Thursday, June 02, 2016

How To Make Punditing a Lot More Interesting

The fundamental problem with the pundit class is that they have absolutely no personal stake in anything they say.  If they get one thing even marginally right, they wear it a Medal of Freedom until the end of their days.  But when get something wrong?  When they get many things wrong?  When they get most things wrong -- big things, life-and-death things -- over and over again, year after year after year?

Then what happens?

Nothing happens,  Nothing whatsoever.  They are never fired.  Never disciplined.  Never rebuked. Never clipped in any way.  In fact, no one but a handful of dirty hippies dares to even mentions how obviously terrible they are at doing their jobs.

Instead they are protected by the corporations that own them and paid insane amounts of money for featherbedding, make-work jobs-for-life at ABC News or the New York Times where they go right on exercising a wildly outsized influence over the parameters of every nation debate, and being spectacularly wrong, week in, week out.

And until the professional consequences of being completely fucking wrong all the time start becoming incredibly severe, not a single thing is going to change.  


bowtiejack said...

". . . not a single thing is going to change."

Mebbe. Mebbe not.
Things go on until they don't.
And when they don't, it can be stunningly quick.
We have seen the disappearance of "white only" drinking fountains and the acceptance of gay marriage and woman in the combat armed forces among many, many other things.

You're right about the current situation, but I think they're artifacts of a dying culture. When the payments are disintermediated (e.g. direct micropayments for clicks) from the present model of ABC News or the NYT doing the choosing and paying and you get only what they decide to choose versus what the market might pay for. . .

You might yet be in a really good place. That is, a lot of people tossing you a flood of .01 cent micropayments and it turns out your, uh, "attitude" is the asset and not a problem. I mean in the Permian Extinction who would have bet on the mammals? And it's ALL gravy because you don't have to do anything different from what you and Blue Gal already do which is put out quality product. Courage.

Check this out:

And this on a guy who foresaw the rise of Amazon and internet shopping crashing the department store model and became a billionaire in the process:

mainmata said...

I think a part of the problem is that the print and TV pundits have become increasingly irrelevant, fossilized relics of the pre-Internet era. (Radio doesn't really count here because political pundits in that medium really only exist on hate radio, which has a small (though nasty) audience.) All of the ones you usually mention, e.g. DFB, Kristol, Fournier, the Mustache of Understanding, Billo, Hannity, Bowtie Will, etc. are either out and out partisan hacks with no independent credibility (e.g. Kristol, Billo, Hannity) or they are corporate mouthpieces and shills paid not to think critically (Halperin, the Toddler, Will, Fournier, etc.). Brooks and Friedman I put into the category of writers of speculative political fiction and vague moralizing who young people pay no attention to at all. The pattern is that the corporations that own all the media don't actually care what their pet pundits say so long as they don't disturb their ease.

bowtiejack said...

What mainmata said.
Also if we are moving (on the Internet anyway) from an advertising-subsidized model towards a direct purchase (micropayments) model, will anyone pay even micropayments to hear what a jackass like Kristol or a fool like Friedman has to say?

keith gargus said...

Maybe the problem is wrong is no longer wrong. If these lackeys were spouting heresy, they'd get the hook in a nanosecond. Semantics is the issue. What used to be journalism is now Newspeak or propaganda in old English.

mainmata said...

Bowtie, the answer is that they (the ordinary Internet peruser) will not pay to hear "always wrong" Kristol or the Mustache's transcriptions of the maunderings of Beirut/London, etc. cabbies. However, RWers especially are reliably bankrolled by the billionaire class solely to keep the Base distracted. Not that even they read the trash on NRO, Red State, Weekly Standard, Breitbart, etc. As for the Mustache and DFB, etc. they got the talking circuit giving them many large for their random opinions.