- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2008

That National Review editor-in-chief Wick Allison endorsed Barack Obama for president was all over the Internet for a few hours on Wednesday. But that didn’t make it true. It was, in fact, the most misreported story in recent memory.

First off, Wick Allison is not editor-in-chief of the late William F. Buckley Jr.’s magazine. Mr. Allison is not even associated with the journal any longer, as a mystified National Review Publisher Jack Fowler told The Washington Times on Wednesday.

It matters what publication Mr. Allison is associated with because Mr. Allison is the former publisher of National Review who indeed has endorsed liberal Democrat Barack Obama for president.

But Mr. Allison did so in a piece under his byline in “D Magazine,” a Dallas-Forth Worth-area monthly and a publication he owns and of which he is indeed the editor-in-chief.

“I don’t know who got it wrong or how someone managed to misidentify me [as NR editor-in-chief],” Mr. Allison told The Washington Times. “But I still consider myself a traditional conservative.”

Mr. Fowler said in his view Mr. Allison indeed remains a traditional conservative.

“Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world ‘safe for democracy,’” Mr. Allison wrote in the Sept. 27 issue of D Magazine. “It is John McCain who says America’s job is to ‘defeat evil,’ a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

“This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse,” Mr. Allison added in his endorsement of Mr. Obama, who he writes is far from ideal as a candidate but better than Mr. McCain.

As to whom Mr. Fowler’s publication will endorse, he said, “The National Review editor decides whom National Review endorses for president, the publisher decides where we go on our next cruise.”

Rich Lowry, the real editor-in-chief of National Review, told The Washington Times, “It’s funny, but I don’t know if we endorse in general elections. I just really haven’t thought about that. Most people aren’t on the edge of their seats wondering whether a conservative magazine will support the conservative Republican candidate.”

Asked if John McCain, author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that National Review opposed, is conservative, Mr. Lowry said, “Well, yes, he’s sort of conservative, definitely.”