In the same vein as MSNBC's Chris Matthews, liberal Chicago Tribune blogger Eric Zorn paid tribute to the late Bill Buckley in a February 27 blog post by noting that he idolized the National Review founder when in junior high:
He was one of my idols when I was in junior high. I found his patrician bearing, devastating eloquence and understated, scornful wit thoroughly captivating. His quiet confidence and penetrating intellect were exactly what I aspired to, and it probably helped that very few other kids in the liberal bastion of Ann Arbor were allowed even to utter the man's name in their houses.
My romance with his political outlook was shortlived, though I always found him curious, fair, funny, occasionally surprising and about as open-minded and truly engaging as pundits get. If he was ever a shouter or a name-caller or a race baiter or a taunter, I missed it.
I stopped idolizing him, but I never stopped respecting him or feeling that he set a good example for public discourse. From the left, then, a heartfelt salute and fond farewell.