The Weekly Standard is about as pro-business as they come in the magazine industry. But the neocon bible breaks new ground in its February 22, 2016 edition, which is a veritable bake sale for advertisers of all sorts.
Start with the front cover, which is actually an ad that looks like the front cover.
Fake inside front cover:
Fake inside back cover:
Fake back cover:
As the fake inside back cover indicates, the faux four-pager was paid for by American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers – a fact that the magazine felt constrained only to note on the fake front cover.
But there’s more: The magazine has also auctioned off this feature piece about Mount Rushmore to some outfit named Xanterra. Note the entirely innocuous banner at the top of the page. (It says, “Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service • Sponsored by Xanterra and Produced by The Weekly Standard.”)
The four-page ad in sheep’s clothing ends with this actual ad:
Xanterra Parks & Resorts turns out to be “the largest National Parks concessioner,” and Weekly Standard contributing editor Joseph Bottum’s Mount Rushmore piece has plenty of breathless prose urging you to see it for yourself.
The huge sculpture is overexposed, overwrought, and overdone, yes, and yet somehow it remains a powerful thing to see. An occasion to contemplate history, hubris, patriotism, and fame. Mount Rushmore rarely repays a second visit. There’s only so much a rock tableau can tell you, after all. But the first visit — how could you miss it? Those stone faces are the nation, gathered into a single symbol and cast up in the grandest of scales. Every American should visit Mount Rushmore, even if it’s only once.
There’s also this boffo ending:
The Black Hills are rich, old country. The canyon along Spearfish Creek in the north and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs in the south. Jewel Cave and Wind Cave. Devils Tower and the buffalo that roam through Custer State Park. The granite of the Needles and the inner peaks, the limestone ring that surrounds them, and the outer loop of red sandstone — the Black Hills, with its National Forest, National Monuments, and National Park contain a hundred places worth visiting. A hundred targets at which to aim. Mount Rushmore is only one, but it’s the one that has to be visited first.
Right. So Xanterra can gets its money’s worth.
Too bad the Weekly Standard’s editorial worth now seems considerably less.