October 27, 2008

Giving it Away Free

You can actually attend pundit school.

(I’ll pause while you snicker.)

Look, save yourself time and money. Just read read my advice on how to be a pundit. Since I’m giving it away free, I’ll just quote it for you:

Rules for modern American pundits (TV, radio, or print):

  1. Never be dull. This is entertainment, not analysis or reasoned civic discourse. Never employ a tightly reasoned argument where a flaming soundbite will do. Argument, of the academic sort, is dull, but a good pissing match is fun to watch!
  2. Embrace willfully ignorant simplicity. There are only two positions in the world: yours and wrong. To admit anything more complicated than this is to invite the suggestion that YOU may be wrong, and that can NEVER be.
  3. Counter all opposition vociferously. They’re wrong, so you must point it out in the most vigorous terms, including using time-honored tactics such as name-calling, red-herring fallacies, and outright lies.
  4. Use fallacy as the cornerstone of your “arguments,” and scream bloody murder when the opposition does the same thing (assuming you can recognize a logical fallacy).
  5. Always ignore facts and the public record when it is convenient to do so. Reality is what YOU say it is. Besides, you’re trying to win political battles here (impose YOUR view on the world), not accurately describe events so that democratic citizens may make informed choices. Or, for the more cynical among you (those ready for big-time media jobs), you’re trying to get a better job by being more provocative (entertaining). Facts just get in the way of a prosperous future.
  6. The opposition is always: stupid, retarded, immoral, hypocritical, disingenuous, dishonest, and devious. Well, duh! They’re wrong.
  7. The American public is stupid; treat them that way. [sic]
  8. Know your spin points, and use them often. Original thinking is off-topic thinking.

You may have also seen this mentioned by Jeffrey Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal.

If you want to be a pundit, this is the script you must follow. Now, obviously, I’ve written from the perspective of someone who loathes punditry. But you can translate this into pundit-speak easily enough. And once you do I think you’ll find I’ve covered the gist of it.

And it’s all yours. For free.

Go and sin more.

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