Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Pundit Accountability
David Broder is supposedly the pundits pundit ... the grandfather of Washington punditry. In discussing the recent Democratic party retreat, he had this to say:
One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of "Duty, Honor, Country," forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.
This is pure stupidity. Time after time it's been shown that Dems who have served in the military are as numerous, if not more numerous, than Republicans. But here you have Broder repeating a GOP talking point with no attribution.

Atrios defined punditry for us today:
The institution of Elite Punditry is premised on the notion that there are smart people with good judgment who have the unique ability to distill the complexity of the world, and nuance which is potentially not present in straight news stories, into an understandable narrative. Their role isn't simply to opine, but to provide guidance and analysis - tempered by that supposed good judgment - for people who presumably have less time than they do to sort through the all of the news of the day. And, at times, especially when they go on the teevee on roundtable or other situations when there are a variety of viewpoints being expressed, they are there to represent, if not parrot, an ideological position. So, when Shields and Brooks go on the Newshour every Friday their role is, in part, to represent the liberal and conservative viewpoints at least in broad terms.
Before the internets, and before I had the time for this blog, I used to watch these people thinking they did know something I did not. What I have since found is that they not only do not know any more than I (or you), but that they are lazy, usually wrong, and are often colored by the pampered cocktail crowd world they live in. Being a kool-kid while being paid tremendous sums of money was a good game for a long time. Dealing with the dirty hippies and the rabble in the blogosphere has not been easy for the Broder's, Klein's, Roberts, Donaldson, Wills, Blitzers, Crowley and on and on of the world. They are now being shown for what they are: overpaid overmadeup overpampered ordinary people who act like high school fans around power.

No wonder their ratings are falling and subscription rates to newspapers are in decline.