Yes, the conservative ‘wonk gap’ is real

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Over at Mediaite, Noah Rothman pokes holes in the notion that there is a “wonk gap” on the right. After all, Rothman writes,

“Policy mavens like The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, R Street Institute’s Reihan Salam, Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, Manhattan Insitute’s Avik Roy and a slew of other conservative thinkers are already prominent fixtures in political media (radio, television, and print). That is to say nothing of the myriad capable conservative columnists and reporters who possess broad expertise on an array of issues.”

Rothman is, of course, correct in noting that there is no dearth of qualified conservative policy wonks. And yes, they do get media hits. Just not to the same degree as their liberal counterparts. The difference, of course, is that the left does a much better job of promoting and advancing their young wonks.

Even if one puts aside the massive amount of attention and (until recently) praise heaped upon Ezra Klein and Nate Silver by the mainstream media, consider the simple fact that Chris Hayes and Steve Kornacki have their own TV shows.

Is there a conservative analog to this? (Note: Since Rothman mentions him, it’s worth noting that Larry Kudlow just retired from hosting his TV show.)

Granted, Hayes and Kornacki are plying their trade on a lowly-rated cable news network — but that’s beside the point. Liberals seem much more interested in promoting young wonks — an investment that is bound to pay dividends later.

Assuming the geeks shall inherited the world, then yes, the wonk gap is a problem.