Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly of punditry

In the aftermath of last weeks debate, many in the political pundit class revealed just how shallow they can be. And as we all know by now, the hair-on-fire about style over substance wasn't limited to those who lean conservative.

The freak-out by folks like Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz on cable was followed by the likes of Andrew Sullivan (meltdown central). But others joined the fray as well. As representative of that group, I would point to Michael Tomasky's ridiculous column asking Does Obama Even Want to Win the Election?

All of that goes to show why E.J. Dionne passed on this little bit of wisdom from an unnamed pollster.
“When you give conservatives bad news in your polls, they want to kill you,” he said. “When you give liberals bad news in your polls, they want to kill themselves.”
That rings pretty true based on much of what we've seen over the last few days.

I decided that this incident gave us an opportunity to evaluate some of our liberal pundits and see who is able to keep a cool head rather than react emotionally in the moment. I personally am not interested in listening to those who panic at the first sign of trouble, lose their perspective, and try to infect the body politic with their own doom-and-gloom.

As many of you know by now, I'm a big fan of Steve Benen who writes for Rachel Maddow's blog. During these last few days, he hasn't let me down. He's been rational in his critiques and fair-minded in his analysis.

But there is someone new on my blog roll over to the left that has impressed me a lot lately. He's not a new name to most of us - but he definitely stood out since the debate with his calm rational perspective. Its Kevin Drum who writes for Mother Jones. Here are some links to his excellent analysis over the last few days.

Groupthink and the Great Debate

The Hack Gap Rears its Ugly Head Yet Again

The Hack Gap Revisited

Less Theater Criticism, More Content Criticism, Please

Should Obama Call Romney a Liar?

Let me be clear, I'm not suggesting that I agree with everything Drum says. But if you'd like to read someone who is stepping back and providing some rational critique of what is happening right now in this presidential race, folks like Benen and Drum are definitely the place to go.


  1. I read Benen daily, and will now add Kevin.

    ED Schultz, Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan have been disappointing and destructive. I have stopped watching these shows, even people I like.

    I need clarity and truth, not histrionics.

    And may I add: I think Ed Schultz is a snake; Chris Matthews is bi-polar; and Andrew Sullivan needs to pour some water on his head before the burns his brain.

    I am so disappointed in them, and I believe they have caused more damage to our campaign than the right ever could.

    Thanks for the heads-up about KD. Heading there now..

  2. I'm considering applying a 24 hour moratorium on most political bloggers after each of the debates considering how many of them went into total meltdown mode after the last debate. It is the single worst aspect of liberals that I know of: they assume that losing is their natural lot in life so they are always looking for the first sign that their insecurity is justified. I had hoped over the last couple of months that they had finally started to get over this. But their reaction to the debate just completely destroyed that idea.

  3. Andrew Sullivan's kind of slow and unbalanced. I'm tempted to call him an unprincipled wuss. I'd hate for Mr Long Game to be watching my back. Worse things have happened to me than seeing someone I've never met look bad on tv. Maybe the world is too much for Sully. I figured he'd be a little tougher than this. Then again, he's hurt by GOP homophobia. He'll, you're with them, suck that shit up and keep getting paid. I'm trying to figure out why people take this weenie seriously.

    Lol at Chris Matthews saying that Big O can learn something from watching MSNBC. Where'd they get Chris from? He's better off daydreaming about the good ol days when Clinton was president and got so much done with the GOP. Or he can go back to his JFK fantasies when all was right with the world.

    I'm wondering if Ed will want to send Obama a message. He might need counseling. Those mood swings can't be healthy. That might be him keeping it real.


  4. I remember watching Chris Matthews become so hysterical over defending Bush a few years ago that he slobbered down his chin and it dripped off right onto his shirt and the camera kept rolling and he kept slobbering one gob after another. Now try getting that visual out of your head 'cause I can't!

    As for Ed those spurs, I must say, are a provocative addition to his wardrobe.

    Sullivan is more of a disconsolate child picking up the rubber remnants of his glorious red balloon and felt, in the flabby skin of such pathos, a darkness in the depths of his little rubber soul.

    It all came down to nothing more than a few slices of low-class pizza.

  5. Add Bill Maher. His tone last Friday and this week has been less than disrespectful.