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National Review Is In Deep Trouble

Entertainment Memo Pad Politics

National Review Is In Deep Trouble


The late William F. Buckley’s journalistic baby, National Review, is in deep legal trouble.

This week it asked subscribers like me for donations to pay lawyers fending off a libel suit. Those legal bills, even before a trial it may well lose, could sink the leading right-wing journal in America, The Week says.

Progressives, liberals, conservatives and middle-of-the-roaders should all care about this, but not for the reasons National Review cites.

The magazine’s January 27 issue asserts “at stake most narrowly is the question of whether [climate scientist Michael] Mann’s work can be vigorously criticized, and more broadly is the fate of free speech in an increasingly politically correct society.”

Nonsense. Not to mention bad writing and editing.

National Review mischaracterizes both the facts and the import of the issues in a way that has come to define the magazine since 1997 under editor Rich Lowry.

All that is at stake here are the business interests of National Review, Lowry, writer Mark Steyn and the other defendants — as well as, of course, the wrongly maligned Dr. Mann.

Libel lawsuits are notoriously difficult to win, as they should be.

But Mann has powerful allies: facts, independent investigations that found “no basis” for any accusation of intellectual dishonesty and, perhaps most significantly, the studied refusal by both the magazine and Steyn to acknowledge error and correct the record.

In a 2012 post still available at National Review Online, Steyn reprinted an already discredited quote that compared Mann, who teaches at Penn State, to assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the serial child rapist who was protected by college administrators.

The quoted language included this:

Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of political science, except that instead of molesting children he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science.

Steyn then slightly distanced himself from this quote before writing that Mann was “behind the fraudulent climate-change ‘hockey-stick’ graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus” and musing that “if an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up?”

Lowry refused Mann’s request to take down the post, writing a month later that rather than suggesting criminality, Steyn was “savagely witty and stung poor Michael” by exposing “intellectually bogus and wrong” research reports.

If Mann filed suit against National Review, Lowry concluded, he “risks making an ass of himself.”

We all make mistakes. When journalists err our duty is prompt, forthright and candid correction, not piling on.

National Review is in trouble because its minimalist “reporting” combined with lightweight analysis was compounded by Lowry’s conduct.  Not owning up to these mistakes was not just unprofessional. It was stupid.

Would that Lowry and his writers attended any of my frequent lectures on how to report. They could learn not just interviewing and fact-gathering techniques, but what I call the first three rules of journalism:

Rule One: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Rule Two: Crosscheck and crosscheck until the facts are bolted down solid.

Rule Three: Put those facts in their proper place in the universe.

National Review’s assertion that “the state of free speech” depends on the outcome of Mann’s lawsuit is ludicrously out of proportion.

And Mann’s lawsuit is not about being “vigorously criticized,” but National Review’s disregard for facts.

I have been reading National Review since my teens, one of more than 40 magazines I take that provide a vast array of perspectives on many subjects.

Now and then over the last half-century I agreed with National Review. But, sadly, ever since editor Lowry took charge, it’s mostly laughter — derisive laughter.

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

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  1. docb January 31, 2014

    I loved listening to/ reading WFB but lowry and steyn have ruined this pub.. Dropped my-sign in years ago!

  2. Lynda Groom January 31, 2014

    The author of that poorly written article is clearly not in the same league with Dr. Mann. I hope that when this is settled the price for such blatant dishonesty is very high.

  3. Arachnae January 31, 2014

    “America needs first-rate publications that articulate conservative perspectives by marshaling hard facts and sound logic.” – if you can marshal hard facts and sound logic, you cease to be a conservative, since conservatism these days purges people who can deploy these tools.

    1. Kathy Miller January 31, 2014


      ★★★ ★�★★ ★★★⥭★ ★★★It was scholar level work and at times a hard read, and that’s why people subscribed. It was challenging.

    2. i2grok February 1, 2014

      I gave this post a “like” because quality opinions create constructive dialogue that can lead to better understanding of what is real and what is just someone’s personal perspective.
      I an a Democrat. Rather than knee jerk and give this a thumbs down I actually read the content, and intent, of the post and commented.
      I would home all readers would do the same.

    3. RobertCHastings February 1, 2014

      Two excellent CONSERVATIVE periodicals are Salon and Foreign Affairs, at least they were excellent the last time I read them about five years ago. The Economist is blatantly biased and they say it up front, but they do provide the news.

      1. davidcayjohnston February 2, 2014

        NM Columnist here….
        Salon is conservative? Bizarre comment from its launch to today…

        1. RobertCHastings February 4, 2014

          The last time I read Salon, it was a different animal, although it was still well-respected and well-written, just like “Foreign Affairs”, a major source for many regarding issues of foreign affairs.

  4. commchf January 31, 2014

    Right wing hate radio has destroyed conservatism. NR used to be a wonderful magazine. It was scholar level work and at times a hard read, and that’s why people subscribed. It was challenging.

    1. itsfun February 1, 2014

      Have you ever listened to the hate and name calling on left wing radio? I have and find it to be worse or just as bad as any right wing radio.

      1. i2grok February 1, 2014

        I live in Texas. Can you tell me where I can find Left Wing radio? All I get here are the talking points of the day from the RNC.

        1. BillP February 1, 2014

          If you have a satellite radio you can listen to msnbc live, otherwise try watching msnbc through the internet.

        2. itsfun February 1, 2014

          I have xm/serius radio, I get the left wing there. Its the station number next to the right wing station. Easy for me to get both sides. I am not sure of the numbers, but may be stations 124 and 125

      2. Joseph Hemphill February 1, 2014

        What is this “Left wing radio” you speak of??

        1. itsfun February 1, 2014

          msnbc, also left wing stations on xm/serius.

      3. mikem42 February 1, 2014

        You are nuts if you believe what you wrote here. I have listened to both left and right wing radio, and there is no comparison. Nastiness and lies dominate the right wing, and I get upset that the left doesn’t answer these things more forcefully. And, right wing outlets outnumber the left by about 50 to 1. But, more people go to demolition derbies than to the library, so don’t take that as a positive.

        1. itsfun February 1, 2014

          So you know exactly what stations I have listened to and exactly what I have heard on these stations. Do you have a spy drone flying over my house? Believe it not, both sides are very capable of calling names and being nasty. Just look at the nasty names I have been called on this site.

          1. mikem42 February 1, 2014

            Do you equate being called “nuts” to being called a slut, or Nazi? And I pretty much do know what left leaning shows are on the air, as there so few. Tell me a name or two of left leaning commentators who have been offensive in their language. I can give you many on the right who continue to be so.

          2. Dominick Vila February 1, 2014

            I listen to NPR almost every day, and I have never heard yelling or name calling on that forum.

  5. piniella February 1, 2014

    Thankfully there exist The American Conservative and the libertarian monthly Reason, with its provocative substance.

    I agree about The American Conservative but I’m still not sure about Reason.

    1. Kansan February 1, 2014

      Reason sucks. The editors are prostitutes, with David Koch their most important “client.” Their nonsense about for-profit prisons is one of the best examples of standing the truth on its head, but lately they have had many articles per week about the “failure” of Obamacare. They don’t reflect reality, but rather wishes.

      1. itsfun February 1, 2014

        Are you saying the obamacare tax is a success?

        1. mikem42 February 1, 2014

          Tax is not a four letter word. Why are you so afraid of paying taxes? Do you need no benefits from your government? There is no free lunch, so grow up and pay your share and let the rest of us get insurance coverage.

          1. itsfun February 1, 2014

            Are you saying I should pay for your healthcare? You say there is no free lunch, then in the next sentence say I should give you a free lunch.

          2. Kansan February 1, 2014

            I’ve been hearing the reactionary meme quite often of late: “I’m not a 23-year-old single woman (or some such crap) so why should I have to pay for her contraception?”

            This is usually coming from some wanker who has been smoking for 40 years, has COPD or emphysema, prostate surgery and a Viagra scrip.

            He’s getting 100 times as much free lunch as that 23-year-old but is too stupid to know he’s suffering from psittacosis.

          3. mikem42 February 1, 2014

            By “the rest of us”, I meant of course, all human citizens of the country. I have Medicare thanks to working for 44 years, plus 4 years active service in military. I didn’t mind paying for older folks while I was working, and think the workers of today should indeed pay toward the support of current retirees and seniors. That’s the American way, or was until the greedy class reasserted their power, through buying off politicians. So, if you don’t want to pay, who will pay for you when you reach older age?

        2. BuzzLOL February 1, 2014

          . While badmouthing ObamaCare, conservatives are signing up for it in droves… many couldn’t get coverage before…
          . Kinda like GOP Governors, except NJ FatBoy, badmouthing federal aid to the states, while reaching out to grab it in droves…

          1. itsfun February 1, 2014

            First you check and see how many are signing up in “droves”. Then you should check and see how many that didn’t have insurance before the tax law, have signed up for it. Most of the people signing up are ones that had their own policies before the law. They are getting premium increases, deductible increases and more co-pay.
            There is no need to Christie names. When you call people names it just shows a lack of knowledge and class.

          2. Kansan February 1, 2014

            You don’t think Christie can handle “fat boy?” He’s referred to himself in much the same way.

            Before telling someone else to “check” figures, you ought to do your own homework.

          3. Lynette Huffstedtler February 2, 2014

            Can you give us some verifiable examples of those who are worse off than before?

          4. itsfun February 2, 2014

            Try watching news programs. Almost every day you see a average citizen telling their story about losing their insurance and how high the new insurance premiums are. Did you see the article on the citizen taling with obama about how her insurance went up and she was losing her doctor. He said he would have someone call her.

          5. Lynette Huffstedtler February 4, 2014

            Except when the details of those stories come out, it turns out that those individuals where going through the normal round of losing their insurance at the end of the calendar year, and that insurance being replaced by different insurance at the start of the new calendar year. I technically “lost” my insurance at the end of December. I had new insurance through a new carrier Jan 1, as had been negotiated by my employer, as it has always been. And I hate to break it to you, insurance premiums have been going up (significantly) for the last 20 years.

          6. itsfun February 5, 2014

            Those individuals would have been able to renew the policies they wanted, not the dictator. Their rates would not be doubling or tripling with extremely high deductibles, and higher co-pays. How is raising premiums, co-pays, and deductibles helping those that already had insurance. With your employer furnishing your insurance, you don’t have to worry about the obamacare tax yet. How many people are going to need even more food stamps and welfare help when their work hours are cut to 29 a week? How many people will lose their homes when they are forced to spend additional money for their health care? People with policies the dictator doesn’t like can’t afford to have house payments, car payments, children, and higher healthcare payments. People are on budgets, they can’t just print money like the government or just borrow from China, then raise taxes to pay the loan back. Raising the minimum wage won’t help at all. Many will lose their jobs or have hours cut further. Raising taxes on medical devices only hurts the individuals also. This is a complete train wreck.Yesterday the CBO announced the eventual lose of 2.5 million jobs because of the obamacare tax. We have already lost 1.5 million jobs since Obama took office. This law is just making us more of a welfare state.

          7. Lynette Huffstedtler February 5, 2014

            Oh give me a break! You sound like a Fox and Friends report with the misleading and/or inaccurate statements. How old are you anyway? As I said, premiums have been going up for 20 years; and yes, there have been HUGE rate increases in the past, long before Obama even took office. And please, please, please- go find a dictionary and look up what a dictator ACTUALLY IS. You are a total joke throwing around terms that you obviously don’t even know the definition of.
            Oh, and one more thing- if you are actually so concerned about the middle and lower classes being hammered financially you need to tell the gop/tp to stop trying to stick it to the middle and lower classes. And THAT is legislation that can be looked up.

          8. itsfun February 5, 2014

            Give me a Break. You don’t believe what the CBO says about the obamacare tax costing 2.5 million jobs? Yep insurance premiums have been going up for over 20 years, but not doubling every year, or being forced to accept high deductibles and co-payys.
            Didn’t Obama say in his State of the Union speech, that 2014 would be the year of the executive order. Didn’t he say if congress didn’t do what he wanted, he would just go around them and ignore them? If a system of government has only one person making the rules and laws, then we have a dictator. That is what he has promised. If there are any jokes here, it is you, and the fantasy world you live in. How old are you?

          9. Lynette Huffstedtler February 5, 2014

            Read more carefully. If necessary, take a remedial reading class. The CBO didn’t say “employers are kicking people out of their jobs because of healthcare”. What they DID say was that having affordable healthcare now gives millions of people the option to leave jobs that they stayed in and felt tied to for no other reason than they needed the insurance. Same thing for a reduction in hours. Millions were working full time because that was the only way they could get coverage through their employers. Try again.

          10. itsfun February 5, 2014

            Lets see, you say millions were working full time, so they could get health care through their employer. Does that mean, millions will want to work less than full time so they can give up their coverage through their employer, so they can make less money and also purchase mandated health insurrance at a greater cost than their employer health insurance coverage. Makes a lot of sense to earn less money, so you can purchase more expensive health insurance. No one said 2.5 million would get kicked out of their jobs, The CBO said we will lose 2.5 million jobs. If people just left their job, employers would hire someone to take their place, so no jobs would be lost. You just made the exact arguement Jay Carney did for the White House, and you talk about someone watching network news. By the way, his response has been ridiculed by many.

          11. Lynette Huffstedtler February 6, 2014

            “Does that mean, millions will want to work less than full time so they can give up their coverage through their employer…”
            Yes, it does. Many people were/are tied to jobs not because they need the money that badly or they want to be in a particular job, but because that was the only way they could get health insurance. And ridicule or not, (and I’d wager that the ridicule is coming from the right flank, which is worried that employers won’t have that issue to tie employees to them anymore) that is a reality. Many people would opt to work fewer hours than they currently do because of family obligations or because they wish to pursue other avenues- like starting their own businesses. Not exactly the stinging indictment of the ACA that the gop is looking for, but hey, they’re willing to grasp at straws, as apparently are you.

          12. Lynette Huffstedtler February 5, 2014

            Here ya’ go. And be sure to read the whole article, not just the sentence that seems to back up your claims:


        3. Kansan February 1, 2014

          Apparently, you have difficulty reading.

          Do you think you read the word “tax” in my post?

          Try this. Read very slowly, and move your finger under each word as you read. You can move your lips if that helps.

          Then, if you still think I wrote “tax,” make an appointment to see an optometrist.

          1. itsfun February 1, 2014

            Obamacare is a tax. The Supreme Court said so, otherwise it would be unconstitutional. Do you did write “tax” just didn’t know it.

          2. Kansan February 1, 2014

            Obamacare is not a “tax,” any more than a tire iron is a Cadillac. The penalty for ignoring the individual mandate is a tax, according to Roberts.

            I didn’t write “tax” anywhere.

        4. Kansan February 2, 2014

          Looks like you flagged my posts.

          Thin skinned, much?

          1. itsfun February 2, 2014

            All replies to my posts get sent to my e-mail.

  6. Dominick Vila February 1, 2014

    The real reason the far right media and entertainers are becoming extinct has nothing to do with Dr. Mann’s opinions, but with the fact that mainstream is moving decidedly to the center.
    It does not take a genius to understand the dangers of far right policies and inaction, and the contrast represented by Presidents Clinton and Obama’s successes, both of who succeeded against tremendous odds and savage attacks by the far right. Most Americans are looking for solutions, not cheap rhetoric, and that spells disaster for the party of NO.

    1. itsfun February 1, 2014

      I don’t think Rush and Hannity are going to become extinct any time soon. It also doesn’t take a genius to understand the dangers of Obama’s socialist plans and his dictatorship plans to ignore congress. Obama is a completely failed president What did he get from his 2013 State of the Union speech? What has he done except get the obamacare tax passed by using very questionable techniques and special rules to get it passed? He has an IRS that has targeted conservative groups, he allowed a American ambassador and 3 other Americans to be murdered in Benghazi. He does not enforce border control laws. He allowed fast and furious to happen. That caused a American border control officer to be murdered. He spies on reporters and threatens them. The mainstream has always been closer to the center than the far right or left. We have a president that is far left. He spies on every American citizen.

      1. Dominick Vila February 1, 2014

        § Terrorist attacks during George W. Bush’s tenure:

        2001 – World Trade Center, New York and Pentagon, DC; 3,000 killed.

        2002 – U.S. Consulate in Karachi Pakistan attacked, 12 killed; 51 injured.

        2003 – International Compound, Saudi Arabia, 17 killed .

        2003 – U.S. Consulate, Karachi, Pakistan, 2 killed.

        2004 – U.S. Embassy bombed in Uzbekistan, 2 killed 9 injured.

        2004 – U.S. Consulate Saudi Arabia, 8 killed.

        2006 – U.S. Consulate, Karachi, Pakistan, 4 killed including a U.S. diplomat.

        2006 – U.S. Embassy, Syria, 1 killed and 13 wounded.

        2007 – Grenade launched into the U.S. Embassy in Athens. No casualties.

        2008 – U.S. Embassy, Serbia, attacked by thousands, no one killed.

        2008 – U.S. Consulate, Turkey, 3 killed.

        2008 – U.S. Embassy in Yemen bombed, 13 killed.

        – Terrorist attacks during George
        H, W, Bush’s tenure: 12 Embassy attacks with 60 killed.

        Weekly attacks against U.S.
        interests, civilians, and against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        GOP reaction: George W. Bush
        transformed into a war President, and is praised for keeping us safe!

        As for accomplishments, consider this brief synopsis:

        1. Healthcare reform (ACA)

        2. Stimulus package, cash for
        clunkers, subsidies for appliance replacements, help to first time home buyers

        3. Saved two major industrial giants (GM&Chrysler)

        4. Turned around an economy on the verge of collapse, record bankruptcies/foreclosures, and jobs losses in spite
        of obstructionism

        5. Wall Street reform (the DOW at record highs)

        6. Recapitalized banks

        7. Created more jobs in 4.5 years than his predecessor did in

        8. Ended the war in Iraq

        9. Ordered the raid that brought justice to Osama bin Laden

        10. Ordered the withdrawal from Afghanistan

        11. Ordered attacks against Al Qaeda safe havens in Pakistan

        12. Helped topple Moammar Kadaffi

        13. Reversed Bush’s torture and rendition policies

        14. Tightened sanctions on Iran

        15. Restored U.S. international credibility

        16. Repealed DADT and championed marriage equality.

        17. Lilly Ledbetter (equal pay for women)

        18. Fought for lower student loan interest rates

        19. Coordinated activities to solve the global financial crisis

        20. Championed the Veterans Program Improvements Act of 2011 and honored Veterans contributions repeatedly.

        21. Championed and signed credit card reforms

        22. Nominated two excellent candidates to fill Supreme Court vacancies

        23. Invested in renewable technology and focused on alternate energy source development, which contributed to greater energy independence

        24. Expanded hate crime protections

        25. Improved school nutrition program

        26. Expanded stem cell research

        27. Terminated the unnecessary F22 project

        28. Proposed investment in infrastructure to address national concerns and create jobs (killed by GOP)

        29. Proposed Veterans Jobs Act (killed by GOP)

        30. Proposed expansion of Reagan’s gun control act (killed by GOP)

        31. Proposed immigration reform

        32. Reduced civil servant workforce to reduce the side of government and reduce expenditures

        33. The effect of his policies contributed to government revenue increases, lower deficits, economic growth, and job creation.

        34. No foreign terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, and reduced attacks against U.S. diplomatic missions from 12 to 1.

        35. Eased mortgage refinance restrictions, and student loan policies.

        1. Jim Myers February 1, 2014

          Excellent post. Keep up the good work.

          JIm Myers

        2. itsfun February 1, 2014

          So that makes what Obama is doing OK. Just blame George Bush for all the problems created and ignored by Obama.

          1. Dominick Vila February 1, 2014

            No, that makes your obsession with Benghazi and your claim that President Obama has done nothing, except for championing and signing ACA, sound ridiculous. It also confirms what President Clinton said about conservatives having serious problems with basic arithmetic. That is: one terrorist attack is greater than 12. An economy on the verge of collapse is better than a recovering economy, and the rest of the nonsense we hear from the right wing.
            For the record, President Obama is one of the best Presidents this country ever had.

          2. dpaano February 3, 2014

            Dominick: Also, as a note to “itsfun,” President Obama didn’t “allow” Benghazi to happen. You make it sound like he orchestrated it all alone…..get a clue!

          3. Lynette Huffstedtler February 2, 2014

            That doesn’t cut it. Refute the fact, or you’ve got nothin’. And what ThomasBell posted is something that can be checked, so you either have a fact to rebut with or again, you’ve got nothin’.

          4. Lynette Huffstedtler February 4, 2014

            Who was on watch when the financial collapse occurred? Which party has done everything in its legislative power to keep the US economy from recovering because that would put the Democratic party at an advantage (having a healed and/or booming economy) come election time? Who has voted over and over and over to put the recovery on the backs of the poor and middle class? (Hint: it’s not the Democratic party.)

        3. ThomasBonsell February 1, 2014

          One more, to be No. 37.

          Just read recently that federal spending adjusted for inflation is about 10 percent BELOW where it was when George W. Bush left office. Another right-wing whine disputed.

          1. dpaano February 3, 2014

            Thomas: There’s so many more!!!

        4. Lynette Huffstedtler February 2, 2014

          Nicely done Dominic. I see you on other sites, and it’s good to see someone combat the irrationality, partial truths, outright lies, and misuse of terms with grace, reason, and sound argument. Kudos!

        5. dpaano February 3, 2014

          Dominick: Unfortunately, you do know that you can’t argue with stupid, right? I’ve brought these things up time and time again in discussions with my Republican friends (yeah, I consider them friends event tho their brains are scrambled), and they just don’t see the point. It’s an impossibility to change their minds, so I gave up trying. Let them go through life as uneducated as they want to be!!! Fortunately, there are enough of us to tip the scales! As a note, I ALSO listen to their points of view, and sometimes we DO come to an agreement on our beliefs….so, I’m not as closed minded as they seem to be.

      2. Jim Myers February 1, 2014

        It appears you have graduated from the wacky weed to something much more potent.

        Time to check into rehab.

        1. BillP February 1, 2014

          It’s alway fun to read these right wing troll comments. Obama’s socialist plans and dictator plans are always just generalized statements never backed up by facts. It seems that using executive actions are bad when done by Democrats but never when Republicans do it. Bush/Cheney expanded executive powers during their 8 year reign, where was the outrage then by the right. Throwing out the term socialism makes it seem that all socialist policies are evil unlike capitalist policies that pollute the air and water in the name of profit and let’s not forget the creation of GMO products.

          The other main issue that the trolls point out is the 4 dead in Benghazi and the single border officer killed but forget that in a single instance 3,000 died on 9/11/200. I don’t hear them blaming Bush for these deaths.

          1. itsfun February 1, 2014

            I know George Bush was not a great president by any means, but now you are blaming him for 9/11. Did he attack Pearl Harbor too.

          2. BuzzLOL February 1, 2014

            . If BushJr. would have read his security report of a month earlier about religious terrorists’ plans to fly planes into buildings, and the FBI reports from concerned agents of Arabs learning to steer planes, but not takeoff or land, he could have prevented 9/11… well, OK, he prolly wasn’t able to put 2 + 2 together… took him till a month after 9/11 to even admit his family’s buddy Osama bin Laden did 9/11… he wanted to blame Saddam… his security advisor told him it was Osama from day 1… and even before… of course, they had planned for a “New Pearl Harbor” type event two years earlier than 9/11 to make an eventual GOP president more supported by the American people… give him dictator type powers…

          3. itsfun February 1, 2014

            George Bush is not a junior. After England moved their ambassador out of Benghazi because of terrorist threats, why didn’t Obama move our American Ambassador out? Have you read the FBI reports?

          4. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

            itsfun, you should make an effort to familiarize yourself with the topics you are discussing before you make claims in public. Especially when you do it in forums like this. Ambassadors work and usually live in Embassies. Embassies are located in the capital city of the host country, in the case of Libya, our embassy and those of all other countries, including the UK, are in Tripoli. Our diplomatic facility in Benghazi was a consulate. Consulates are manned by a Consul or Vice-consul dependent on their size. Our was closed, with the exception of an annex used by CIA agents. The real question is why did Ambassador Stevens decide to go there, with only two security guards?
            You may also want to do a bit of research regarding the Koch brothers investments in the oil rich Benghazi area. Another topic that deserves investigation is the making and release of the anti-Islam film, the day before the Benghazi tragedy, that offended millions of Muslims and inflamed passions throughout the Islamic world. Who financed the making of that film? Who planned the day of its released? Was Stevens’ decision to go to Benghazi the day after that film was released a coincidence or did an influential American invite him to meet there? An honest investigation designed to search for the truth is warranted. Issa’s inquisitorial charade is not going to cut it.

          5. itsfun February 2, 2014

            The question is why was he sent there with only 2 guards? Whats next, you are going to say the Koch brothers attacked our ambassador? Its just wonderful you are so educated, to bad you choose to live in a fantasy world.

          6. dpaano February 3, 2014

            Again, if you did your research, you’d know that Stevens did not want additional security to go with him….it was his decision to only travel with 2 guards!

          7. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

            No, he didn’t attack Pearl Harbor. That treacherous attack was not anticipated or announced. He only ignored the warnings passed on to him by his predecessor, the CIA, and his own national security team about an imminent attack against the USA on U.S. soil, a fact publicly stated in OBL’s Fatwa. To make matters worse, he delegated one of his most important functions: attending the daily national security briefings (dereliction of duty). If that was not bad enough, he let Saudi Arabia, the homeland of the terrorists that carried out the attack, OBL, and the Wahabist princes that financed Al Qaeda, off the hook and cooked up a vendetta against a dictator that had nothing to do with 9/11 to project an illusion of retaliation that was far from reality. He, in fact, sold out the souls of 3,000 people in exchange for lucrative contracts and Treasury bond purchases.

            The mayhem that followed, including 12 terrorist attacks against U.S. embassies and consulates, bombings against our allies in Iraq (Madrid, London), and daily attacks against our interests, not to mention widespread fear in the USA, are second only to the infantile threats (Wanted Dead or Alive, if you are not with us, you are against us, etc), the outing of a CIA officer when her husband contradicted W’s claims of WMDs, attacks against anyone who questioned his claims (the Dixie Chicks), using people with credibility to spread lies (Gen Colin Powell), deceiving the American people by insinuating that Iraq was somehow involved in 9/11, giving sole source contracts to friendly companies, which were seldom completed, and justifying torture by renaming it “enhanced interrogation techniques”, one of the worst presidents we ever had.

          8. BillP February 2, 2014

            That would be impossible since he wasn’t alive at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. As for 9/11 he was the president at the time. As usual you make a ridiculous comment to deflect from the real issue. You blame Obama for the death of the 4 in Benghazi but offer no real proof, in fact no proof at all. Also you claim that Obama is trying to become a socialist and dictator, that would be a 1st, a Socialist Dictator. Get real.

          9. itsfun February 2, 2014

            If you think the people dying in Benghazi is just fine, good for you. You don’t want to know the truth about what happened in Benghazi. Anyone ignoring congress and spying on private citizens, spying on reporters can’t believe in our system or constitution. What ever happened to the first admendment with Obama? Obama is not trying to becoma a socialist, he is a socialist.

          10. BuzzLOL February 2, 2014

            . I have an old Xmas card from the Bushes whereon BushJr. is listed as George BushJr… Ambassador Stevens loved Libya and felt perfectly safe and comfortable there, that’s why he didn’t leave… he was an ambassador, he could have flown in and out of Libya whenever he wanted to… still, Obama’s eventual loss of 4 Americans in winning Libya is not equal to Jr.’s loss of 12,000 Americans for nothing, even though the EvilBushies always equated Clinton’s blowjob being egual to Jr.’s loss of 12,000 people…

          11. BillP February 2, 2014

            Where did I state that people dying in Benghazi is just fine? What I did statewas that right wing trolls like you always bring up Benghazi but very conveniently forget about 9/11 and embassy attacks that occurred under W’s administration. No it’s you who doesn’t want to accept truth about Benghazi, the Americans were killed by a group of local militia not an Al Qaeda affiliate. By your next statement you would have to include any president that used their executive powers to get things done, W did it, Clinton didn’t, HW did it and so did the conservative hero Reagan.

            Your 1st amendment argument is pure bs, you have written numerous comments on this website that have been anti-Obama and no one has come to take you away, have they. If by trying to get an hourly minimum wage that allows people to get above the poverty level or wants everyone in this country to have medical coverage or wants better schooling for young children makes Obama a socialist then that’s fine. You never offer any provable facts to back up your comment, try it for a change. I still waiting to hear from you about how a dictator can also be a socialist, name one.

          12. BillP February 3, 2014

            Show me where I said people dying in Benghazi is just fine? You know I never stated that but that doesn’t stop trolls like you from making things up. What I did say was that you love to bring up Benghazi but very conveniently forget 9/11 where 4 people didn’t die but almost 3,000 did. You seem to also forget that the NSA spying and wiretapping started during W’s administration. As for the 1st amendment you have been able to post numerous comments stating that President Obama has done many acts that you claim are unconstitutional (thought without any proof) or illegal but nobody has come to take you away. You trolls have to stop making these claims against your constitutional rights, you are starting to sound like chicken little. Again you never offer any provable facts to support your claim that President Obama is a socialist. If being in favor of having a national minimum wage that will allow people to get above the poverty level or have universal health care or provide early education to all children is a socialist we need more of them.

          13. itsfun February 1, 2014

            Didn’t the wanna be dictator say in his state of the union speech, he would just go around congress and do what he wanted to do. Is that not be what a dictator would do?

          14. Lynette Huffstedtler February 2, 2014

            As have his predecessors, numerous times.

          15. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

            His statement was closer to: “If Congress fails to act to solve the income inequality problem and help the middle class, I will” Every President, since George Washington, has exercised the privilege of using Executive Orders to solve problems that affect the American people or compromise our national security. Why does President Obama’s decision to do the same constitute an example of dictatorial tendencies, and when others, especially Republican presidents, do it that constitutes an example of statesmanship and commitment to office?

          16. itsfun February 2, 2014

            Saying “I Will” is just saying if you don’t do what I want, I will just ignore congress and go around them. If he cares so much about the people and does so much for them, why is the disparity between the rich and middle class grown under his watch? Must be George Bush’s fault. He lies to us, tells us one thing, does another and some people just follow like sheep. He hates our system of checks and balances and will do anything he can to ignore them. He only has the best interests of obamaland on his mind, not the best interests of American Citizens.

          17. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

            Saying “i will take action if you guys don’t do anything to help the middle class and the poor” means exactly what it reads. There is absolutely no reason to allow the corporate minions in Congress to continue to ignore the needs of mainstream Americans to help their donors. After a dismal legislative year, and no signs that the Republican controlled House plans to do what they were elected to do, our only hope is for President Obama o take action the way previous presidents did.
            The schism between the top 10% of Americans and the rest of us has been widening for years. It has grown exponentially in recent years as a result of the 2007 Great Recession, outsourcing, the impact of automation (robotics) on the American workforce, and a skill mix problem. These problems did not start 4.5 years ago, they have been with us for decades and getting worse as time goes by. In my opinion, this issue, along with strengthening the economy and creating jobs, is the most important challenge we have and one that must be addressed and corrected. Unfortunately, it is not something that will be fixed in months or a few years. It will be a long time before our kids realize that dropping out of High School guarantees problems finding a high paying job, that pursuing liberal arts degrees only guarantee inability to qualify for the best jobs our economy has to offer, and it will also take a long time to retrain the unemployed to qualify for blue collar skilled work.
            Would you care to provide specifics to substantiate the other claims you made?

          18. BillP February 2, 2014

            No what he stated is that he would use his given executive powers to get certain things done, increasing a minimum wage for one. That’s hardly the start of a dictatorship. Obama is hardly the only or first president to use his executive powers to get things done. Just lookup how many times W and the beloved Reagan used their executive powers.

          19. dpaano February 3, 2014

            Unfortunately, itfun, if you read the Constitution, it’s perfectly legal for the president to use executive orders to get things accomplished when the Congress is full of obstructionists.

        2. BuzzLOL February 1, 2014

          . Yes, I’m a lifelong registered Republican, but have to admit these days my party just plain blatantly LIES just like “it’sfun” does above! He blames Obama for the Fast&Furious gun running scandal hatched in 2005 under BushJr…. ditto for NSA scandal that GOP blames on Obama… and, as to Benghazi, Libya, Pres. Obama won the war in Libya against KhaDAFFY with an eventual loss of only 4 American lives in Benghazi… as compared to BushJr. losing 3,000+ American lives in the preventable 9/11, 6,000 more in the unneeded war on Iraq, which he never won, only escalated, and 3,000 more lost in the unneeded, still not won, BushJr. War on Afghanistan (‘searching’ for his and his Dad’s buddy Osama bin Laden who was actually in plain sight in Pakistan)

          1. itsfun February 1, 2014

            If you like your health insurance plan you can keep it period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor – period. Those aren’t lies.

          2. BuzzLOL February 1, 2014

            . Yes, you can keep your plan and doctor, but the ins. co. is prolly going to raise the rates a bit to make the plan into what you thought was covered all along, but wasn’t… Obama was prolly a bit naïve as to how the ins. co.’s would react to having to provide real coverage, he prolly didn’t realize just how incredibly crappy some plans actually were… I’m sure most people didn’t know… until they needed it…

          3. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

            99% of Americans were able to keep their insurance policies as they were. The other 1% have to pay higher premiums to get the minimum standard of coverage stipulated in ACA and stop being a burden to society when they are seriously ill and their old insurance coverage did not cover all doctor and hospitalization expenses. As for being able to keep the same doctor, that’s up to the doctor and you. I doubt any doctor will reject a customer because he/she has better insurance. That’s a GOP claim that simply does not make sense. Incredibly, some people believe that nonsense and continue to repeat it without the slightest sense of embarrassment.

          4. itsfun February 2, 2014

            Just a couple of examples for you. Only one plan on the Ohio exchance is accepted by the Cleveland Clinic. Only 1 plan on the exchange in Minnesota is accepted by the Mayo Clinic.
            The Democrats completely own the obamacare tax law, Not one Republican voted for it. It is amazing how you can try to blame Republicans for the miserable obamacare tax, when they had nothing to do with it. They weren’t allowed to present their own plans, so you blame them for the democrats plan failure.
            Only thing Clinton accomplished in his time to was to try and get everyone to believe oral sex wasn’t a sexual act.

          5. BuzzLOL February 2, 2014

            . You’ve forgotten ObamaCare was patterned after Romney’s earlier RomneyCare in Massachusetts…

          6. itsfun February 2, 2014

            No I haven’t. I doubt if I would like Romneycare any more than I do Obamaccare.

          7. plc97477 February 2, 2014

            No they are not lies. Obama just didn’t expect people to like the POS insurances they had.

          8. itsfun February 2, 2014

            They definitly are lies. He knew he was lying when he was trying to get the POS law passed. He knew even the House and Senate controlled by the Democrats would not pass the law if they knew the truth.

        3. itsfun February 1, 2014

          Do I get the room next to you?

          1. Jim Myers February 1, 2014

            Only if you agree not to lace my pot…

          2. itsfun February 1, 2014


      3. Douglas Johnson February 1, 2014

        Amazing how many of your points come from talk radio. I have an opinion, and it is that Obama is WAY too far to the right for a centrist like myself. So there.

        1. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

          There are more disciples of the Roger Ailes doctrine than people think…

      4. ThomasBonsell February 1, 2014

        Things wrong with your argument, other than you not having the faintest idea of what socialism is:

        The IRS did not target conservative groups. The IRS office in Cincinnati used the same procedure for ALL GROUPS seeking tax-exempt status.

        All examinations of the Benghazi affair have proven that the administration was TOTALLY truthful on its explanations. And it seems unreasonable to expect the President to personally fly to Libya like Superman to intervene in a local attack.

        When George W. Bush left office, more than 12 million illegal aliens were in the United States. Today that figure is less than 11 million. Fewer aliens cross the border each year than have in several years and there have been more deportations under Obama than under any GOP President.

        Fast and Furious was begun under Bush. The Border Patrol and ATF have been prohibited from preventing gun sales to terrorists and drug gangs because of laws written by the National Rifle Association and implemented by the Republican Party.

        There is no spying on reporters. One reporter was investigated because he exposed the inside informant in a terrorist organization whose actions prevented a devastating aircraft bombing, thus ruining future possibilities to prevent other aircraft bombings.

        Lying about reality doesn’t make your lies true.

        1. Dominick Vila February 2, 2014

          On the issue of deportations, I would add that none other than Ronald Reagan, the GOP idol, granted amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants in 1986.
          Benghazi is a well crafted attempt to establish a parallel between what happened when the GOP controlled the White House and both Chambers of Congress, and what is happening now. Incredibly, millions of Americans believe it is something unprecedented and nefarious, even when recent history suggests otherwise.

  7. itsfun February 1, 2014

    Maybe they should ask Obama for a bail out.

  8. Allan Richardson February 1, 2014

    No great loss to America EXCEPT that someone else with WORSE ethical basis will take its place if it goes under.

    Lowry deserves to be haunted by the ghost of William F. Buckley, the last conservative columnist whom liberals could respect for intellectual honesty.

  9. howa4x February 1, 2014

    If they want to miss represent the news to fit into an ideological box then they should disappear from the journalistic landscape or change leadership. You can’t have it both ways. The way they are portraying climate change is the way the Koch bros want it told, so let them bail out this rag.

  10. LonMc February 1, 2014

    This is an outstanding constructive criticism of National Review’s
    current descent into the muck. William F. Buckley is likely rolling over in his
    grave … not because David Cay Johnston is criticizing his “baby,” but because
    the criticisms are just, and contemporary American conservative
    “journalism” really is becoming the laughing stock of anyone who can think.

  11. JD Mulvey February 1, 2014

    Gosh, I’m so sad that the National Review can’t pay its bills… Lol, no I’m not.

  12. vhh February 1, 2014

    No one seems to remember that way back in the 70s, William F Buckley sued Gore Vidal for calling him a “crypto-Nazi” on TV and then again in print in Esquire magazine. When the court ruled that the suit could go ahead, Esquire settled, Vidal was out 75K in legal costs and Buckley remarked that this ought to teach his opponents the laws of libel. The legal point was, that Buckley was a conservative but he was not, in fact, a Nazi, and to describe him as such was both untrue and defamatory. This even though Buckley was a very public figure. For Steyn and National Review to accuse Prof. Mann—not a public figure—of fraudulent use of scientific data when government investigations of scientific conduct in both the US and UK have established precisely the opposite, is baseless, defamatory, and financially damaging accusation of professional malpractice. And so Mark Steyn and National Review are cooked. Buckley can fairly be said to have made it possible for strongly conservative views to be expressed in the mainstream, which he accomplished by consigning to outer darkness the John Birch Society (whose founder proclaimed Dwight Eisenhower to be a Communist agent) and Ayn Rand (whom Buckley considered to be an authoritarian cultist), and by discussing conservative views in public in a civilized, educated fashion. But since WFB relinquished control of NR, and especially since his death, the lunatics have taken control of the asylum. The Birchers are now prime sponsors of CPAC. And the GOP is dominated by McCarthyites, bigots, and white supremacists. Poor Bill Buckley is rolling in his grave.

    1. Lynette Huffstedtler February 2, 2014

      That whirring sound you hear is Buckley spinning in his grave…

  13. Douglas Johnson February 1, 2014

    I was a major fan of William F. Buckley and it distresses me to see what a sad state has come to the National Review. Perhaps it is time for it to die. I wonder if Rand Paul is aware that his deity, Ayn Rand, once told Buckley that he was too smart to be christian?

  14. DBH316 February 1, 2014

    When Buckley spoke, he was so accurate with words and facts that it was hard to argue with him, even if he wasn’t right, he had a better argument. Those days have gone at the National Review as facts are either ignored, spun or mis-spoken to make them fit their agenda. If the NR should survive, it will continue along a path that brings them in line with Fox News. If Fox would just change their name to Fox Views, it would be more accurate, even if it is entirely wrong.

  15. charles king February 1, 2014

    What ? I worry about are the People losing their faith in Democracy. Think, Common SEnse is the key, I have been saying (Critical Thinking) Would? solve the problem but common sense will get the job done. The Republicans has no sound ideals that will put the country on its economic feet, just saying NO to everything is NOT and option. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Check Webster’s Dict. Democracy VS Plutocracy. Mr. C. E. King

  16. dpaano February 3, 2014

    Personally, I swear by The Week…..it’s the ONLY magazine that I’ve found that offers a bipartisan content….it gives both sides of the story and lets you make your own decision. I’ve turned on many of my friends, Republican & Democrat alike, to this magazine, and they all think it’s a great publication.

  17. Blair Daines February 8, 2014

    The premise of the piece is not very well researched given that in all likelihood NRO has insurance to cover this sort of action. While we are writing about the finances, how is Dr Mann, “the Nobe laureate” paying his legal fees? Perhaps had the author not had his own ax to grind he would have checked that out.

    This very well researched piece did not mention that the Dr Mann was cleared by the same Penn St. University and administrator that had cleared football coach Jerry Sandusky on at least 2 separate occasions before the truth came out that he was a pedophile and had used the University to further his crime?

    I wonder if it has occurred to Dr Mann that discovery in a federal suit is very different than a whitewash by PSU or the EPA?

  18. Joseph February 20, 2014

    Losing The national Review would be excising a cancer on the body politic. For years they were conservative and credible. Of late they have been infected by the hubris of the tea-baggers and the far right wing. Loose them and the market lace of ideas will be better for it.

    1. Kizone Kaprow April 17, 2015

      I don’t know about market lace, but NR has been bankrupt and irrelevant since the ’60s.

  19. Kizone Kaprow April 17, 2015

    NR and its obedient chat puppets are like those doomed dinosaurs who gazed upward at the streaking Death Comet and bleated, “Nothing to worry about. We’re right!

  20. Melissa January 22, 2016

    Good let them pay… No one shold help them… tired of Media Lies!

  21. Joshua J. Henderson January 26, 2016

    How is the National Review a “leading right-wing journal”? I would consider myself right wing conservative and I haven’t heard of them.

  22. Lady Con May 20, 2016

    AWWW – I thought their problem was NO READERSHIP! LOL


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