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R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr.
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    (December 14, 1943- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name was Robert Emmett Tyrell, Jr.
    Founder (1967) and editor in chief of ‘The American Spectator’
    Wrote the books ‘Public Nuisances’ (1979), ‘The Liberal Crack-Up’ (1984), ‘The Conservative Crack-Up’ (1992), ‘Boy Clinton: The Political Biography’ (1997), ‘The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton’ (1997), ‘Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House’ (2003), ‘After the Hangover: The Conservative’s Road to Recovery’ (2010), and ‘The Death of Liberalism’ (2011)
    Despite the ‘editor in chief’ title, he spent little time on ‘The American Spectator’ – sometimes not even reading the articles in it – relying instead on a series of managing editors to do the work.
    Contributor David Brock said that after the magazine’s circulation jumped in the wake of an ‘exposé’ of Anita Hill, Tyrell’s interest changed from ‘thoughtful essays and scholarly reviews and humor pieces’ to ‘hit jobs.’
    He spent over $2 million of Richard Mellon Scaife’s money on a fishing expedition trying to dig up dirt on the Clintons.
    When Conrad Black proposed buying the financially ailing ‘American Spectator’ and replacing Tyrell as editor with David Frum, Tyrell told a colleague he would rather let the magazine go under than continue without him.
    He headed off Black’s offer by telling the board that he had arranged a better deal with tech guru George Gilder. (Actually, Gilder had offered $150,000 per year less than Black to subsidize the magazine, but the board took Tyrell’s word without looking into the details of the offers.)
    His explanation for how a Democrat was elected President the year after he declared ‘The Death of Liberalism’: Obama is not a liberal, he’s a socialist.
    In a comparison of the private lives of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, he said, ‘Donald strikes me as pretty much a gentleman.’ (Yeah, gentlemen are known for their ‘grab them by the pussy’ boasts.)
    He was on the swim team at Indiana University.
    His journalistic idol was H.L. Mencken.
    ’The American Spectator’ provided early exposure for conservative writers George F. Will, William Kristol, and P.J. O’Rourke.
    An ‘American Spectator’ article on ‘Troopergate’ provided the first in print reference to Paula Jones, starting the chain of events that led to the Clinton impeachment.
    He was able to buy ‘The American Spectator’ back from Gilder for $1 after Gilder went bust in the dotcom bubble (2003).
    He began arguing Trump should be taken seriously as a presidential candidate as early as 2013. (Whereas most pundits had trouble taking Trump seriously even while he was winning the early primaries.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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