Leiby — Breaking Press Release: Pundits are Funny

It’s true. Sorry Brownstein, Blitzer, Matthews, and Clift. Your profession of punditry is the subject of such mockery that John Podesta is making fun of you. Word via the La-Z Reliable Source today that the Center for American Progress and the HBO Comedy Festival Arts Festival Aspen will be teaming up for a “debate” on the punditocracy.


The press release (quoted at length in the Post) says that the seminar, entitled “Wag the Debate: What’s the Future of the Pundit?” will focus on the debate stirred up by Jon Stewart’s Crossfire appearance. It will also contain a new (?) debate about “whether television ‘talking heads’ should be held to the same standards as journalists. This forum will explore whether debate shows have finally screamed themselves hoarse, how comedy has become a legitimate vehicle for delivering news and opinion and what affect all of this will have on the media business.”

“What better place than the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival to explore the absurd depths that political discourse can go on some of these talking head shows,” CAP’s Podesta flacked. “We’ll take a fair and balanced look at whether Jon Stewart was right when he said these shows can be bad for America.”

The panel next month will include moderator Joe Scarborough, Janeane Garofalo, Laura Ingraham, Joe Lockhart, Eric Alterman, Ben Karlin (the Exec Producer of The Daily Show), and Sheryl Underwood, comedian and talk show regular.

Oh, and just if you’re keeping track: The Reliable Source column today contained the above item (which you can see for yourself is pretty damn close to the press release), a piece on Kevin Bacon admittedly (in tiny, tiny letters) written by the AP, and a piece on Norm Coleman’s teeth that was super popular on the internet yesterday.

Given that the total reporting and writing time for the column was about 15 minutes, and considering that Anne Schroeder also got a “contributing” nod in today’s column, Fishbowl wonders whether Leiby showed up for work at all yesterday…