300 Times a Very Small Number Is Still a Small Number
Matthew Yglesias watches writers at National Review approach shrillness:
Matthew Yglesias / proudly eponymous since 2002: When you've even lost [Kathryn Lopez of National Review] with your hackery, you're, well, a gigantic hack.
The right's hack propagandists bear an enormous amount of the blame for the sorry situation the country finds itself in. People often wonder to me what the deal is with the tens of millions of remaining Bush loyalists -- are they just morons, or what? But they're not morons. They're ordinary people and like ordinary people they have a lot of demands on their time and, consequently, don't make an intensive study of all the leading issues of the day. And, naturally, they do a lot of deferring to the expressed views of people they trust. Not being liberals, "people they trust" doesn't mean liberal pundits -- it means conservative ones.
Millions of people out there are counting on conservative television and radio personalities to let them know if something goes dramatically wrong with the governance of the country. Instead, for years you saw what amounted to overwhelming lockstep support.
It's worth keeping in mind that whatever you may think of the NRO gang, they're about three hundred times as intellectually honest as the average conservative broadcast media outlet.
Sorry Matt, 300 times the intellectual honesty quotient of Hugh Hewitt still leaves them 99 44/100 % hack.
As witnessed by PGL at Angry Bear:
Angry Bear: Douthat-Salam and Ponnuru toss around "big government conservative" and "small government conservative" a lot, but neither piece dared to raise the "T-word", so let me remind them of Milton Friedman's adage "to spend is to tax".
President Bush keeps exciting conservatives by telling them he has cut taxes and he intends to make those tax cuts permanent. One would think that just a little space in the Weekly Standard and/or the National Review could be used to tell their readers that Bush's fiscal policy has only shifted the tax burden to the future -- especially as they debate just how much spending has increased.
Why would you think that somebody 99 44/100 % hack would be interested in informing their readers?