[W]here Douthat's classification runs into trouble, is that on the conservative side the "entertainers" are far more prominent than anyone else, and certainly far more prominent than what he calls "the elite world of pundits and intellectuals." In other words, what Rush and company talk about -- which is driven by what drives ratings and sells books -- then becomes the only thing that conservatives talk about.
Moreover, as far as anyone can tell, there's just a lot of money to be had by being a conservative entertainer, which creates strong pressures on talented conservatives to be more Levin than Manzi, more Coulter than Friedersdorf, more Beck than Larison. And that leaves people such as Manzi or Larison or Bartlett or even Frum marginalized by people such as Lopez or McCarthy.
So it's a bit disingenuous for Ross Douthat to say that Mark Levin's book is just entertainment. He's correct...except that it's entertainment that's driving the party, entertainment that makes it hard for Republicans in Congress to acknowledge widely-understood facts about climate change, entertainment that drives the conservative conversation so that if there's no market, there's no conversation.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.