The Political Pundits

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 195 pages
0 Reviews

The Political Pundits surveys in detail the small, elite group of persons who comment on and analyze politics in newspapers and newsmagazines, on radio and television, through lectures, books, and all other forms of political media. Dan Nimmo and James E. Combs discuss the key political role pundits play, their methods and strategies, and the potential danger they present to American political life. Our democracy is being transformed into a punditocracy, which replaces serious citizen debate with discussion guided by show business values. Punditry, Nimmo and Combs argue, produces symbolic rather than effective healing of political ills, political paternalism rather than political reflection, and, in the end, public disenchantment with politics.

The authors conclude that pundits should not be taken too seriously, and approach their outpourings using a comic, or bardic, framework. In Part One, the discussion focuses on four generic types of pundits: Priests, Bards, Sages, and Oracles. Part Two identifies three pundit roles: as technicians, as members of the Chattering Class, and as media critics. Each chapter provides examples, cases, and profiles to demonstrate the dominance of punditry. The Political Pundits challenges the generally accepted view that learned and informed public discussion in politics provides an adequate forum for informing and involving citizens. Scholars and students of political science and communications will find the role of the pundits demystified--the curtain pulled back to reveal the wizards.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

From Delphi to Democracy the Sources of Punditry
1
Towers of Babel
2
From Babel to Punditry
4
The Heritage of Pundits Authority
8
From Itinerant Instructor to Media Pundit
11
Punditry on Punditry?
20
TRADITIONS OF POLITICAL PUNDITRY
21
The Priestly Caste Speaking of with and for Political Elites
23
The Punditry of Technique
98
Campaign Technicians
100
Policy Technicians
106
The Centrist Dragon of La Technique of Punditry
115
The Chattering Pundits Talk TV and Radio
119
Talk Shows on TV
120
Talk Radio
129
Then You Shouldnt Talk?
139

The Priestly Muse
25
From Priestly Sound Ideas to Priestly Sound Bites
28
Prophets with and without Honor
45
The Bardic Tradition in Political Punditry Speaking of to and for the Populace
49
The Humorous and Comic Muse in Bardic Punditry
50
Bardic Gossip and Politics in Print and on Radio
58
Bardic Punditry in Contemporary Politics
65
The Magic of the Bardic Song
73
Sages and Oracles The Pundits of the Larger View
75
A Pundit for all Seasons
87
Back to the Future Via a Return to Delphi
93
CURRENT TRENDS IN POLITICAL PUNDITRY
95
The Technician as Pundit Campaign and Policy Experts
97
The Critical Eye Mediating the Realities of Mediated Politics
141
Roles and Types of Media Critics
142
Is the Political Picture Moral? The Critic as Constable
144
Is the Political Picture Art? The Critic as Artist
153
Is the Political Picture Fulfilling? The Critic as Cultural Psychologist
155
Is the Political Picture Representative? The Critic as Social Scientist
159
Orders of Mediated Politics
162
Conclusion Democracy or Punditocracy?
165
The Death or Triumph of Punditry?
166
Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Pricking the Bubble of the Pundits Pride
174
Bibliography
177
Index
185
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1992)

DAN NIMMO is Visiting Scholar, Department of Political Science, Baylor University. He was formerly Professor of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 books, including, with James E. Combs, Mediated Political Realities, Subliminal Politics, and A Primer of Politics. He also co-authored, with Larry David Smith, Cordial Concurrence: Orchestrating National Party Conventions in the Telepolitical Age (Praeger, 1991).

JAMES E. COMBS is Professor of Political Science at Valparaiso University. He has authored or co-authored ten books and numerous scholarly articles.

Bibliographic information