WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump celebrated the folding of the Weekly Standard, a once-influential conservative magazine that has been sharply critical of his administration, writing on Twitter that the publications was "pathetic."
"The pathetic and dishonest Weekly Standard, run by failed prognosticator Bill Kristol (who, like many others, never had a clue), is flat broke and out of business," he said in a series of Saturday tweets that criticized the media. "Too bad. May it rest in peace!"
In another post on Saturday morning, Trump attacked the news media as "dishonest" and argued that positive stories always ended up with a negative spin.
The publication announced Friday that it will publish its final issue next week, marking an end to the 23-year-old magazine.
The magazine, founded by William Kristol and Fred Barnes under News Corp., published its first issue on September 18, 1995. Clarity Media Group acquired the publication in 2009. Kristol, a prominent conservative pundit, was among the most vociferous critics on the right of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He did not let up on his criticism once the president took office.
Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes said he was “profoundly disappointed” by Clarity’s decision to close the magazine.
“For nearly a quarter century, TWS has provide an unapologetically conservative and fiercely independent voice on American culture and public affairs,” Hayes wrote on Twitter. “That voice is needed now more than at anytime in our previous 23 years.”
Clarity CEO Ryan McKibben said the decision was driven by a nosedive in subscribers that began well before Trump’s run for the White House.
"The Weekly Standard has been hampered by many of the same challenges that countless other magazines and newspapers across the country have been wrestling with," McKibben said. "Despite investing significant resources into the publication, the financial performance of the publication over the last five years – with double-digit declines in its subscriber base all but one year since 2013 – made it clear that a decision had to be made.”
Kristol, who used the pages of The Weekly Standard to push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has served as an adviser to Vice President Dan Quayle and the late Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-New York.
The magazine might have reached its pinnacle of influence during President George W. Bush, when Washingtonians in the know jokingly referred to it as the in-flight magazine of Air Force One.
It has published the works of prominent conservative journalists and commentators Max Boot, Charles Krauthammer, John Podhoretz and others.
Its demise seemed imminent after Clarity announced this month that the Washington Examiner, which it also publishes, would expand its national distribution of its magazine.
Kristol embraced the “Never Trump” movement, and the magazine frequently posted commentary taking the president to task over his policy and controversial statements.
The Washington Examiner has featured a broader array of commentary on Trump.
“All good things come to an end,” Kristol wrote on Twitter. “And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard. I want to express my gratitude to our readers and my admiration for my colleagues. We worked hard to put out a quality magazine, and we had a good time doing so. And we have much more to do. Onward!”