Noah wrote for them and marked the site’s passing. At Balloon Juice, DougJ links to a Washington Monthly article about the site and adds his own thoughts.

The Monthly article says that one of C11’s founders was inspired by Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic,” the famous piece in which Wolfe tore into Leonard Bernstein and friends for holding a fund-raiser to benefit the Black Panthers. The C11 founder felt that this sort of approach was missing from conservative writing, the approach being (as the co-founder saw it) storytelling, the presentation of people doing things. He felt that conservatives leaned instead on the William F. Buckley approach of persuasion via argument.

At Balloon Juice, DougJ points out that a whole lot of conservative rhetoric comes down to exactly what Wolfe did in that essay. Conservatives paint a picture of the sort of person their opponents are; then they turn to the audience and say, “That person isn’t you. Don’t you hate him?” And very well they do it, but that is not well-honed argumentation; it’s persuasion via caricature.

I would add that, when it comes to the specific target of Wolfe’s “Radical Chic,” the MSM had already beat him to the scene. The essay describes Bernstein’s embarrassment and anger on reading a mocking, sneering, cutting satirical account of his Black Panther fund-raiser … in the New York Times. Of course Wolfe then came along and did a better mocking, sneering, satirical account of his own, because he’s a better writer than the Times has ever employed. But no conservatives at all were needed to spot the absurdity of the fund-raiser and deal with it accordingly.