Roger Ailes’s corporeal body has died, though it’s safe to assume his soul (if he ever had one) died long, long ago. There are two types of right-wingers: the abject morons and the wannabe intellectual. Here’s the reaction from the abject morons:
And here’s the reaction from the wannabe intellectuals:
Ross wants “conservative journalism” to be more like the Buckley era. Not surprising. Our friends at National Review still have a page regarding the legacy of Buckley.
But Buckley was a right-wing asshole in an intellectual’s clothing. Buckley supported apartheid in South Africa:
Buckley was actively courted by Chiang Kai-Shek’s Taiwan, Franco’s Spain, South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal’s African colonies, and went on expenses-paid trips trips to some of these countries.
When he returned from Mozambique in 1962, Buckley wrote a column describing the backwardness of the African population over which Portugal ruled, “The more serene element in Africa tends to believe that rampant African nationalism is self-discrediting, and that therefore the time is bound to come when America, and the West … will depart from our dogmatic anti-Colonialism and realize what is the nature of the beast.”
In the fall of 1962, during a visit to South Africa, arranged by the Information Ministry, Buckley wrote that South African apartheid “has evolved into a serious program designed to cope with a melodramatic dilemma on whose solution hangs, quite literally, the question of life or death for the white man in South Africa.”
President Botha of South Africa is incontestably right in saying in effect that he was not elected leader of his government in order to preside over the liquidation of the South Africa he was elected to govern. Critics are perfectly free to contend that his election does not suit our political criteria. But having admitted that his government does not do so, it hardly makes sense to criticize him for proceeding on the basis of his (misbegotten) criteria. If you criticize somebody for being mean to his mother, don’t be surprised if he goes on to be mean to his mother.
Buckley’s logic here, while circular, is also completely airtight. You can’t blame a white South African president for continuing a policy of white supremacy. He was elected by whites! If the whites-only electorate wanted to dismantle white supremacy, it would have chosen somebody else. So there.
He also had a rather Nazi-esque idea for dealing with those who had AIDS:
Everyone detected with AIDS should be tatooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.
He had this exchange with Gore Vidal on television during the 1968 Democratic convention:
In case the audio quality is bad enough that you couldn’t hear, Vidal calls Buckley a “crypto-Nazi,” and Buckley responds: “Now listen, you queer; stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face, and you’ll stay plastered.”
Yeah. I’m not nostalgic for the Buckley era of conservative journalism.