Redstate: why are liberals so afraid of ideas that are outside of their comfort zone?— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) April 27, 2018
Also RedState: fires NeverTrump employees en masse pic.twitter.com/1sloHlTcIO
Right-wing outlet RedState has been frozen, and many of its most anti-President Donald Trump voices were fired after the site’s owner, Salem Media Group, alleged that it could “no longer support the entire roster of writers and editors."
Many of the site's writers were reportedly locked out of their RedState accounts without warning. And while some writers are in limbo status but have not yet been fired, others were caught by surprise and left wondering if the decision had anything to do with how critical they are of the president.
Erick Erickson, one of the site’s founders, said that “RedState is all but dead now” after these firings. He left RedState in 2015, so he was not involved in the mass firing.
“I have invited the fired writers here," he wrote.
"My understanding from the writers is that there were two contracts, one more expensive than the other. Most of those on the expensive contracts were tossed, though some very good ones will stay," he added. "Of those under the cheaper contracts, it seems the dividing line was loyalty to the President. In fact, among those under the expensive contracts, I'm aware of some writers having near equal traffic generation, and those insufficiently loyal to the President were fired.”
According to The Hill, the site had often given anti-Trump conservatives a voice.
CNN released the memo put together by a general manager of Townhall.com, which is also owned by Salem, confirming that the site was going through changes.
"We had to make some tough changes to RedState today," wrote Townhall general manager Jonathan Garthwaite. "While these changes are painful, they were necessary once we reached the conclusion that we could no longer support the entire roster of writers and editors."
On Twitter, many former RedState writers confirmed they had been kicked out. Others said they were uncertain of the future.
Hey, gotten a few messages from folks that firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer an active email address. Luckily they didn't give me a heads up at all before deactivating it so if you emailed me and I missed it, that's why!— Ben (@BenHowe) April 27, 2018
Guess I was supposed to toe the line. Guess they don't know me that well.— Ben (@BenHowe) April 27, 2018
I was not fired. Still trying to process everything. That’s all for now. https://t.co/3FzZlQF2at— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) April 27, 2018
The rumors are true. There has been a mass firing at RedState, and those let go (including me) are all Trump critics. His supporters remain.— Patterico (@Patterico) April 27, 2018
Other conservative personalities felt sorry that the site had acted this way, while many other online users simply mocked conservatives for being hypocritical regarding free speech.
I’m shocked that anyone would willingly let go of @CalebHowe . He’s a gem.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) April 27, 2018
I've never had a better boss than @CalebHowe, and he made me a far better writer. His skill is, to say the least, one of the best I see in conservative writing today. He knows how to tell a story, and make you pay attention throughout the telling. https://t.co/xvOca3URVO— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) April 27, 2018
We have followed @SweetieWalker’s work for a long time now, she is talented, hardworking, and loyal, take advantage of the @RedState purge! If you have an opening for a excellent news writer, who has a great sense of humor, @SweetieWalker is what you are looking for.— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 27, 2018
99% of the Trump critics were purged. The other 1% are in hiding or got missed.— Susan_Wright (@SweetieWalker) April 27, 2018
Idiot reporters are already making this out to be some purge of Reasonable Conservatives, but ugh no it is not. Redstate is and always has been an untreated cesspool. And if you're swimming in it, that's by choice.— Elon Green (@elongreen) April 27, 2018
If this mass firing was, indeed, associated with the writers’ unwillingness to pretend to like Trump, it’s going to be hard for conservatives themselves to see the RedState website as a credible outlet again.
In no time, the site may lose a significant amount of its audience. And, ironically, it’s all going to be thanks Trump.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Yuri Gripas