"Meet the Next Wave of Political Pundits," Featuring Nick Gillespie


Via Details comes a precis on "the next wave of political pundits":

The cable networks have new competition in their campaign for your election-coverage vote. When asked in August why the president favored People and Entertainment Tonight over the political press, Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter told CNN that pop-culture media is now "equally important." So the networks have turned to a fresh crop of talking heads who operate as one-person polemical brands, as adept at stirring up controversy as they are at analyzing the candidates. Here are the major political pop stars to watch right now.

Among the various fresh young things (including familiar-to-Reason folks such as Alyona Minkovski, S.E. Cupp, Michelle Fields, Will Cain, and James Poulos) is one semi-mummified time traveler who actually remembers 20th-century America, when dinosaurs bestrode the Earth and the Yankees could still win playoff games:

Nick Gillespie

Age: 49
Editor-in-chief, Reason TV
Trending Now Because: The former Teen Machine magazine writer turned libertarian journalist and frequent cable-talk-show guest is famous for blasting liberals like Rachel Maddow for dismissing Obama's "Fast and Furious" gun scandal as a "conspiracy theory" and rankling conservatives with his pro-gay-rights position.
Prime-Time Moment: When Gillespie took Maddow to task for F&F on Real Time With Bill Maher, the MSNBC anchor blurted, "Listen, dude, I'm not even a Democrat!" Gillespie responded, "You will always take the side of a Democrat over a Republican."

Whole bit here.

The article gave rise to yesterday's Tweet o' the Day, via my colleague and collaborator Matt Welch, who wrote:

NEXT: A.M. Links: Romney Plan "Starving Obamacare Through Regulations," West Virginia Dems Cold on Obama, Gary Johnson an Official Write-In Candidate in Michigan

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Man, that poster with band names brings back memories………

    1. That’s an awesome lineup.

  2. ‘Prime-Time Moment: When Gillespie took Maddow to task for F&F on Real Time With Bill Maher, the MSNBC anchor blurted, “Listen, dude, I’m not even a Democrat!” Gillespie responded, “You will always take the side of a Democrat over a Republican.”‘

    Nick, you are like so brilliant.

    1. “and then there was like this one time, when this douche said fuck you, and I was all like fuck you too bitch. It was totally cool, you guys”

    2. He can even correctly spell his own name!

    3. *looks back at list*

      Nope, no Alan Vanneman.

      That fame, it just keeps eluding you, home skillet. But keep on keepin’ on.

    4. Vanneman started making sense the other day. Aaaaand it’s gone.

  3. Teen Machine?

    Was Nick a fluffer for Menudo or something?

  4. Details magazine? “Almost show us your tits!”

    Gillespie is the oldest person on the list. And I do hope to see him making the rounds regularly on the lame stream media punditry circuit throughout the Romney Administration’s reign.

    1. Life begins at 49!

    2. Bothered me too that there was only one libertarian in the list, and he’s already near my age. Well, at least leather-jacketed Nick can hold down the fort against any of the green horns.
      BTW, good moment smacking Maddow. She’s not a Democrat like Nixon ain’t a crook.

      1. Michelle Fields was a reason intern wasn’t she?

        1. Looks like she did some reporting, at least. She did the Matt Damon interview for Reason, but there don’t appear to be any other Reason jobs done by her. The only other stuff I can find are two interviews of her by Reason.

          She did some work for Students for Liberty though:


  5. I’m pro-gay rights and not a Democrat. Suck it.

  6. Now that she’s not at Reason, I feel comfortable in pointing out that Michelle Fields is fucking hot.

    1. Restraining order in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . .

      1. The woman gives atheists a bad name, albeit in an unusual fashion. How does lacking a set of religious beliefs automatically mean you can’t represent a majority of Americans? Why does she make the same idiotic mistake as religious conservatives that religious belief trumps everything? By her logic Mitt Romney is disqualified simply for not being part of the dominant religious group. Or does she think lacking a religious belief is the lone magic exception? What a bigot.

        1. which woman? i read the cupp interview, and she appears to be simply speaking about the outright dismissal/lack of understanding of the conventional media and “flyover country” religion.

          maybe i am reading the wrong link?

          1. I think darius is referring to the quotes (more like misquotes) in the original Details article about Fields.

            I personally like her as she points out atheists are just as capable of bigotry as, say, fundamentalist Christians.

          2. THIS is why I say she’s a bigot:

            Prime-Time Moment: During a roundtable discussion about Romney’s Mormon faith in July, Cupp revealed that she “would never vote for an atheist president.” When her cohost, Steve Kornacki, accused her of being a “self-loathing atheist,” Cupp responded, “I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing [the country] and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy but me.”

            It’s bad enough when atheists act like jerks and make all atheists look like douchebags by association, but this woman has to go out and smear all of us with those accusations directly. Now everyone who dislikes us can point to her and say, “SEE! Even an atheist thinks they’re all nutty losers who don’t understand us!”

            For one thing, I don’t think everyone religious is nuts. And when I find SOME religious people nuts, I certainly don’t think it’s caused by being religious. And I object to the notion that not believing in a certain set of beliefs about the origin and ultimate destination of life means I can’t “represent” the nation as President. By that logic, she shouldn’t vote for anyone who doesn’t hold to Christian orthodoxy. And that’s plain stupid.

            1. It’s extremely disingenuous hyperbole to claim that atheists think “everyone else in the world” is crazy. I don’t want her projecting her failings onto everyone else.

          3. Here’s another quote, Dunphy:

            I like religion being a check and knowing that my president goes home every night addressing someone above him and not thinking all the power resides right here? Atheists don’t have that.

            Being an atheist myself, I hope it’s clear why I find the idea that I’m less trustworthy because I don’t believe in a divine Big Brother to be abhorrent. And demonstrably foolish. Not to mention this is ALMOST EXACTLY like the state-fellating a lot of the more authoritarian journalists do, just from a more religion-oriented angle. I’m gonna have to stop writing about this for a little bit, this woman’ll drive me toward incoherency.

      2. Re: Paul,

        I stopped reading at S E Cupp.

        My heart stopped after reading “S.E. Cupp.”

      3. Also, it says in the link provided by Nick that Cupp is a classically-trained ballet dancer!

        That means she must be… nimble.


  7. 49 is pretty fucking old. Did Nick interview Leif Garrett in his old days?

  8. Hey, as Toby puts it,
    “I may not be as good as I once was,
    But I’m as good once as I ever was.”

    1. And frigging too old to correctly put this in the reply box for Troy.

    2. Speaking for myself, I’m not the man I used to be. However, I’m not sure I was ever the man I used to be.

  9. the MSNBC anchor blurted, “Listen, dude, I’m not even a Democrat!”

    Just like all the thoughtful rational middle-of-the-road independents I know who would rather be eaten by a grizzly bear than vote for a Republican. Any rational person can see how insane and evil those Rethuglitards are.

    1. I’m fond of telling people who consistently vote for Democrats that they are, well, Democrats.

      They could at least get some street cred by voting Green Party once in a while.

    2. And then the camera moved to Pope Benedict, who proclaimed “Mann, bin ich kein Katholik!”

  10. How did Nick get lumped together with all those dorks?

  11. I’m confused. What I just looked at was a list of minor personalities on MSNBC, which is itself a minor cable news network.

    Speaking of which, Chris Matthews let us know last night that:

    – Romney will lose 100% of the female vote because some Republican senator in Indiana believes life begins at conception
    – Cherry-picked polls show Obama taking Ohio, thus it means he will win. Polls not showing Obama in the lead are all flawed for one reason or another.
    – Romney is a stark-raving fundamentalist anti-abortion conservative. (Apparently his record as what looks to me like a moderate Democrat, socialised medicine, etc. is just a big ruse)

    I’ll spare you folks a recap of yesterday’s PoliticsNation or Morning Joe.

    Over at 90 Days, arguments are ranging from “Obama does not support enslavement of humanity by giant robots” to “Obama’s first name is not reminiscent of a piece of sporting equipment”.

    1. I put up or shut up Wednesday: $500 on Romney at just better than 3 to 2.

    2. – Romney will lose 100% of the female vote because some Republican senator in Indiana believes life begins at conception

      Is that what he said? Leave it to someone like Matthews to even fail to identify the actual point of controversy.

      1. He was demanding Romney come out against Murdoch. Romney endorsed Murdoch (once) about a year ago.

        Who knows what they’d demand if a Republican running for Senate were a former Klansman? Or called a flight attendant the B-word after he refused to turn off his cell phone?

        1. I meant he’s wrong about the conception part. THAT’S not what started this, it was Murdoch’s assertion that women who were pregnant by rape were mean to have their rapist’s babies. Religious determinism itself is out of vogue, but when that’s applied specifically to pregnancy by rape, most people won’t sit well with that, not even a lot of the ones who believe humanity begins at conception.

          1. *meant to have

    3. By the way, Current TV may be up for sale

      The should try e-Bay but not make the rookie mistake of putting a high reserve.

  12. Too bad Alyona Minkovski now has to play the liberal girl at HuffPost.

    1. In the words of Winston Zeddemore: if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything.

  13. When asked in August why the president favored People and Entertainment Tonight over the political press, Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter told CNN that pop-culture media is now “equally important.”

    It seems like every news story I read lately is intended to cast women’s suffrage in a bad light.

  14. Wait. Do I need to fire up a colortini before I read this?

  15. nick’s “taking down” of maddow was a great moment for journalism. i haven’t seen such a quick devastating political talkie blow since jon stewart took down the crossfire folks all those years ago.

    i readily admit, fwiw, i LIKE maddow. i first heard her back when she was on tucker carlson’s (lol) show, and granted, she looked great by comparison. but over the last couple of years she has lost her “edge” and has transformed into a pure democratic party hack. when she was the outsider/iconoclast on carlson’s show, otoh, she didn’t have that kneejerk “democrat good/republican bad” two party simplification of issues and she was a great commentator. maybe she can revive a bit of the maddow of old? maybe gillespie shamed her into realizing she has sold out? ok, maybe not. but one can dream

    1. She was a lot more interesting back then.

      Now she’s just an angry person shouting on a television. She reminds me of Sean Hannity.

      1. yea. she WAS more interesting. she’s been blow dried, and processed for mass consumption since then

        1. Making good coin will do that often.

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