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    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    The Ten Commandments of Political Pundits

    Easily, the one thing that this election year has taught me over and over, is that you need NO knowledge or common sense to be a television political pundit. In fact, those two traits DISQUALIFY you from the job. The only way you can make it on CNN or FOX, is to state the absurdly obvious while passing it off as your unique insight, or to make outrageous comments (that will be proven incorrect a week later but never pinned on you) in order to incite a conflagration among illiterate voters that take your words as gospel.

    Rule #2 of a Political pundit is that you must nod your head like an overstuffed bobble-head at everything your compatriots say, especially if they are of your same party affiliation.

    Rule #3 states that no political poll used by pundits is allowed to be statistically significant. Anything within +/- 3% is automatically thrown out. Of especially good use are the utterly nonsensical polls -- those CNN polls of +/- 7%. That way, you can choose who you want to win while ignoring the 14% swing inherent in the results.

    Rule #4 of political punditry requires all budding pundits to choose only 1 of 2 sources -- FOX or CNN. If you are a Democrat, then you can work as a Republican or Democratic analyst for CNN. If you're a Republican, you can do the same for FOX. In no way are you allowed to switch shows. No Democrat will work as a Democratic analyst for Fox, nor a Republican as a Republican analyst for CNN.

    Rule #5 requires that all MSM outlets decide before the primary process who will win. All reports will be couched to shed favorable light on that candidate at the expense of others, regardless of actual outcome. This will prejudice viewers who would vote for other candidates to either stay home and not vote because their "vote doesn't count," or switch and vote for the pre-anointed candidate -- who was their second choice -- because the first choice "obviously" has no chance.

    Rule #6: If the candidate from Rule #5 is winning an election with less than 10% of precincts reporting, you can declare him/her the winner and spend the rest of the evening talking about his/her landslide victory, even though he or she won by less than 5% of the popular vote. If your Rule #5 candidate is not winning, it is your right to reserve judgement until all 100% of precincts have reported as long as your candidate stays within 5% of the leader.

    An addendum (Rule #6A) states that this principle applies to delegate counts as well. A pundit can declare the MSM Rule #5 candidate a winner in a state if either a) he or she wins the popular vote, or b) he or she wins the most delegates. If the candidate does not do both, a pundit can conveniently forget who achieved the other goal.

    Rule #7 Every pundit must stick one barbed comment at the person in power of the other party per show (i.e. D's snipe President Bush and R's snipe Speaker Pelosi).

    Rule #8 is the equal opportunity rule. Every political panel must include someone NOT Caucasian. This automatically makes every nonsensical word spoken equivalent to the views of ALL Americans, not just one ethnic subset.

    An addendum to this rule (Rule #8A) states that equal opportunity extends to candidates too. Any candidate who comes from a minority group (women, blacks, libertarians, etc.) must have their platform thrown out the window and be judged solely by the percentage of votes they receive separated by racial background only.

    Rule #9 requires that all campaign donations by political pundits must be confidential. That way, someone pontificating about the ineptitude of Obama can do so without people knowing he or she donated the legal maximum to Clinton the night before. If this information is found out, networks have an ethical responsibility to only air the info after 11pm and to quietly, without fanfare or notice, change the pundit's opining responsibilities.

    Rule #10 states clearly that the only true political information you will receive from pundits comes on Comedy Central.

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