In The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, a traditional 1943 film that traces, in vaguely allegorical fashion, half a century’s development in England’s nationwide character, the starlet Deborah Kerr plays a series of functions that represent changing versions of the perfect British lady. Were a similar technicolor love to represent America’s nationwide character over the past 7 decades, the right would be represented by a series of characters all called L. Brent Bozell.
In our movie’s dramatic climax, L. Brent Bozell IV (” Zeeker” to his friends) is displayed in a red baseball cap and blue sweatshirt lettered “ Hershey Christian Academy” (with which, that organization guarantees us, Zeeker is not affiliated) amid an upset crowd shouting “treason!” inside a deserted Senate chamber. The National Evaluation brand of motion conservatism, released 76 years earlier under the joint stewardship of Zeeker’s name grandad and his great-uncle William F. Buckley, Jr. with the admonition to stand “athwart history, screaming Stop,” now dissolves into violent insurrection as an FBI representative charges Zeeker with disorderly conduct. Fade to black, roll credits.
However possibly we must start at the beginning.
The founding L. Brent Bozell, in his time, in fact went by the much less pompous name Leo B. Bozell (1886-1946). Leo started out as a newspaper press reporter in Wichita, Kansas, increased to become city editor of The Omaha News, and in 1921 cofounded Bozell & Jacobs, an advertising agency that represented Nebraska Power, Mutual of Omaha, and Boys Town, with a fellow newspaperman. It was Leo and his partner, Morris Jacobs, who encouraged Daddy Edward J. Flanagan to call his shelter “Boys Town” and after that persuaded MGM to make a film about the place. Bozell & Jacobs likewise branded Boys Town with the motto, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my bro,” an expression so timeless that in 1969 the Hollies would turn it into a struck tune
When Leo Bozell died at 59, he was an abundant man and a pillar of Omaha’s business community. His ad agency had workplaces in Omaha, Indianapolis, Dallas, Houston, and Shreveport. Bozell’s New York Times obituary described him as previous president of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, a lieutenant colonel in the Nebraska State Guard, a leader of Neighborhood Chest and Red Cross campaigns, and a vestryman of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. That’s basically what it implied to be an American conservative throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Still, Leo and his other half were Democrats and stayed so after Franklin Roosevelt ended up being president.
L. Brent Bozell, Jr. (1926-1997) matured in higher convenience than his daddy. Where Leo had actually attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, his boy, who went by “Brent,” went to a Jesuit prep school in Omaha, where he won a $4,000 scholarship for a speech that called Roosevelt’s New Offer “totalitarian.” After a World War II detour into the Merchant Marine, Brent registered at Yale, signed up with the debate team, ended up being best friends with William F. Buckley, converted to Catholicism, and gathered bachelor’s and law degrees. Falling, with Buckley, under the influence of the conservative political researcher Willmoore Kendall, Brent ended up being president of the Yale Political Union as a self-declared conservative and gave up his vestigial commitment to world federalism. The list below year, he wed Buckley’s sibling Patricia. (I’m indebted for these details to the 2014 biography Residing On Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell, Jr. by Daniel Kelly.)
In 1954, Brent and Buckley released a book entitled McCarthy and His Enemies that concluded a “case-by-case breakdown” of McCarthy’s accusations “clearly renders a verdict very favorable”— a judgment that even then was so clearly erroneous that it could just have been arrived at by two incredibly intense young men in love with disputation. Brent then recommended to his conservative publisher, Henry Regnery, that he follow up with a book proposing that the U.S. begin a war with the Soviet Union, which had established a nuclear bomb 5 years previously. Regnery was uninterested, so instead Brent assisted McCarthy defend himself in the Army-McCarthy hearings and then joined McCarthy’s Senate staff, where he stayed up until McCarthy’s death from cirrhosis in 1957.
Brent became a factor to Buckley’s National Evaluation with the first concern in 1955– the one that famously stood athwart history. He despaired that Dwight Eisenhower was “a liberal president” and forecasted gloomily that the Soviets would win the Cold War. To Brent’s credit, he dissented from a National Review editorial (“ Why the South Need To Prevail“) that safeguarded white Southerners’ rejection of the vote to African Americans on the grounds that Caucasians were “the innovative race.” Significantly, though, Brent’s disagreement with the National Evaluation line was that it wasn’t conservative enough In one piece, he defended the John Birch Society, which Buckley had made a point of expelling from his motion.
Brent ghostwrote Barry Goldwater’s book, The Conscience of a Conservative, providing large play to his Cold War pessimism when the book became a surprise bestseller in1960 By now, Brent had actually progressed into a full-fledged reactionary. He relocated to Spain and became an apologist for Franco’s fascist routine. Then he moved back and lost a Maryland congressional main race to the liberal Republican Charles Mathias. After that, he transferred to heaven Ridge Mountains and devoted most of the rest of his life to assaulting Vatican II.
In L. Brent Bozell III (1955- present), we start to see what IQ professionals delicately call “regression to the mean.” If Leo’s fixation was to develop a successful organization and Brent’s was to develop an intellectual foundation for movement conservatism, Brent III’s was to build a series of organizations to perpetuate that motion.
The most significant of these was most likely the National Conservative Political Action Committee, or NCPAC, a direct-mail fundraising shop founded by Terry Dolan, Roger Stone, and Charles Black that contributed in defeating four prominent liberal senators in 1980: George McGovern, Birch Bayh, John Culver, and Frank Church. NCPAC Chairman Dolan, a closeted young gay man who would pass away of issues from HELP in 1986, was a spectacular hypocrite. He when put out a fundraising letter that stated, “Our country’s ethical fiber is being compromised by the growing homosexual motion and the fanatical E.R.A. pushers (a lot of whom openly brag they are lesbians).” The company’s viewpoint, Dolan described, was that ” the shriller you are, the much better it is to raise cash.”
Brent III joined the group after finishing from the University of Dallas in 1977 and, with Dolan’s passing, prospered him as NCPAC chairman. Brent III quickly tangled with the group’s board, so he left to start a group called the Media Research Center, or MRC, which was committed to weakening the reliability of straight news organizations by knocking them as left-wing propagandists. It operated in profound bad faith while masquerading as a righteous watchdog of objectivity, the group was wildly successful, spawning multiple offshoots.
Brent III likewise ended up being a TELEVISION analyst and writer. His credibility as a writer and thinker was not fantastic, even amongst movement conservatives, and it took a serious hit in 2014 when three unknown previous MRC staff members exposed that the kid of the guy who ghostwrote The Conscience of A Conservative required a ghostwriter of his own. Brent III’s columns, these former staff members told journalist Jim Romenesko, were written practically entirely by MRC’s media analysis director, a male called Tim Graham.
When asked about this, Brent III’s syndicator didn’t exactly deny it. “I remember years ago when Brent recommended that he share the byline for his column with Tim,” this individual stated, “and I stated it would be better for us to promote a single individual. We have chosen, nevertheless, that since Tim works so carefully with Brent on the column, we have actually altered it to a joint byline.” For a while, Brent III and Tim Graham did share the byline, as they ‘d done all along on Brent III’s books. More current Brent III columns bring only Brent III’s byline
As a commentator, Brent III has actually had more than his share of gaffes. The worst of these happened during a 2011 look on Hannity The visitor host Mark Steyn, responding to some crack by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that Newt Gingrich “looks like an automobile bomber,” welcomed Brent III to play the whatabout video game.
” The length of time do you think Sean Hannity’s program would last,” Steyn said, “if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, state, the president of the United States, and stated that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead?”
This, obviously, was Steyn’s winking method to utter a racist slur about Barack Obama, leaving himself a hair’s breadth of deniability by posturing it as a hypothetical. Brent III, alas, did not follow suit. He right away responded, “Which, by the method, you might want to say that Barack Obama does,” articulating the racist slur loud and clear and spoiling the video game for everyone.
Regarding Donald Trump, Brent III carried out a Lindsey Graham– design backflip. Throughout the 2016 primaries, Brent III denounced Trump as “the best charlatan of them all,” fearlessly enduring what Politico’s Tim Alberta called “a major hit” to MRC’s fundraising (which, Alberta wrote, was already judged by allies as “an outdated operation”). To get well after Trump won, he discarded his brave stance and knocked the media’s “hatred” of Trump. By August 2020, Brent III was chugging the Kool-Aid, stating the left was outlining to “steal this election” and including, “If they get away with that, what occurs? Democracy is completed due to the fact that they introduce totalitarianism.”
However Brent III fixed a limit at condoning the January 6 riot. After mentioning that he agreed with the mob that the election was taken, he stated, “You can never countenance authorities being attacked. You can not countenance our national Capitol being breached like this. I think it is absolutely wrong.”
Then came Zeeker (1981- present).
We do not understand a lot about Zeeker; even his occupation is a secret. We know that in the Senate chamber he adjusted a C-SPAN cam so that it pointed down and could not tape-record what the rioters were doing. We understand that he resides in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. We know that he coached ladies’ basketball, not at Hershey Christian Academy, but at a school in Hershey called St. Joan of Arc (This was verified by the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.) We believe, but don’t understand for specific, that a person or more of Zeeker’s kids go to Hershey Christian Academy.
With that, the path goes cold due to the fact that no one’s talking, not even Zeeker’s attorney. The going to pieces conservative motion, as it bids adieu to Rush Limbaugh, seems also to be seeing its last of the Bozell dynasty. Excellent night, sweet princes. It was fun while it lasted.