NPR Remembers Buckley...As Pioneer of 'Right-Wing Pyrotechnics'

March 5th, 2008 12:32 PM

Over last weekend, the NPR show On The Media devoted a segment to co-host Bob Garfield remembering the legacy of William F. Buckley Jr. Garfield quoted George Will on the massive effect Buckley had on the history of conservatism and even ending the Cold War, but he turned it around to how conservatism is badly represented today by the Limbaughs and Coulters. 

"It’s an unfortunate bit of media irony, then, that the most famous moment in his courtly, witty, supremely civilized pundit’s career would be his televised confrontation in 1968 with author and rival Gore Vidal," as Garfield recalled Vidal calling Buckley a "crypto-Nazi" and Buckley pledging to sock him in his "queer" face. Would the liberal media remember liberal eminences by their biggest TV fight? Garfield concluded:

BOB GARFIELD: If you missed that, Buckley, the king of the six-syllable word, came back with a one-syllable sexual slur and threatened to sock Vidal in the face – a tawdry episode but perhaps a watershed all of its own for shadowing an industry built on right-wing pyrotechnics. Yes, William F. Buckley’s legacy as political thinker and pamphleteer earns him a place in the pantheon. Unfortunately, we can also probably thank him for this.

BILL O’REILLY: Most teachers, high school and college, in the United States are left-wingers.

ANN COULTER: I think our motto should be - raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: They need somebody getting even with the rich, for them.

GLENN BECK: I think there is a handful of people who hate America.

BOB GARFIELD: William F. Buckley, Jr. died this week at the age of 82. We miss him already.

Buckley fans miss him, and miss him sincerely. They don't use insincere nostalgia as a ruse to trash their opponents in an obituary piece. What Buckley fans really miss is the tax money extracted from their paychecks to pay arrogant liberal commentators like Bob Garfield.