Over at NRO, the online home of David Frum until January of this year, Frum’s former colleagues are expressing shock and dismay at his attacks on Rush Limbaugh, most prominently in a cover story for Newsweek. Today, Andy McCarthy noted that Frum had insinuated to Chris Matthews on television that Limbaugh might be racist. McCarthy offered sarcastic congratulations to Frum on his notoriety and wrote, “David has arrived. From nowhere to Newsweek in a nanosecond.”
Frum’s attack on Limbaugh should surprise no one at NR. Frum has a long history of seeking to advance himself by smearing others, from his 1991 American Spectator cover story attacking Pat Buchanan as an antisemite to his 2003 National Review cover story denouncing Buchanan, Tom Fleming, and Sam Francis as “unpatriotic” for opposing a war that turned out to be as disastrous for America as they predicted it would be. If National Review is sincerely repentent over having provided journalistic cover to Frum for years, it might, in the spirit of Lent, announce that it regrets publishing Frum’s 2003 attack and apologize to the “unpatriotic conservatives.” But I’m not holding my breath.