RedState loses more talented writers

Last April, the conservative site RedState made some drastic changes, firing many of their staff and their editor-in-chief. Some accused the company of firing them because they were critical of President Trump in their writing; others who weren’t fired, but were also just as critical, didn’t believe that was the reasoning behind the purge.

Now, three more of their top contributors have walked away, including the ever insightful Kimberly Ross, her podcast partner Andrea Ruth and contributing writer Sarah Quinlan.

Ross and Ruth wrote a piece outlining why they chose to exit the site and shed light on the troubling path that conservative journalism seems to be taking.

In April 2018, Salem management determined there had been enough front-page criticism of Trump and decided to take action. A number of long-time writers and editors, who happened to be unapologetic Trump critics, were dismissed from the site without warning. Among those let go was Managing Editor Caleb Howe, who was fired while traveling to a Salem work event. Management locked out access to the CMS, leaving writers unable to log in and wondering what was wrong. It wasn’t until hours later that Townhall VP & General Manager Jonathan Garthwaite sent emails informing those writers that contracts had been terminated.

In an attempt to save face, management insisted the decision was financial and not ideological, as a handful of Trump-critical writers remained. However, those with longer tenures, higher public profiles and biggest traffic draws were all let go. The financial excuse holds little water considering those let go were revenue-drivers.

The message was clear: Tread lightly when it comes to criticizing Trump.

They say the remaining Trump critics at RedState were treated with hostility and their pieces shelved.

We learned personally that writers who dare to examine President Trump or the MAGA mentality are purposely suppressed in private or even publicly criticized. In one case, one of us (Kimberly) wrote a piece that was critical of Trump supporters’ attempts to dismiss bomb threats as a liberal hoax. It was published but any references to it on Twitter or Facebook were deleted and done so repeatedly without explanation. Only after speaking up did she learn the piece wouldn’t get shared on social media, and instructions came down from Salem management to stop discussing the incident with colleagues.

And it became apparent that loyalty to Trump was the only thing that mattered to the company.

The writing was on the wall for some time. Purging Trump critics at RedStatewasn’t the only time Salem revealed it cared more about loyalty to Trump than about ideology. CNN reported that in 2016, Salem told its talk radio hosts to treat then-candidate Donald Trump more positively.

So, they decided to walk away and offer a warning to conservative journalism.

We can no longer support Salem, and we feel that remaining at RedState gives the impression we do. Furthermore, we no longer feel as though we can adequately counteract Salem’s pro-Trump stance.

We are conservatives. We believe in limited government, the free market, the Constitution, and protecting the rights of the unborn. We have therefore supported the Republican Party and believed in the Republican Party for years. But a healthy Republican Party cannot exist without a healthy conservative media; likewise, a toxic, poisonous conservative media is like a parasite for the conservative movement— and, make no mistakeit willeventually kill it.

We publish this with the hope that it serves to push the Republican Party and conservative media back to the ones we respected, admired, and believed in.

Shortly after they published their piece, the smaller and less known publication Arc Digital picked the writers up and offered their support.

All three young women received push back by MAGA supporters for their criticism of the President, but it’s not the job of a journalist to be unabashedly loyal to a figure head simply because there is a “R” by his name.

There are still many talented writers at RedState – some still critical of President Trump, so it will be interesting to see if more exit in the coming months.

 

 

 

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