The top-of-the-page headline over Editor Rich Lowry’s byline at the National Review Monday appeared to sound the call for his right-wing readers to muster courage for some reason:
“This is a Time for Fearlessness.”
What could this mean? Another insurrection at the U.S Capitol? A sale at My Pillow?
No. It turns out Lowry had decided to trample any pretense of journalism by exploiting the demise of Roe v Wade for a higher purpose, in his reckoning: Hitting up the faithful for a little NRO cash.
“A time for fearlessness” should have been replaced by, “A time for fecklessness.” After blathering for several sentences about the ruling “in all its glory” – and praising “the immense intellectual and physical courage shown by the justices in the majority,” Lowry set up a bogus straw man:
“Gratifying as all of this is, the fight is really now only beginning, as we’ve seen in the left-wing agitation in the streets, the renewed threats to pack the Court, and the unrelenting assault on the decision and the brave justices who authored and signed on to it.”
That, in turn, set up the kill shot for Lowry:
“This is a fight that National Review is wholly committed to, which is why I’m asking you to contribute to our important and relentless work in this battle,” the editor wrote, linking to NRO’s presumably non-editorial financial support section. He then broke the great “news” that “a friend has generously offered to match every contribution up to $100,000.”
Tellingly, Lowry felt the need to spell that out to his readers, “So if you give 50 cents (and we are grateful for every penny), NR gets a dollar; if you give $5, NR gets $10; if you give $1,000, NR gets $2,000. And so on.”
Lowry resumed several paragraphs of self-congratulations for the National Review and its contributors, including “a long-time writer who prays at abortion clinics.” Then there was this ominous thought:
“For all that Dobbs represents a historic achievement, the tragedy of the past 50 years is it just allows us to get to the starting gate. There is much advocacy, thought, organizing, electioneering, marching, and prayer still ahead.”
What that means remains to be seen. More certain is this: As long as the National Review is on the case, there will always be an opportunity to hit up its readers to pay for all its high-minded principles.
Which brought Lowry to his tidy conclusion, featuring still another ask:
“So if you were profoundly grateful for the decision that came down Friday, but know that we have much work remaining — and it needs to be done with passion, credibility, intelligence, and tirelessness — please support our journalism.”