For economic reasons, then, genuine public intellectuals like Buckley and Galbraith probably could not get on TV today. Bill Buckley was fond of quoting the philosopher Eric Voegelin to the effect that liberals were trying to "immanentize the eschaton." Use six-dollar words like those on TV today, and you'll never be invited back. And I can only imagine the icy silence that would have followed, if a chirpy news anchor had asked Professor Galbraith what he thought of the latest poll in the Massachusetts Senate race.
Here we are, then, in the age of political narrowcasting, in which, apart from the occasional ideological blogger, most of the "liberals" and "conservatives" alike are hack political consultants or pollsters who live and work inside the Beltway. They know nothing about the wonky details of public policy and even less about political philosophy. But they know who's gaining or sinking in the polls, and they do their assigned job of spinning the polling data to help their party and hurt the rival party.