Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger
When I was young I would religiously watch the Sunday morning news shows, especially NBC’s Meet the Press. Beginning in 1947, MTP is the longest running show in television history. While the other networks had comparable shows, clearly MTP with its longevity was seen as the show of record.
“The show’s format consists of an extended one-on-one interview with the host and is sometimes followed by a roundtable discussion or one-on-two interview with figures in adversarial positions, either Congress members from opposite sides of the aisle or political commentators. The show expanded to 60 minutes starting with the September 20, 1992 broadcast” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meet_the_Press#Moderators
Face the Nation, premiering in 1954 is considered to be the other Sunday morning News show of record. FTN’s format is:
“The moderator interviews newsmakers on the latest issues and delivers a short topical commentary at the end of the broadcast. The program broadcasts from Washington, D.C. Guests include government leaders, politicians, and international figures in the news. CBS News correspondents and other contributors engage the guests in a roundtable discussion focusing on current topics.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_the_Nation
What all of these shows have in common is that they are repeatedly populated by the same people, whether politicians, journalists, economists or political operators. This link gives the background of the truth of Sunday morning “journalism”. http://mediamatters.org/search/index?qstring=Sunday+Morning+Talk+Shows&x=9&y=6 The casts rarely change and in all but the rarest of cases these guests make up what could be called our nation’s “Pundit Class”. They are seen as the “Serious People”, who lead America’s national debate on vital issues. I’ve been a “political junkie” since the age of ten. For many years I was misled into believing that these “Serious People” were really my intellectual betters when it came to public affairs and that political discussion must only exist within the ground rules of debate established by our “Pundit Class”. Beginning with the murder of JFK and in the ensuing disillusionment of the Sixties I’ve come to see that not only is this “Pundit Class” inherently corrupt, but only a rare few can barely be called intellectually informative. This group is in reality the paid propagandists of the elite 1% that rule this country and their main task is to limit the scope of our national debate.
In the last two weeks one of the most heard and most esteemed members of the Pundit Class, Fareed Zakaria, has been suspended from Time Magazine and CNN due to the discovery of plagiarism in one of his columns. Zacharia is also a Yale University Trustee and there is talk that his removal from that august position is under consideration. I’ve never particularly cared for Mr. Zakaria, but I was surprised by his plagiarism, more so by the fact he admitted it so readily and so abjectly. An article in the Huffington Post provided an explanation of Mr. Zakaria’s actions with a surprising explanation that I hadn’t expected and yet one that in retrospect makes perfect sense. Continue reading ‘The Pretense of Punditry’