The Corner

Anonymous, Baseless, Bizarre

The Daily Caller has a piece up bizarrely alleging that our editorial on The Pledge was crafted (“prearranged”) by the House Republican leadership, through the good offices of April Ponnuru and Kate O’Beirne of the National Review Institute. The author of the piece, Jon Ward, didn’t bother to contact anyone at NR to check this allegation, although he did send an email to April less than an hour before the piece ran without any notice about his deadline. Again, April works for the National Review Institute, not the magazine, and was unable to return his email in time (she has been on maternity leave for the past two months). It’s pretty basic practice to call to check things out or get a response from targets of your piece, so I’m surprised that our friends at The Daily Caller didn’t call anyone at the magazine before hitting publish (it’s not like NR isn’t in the phone book!) As for the charge itself, it’s categorically false. The editorial represented our best, independent judgment on the “Pledge” as a solid, but hardly perfect, document. You can disagree with it (and some fellow conservatives have), but it’s also been endorsed by hugely influential conservative leaders. As always, we’ve had a variety of voices on NRO on the Pledge and its merits. We welcome debate on our editorial, on the Pledge, and on pretty much anything. That debate isn’t furthered, though, by anonymous sources making baseless allegations that no one bothers to check. We wish The Daily Caller every success, but ask one favor: Please, next time, at least give us a call.

(The piece has been updated now with a denial from Kate and changes a mis-identification of Yuval Levin–all without telling readers what’s been changed or why.)

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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