Remember this epiphany from Donna Brazile that appeared in Parade magazine back in March of last year:
“While I was on the platform watching Barack Obama take the oath of office, for the first time in my life I visualized a woman there,” Brazile tells us.
“I want to help chart that course.”
(What happens to a Dream Deferred? Oh, that’s right, Donna B tries to chart its course as if it were a Dream of Her Own all along.)
How about this gem from her in November:
Sometime between my celebrating Barack Obama’s inauguration and traveling through 33 states this year, listening to folks discuss their frustration with the pace of progress, it dawned on me: It’s about jobs.
(I guess Biden’s “three letter word, J-O-B-S” speech on the campaign trail in 2008 wasn’t persuasive enough.)
Here’s the latest revelation from the mind of Donna Brazile, as it appears online in the WaPo editorial section.
Straight off the bat, she starts out with a real winning line:
I probably shouldn’t say this; it’s the definition of biting the hand that feeds me.
I have to interject there for a second to ask: Since when has that ever stopped Donna? But, I digress.
Back to Brazile’s sage advice:
So I’ll say it just once, and hopefully all the newspapers and blogs and television and radio networks will hear: It’s time to abolish punditry.
Apparently Donna Brazile was one of a dozen pundits that the WaPo solicited for advice in an op-ed series called “12 things the world should toss out.” And, Donna’s advice is to get rid of pundits. Gotta love the cognitive dissonance of that.
If a single move could restore civility to politics, that is it. Get rid of the left-vs.-right commentators who are just out scoring points for their team. This sort of opinion-mongering is not only boring and predictable, it is destructive of the truth. If your only credentials are “GOP shill” or “Democratic hack,” you’ve no business cluttering up the airwaves or the op-ed pages. My momma always told me that if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s best to keep your mouth shut. That’s good advice.
I have two reactions to the above:
1) Donna Brazile’s mama taught her to play by the rules and to keep her mouth shut if she doesn’t know what’s she’s talking about. Too bad Donna didn’t retain those lessons.
2) Timing is everything. Brazile’s commentary bears an uncanny resemblance to remarks made by President Obama in his commencement speech to Hampton University graduates this past Sunday:
“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter,” Obama said. “With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations; information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.
“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you; it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”
“With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s not,” Obama said. “Let’s face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I’ve had some experience with that myself. Fortunately, you’ll be well positioned to navigate this terrain.
Right. This from the president who promotes Zsa Zsa Huffington’s site and brags about reading Andrew Sullivan as if either were a paragon of journalistic integrity.
Returning to Brazile’s blather in the WaPo:
Whom do we put in their place? I say replace the pundits with people who have genuine expertise — whether from their academic work, professional life or personal experience — on the key issues of the day. Instead of partisan talking heads or mad hatters from the “tea party” preaching their views on, say, health care and taxes, let’s hear from doctors and insurance professionals, or the number-crunchers from the Congressional Budget Office. They’re much better equipped to help viewers, listeners and readers wade through the facts, arguments and data.
Why make it so complicated? Wouldn’t it just be easier to replace all the pundits with Obama’s teleprompter? That is what this is about, after all, seeing as all of Brazile’s realizations revolve around the needs of Obama’s permanent campaign.
Of course, Donna doesn’t want to get rid of her own punditry:
Some pundits could remain as political analysts. (I’m not crazy, am I?)
No, you’re not crazy, Donna. That would be an insult to crazy people.
Moreover, “genuine expertise” in the area of politics would seem to dictate that somewhere between “it’s the economy, stupid” and Barack Obama’s election, it would have already dawned on a Democratic strategist that it’s about jobs.
Donna B concludes her Public Service Announcement on the perils of punditry with her signature wisdom:
There is insight to be gained from the dark, secret knowledge they hold from their decades pacing the political corridors. But let’s not mistake the gallery for the game.
The above reminds me of a New York Times piece from 2003 entitled “Frustrated Democrat Makes Friends in G.O.P.” (And, what a title it is. Is Donna the original… *gasp* Republican ratfrakker disguised as PUMA?)
From the article:
Two years ago, Donna Brazile, then Al Gore’s campaign manager, was engaged in daily combat with Karl Rove, then George W. Bush’s top campaign strategist.
Today, they chirpily exchange e-mail, chat on the phone and write letters, indulging in their shared zeal for the inner workings of politics.
Donna is right when she suggests that the dark, secret insight of pundits should be left where it belongs. Let’s keep the American people in the dark and instead leave that esoteric knowledge to the private chats and e-mails between Donna B and her BFF Karl Rove. I suppose in time their conversations could guide her to one day suddenly declare very publicly how it dawned on her that it’s about breaking up the big banks.
Naturally, that realization would come a day late and a dollar short, if it ever did at all.
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