Today's New York Times story on the troubles at National Review is worth a read, though I actually agree with The Corner's John J. Miller that it's ridiculous to chalk the magazine's problems up to the "coarseness" of Internet debate. Rather, it seems pretty clear that NR's loss of talent, including Christopher Buckley and David Frum, is due to ideological rigidity. It's hard to be an "intellectual" magazine when you wholeheartedly embrace the Bush-Palin brand of conservatism, in which reading, writing, and speaking coherently are slurred as "elitist."
It's sad, because The Corner, for all it rankles, has always been the model of a blog that fosters debate among its contributors. As an employee of a small ideological magazine, I sincerely hope NR pulls itself together, abandons its knee-jerk hostility toward racial and ethnic difference, and becomes a voice of intelligent opposition. The web needs more informed and intelligent policy debate.