Please disregard the headline of this article by Mark Judge of Real Clear Books. In between the jabs against various friends, he makes some good points.
Reconnecting with Buckley's wonderful prose revealed something quite clearly: conservative journalism has plenty of pit bulls, but it lacks show dogs. It needs some graceful writers.
Conservative journalists at places like Breitbart, the Weekly Standard and National Review -- the magazine Buckley founded -- are skilled at lawyerly argument, at performing surgery on the bias of the mainstream media. But they haven't developed their muscles for artistic long form journalism.
The lack of good literary conservative journalism is a product of the success the right has had in creating its own media over the last ten years. Because liberals controlled the media for so many decades, the digital revolution was an intoxicating rush for many on the right. All of a sudden, if a liberal journalist told a lie, it could be instantly rebutted on the web. Suddenly, we could interview our own heroes, and write our own stories.
Yet because there was more money and hits to be had in boxing with the left rather than producing artful long form journalism, we had a glut of right-wing books and media attacking the left. Stars were made out of young right-wingers because of their success in humiliating the left, not necessarily for their writing skill.