Last week at the Republican National Convention we saw an old man berating a chair. Last night at the Democratic National Convention we saw Bill Clinton. Perhaps one of the greatest orators of all time (for sure in my time). Clinton spent 48 minutes talking in an affable, serious, jovial, relatable, academic, authoritative, passionate yet simple way. Not surprisingly, the crowd went nuts. In a good way.
Clinton’s speech hammered home just how superficial, cloudy and ineffective the Republican’s “plans” for this Nation are. Their idea of giving the rich tax cuts while proposing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, will leave the elderly and poor “with nowhere to go.” History has shown us, said Clinton, that trickle down economics does not work. He added, “We simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down”
In July this year a team of about 40 economists from various universities, think tanks etc. came to the conclusion that the GOP had abandoned economic reality. These independent economic professors said Republican plans couldn’t possibly pass a basic economics class/test. Clinton said in his speech last night that it all boils down to arithmetic. “Tax breaks and cuts for the rich plus spending cuts (that would harm the poor) means what?” He added, “Where does the revenue come from? The middle class, of course.”
Since I have an obvious left leaning bias and make no bones about it in this blog, I thought it only fair that you hear from a Republican. A onetime early heat GOP Presidential candidate, past Ambassador to China and past Utah governor, Jon Huntsman.
Appearing on Stephen Colbert’s show recently, Republican Jon Huntsman was asked what it would mean if the GOP lost in November. He appeared to welcome the possibility of defeat, and to have thought about what good might come from it:
“The party, I think, goes to the wilderness for a while… And eventually we’re going to wake up to the fact that the Republican Party draws from a lot of chapters in history…. Theodore Roosevelt believing that the land is an important legacy to leave behind, Eisenhower who left us with the Interstate System — what would we do without our infrastructure? You can’t compete in the 21st century without infrastructure. There’s a role for government in that.”
Later, in an interview on CNN, Huntsman suggested there was something else the GOP needs to wake up to. He said one of the reasons he didn’t attend the Republican convention in Tampa was because, “You have a party that lacks inclusiveness, that is not focused on real solutions and delivering the bread and butter issues that the American people are looking for, that lacks the sense of optimism and the big-picture strategic thinking about America.”
Huntsman is a Republican that truly “gets it.” The RNC was a sea of white people lacking diversity and as Huntsman said “inclusiveness.” The DNC had the melting pot that makes up America, in attendance and as speakers. The Democrats know they have truth and reality on their side, and it showed at their convention.
Difference between news analyst, commentator and pundit? None
Image by quirkybird via Flickr
I decided just yesterday for no reason in particular, to throw my hat into the pundit ring. I’ve heard through other reliable pundits (pretty funny huh, using reliable and pundit in same sentence) that all you need is an opinion and a forum. I figure I have both. My forum might be small by Fox or CNN standards but never-the-less a blog is a blog and you just never know who drops by.
I was in the newspaper business for many years, and the only words we ever used to describe who we were and what we did were typically reporter, correspondent, columnist and of course editor. The editorial was the newspaper version of opinion along with columns, which were the express opinion of the writer who wrote them. As reporters or correspondents (which were our part-time reporters) we wrote news backed up with plenty of facts and sources or it didn’t fly. Pretty cut and dried. But, people even then, expressed confusion about what exactly an editorial was, no matter that I once wrote an editorial explaining to readers exactly what an editorial was. So evidently, opinion and fact and how they are packaged has always been confusing for some. Myself included.
Today of course, we have been enlightened with so much opinion in our news, especially TV news, that the lines seem especially blurred between pundit, commentator and news analyst. I have been researching these three terms for quite a while and have come to the conclusion that pundits, commentators and news analysts are completely interchangeable. For a while, I thought a news analyst was not supposed to have a personal opinion. That he/she was supposed to gather the facts, have some extra deep knowledge to add to those facts that us dummies don’t know and present same to us in an unbiased manner.
But, my new pundit opinion thinking cap got in the way. If you are analyzing a situation how do you do that without bringing your own bias into the mix? How is an analyst going to analyze without coming to some conclusion? And you can’t come to a conclusion and be unbiased. If you just throw out the facts and don’t analyze then you aren’t an analyst anymore just a reporter or a correspondent or someone who just reads the news on TV with no comments whats-so-ever (an unheard of phenomenon). Even interpreting the news, which is something news analysts do often, is still interpreting the news by the standards of the analysts themselves or who ever they work for. So they still have a point of view. A point of view cannot be void of opinion.
This is certainly not think-tank stuff but since a commentator is an opinion person, and a pundit is most definitely an opinion person (think Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck) and since I have personally dropped the status of news analyst to mere opinion person I think a new word to describe all three interchangeable words is in order. Maybe something like anal-puntator or…I’m sure you come can up with plenty of your own.
(If you are a news junkie like I am you might want to pick up a copy of this; http://amzn.to/1rIhuzD “The News: A Users Manual.” It definitely shows how the 24hr. news cycle affects our lives. Now, the author does analyze in this book but maybe I like it because I agree with most of it.) I bought it in hardcover rather than digital just because I find it easier to skim. I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a small commission If you purchase through my link.
Filed under buzz, politics, satire
Tagged as bill-oreilly, CNN, commentator, FOX, Fox Broadcasting Company, Glenn Beck, news analyst, pundits, Rush Limbaugh, Television