- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

President Clinton may be relegated to the speech circuit these days, but that doesn’t mean the American Spectator magazine lacks juicy new targets.

The conservative magazine, which flourished during Mr. Clinton’s many “-gates” but lost circulation and retreated to bimonthly status after he left office, returns to its monthly production schedule with a redesigned October issue.

Solicitor General Theodore Olson, former Rep. Bob Barr and other supporters were among the faithful who gathered at the National Press Club Tuesday to toast the “revitalized” product.

Longtime Executive Editor Wladyslaw Pleszczynski said the magazine’s barbed sense of humor sets it apart from the Weekly Standard, the National Review and other conservative journals.

He warned, though, that readers might have less to chuckle about when it comes to dealing with the day’s big Republican win in California.

“Republicans have to be very clear-minded about what they’re getting into with Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Mr. Pleszczynski warned, alluding to the actor’s liberal stances on such issues as abortion and gun control.

Supporters seemed confident that the American Spectator will help convince “the Governator” to abide by core conservative values.

Mr. Barr said the magazine “has a unique combination of humor and substance that’s been lacking” elsewhere.

Readers need look no further than the Los Angeles Times’ slanted coverage of the recall election, he said, to see the extent of liberal bias in the press.

“It’s laughable when they say [the articles] are simply the result of their exhaustive efforts,” he said of the paper’s editors and scribes.

Editor in Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., who founded the magazine in 1967 during his student days at Indiana University, beamed over his creation’s humble roots.

“I didn’t come from the world of the intelligentsia. I came from the world of sports,” the former varsity swimmer said, still sporting-trim more than three decades later.

Mr. Tyrrell was most proud of the magazine’s “big tent” approach.

“We’ve always published libertarians … even socialists if they have some conservative values,” he said.

Alfred S. Regnery, who took over publisher duties from George Gilder last year, promised the new and improved Spectator would continue pushing buttons, even within the GOP.

“We’re not neocons or paleo-cons,” Mr. Regnery noted, “and we’re not an echo chamber for the Bush administration, either.”

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