National Review Online

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[That's] the dumbest thing ever written until the next time the National Review publishes something.
—Scott Lemieux[1]

National Review Online (NRO) is the web arm of the once venerable conservative political commentary magazine founded by William F. Buckley.[note 1] Despite his leadership, National Review has on occasion taken interesting stands, even running a main article making the conservative case for abolishing the death penalty.

NRO, on the other hand, very much toes the modern "conservative" party line on everything. It is relentlessly hawkish and socially conservative, unless it doesn't cultishly support Trump contradicts the most recent stance of the Republican Party. Its most popular feature is "the Corner," a blog that is even worse (and whose most popular contributor and editor is Jonah "Liberal Fascism!" Goldberg).

Other crazies who write there include Victor Davis Hanson, who is mostly known for tying absolutely everything back to ancient Greece; Marc Thiessen, best known as Dubya's premier torture apologist; Rich Lowry, the first to use the phrases "starbursts" and "Sarah Palin" together; Armond White, one of the world's worst film critics and all round Uncle Tom; and Kathryn Jean Lopez, who is affectionately known as "K-Lo" — her major shtick is just supporting whatever the Catholic Church says.



NRO has become something of a clearinghouse for every single pro-torture pundit and argument that can be put forward. Nearly every pundit at the site has made some kind of excuse for using torture, with Jonah Goldberg claiming that we need to consider when torture is and isn't appropriate,[3] and Rich Lowry calling the memos authorizing torture a "source of pride".[4]

One bright exception is Jim Manzi, who wrote a small blog post noting that the US has quite often succeeded in defeating nations that torture,[5] which suggests (even not taking morality into account) that torture fails.

Tea Party protests[edit]

While officially decrying speeches by the likes of Tom Tancredo and Joseph Farah, Rich Lowry threw his full support behind the Tea Party movement, particularly its February 2010 convention and their goddess, Sarah Palin.

Sandy Hook[edit]

The National Review's Charlotte Allen claimed the lack of men on the premises contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre, as "a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm."[6] Nevermind that the male sex is the only consistent profile of a school shooter. Nevermind the concept of toxic masculinity. Apparently, the solution to male aggression is more male aggression.


K-Lo is responsible for NRO being chock-full of whatever pseudoscience Catholic anti-abortion advocates are currently pushing relating to abortion, stem cell research, and abstinence-only sex education. They carry the writings of David Klinghoffer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute. The NRO also features a hub of global warming denial in its "Planet Gore" blog, which breaks Gore's Law in the title alone. The blog was started by Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, but now features a whole cadre of denialist bloggers. As to be expected they also push DDT related wackery.[7]

Exceptions to general conservative stupidity[edit]

One exception to the general pattern of merely toeing the wingnut line is that, during the 1950s and 1960s, the National Review magazine attempted to effectively expel the John Birch Society from the Conservative movement, with its editor condemning the Birchers as "far removed from common sense".[8] In the modern day, the National Review also has a resolute condemnation of Obama citizenship denial, which it often holds in comparison with 9/11 conspiracy theories (in their view, the birthers' left-wing equivalent) in terms of craziness and lack of common sense;[citation needed] in this line, it has opposed the presidency of Donald Trump by pushing an entire issue devoted to opposing Donald Trump,[9][10] and describing The Donald as "a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones" (Well, they weren't wrong...), and published a "symposium" of 21 top conservative commentators who oppose Trump.[11]

Jim Manzi, generally being far more reality-based than the rest of their pundits, is also their token global warming non-denialist. He savaged the global warming chapter of Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny.[12] This didn't go over so well with Levin and the denialist crew.[13]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Buckley supported Jim Crow, Apartheid South Africa, and thought HIV positive men should have a tattoo that indicated as much on their ass.[2] (This, of course, would cause people at risk to not get tested.) He and his magazine also had personally benefited from defending brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and his regime. He ran a magazine that supported all kinds of heinous shit.