The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

How Not to Succeed

Posted on | June 20, 2010 | 48 Comments

Kathy Shaidle brings to our attention this interesting obituary of a podcast from D.R. Tucker:

I promised myself that The Notes would not end up like Culture 11. Unfortunately, it has. Why did Culture 11 go under, while Big Hollywood prospered? Simple: the latter was able to tap into a populist vein, while the former did not (and was not intended to do so). One can argue that Culture 11’s contributors were better than Big Hollywood’s (one prominent Culture 11 writer, Conor Friedersdorf, was an early guest on The Notes), but in the long run, that didn’t matter.

Yeah. The boy’s got a fine career as an albatross.

Comments

  • Phil Primeau

    I appreciate this guy’s honest introspection. It’s nothing to dismiss so nastily, Stacy.

    Though I still believe that there is room for “cerebral” conservative commentary throughout the media.

    Also, the left’s big personalities pander to populist instincts as much as Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly. Ed Schulz, anyone? Even the brainer sort — say, Maddow — appeal constantly and consistently to common denominator issues like the (supposed) plundering of America’s shared wealth by “greedy” corporations.

    Meh, I’ll stick with outdated literature, thanks. And the occasional blog. (Obviously.)

    Phil

  • Phil Primeau

    I appreciate this guy’s honest introspection. It’s nothing to dismiss so nastily, Stacy.

    Though I still believe that there is room for “cerebral” conservative commentary throughout the media.

    Also, the left’s big personalities pander to populist instincts as much as Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly. Ed Schulz, anyone? Even the brainer sort — say, Maddow — appeal constantly and consistently to common denominator issues like the (supposed) plundering of America’s shared wealth by “greedy” corporations.

    Meh, I’ll stick with outdated literature, thanks. And the occasional blog. (Obviously.)

    Phil

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    The Notes has another thing in common with Culture 11..

    It’s demise is getting more press than it ever did while it was running.

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    The Notes has another thing in common with Culture 11..

    It’s demise is getting more press than it ever did while it was running.

  • http://thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    The liberal culture is the elite culture. You can’t be a part of the elite culture as a conservative except as a sort of bemusedly tolerated guest. The “master culture” that runs things is the culture of English Dissenters and Non-Conformists, Puritans, Quakers and Unitarians. It is extremely sure of itself and not interested in other opinions.

  • http://thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    The liberal culture is the elite culture. You can’t be a part of the elite culture as a conservative except as a sort of bemusedly tolerated guest. The “master culture” that runs things is the culture of English Dissenters and Non-Conformists, Puritans, Quakers and Unitarians. It is extremely sure of itself and not interested in other opinions.

  • Phil Primeau

    You generalize, a fatal flaw.

  • Phil Primeau

    You generalize, a fatal flaw.

  • Counterpoint

    Yes, but it’s only generally fatal.

  • Counterpoint

    Yes, but it’s only generally fatal.

  • Estragon

    There’s nothing wrong with “cerebral” conservative commentary, nor is it so rare. American Thinker, NR, Weekly Standard, Heritage . . . goes on all the time.

    The ridicule comes in when you just DECIDE your effort will be “cerebral” and then you bring in lightweight thinkers like Little Lord Friedersdorf. And then you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong . . . AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . .

  • Estragon

    There’s nothing wrong with “cerebral” conservative commentary, nor is it so rare. American Thinker, NR, Weekly Standard, Heritage . . . goes on all the time.

    The ridicule comes in when you just DECIDE your effort will be “cerebral” and then you bring in lightweight thinkers like Little Lord Friedersdorf. And then you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong . . . AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . .

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    Breitbart isn’t all just populism. Some of the stuff over on Big Gov. and Big Journ. are pretty good and hard hitting and others are deep.

    To blow off Breitbart like he did is part of Tucker’s problem.

    It’s also a matter of capturing eyeballs. did The Notes have enough content and audience to justify his bandwidth usage? Obviously not.

    Surely Tucker’s ego could have sated with a wordpress or blogspot blog? There are several skins that give those blogs a nice custom look and all you need is some internet nerd on a weekend to code it up for you if that isn’t your thing.

    Breitbart started out small then grew into what he has going on now.

    From what I saw of culture11 (and am nervous about The Daily Caller as well) is that they started out large then crash and burn.

    And stay away from Conor Friedersdorf next time.

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    Breitbart isn’t all just populism. Some of the stuff over on Big Gov. and Big Journ. are pretty good and hard hitting and others are deep.

    To blow off Breitbart like he did is part of Tucker’s problem.

    It’s also a matter of capturing eyeballs. did The Notes have enough content and audience to justify his bandwidth usage? Obviously not.

    Surely Tucker’s ego could have sated with a wordpress or blogspot blog? There are several skins that give those blogs a nice custom look and all you need is some internet nerd on a weekend to code it up for you if that isn’t your thing.

    Breitbart started out small then grew into what he has going on now.

    From what I saw of culture11 (and am nervous about The Daily Caller as well) is that they started out large then crash and burn.

    And stay away from Conor Friedersdorf next time.

  • Adobe Walls

    If Madcow had a brain she’d take it out and play with it.

  • Adobe Walls

    If Madcow had a brain she’d take it out and play with it.

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    And then you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong . . . AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . .

    So he thinks his audiance was too dumb then?

    where did I hear that before? Oh yeah:
    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/06/17/cnn-americans-too-stupid-to-comprehend-obamas-genius-or-something/

  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    And then you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong . . . AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . .

    So he thinks his audiance was too dumb then?

    where did I hear that before? Oh yeah:
    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/06/17/cnn-americans-too-stupid-to-comprehend-obamas-genius-or-something/

  • cdor

    You can call it “cerebral”, or you can call it “ankle biting”. Could it be we have too many pundits with not enough to say? Sometimes it seems the Conors, the Davids, and the DC gals attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of conservative politicians rather than conservative ideas. I’d respect them more if they earned their living stating their own ideas rather than criticizing others. But, in the end, the weak and shallow will probably just fade away.

  • cdor

    You can call it “cerebral”, or you can call it “ankle biting”. Could it be we have too many pundits with not enough to say? Sometimes it seems the Conors, the Davids, and the DC gals attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of conservative politicians rather than conservative ideas. I’d respect them more if they earned their living stating their own ideas rather than criticizing others. But, in the end, the weak and shallow will probably just fade away.

  • Phil Primeau

    ” Sometimes it seems the Conors, the Davids, and the DC gals attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of conservative politicians rather than conservative ideas.”

    1937: Sometimes it seems that the George Orwells attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of leftist politicians rather than leftist ordeals.

    No, I think our movement could use a few “Road to Wigan Piers.” Not that Friedersdorf is the right candidate for authorship, but the point stands.

  • Phil Primeau

    ” Sometimes it seems the Conors, the Davids, and the DC gals attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of conservative politicians rather than conservative ideas.”

    1937: Sometimes it seems that the George Orwells attempt to achieve their fame off the backs of leftist politicians rather than leftist ordeals.

    No, I think our movement could use a few “Road to Wigan Piers.” Not that Friedersdorf is the right candidate for authorship, but the point stands.

  • bastiches

    You generalize, a fatal flaw.

    If you do not generalize then no topic can be addressed.

  • bastiches

    You generalize, a fatal flaw.

    If you do not generalize then no topic can be addressed.

  • Phil Primeau

    We aren’t Stalinists. Each and every one of us has his own particular view of what it means to be conservative, what conservatism ought to advocate, how conservatism can and should influence our politics, our culture, and our country. This is why we have disagreements. They are legitimate. They are (or should be) welcome. Even from know-it-all newbies who occasionally go out of their way to schmooze and flatter our rivals.

    Phil

  • Phil Primeau

    We aren’t Stalinists. Each and every one of us has his own particular view of what it means to be conservative, what conservatism ought to advocate, how conservatism can and should influence our politics, our culture, and our country. This is why we have disagreements. They are legitimate. They are (or should be) welcome. Even from know-it-all newbies who occasionally go out of their way to schmooze and flatter our rivals.

    Phil

  • Estragon

    A shallow and superficial approach is NOT necessarily a “legitimate” disagreement just because it dissents from some point.

    Conor Friedersdorf is like the old John Belushi Oscar-preview routine where he admits he hasn’t seen half the nominees. His history with Stacy just makes mocking him even more gratifying.

    Mark my words, the child is going to have a David Brock type of breakdown and end up writing an “expose” of conservatism.

  • Estragon

    A shallow and superficial approach is NOT necessarily a “legitimate” disagreement just because it dissents from some point.

    Conor Friedersdorf is like the old John Belushi Oscar-preview routine where he admits he hasn’t seen half the nominees. His history with Stacy just makes mocking him even more gratifying.

    Mark my words, the child is going to have a David Brock type of breakdown and end up writing an “expose” of conservatism.

  • easyliving1

    ‘The Indentured Servant Girl’ blog linked to the right has some interesting material.

    Evidently Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant were bad men who fought very dirty against those Southern boys and girls and babies they killed, while the South fought the civil war without the same lack of morals.

    The North and South are morally equivilent, except the Southerners cared more about their slaves (as individuals, not as one would care about property or anything greedy like that, in fact it was the North that was greedy and exploiting workers unlike the South in 1860) and of course the South fought fair and with honor, unlike the North.

    Since Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln brought heretofore the entirely absent concept of genocide to “modern” Western society according the Murry Rothbard quote in the piece, we can also blame Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln for the holocaust.

    After all, if the three Northern aggressors wouldn’t have introduced mean, bad war tactics in the Civil War, Hitler presumably never would have figured out how to kill so many.

    I can see why people think The South Will Rise Again (that silly Northerly “The Band” song with it’s talk about raising a King “in defeat” aside).

    Deo Vindici, except if you’re not like the person who wrote Deo Vindici, then the words don’t apply to you (sorry ISG, that means you because you are not a white man).

  • easyliving1

    ‘The Indentured Servant Girl’ blog linked to the right has some interesting material.

    Evidently Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant were bad men who fought very dirty against those Southern boys and girls and babies they killed, while the South fought the civil war without the same lack of morals.

    The North and South are morally equivilent, except the Southerners cared more about their slaves (as individuals, not as one would care about property or anything greedy like that, in fact it was the North that was greedy and exploiting workers unlike the South in 1860) and of course the South fought fair and with honor, unlike the North.

    Since Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln brought heretofore the entirely absent concept of genocide to “modern” Western society according the Murry Rothbard quote in the piece, we can also blame Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln for the holocaust.

    After all, if the three Northern aggressors wouldn’t have introduced mean, bad war tactics in the Civil War, Hitler presumably never would have figured out how to kill so many.

    I can see why people think The South Will Rise Again (that silly Northerly “The Band” song with it’s talk about raising a King “in defeat” aside).

    Deo Vindici, except if you’re not like the person who wrote Deo Vindici, then the words don’t apply to you (sorry ISG, that means you because you are not a white man).

  • http://www.southtexian.com Mike LaRoche

    What the hell is “The Notes”?

  • http://www.southtexian.com Mike LaRoche

    What the hell is “The Notes”?

  • Estragon

    Mike, I believe it was a podcast which is now defunct. The fact that this post was the first time most of us ever heard of it partially accounts for that demise. But if you read the whining post linked, you will find many other reasons. You will find that anyone who was successful was somehow less “cerebral” than The Notes, so it failed mainly because we are just too darned thick to appreciate the subtle genius it offered.

    Someone should send Mr. D.R. Tucker a pair of dark sunglasses. If he ever pulls his head out of his arse, the light will hurt his eyes.

  • Estragon

    Mike, I believe it was a podcast which is now defunct. The fact that this post was the first time most of us ever heard of it partially accounts for that demise. But if you read the whining post linked, you will find many other reasons. You will find that anyone who was successful was somehow less “cerebral” than The Notes, so it failed mainly because we are just too darned thick to appreciate the subtle genius it offered.

    Someone should send Mr. D.R. Tucker a pair of dark sunglasses. If he ever pulls his head out of his arse, the light will hurt his eyes.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    I appreciate your thoughts, Phil.

    Dissent and differences of opinion are fine to argue and ultimately strengthen your position and your ability to defend that position. This occurs far more on the right than on the left, and the difference shows in how arguments are played out.

    What I find distasteful in Conor Friedersdorf is that he has taken the past two years and attempted to advance the notion that the Right is undermined by its most vocal and forceful opponents. Who in the political sphere pushes conservatism? Sarah Palin is the only valid answer. The vast bulk of the conservative argument is advanced by talk show personalities, who disseminate the conservative view of the world and its response to the days events. Limbaugh, Beck, Levin… Conor would have those people change their message or be pushed to the margins. It is a position that finds him favor among the left… a conservative willing to impugn its most effective communicators. John McCain got a lot of play in the DC crowd for much the same thing, but inside the halls of power.

    Conor Friedersdorf is too bright not to realize how what he is saying can be used by the left to undermine the right. It strikes me as opportunistic and dishonest in intention.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    I appreciate your thoughts, Phil.

    Dissent and differences of opinion are fine to argue and ultimately strengthen your position and your ability to defend that position. This occurs far more on the right than on the left, and the difference shows in how arguments are played out.

    What I find distasteful in Conor Friedersdorf is that he has taken the past two years and attempted to advance the notion that the Right is undermined by its most vocal and forceful opponents. Who in the political sphere pushes conservatism? Sarah Palin is the only valid answer. The vast bulk of the conservative argument is advanced by talk show personalities, who disseminate the conservative view of the world and its response to the days events. Limbaugh, Beck, Levin… Conor would have those people change their message or be pushed to the margins. It is a position that finds him favor among the left… a conservative willing to impugn its most effective communicators. John McCain got a lot of play in the DC crowd for much the same thing, but inside the halls of power.

    Conor Friedersdorf is too bright not to realize how what he is saying can be used by the left to undermine the right. It strikes me as opportunistic and dishonest in intention.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    “the Right is undermined by its most vocal and forceful opponents.”

    Yikes! That should be ‘proponents’.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    “the Right is undermined by its most vocal and forceful opponents.”

    Yikes! That should be ‘proponents’.

  • Phil Primeau

    “Who in the political sphere pushes conservatism? Sarah Palin is the only valid answer.”

    The “only valid answer”? I would have accepted “a valid answer,” but “the only valid answer” is pretty wack-a-doo. Palin is a poor politician, a middling intellect, a fine woman, and an excellent media personality. She connects with a certain group, and has advanced many a solid notion. That said, she is one of hundreds — no, thousands — talking conservatism loudly and proudly.

    “John McCain got a lot of play in the DC crowd for much the same thing, but inside the halls of power.”

    John McCain won 9.8 million votes in the primaries, which attract wing voters. That’s nearly as much as every other contender combined. So, if your imagining of McCain is true (I would and do quibble), then apparently a nice chunk of the base thinks his history of cross-aisle dalliances is just fine and dandy.

  • Phil Primeau

    “Who in the political sphere pushes conservatism? Sarah Palin is the only valid answer.”

    The “only valid answer”? I would have accepted “a valid answer,” but “the only valid answer” is pretty wack-a-doo. Palin is a poor politician, a middling intellect, a fine woman, and an excellent media personality. She connects with a certain group, and has advanced many a solid notion. That said, she is one of hundreds — no, thousands — talking conservatism loudly and proudly.

    “John McCain got a lot of play in the DC crowd for much the same thing, but inside the halls of power.”

    John McCain won 9.8 million votes in the primaries, which attract wing voters. That’s nearly as much as every other contender combined. So, if your imagining of McCain is true (I would and do quibble), then apparently a nice chunk of the base thinks his history of cross-aisle dalliances is just fine and dandy.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.wordpress.com Bob Belvedere

    Estragon wrote:AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . ..

    Why does my name always get mentioned, even when I haven’t been part of the conversation?

  • http://thecampofthesaints.wordpress.com Bob Belvedere

    Estragon wrote:AHA! TOO doggone “cerebral,” yessirree Bob, that MUST have been it . . ..

    Why does my name always get mentioned, even when I haven’t been part of the conversation?

  • http://tigeronpolitics.wordpress.com Ben (The Tiger)

    Friedersdorf is always in need of a good smack down…

    As for the success of McCain in the 2008 primaries — Peccavi. Won’t do it again, I promise. Many other conservative Republicans feel the same, I’m sure — 30% voted for him in the early primaries.

    Just give us a candidate to rally round. Palin will do, if she can swat her critics with grace and good humour, but she isn’t the only answer.

  • http://tigeronpolitics.wordpress.com Ben (The Tiger)

    Friedersdorf is always in need of a good smack down…

    As for the success of McCain in the 2008 primaries — Peccavi. Won’t do it again, I promise. Many other conservative Republicans feel the same, I’m sure — 30% voted for him in the early primaries.

    Just give us a candidate to rally round. Palin will do, if she can swat her critics with grace and good humour, but she isn’t the only answer.

  • ykw

    The main points about why Breitbart’s projects seem to prosper while white-glove “Conservatives” see their prospects dashed come down to this: relevance and interest.

    First, Andrew brings in a breathtakingly broad range of writers from all aspects of the American cultural scene and tasks them with writing what they know — and writing it with an eye toward the mainstream, rather than toward their latte-swilling buddies. I have no doubt that Conor Friedersdorf is better educated than Victoria Jackson, Robert Davi and Orson Bean put together; at the same time, though, the most interesting, most eyeball-holding Friedersdorf piece ever written has, at best, a potential audience of dozens as opposed to the possible millions who connect enough with the typical “Big” blogger to bring them back regularly.

    Second, Breitbart is tireless and shameless in promoting his sites, his writers (and reporters) and his work. He goes everywhere someone will let him appear on stage or in front of a camera, from small v-logs and conferences to major partisan stages to cable news to the hostile territory of morning network broadcasts to the terrible depths of whatever it is that RED EYE is. 🙂

    Conor Friedersdorf and his pals think they’re engaged in guerrilla marketing if they tell someone other than their immediate families about what they’re doing.

  • ykw

    The main points about why Breitbart’s projects seem to prosper while white-glove “Conservatives” see their prospects dashed come down to this: relevance and interest.

    First, Andrew brings in a breathtakingly broad range of writers from all aspects of the American cultural scene and tasks them with writing what they know — and writing it with an eye toward the mainstream, rather than toward their latte-swilling buddies. I have no doubt that Conor Friedersdorf is better educated than Victoria Jackson, Robert Davi and Orson Bean put together; at the same time, though, the most interesting, most eyeball-holding Friedersdorf piece ever written has, at best, a potential audience of dozens as opposed to the possible millions who connect enough with the typical “Big” blogger to bring them back regularly.

    Second, Breitbart is tireless and shameless in promoting his sites, his writers (and reporters) and his work. He goes everywhere someone will let him appear on stage or in front of a camera, from small v-logs and conferences to major partisan stages to cable news to the hostile territory of morning network broadcasts to the terrible depths of whatever it is that RED EYE is. 🙂

    Conor Friedersdorf and his pals think they’re engaged in guerrilla marketing if they tell someone other than their immediate families about what they’re doing.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    Bob, you are always on my thoughts. Often times I catch myself thinking “Now what the heck would Bob Belvedere say about this?”

    Phil, my point was fairly straightforward. There may be a number of republican politicians with sound conservative credentials, but none have captured the imagination of the party or are the parties natural standard barer. One may yet present, but the problem of a politician taking stands is you become a target, as Representative Joe Barton found out. Sarah Palin would be the exception as someone willing to take a stand, be outspoken and espouse the conservative position, and she is doing so across the nation.

    The base was handed McCain, with early primaries that allowed cross over votes and with a liberal media that pushed his campaign right up until he had the nomination in hand, at which point they promptly deserted him and started running stories about his age, his health, and his temper. The conservative base recognized him as a man that had turned his back upon and undermined his party repeatedly, and they did not trust him to act as a voice supporting conservatism. His one saving grace was that it was thought he would be a more sound candidate to take over the reigns of government in the midst of a war. There was not much enthusiasm for him until he made his VP selection. John McCain will not receive the parties nomination again, nor would anyone else so uncommitted to conservatism.

    Since there is no voice in politics galvanizing the right, the standard barers for conservatism are largely the conservatives in the media, chief among which would be the radio media as represented by Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Mark Levin, and perhaps Sean Hannity. For Conor to then target these individuals, be critical of them and undermine their message moves the party backward. Conor I believe argues that the party has been hi-jacked by these individuals, whose hyperbole ultimately make conservatism appear less reasonable and less palatable to the population as a whole.

    I think he is wrong, but the guy can write.

  • http://nicholas-whatthe.blogspot.com nicholas

    Bob, you are always on my thoughts. Often times I catch myself thinking “Now what the heck would Bob Belvedere say about this?”

    Phil, my point was fairly straightforward. There may be a number of republican politicians with sound conservative credentials, but none have captured the imagination of the party or are the parties natural standard barer. One may yet present, but the problem of a politician taking stands is you become a target, as Representative Joe Barton found out. Sarah Palin would be the exception as someone willing to take a stand, be outspoken and espouse the conservative position, and she is doing so across the nation.

    The base was handed McCain, with early primaries that allowed cross over votes and with a liberal media that pushed his campaign right up until he had the nomination in hand, at which point they promptly deserted him and started running stories about his age, his health, and his temper. The conservative base recognized him as a man that had turned his back upon and undermined his party repeatedly, and they did not trust him to act as a voice supporting conservatism. His one saving grace was that it was thought he would be a more sound candidate to take over the reigns of government in the midst of a war. There was not much enthusiasm for him until he made his VP selection. John McCain will not receive the parties nomination again, nor would anyone else so uncommitted to conservatism.

    Since there is no voice in politics galvanizing the right, the standard barers for conservatism are largely the conservatives in the media, chief among which would be the radio media as represented by Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Mark Levin, and perhaps Sean Hannity. For Conor to then target these individuals, be critical of them and undermine their message moves the party backward. Conor I believe argues that the party has been hi-jacked by these individuals, whose hyperbole ultimately make conservatism appear less reasonable and less palatable to the population as a whole.

    I think he is wrong, but the guy can write.