A couple of quick observations…
- Pundits are often wrong. (See the last few weeks of coverage on “McCain’s pick for V.P.”
- Pundits are sheeple, too. (They don’t always think for themselves, and there’s a pecking order…an influential pundit will say something, and the under-pundits will immediately start echoing his opinions as their own.
- Pundits LOVE their own talking points…and hate having to answer questions that force them to abandon using the talking points as answers.
- Pundits HATE surprises…most of them didn’t know what to think when Palin’s nomination was announced, until someone else told them what to think.
- Pundits echo stories. Until the story line is set, they don’t know what to say. Once they grok the story, they can riff on it endlessly. If and when the story no longer fits, they’re lost until they can come up with a new story that does fit. (When Palin was announced, the Obamaniacs immediately denounced her as some “small town mayor” with no experience. Then they realized this story would allow the other team to retort that her two years as a state Governor gave her more experience in a management position than Obama has as a U.S. Senator. Whoops.)
- Most pundits listen to speeches to gleen talking points. They seldom bother with thinks like context and subcontext. For instance, Palin used the term “a servant’s heart” in her speech. Betcha close to 95% of the pundits out there missed it – and have no idea of what that means in a religious context. (Hint: it’s HUGE.)
- Pundits tend to think in stereotypes (which are easier for them to generalize about). The media is obsessed with Palin’s being a woman, and are all a-twitter with the question of how many Hillary supporters will defect to the McCain camp. They are obsessed with gender politics. It’s an easy thing to quantify and qualify. It also means almost nothing to most people. What IS important is that Palin is a true conservative – and will get conservatives (like me) who are lukewarm on McCain, to get behind him enthusiastically.
- Pundits love to hear themselves talk. They tend to latch onto things that they think make sense (i.e.: that reinforce their own worldview) and they would rather be verbose than to shut up and think…or (God forbid) learn something.
- Pundits seldom admit they’re wrong. If they think they can get away with it, they’ll often gloss over their gaffe, and hope nobody notices. (Those of us that pay attention, notice.)
- Pundits get paid to offer opinions – and the more extreme, outrageous, or provocative, the better. They think there’s no harm in hyperbole. They’re wrong. But things aren’t like to change any time soon, because the system we have is self-perpetuating.
So…are you a sheeple, or do you want to shun the pundits and talking heads, and do your own thinking?