Where Have All the Pundits Gone?


Liberal journalist Gene Lyons has a provocative bit of punditry-cum-wishful thinking at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. After a tiresome rehashing of Stephen Colbert's tiresome routine from ten days ago Lyons argues that blogs are making celebrity political commentators obsolete.

The brief reign of the celebrity pundit began with cable TV appears to be ending with the Internet. Washington socialites are quickly being replaced in public esteem by politically oriented bloggers like Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, the inimitable Digby, Glenn Greenwald, Billmon, Atrios and many others… Sure, there's a danger of groupthink. That's true of all mass media. But there's also a fierce independence and an intellectual honesty among the best online commentators that are making Washington courtiers awfully nervous.

Lyons has a point insofar as the bloggers can drive conventional pundits completely, batshit insane. Witness Richard Cohen's pillow-clutching wail about mean liberals emailing him, or Bill O'Reilly's … ah, just witness Bill O'Reilly.

(Hat tip: Atrios.)