Should Political Strategists Be Commentators?

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Ben Cohen
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In the highly symbiotic world of political punditry and political strategy, differentiating the two professions is becoming increasingly difficult. Main stream media outlets invite party strategists on as commentators where they deliver specially crafted talking points designed to look like analysis. It isn't, and it is another reason why everyone should be deeply skeptical of the 'news' they get from their favorite MSM outlet.

Matt Osborne points to RNC media strategist Alex Castellanos, who also doubles as a CNN commentator:

The RNC is going to double-down on the southern strategy, and a guy
who'll be advising them how to do it will remain a regular guest. CNN
will "disclose contributor affiliations" -- i.e., Castellanos'
fair-sounding title -- and let the viewer decide, because there's not
enough garbage on the screen to distract us.

The dangers of this type of political analysis are many - and it isn't confined to Right wing blowhards like Castellanos. Paul Begala, Donna Brazile, James Carville and Chris Kofinis are all former/current political hacks, and despite whether you agree with their politics, nothing they say should be taken seriously when it comes to political analysis. They have an agenda, and regardless of how cleverly they say it, analysis is delivered for the benefit of the party, not the public.

Matt continues:

There are no facts. There is only data to be manipulated to introduce
and reinforce negative impressions of your political enemy. Mud to
spoil the clear waters. Talking points to fling, like monkey-poo, for
the entertainment of the masses in the lull between Balloon Boys and Emjay's kids.

If we rely on this nonsense for our understanding of current affairs, the world becomes a very narrow place where there are only two sides to an argument and whoever shouts loudest is right. It might work for ratings, but it does nothing to further substantive debate. And unfortunately, that seems to be the point.