Ronald Reagan’s favorite magazine. He could actually read. What a surprise.

Lee Heidhues

I have always abhorred Ronald Reagan, his politics and what he stood for in America.

I wanted to believe the arch reactionary movie actor turned politician, Governor and President was thankfully long gone from public view.

Obviously not. In the pages of The New Republic I read that Ronnie’s favorite publication has been brought back to life.  Albeit in Trump MAGA Twitter form.

The illustration below is one artist’s version of Reagan returning from the crypt to  read his favorite magazine, Human Events.

Excerpted from The New Republic 11.26.2021

The total abasement of the right-wing media space.

The old magazine Human Events might not have had noble ideas, but it at least took itself and those ideas seriously, whereas the new magazine cares for nothing except conspiracy and provocation.

It turns out that the gutter is an ideal place from which to do one’s sniping.

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.

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.

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Ronald Reagan – Illustration by Kagan McLeod

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.

More than anything else, though, the revived Human Events feels pointless, yet another mill to churn out the same grist.

The vast majority of articles are wispy-thin rewrites of reportage from The Wall Street Journal or Fox News, designed more to serve as fodder for Will Chamberlain’s never-ending Twitter feed than as material for someone who wants to learn what is going on in the world.

When Raheem Kassam relaunched the publication, he said he wanted it to represent “Trump as a philosophy, not Trump as a man,” and in a certain sense the resuscitated website has done that, but only in the sense that Trump’s “philosophy” consists of culture-war red meat and conspiratorial chicken feed.

No doubt there’s a market for the personalities Human Events is elevating, since it’s the same thing that everyone else on the right is doing—Chamberlain has almost 200,000 Twitter followers.

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A reactionary salute for the ages

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