that Google generously donated to conservative think tanks and magazines to dampen criticism of their anti-conservative bias.

In essence, Google was buying off Conservatism Inc. and the GOP establishment to stay silent while Google monitored, harassed, and excluded Trump supporters. …

I began to get a series of messages from various anonymous sources that the organizations that were guilty of taking Google money to stay silent included: the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Cato Institute, CPAC, the Weekly Standard and the National Review. …

Could the left buy off the entire conservative intellectual movement? Big Tech certainly had the money, and the motivation. But would the conservatives accept being bought off? Yes.

Finally, I was approached by an insider at one of the think tanks who confirmed the main details. …

One of the first people to attack my story was Jonah Goldberg, one of the chief editors of the National Review. … Goldberg was dismissive of my reporting on Twitter: “LOL. Love the idea you have sources.” …

On December 13th, Allum Bokhari at Breitbart also ran a piece which did not mince words about what Google’s money had paid for:

Audio recordings obtained by Wired reveal that Google cooperates with and funds a range of establishment conservatives in D.C. that help it fend off scrutiny and oversight from politicians. The organizations named in Wired’s report are the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and the Cato Institute. …

None of the guilty organizations were going to acknowledge the story or issue a public statement about it. They were so high and mighty and corrupt that they were going to stay silent to weather the storm of bad publicity. So on December 14th, I ran another tweet to bait the line:

It looks like conservative mag National Review was taking Google cash too. To suppress conservative speech on social media. Was this something that @NRO donors & contributors knew was taking place? Let’s ask @JonahNRO @DavidAFrench & others today.

Do I even need to tell you who swallowed the hook and started screaming? On December 18th, Goldberg did another piece attacking me and the Google story. … You see, dear reader, it’s not that the editors of the magazine got caught taking dirty money to hurt their fellow conservatives, it’s the crazy people who report this stuff!

This opening amounted to almost a blanket denial that the National Review had actually taken any Google money at all. Realizing at some point that this was, in fact, not true, Goldberg slipped into the second to last paragraph the following confession:

I learned that Google gave some money to the National Review Institute for the Buckley Prize dinner only because I asked about it this week …

So to sum up Jonah’s defense: “first, it’s absurd to think that any money changed hands, but yes money did change hands, but nobody could possible think that such money influenced what we wrote!”

The problem for Jonah Goldberg was that, actually, I did have an insider at his magazine who confirmed that National Review editors declined to publish anti-Google articles. I sent Jonah a note telling him that “the problem for you is that I do have evidence.” I added that my source would be happy to come forward and publicly identify himself if Goldberg or anyone else at the National Review wanted to continue denying the story.

Guess how many people from the National Review contacted me to do so? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

So I had basically caught the editors of the National Review in bald-faced lies about taking money from Big Tech companies like Google to remain silent while those same Big Tech companies censored and de-platformed other conservatives. …

 

Fueled by cash from Google.

 

I was hearing from sources close to the National Review Board that the loss of donors and subscribers was so serious that drastic action would need to be taken. (The magazine had lost about half of its subscriber base in less than two years.) The board was also adamant that Jonah Goldberg and David French were the main culprits behind the astonishing collapse of the magazine’s influence, and that they needed to go. Everybody wanted them off the masthead in order to survive. …

Meanwhile the funding of the magazine now relies even more heavily on Big Tech money: the back page of the June 1, 2021 issue was a full-page Facebook ad. Inside the same issue, in case you missed the point, there was a two-page ad from Google. The National Review didn’t bother trying to win back its old subscribers by becoming more conservative. Instead, it flipped them a giant middle finger.

This final insult might lead us to think the unthinkable about the soy boys who sank Buckley’s flagship. The same feeble metrosexuals who attacked the Covington Catholic boys, and printed pro-Jeffrey Epstein articles, and tried to discredit Carter Page, and pushed the Russia Hoax might not actually be conservatives after all. Their role does not seem to be halting the Left. Their role seems to be: pretending to be conservative in order to persuade actual conservatives to lose gracefully to the Left. …

It’s worse than mere failure. They fought for the other side, for money!

Conservatives must finally recognize something that’s very depressing and very important: the conservative intellectual movement in America didn’t just fail. It aided and abetted the Left for money.

The Left bought off the Right’s leading conservative intellectuals. And its think tanks. And its “flagship” magazines. This is not hyperbole or conjecture. I’ve got the receipts.

Until conservatives understand the depth and breadth of that betrayal, they won’t have any chance of rebuilding that movement out of the ashes any time soon.

Read it all for the details, but it stinks.

The Drudge Report (remember them?) was bought out a few years ago and eventually morphed into a leftist crossover site aimed at conservatives.