In a June 1993 column, Mike Pence came up with a three-part test for distinguishing commentators "from what can be defined as the conservative crank."
The current Indiana governor was a talk radio host at the time he wrote the op-ed in The Indianapolis Star. It was a critique of fellow radio host Stan Solomon, whom Pence said, "doesn't speak for me."
In it, Pence laid out the following three questions to ascertain whether someone met his standard for a conservative commentator:
“1. Does the host insist that policy debate is a broad road, easy to understand once the listener becomes enlightened to a few ‘simple’ truth? Or does the host concede that the route to reasoned policy is a narrow, difficult one of work, research and understanding?
2. Does the host traffic in information, or opinion? That is, does the host impart verifiable information that may be confirmed by friend and foe alike? Or does the host simply promote an opinion about facts and controversies on which he may or may not be fully informed?
3. Does the host engage in name-calling?
By that is meant assailing individuals and organizations that differ with him without providing any basis for the characterization. Or does he identify the players in the debate with verifiable reference to their public statements and actions, a necessity for informed debate?”
Pence went on to argue that "negative, personal attacks have no place in the public debate." Pence is now Donald Trump's running mate.