L. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center and nephew of the late National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., visited Heritage last week to promote Buckley’s last book “The Reagan I Knew.” Published in October after Buckley’s death, the book documents the 30-year friendship with the late president.
Bozell, humbled in his role as spokesman for the book, told the assembled group how more than 900 books have been written about President Ronald Reagan. He explained how Buckley was perhaps the former president’s closest friend. In Buckley’s last book, he gives the reader a chance to look into the minds and personalities of modern conservatism’s two biggest icons.
A reader is given a look into the “inside jokes” between the two; the passionate debates, and the kinship they shared in being such high-profile individuals. The most infamous of these being Buckley’s “appointment” as ambassador of Kabul during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, their differences over the Panama Canal debate, and Buckley’s friendship with former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Bozell also spoke on what he believed was “The Cardinal Rule of Politics”: define or be defined. He believed no one mastered this rule better than Reagan, and it showed in how he dealt with the media. Saying how Reagan accomplished this by constantly going over the press and addressing the American people in ways they could relate. Bozell believed Buckley understood this rule as well; and demonstrated it through his columns, books and debates on “Firing Line.”