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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bloomberg GOP Debate Displays Weak GOP Commentariat Field... Twitter and blogging hardest hit

A special guest editorial by Frumley Brooks, Esq., Mainstream Conservative Pundit

In keeping with the highest traditions of the Brooks family motto, "Uno dies tardus quod uno denarius brevis" ("a day late and a dollar short") Mr. Brooks decries the latest failings on the part of the American conservative movement.

Last night's debate on the influential and widely popular "BloombergTV" shone a brilliant spotlight, not on the regrettable list of rural extremists trying to impede the campaign of the Presidential candidate and our fondly-remembered classmate Willard Mitt Romney, but on the slapdash and dispiriting performance of our modern-day conservative commentariat.

When discussing Internet political commentary, of course, one must acknowledge that we are forced to deal with two elements: the self-appointed pundits themselves, and their correspondents, or "commenters."

The "commenters" may in large be dismissed out of hand, of no more relevance than those faceless throngs trudging through the factory gates; their guttural yawps infused with no more content and significance than the barkings emanating from the high "bleacher seats" at Wrigley Field on "Dollar Beer Day." (Or so one is informed, certainly never having imposed said "bleachers" on oneself.)  Of a surety one can read an entire "thread" or series of debate comments by them and come away without the slightest idea of what was actually said by the debaters.

The pundits themselves are another matter.  While it is a priori regrettable that they have arrogated this position to themselves without the years of prior vetting and conditioning at the proper schools and publications to which the rest of us have had the upbringing and associations to submit ourselves, their performance during the BloombergTV event was particularly lackluster.

Given that far too many of the hoi polloi have far too little judgment to select "BloombergTV" for their cable assortments over the likes of "ESPN," "Spike" or (one shudders to think) "Fox," one would hope these pundits would make a particular effort to provide some detailed exposition of the actual goings-on that transpired at the debate: to lay at least a token pearl or two before their swinish audiences. Alas, it was not so.  

With the token noteworthy exceptions of one or two bloggers with at least nominal proper journalistic experience such as Michelle Malkin and Robert Stacy McCain, the online punditry wallowed in its subjective incontinence.  Even those who arranged special commentary feeds for the event were too often reduced to subjective banalities such as "so and so looked uncertain" and "that could have been clearer" with no further elaboration, even had such been comprehensible to their notional audience.

Far more attention was paid to the pundit's approval or disapproval of specific candidates, in a narrative stream seemingly scripted specifically to discourage the electorate from any of the choices on view.  The performance of these pundits offered abundant grist for the mills of any canny Democratic operative in the forthcoming elections, a litany of despair and pettifogging criticism that could drown any lesser man than Governor Romney, and may well have.  Even the plucky rustic Ron Paul was subjected to hypocritical mockery  — the equivalent of stopping a film review to specifically complain about the performance of Gabby Hayes — first for speaking out and then for remaining silent, making too big an affair of a tiny little man.

The pundits' lack of experience and perception further showed in their uniform criticism of the hosts, the topics and the specific questions presented in the debate.  Partisan amateurs at heart, they do not see the value of forcing the candidates to address the public in the terms of their opponents' talking points; they do not see the importance of reassuring possible Democratic watchers of the validity of their own points of view, and of demonstrating the GOP's continued commitment to comity and collegiality in the unlikelihood one of them takes office.

Fortunately for the nation, the remaining Republican candidates recognize this, and have been eagerly snapping up the remaining GOP consultants and campaign managers still unemployed, doughty men and women who understand from New York and California and the bloody battlefields of 2006 how a Republican campaign should be run to keep the voters engaged before the Party's own man is nominated.  If the blogging pundits can learn this lesson it should be a rousing show.
"The only proper choice for the right sort of person;
it doesn't bear thinking about..." Frumley Brooks


Anonymous said...

Is that a picture of Paco's evil twin???

richard mcenroe said...

Yep, his eeeeeeevil twin from Massachusetts.

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