If you want to be the kind of professorial public intellectual who gets quoted a lot or profiled in mainstream media, some advice (keeping in mind that I’ve done a few laps around that racecourse) about what to write and what to say. Either:
1) Confirm the conventional wisdom of reporters, policy wonks and mainstream politicians. Charts, graphs and big tables of quantitative data strongly recommended. If you can’t be witty, be relatively concise. Sound bites help.
2) Be exactly 180 degrees contrarian to the conventional wisdom of reporters, policy wonks and mainstream politicians. Charts and graphs optional. See above on wit and sound bites.
What NOT to do:
1) Say, “It’s really complex”.
2) “There are a lot of different ways to look at this problem”.
That’s not being a public intellectual who gets quoted in the media, that’s being an intellectual in public. Completely different sort of thing.
Optional super-advanced strategy for getting public attention in the press: say something indefensibly inflammatory at a rally or in an obscure non-scholarly article. Generally doesn’t work for professors on the right, who can write things like “Women had more freedom in 19th Century America” without drawing attention from mainstream media commenters.