February 27, 2008
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2008 --Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner today issued the following statement on the death of National Review founder and author William F. Buckley Jr.:
"Without Bill Buckley there would be no National Review. And without National Review, there would be no conservative movement, no Heritage Foundation, no President Reagan - or an America that's recognizable today.
"It's impossible to overstate the importance of National Review. It offered powerful conservative opinion against communism, big government and liberal culture at a time when no one else had the courage to do so.
"His long-running television show, 'Firing Line' was just as influential - a model for what political talk shows should be today. Unlike many current talk show hosts, Buckley rarely raised his voice. Instead, he had deep, occasionally heated, but civil discussions on topics ranging from Vietnam to abortion to the economy.
"His pointed grilling scared away more than a few politicians. Asked why Attorney General Robert Kennedy rejected several invitations to be on the show, Buckley quipped: 'Why does baloney reject the grinder?'
"Buckley changed the world by being himself: His twinkling eyes. His devilish grin. His sharp sense of humor. His unmatched intellect. A vocabulary that stumped the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary.
"Through his magazine, numerous TV appearances, long-running newspaper column, dozens of books and thousands of lectures, Buckley 'taught' modern conservative thought to me and millions of other Americans who now proudly live this philosophy. I will miss my teacher and my friend."