Reagan's Go-To Magazine Has Gone Full MAGA – What it Means for ConservatismBreaking News
tags: conservatism, Ronald Reagan, publishing
In March 2019, former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam announced that he and a conservative lawyer named Will Chamberlain were going to resurrect the storied right-wing journal Human Events, which had been muddling along for years. Two years later, the historic magazine has become yet another right-wing click factory, pumping out trumped-up investigations and snarky rewrites just as Breitbart did before it. The renaissance of the magazine provides the perfect capsule summary of the conservative movement’s long downward journey from pages to pixels.
A former Washington Post editor founded Human Events in 1944 to serve as a mouthpiece for conservative ideas. Over the next 40 years, it hosted a number of prominent right-wing political personalities—Murray Rothbard, Phyllis Schlafly, Spiro Agnew, and later such luminaries as Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter. It was Ronald Reagan’s favorite magazine. According to one of Reagan’s biographers, his staffers often sought to hide it from the president, lest the articles sway his view on some already-settled issue of taxation or Soviet détente. But over time its influence waned. By 2013, its owner, right-wing book outfit Eagle Publishing, put the magazine up for sale, citing financial difficulties and the ascendance of the 24-hour news cycle. A Christian publishing conglomerate bought it a year later, but the magazine remained moribund until the arrival of Kassam, a British think tank alum who co-founded the United Kingdom edition of Breitbart. Kassam carried over that website’s mentality at the launch, but left the new Human Events within half a year.