Several writers at RedState were fired today, including me. All those fired were Trump critics.
Salem, the owner of RedState, is perfectly within its legal rights to do this. They can take their site in any direction they want. But the message sent by firing a group of writers en masse, all of whom have been vigorous critics of the President, will have a chilling effect — both on the remaining writers at the site, and the conservative movement as a whole.
More thoughts to come.
UPDATE: Rosie Gray has a piece at the Atlantic (ironically, the same publication that recently canned Kevin D. Williamson) which accurately quotes me:
“There’s a clear pattern that the people who were let go were all critics of Donald Trump,” said Patrick Frey, a lawyer who blogs as Patterico and whose contract was also terminated on Friday.
“It was a complete surprise,” Frey said. “There’d been rumors of contract changes but being fired was a complete surprise.”
. . . .
Frey says he’s grateful for his time at RedState and emphasized that the company has the right to fire people. But he worried that the remaining writers were being sent a clear message about what kind of views were now permissible. “It seems like the message of the firings is very clear,” he said. “We won’t tolerate strong criticism of this president.”
More at The Hill, which quotes a tweet of mine.
UPDATE x2: The Daily Beast:
Another fired staffer, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said the layoffs “definitely” had political motivations. “They canned someone who brought in 700k to 800k page views per month,” the writer told The Daily Beast. “Lately that would be around 10 percent of monthly traffic.”
Indeed, the website’s highest-trafficked writer, Susan Wright, has been openly critical of not just President Trump—routinely decrying his various scandals, “desperate” behavior, and self-contradictions—but of the unabashed pro-Trump sycophants in conservative media, such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Wright makes “significantly less” than other, more pro-Trump writers who remain with the site and generate less traffic, a source noted to The Daily Beast.
. . . .
“It had become clear to me over the last couple of years that Jonathan [Garthwaite] was far more interested in making sure his golfing buddies were pleased with the level of GOP line-toeing more than anything,” Howe told The Daily Beast.
By writing anti-Trump opinions, he said, “you’re certainly making Jonathan’s tee time awkward.”
I have not been an anonymous source for any story. I did speak to someone at the Washington Post, but their story has not yet appeared.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back. Not cross-posted at RedState!]