RedState Writers Quit Over Conservative Site’s ‘Refusal To Accept Any Legitimate Criticism Of Trump’

RedState Writers Quit Over Conservative Site’s ‘Refusal To Accept Any Legitimate Criticism Of Trump’

Months after conservative blog RedState purged several prominent Trump critics from its ranks, three writers announced they were resigning from the site, citing management’s decision to succumb to the “allure of Trumpism” and its refusal to accept criticism of the president as core reasons for their departure.

In an op-ed for The Bulwark — ironically, a site that rose from the ashes of The Weekly Standard, which was shuttered by its parent group largely for being critical of Trump — now-former senior contributor Kimberly Ross and contributing editor Andrea Ruth explained why they were quitting RedState.

Noting that in the early days of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign RedState distinguished itself by distancing itself from Trump, notably by disinviting the candidate from its annual RedState Gathering after he insulted Megyn Kelly, the two writers went on to highlight the site’s shift towards the president after he took office. This culminated in the notorious April 2018 Trump critic purge by Salem Media Group, which owns Townhall Media, the parent group of RedState.

Ruth and Ross pointed out that following the purge, the “tenor of the site shifted” and that the few leftover Trump critics “wrote fewer entries and the hostility toward those who still did was palpable.” They explained that management would refuse to promote specific pieces they wrote that shed a negative light on Trump and his supporters, adding that there’s “no local editorial control” and that decisions “are made behind the scenes at Townhall and subject to its review.

Stating that Salem will push anyone who is pro-Trump, regardless of how deplorable they are, they finished by declaring that RedState is just focused on appealing to Trump supporters for clicks and traffic. From the piece:

We both have our own points of criticism regarding mainstream media outlets, and we, therefore, believe a healthy conservative media is not only beneficial but necessary. Unfortunately for RedState, the focus on clicks above all else, the fight over loyalty rather than ideology, and the refusal to accept any legitimate criticism of Trump is a stain on a once proud conservative publication.

We are conservatives. We believe in limited government, the free market, the Constitution, and protecting the rights of the unborn. We have therefore supported the Republican Party and believed in the Republican Party for years. But a healthy Republican Party cannot exist without a healthy conservative media; likewise, a toxic, poisonous conservative media is like a parasite for the conservative movement— and, make no mistake, it will eventually kill it.

Ross and Ruth weren’t the only ones to resign from RedState on Thursday. Contributor Sarah Quinlan also publicly announced she had quit, taking to Twitter to say that while she “truly loved being able to write for the RedState audience over the past year,” it was “simply no longer a good fit.”

After managing editor Caleb Howe and others were pushed out last year in the purge, Quinlan expressed how “heartbroken and angry” she was over the situation.

We reached out to RedState for comment on the three resignations and will update this piece if we hear back.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.