The Political Pundits (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 195 pages
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"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.

  

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Contents

From Delphi to Democracy the Sources of Punditry
1
IV
3
From Babel to Punditry
4
V
6
VI
10
VII
13
The Priestly Caste Speaking of with and for Political Elites
23
The Priestly Muse
25
Campaign Technicians
100
XVIII
102
XIX
108
XX
117
XXI
121
XXII
122
XXIII
131
The Critical Eye Mediating the Realities of Mediated Politics
141

VIII
27
IX
30
X
47
XI
51
XII
52
XIII
60
XIV
67
Sages and Oracles The Pundits of the Larger View
75
XV
77
XVI
89
CURRENT TRENDS IN POLITICAL PUNDITRY
95
The Technician as Pundit Campaign and Policy Experts
97
XVII
99
XXIV
143
Is the Political Moral? The Critic as Constable
144
XXV
146
Is the Political Picture Fulfilling? The Critic as Cultural Psychologist
155
XXVI
157
XXVII
161
XXVIII
167
XXIX
168
XXX
176
XXXI
179
XXXII
187
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About the author (1992)

Dan D. Nimmo has been a professor of political science, journalism, and communication at various institutions, notably the University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, and the University of Oklahoma. His writings include The Political Pundits and The Political Persuaders.

JAMES E. COMBS is Adjunct Professor, Clinch Valley College, University of Virginia.

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