What Do Pundits Do?

I thought the debate was a draw. Pundits thought McCain won narrowly. The public seems to think Obama won. WHERE DOES THE TRUTH LIE?

Obama scored an extremely clear win on Friday night. But the pundits scored the debate for McCain. That would be fine if the pundits were there to score the substance of the debate, and they believed that McCain made better, and more factually accurate, points. But that’s not their professed job (sadly). Rather, they score the political implications of the debate. And their early reviews — mildly, but mostly unanimously, for McCain — were precisely opposite the public’s impressions. That seems like a problem.

Pundits are paid to talk authoritatively about stuff. This doesn’t mean they are authorities on the subjects under discussion; it means only that they have to be able to talk as if they were authorities on the subjects under discussion. Why? Because Americans would start crying and screaming if they turned on their TV to find a bunch of stammering, pimply people who requested a few minutes of reflection before announcing the winner of a 90-minute, live presidential debate that had concluded two minutes before the cameras turned to them.

Pundits are paid to act pundit-y. If pundits had any responsibility other than acting like pundits, they would have all been fired as soon the Iraq war turned into a colossal goat-fuck.

Now, let’s get ready to learn about . . . DINOSAURS!

Leave a Reply