Sunday, July 20, 2014

210. Punditry

 C.W. is back on his dream of becoming a pundit. He showed up in a nice dark suit, immaculately groomed gray hair, and a stuffy Caucasian demeanor that made every attempt imaginable to look above average.

“It’s easy,” he said. “All you need to be a good pundit is gray hair and constipation.”

“Say again?”

He looked at me as if I had just belched out loud at a formal dinner party. “Simple,” he said, “the gray hair is to make you look distinguished and the constipation is to make you look concerned.”

“Uh,” I said, “isn’t there a bit more to it than that?”

“Not much,” he said. “Once you decide where you are going, it is a simple process to get there.” He studied me. “For example,” he said, “you are President Obama.” He cocked his head sympathetically, “Mr. President,” he said, “there is a conspiracy theory being stated that you are a secret alien taking on the shape of an American to prepare the earth for an invasion from outer space.”

“A conspiracy theory?”

“Yes sir, a conspiracy theory.”

“And I am supposed to respond to that?”

“Sir,” he said, taking on a more threatening look, “are you saying that you refuse to respond to it?”

“You are crazy,” I said.

“I got you there, didn’t I?”

“No,” I said, “you exhibited once more that you are a whacked-out idiot.”

“Mr. President,” he said, ignoring me, “is it really true, as Sarah Palin says, that you intend to extend your defense cuts by making American families board our military personnel?”

“Have you gone totally mad?”

“Shall I take that as a ‘yes,’ Mr. President?”

“C.W.,” I said, “Our bill of rights protects us from that very thing. A pundit should know the Bill of Rights.”

“What’s that … the Bill of Rights?”

“It’s the first ten amend…,” I began before stopping. “For goodness sake, C.W., you have to know American history to become a pundit on TV.”

“Says who?”

Wow. He had me there. I thought about some recent clips I had seen and decided I might be on shaky ground.

“See,” he said as he leaned toward me as a father might when explaining the facts of life to a son. “We pundits no longer see the need for such nonsense. We operate in a post-factual paradigm. Haven’t you ever watched Fox News?”

“Only while picking something up at the used tire shop.”

“Then you know the Reagan Doctrine that guides the moral compass of media pundits.”

Facts? We don't need no stupid facts. Now that's the style of
 a good pundit these days. It frees up a lot of our time. - C.W.
“And that is?”

“Like he said, ‘Facts are stupid things.’”

“I think if you research that, you will find he has been misquoted, or at least mischaracterized, by history.”

“Research is for sissies. We have a job to do, as pundits, and we can’t be distracted. Besides, if The Great Communicator said it, it is true.”

“Perhaps,” I said, “with a new paradigm, you might adopt a new name as well.”

“So I and my colleagues will no longer be pundits?”

“No,” I said, “I think the term ‘pundidiots’ suits you better.”
Now click an ad for my new computer. - C.W.
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