Allow me to illustrate with an allegory. At its inception, this site was a crime-ridden city. There was a lot of bad questions, and people didn't stick around very long to invest their time in improving it. So a posse was formed. The gangsters and crime lords were kicked out, quality was restored, and the site started growing. People still tried to post low quality questions and answers, but they were quickly dealt with, and soon people stopped trying so much.
The posse wanted to see their success continue, and having fewer crime lords to occupy their attention, they started focusing on the speeders and jaywalkers. They continued to cite the site's growth as evidence that the community doesn't welcome speeders and jaywalkers, but neglected the unseen even higher growth opportunity of the excited newcomers who left after getting a ticket for going 45 1/2 in a 45 mph zone.
Then the mayor makes it even easier for the posse by creating the review queues, so instead of the entire posse having to go out on patrol and read and evaluate each question, only one or two dedicated members can flag the questions and the rest can just visit the review queue. Some posse members even go back to review old surveillance camera footage, and issue tickets for speeding that happened two years or more ago, and the review queue makes it easy to get the four extra votes needed, but does nothing to notify people who thought it was a good question. The mayor sets up incentives to complete as many reviews as possible, without regard to how helpful the reviewers are to the new members.
Admittedly, the posse members also provide a lot of helpful answers, but it's a very thin line to get on their bad side. They might start to answer what they thought was a good question, find out it's a homework question, then immediately shut it down. Likewise, good questions are killed for using magic wording that makes it sound like a poll, or a resource request, or career advice, even when the question isn't really asking those things, and could be easily reworded without changing the gist of the question. Long time citizens learn to avoid those words, but newcomers don't know any better. The posse looks for reasons to close questions, rather than reasons to keep them open.
A few concerned citizens try to help by casting reopen votes, or editing questions, but their tools are much more limited. They can't keep questions from being closed in the first place, but can only try to reopen them after the fact, when the damage has already been done. They create a few SEDE queries to help, offer bounties, and occasionally respond to a meta post, but it's hard work to oppose such a dedicated posse, so their efforts go largely unnoticed by newcomers to the city.
To the posse, their success is unassailable proof of their policies. "Sure, half our drivers get speeding tickets every day, but look how law-abiding all the other drivers are now! We wouldn't have to be so harsh if people weren't continually trying to break the law! They don't understand how things work around here! If we stop cracking down on jaywalkers, the drug dealers will take over again! Sure, we've lost some prominent citizens, but that's their problem, not ours."
Despite all that, a lot of good still happens around here. Only time will tell if we can manage to make the site more newbie-friendly or not.