"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wThursday, June 26, 2003

WHY NOT SELL?: Longtime Reportster Rick Hiebert takes too much of a kid gloves approach for my taste, but he asks the question that tens of thousands of Canadians would like to have answered. Why wasn't The Report sold to someone who actually wanted to publish it?:

I wish that [Link Byfield] had sold the magazine instead of folding it, even if doing so would have meant that I was sacked by the new owners.

The history of National Review illustrates a different way that the long-term future of The Report could have been handled. William F. Buckley Jr. realized that his son Christopher wanted to be a writer and editor, but he did not insist that the future of National Review be placed in his hands. Instead, Mr. Buckley looked for ideological children of his who could also guide the future of the magazine. That way, Chris Buckley had the freedom to decide what was the best way for him to help the conservative movement and National Review could have a long-term future no matter what Chris Buckley did.

The Report's end suggests that a lot of pressure was put on the second generation of Byfields to keep the vision alive. It led to a situation where either the magazine was published *or* the foundation was freed to do its important work.

Am I suggesting that Link Byfield should never have taken editorial or financial control of the magazine? No. He was a passionate editor and publisher for many years and others could have failed ignobly and not continued the magazine's good work as long as Link did. But, I do think that the Byfields should have considered a possible post-Byfield future for the magazine.


I wish that the Byfields had considered that our magazine was a "movement" business and not just a "family business". Folding The Report, if there are no other conservative Canadian magazines to take its place, is a decided blow to the conservative movement. I would respectfully suggest that although the second generation of Byfields have decided for very valid reasons to turn to what they see as as more profitable methods, that they let someone else have a go at making The Report succeed or let new owners buy whatever's left of the Report's resources to start something new. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 1:12 PM