With the cable news networks ramping up wall-to-wall political coverage, the demand for people to analyze, comment upon and speculate wildly about the presidential race has expanded accordingly. The nation’s economy might be coughing and wheezing, but there is no shortage of employment opportunities in Punditland.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann says that when he introduces his network’s lineup of analysts and commentators on primary and caucus nights these days, it conjures up the long-winded introductions on an old variety show. "I am reminded of the way ‘Hee Haw’ opened," Olbermann says. "I am sorely tempted to finish [the list] with ‘Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Gene Robinson and Pat Buchanan — Grandpa Jones! . . . Junior Samples! . . . the Hager Twins!’ "
Although the image of Tucker Carlson in a plaid shirt and overalls may have scarred me for life, I’ll at least get even more of a laugh out him before I change the channel. And it raises a fun question in my mind: which pundits are actually doing a good job, and which ones are sucking so badly that you cannot get to the remote fast enough to switch the channel before their voice hits your ears? (Not that the printed page doesn’t have its losers — just ask Somerby, dday, and hilzoy — but let’s stick to teevee for a moment.)
It’s worth contemplating which commentators are doing a great job (there have to be some out there) and which you’d love to see replaced. Just as an exercise to see where you find credible news coverage and commentary — and where you don’t. So, in your world of worlds, who stays, who ought to get even more face time…and who gets tossed off the teevee island?
When I get frustrated with the offerings of the various pundits and campaign gurus, I like to turn to this gem from Digby, and this blast from the past of mine wherein the values at the heart of the Democratic party are bandied about. Remember those? Can we talk about the things that matter now? Or is that too much to ask?
*Well, second funniest. But since the evil TBogg made me spew my coffee, I’m denying him credit. Do read the comments — especially the one from montysano at #4. But put down all liquids before clicking the link. You have been warned.
(The above YouTube is the classic Jon Stewart on Crossfire appearance. Bwahahahaha…)