Conservative giant William F. Buckley called his TV show "Firing Line" when it debuted in 1966.
But despite the title, it was not a free-fire zone for people to yell at one another. Debate and disagree, yes... but not like today's shouting matches on cable news channels.
Buckley's show and his other work in media made him the prototype pundit, and that role allowed him to present his ideas to a broader audience. Over time, they became mainstream.
M.I.T. professor Heather Hendershot reconstructs the journey of conservatism from outcast to inner circle in her book Open to Debate.