Who's-who of worst pundits in national TV news
Richard Carter | 8/24/2011, 3:40 p.m.
"A lot of alliteration from anxious anchors placed in powerful posts..."--Albert Brooks, "Broadcast News" (1987)
As the nation prepares for a pivotal midterm election, with Republicans poised to reclaim Congress, now seems a good time to examine some high-profile television news pundits who, in my experienced journalist eye, are the worst.
A recent Gallup Poll found 57 percent of Americans don't trust the news media. And since most, sad to say, get their news from TV instead of newspapers, this is important.
Those named here bomb out with regularity. They suck, but we are stuck with them. Not all are journalists. Some are regular guests on news talk shows, mostly on cable TV, but almost all are political ideologues with clearly biased agendas.
With a few exceptions, I omit the dinosaur broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, which are irrelevant. But cable or broadcast, I'm tired of talking heads calling people "guy." It's "the guy" or "that guy," regardless of stature. How about man or woman?
I cringed when Fox News Channel's odious Bill O'Reilly minimized the iconic, legendary Harry Belafonte as "that Belafonte guy who had a hit record 40 years ago." But O'Reilly was right about the Ground Zero mosque on "The View," and goofballs Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg were wrong to walk off the set. What a pair of twits!
So here are the losers, alphabetically. Space precludes me from naming all of them:
Mika Brzezinski, of MSNBC's "Morning Joe": Attractive airhead hired only because her father is Zbigniew Brzezinski, an ex-national security advisor for Jimmy Carter.
Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central: Droll political satirist who blew it big-time in a tasteless appearance in character before a Congressional committee. A nerdy zero.
Alan Colmes, formerly of "Hannity & Colmes" on FNC: As a regular Fox guest with a sickening far-left bias, he's an ugly, embarrassing apologist for Barack Hussein Obama.
Anderson Cooper, of CNN: More nepotism here with this son of rich heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. Boring, dull, flat--notable only for prematurely gray hair. A real nothing.
David Corn, of Mother Jones magazine: A jerk who never met a Republican he likes. Smirking and smug, he wouldn't recognize objectivity if it kicked him in the ass.
Susan Estrich: A rape survivor and campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run. Her shrieking laugh is like chalk being scraped on a blackboard.
Marc Lamont Hill: Young, obnoxious twerp and Columbia associate professor in the tank for Obama. Talks too fast, makes little sense. How did he get the gig?
Chris Kofinis: A more one-sided political advocate is hard to find on TV. Oily and obnoxious, he was advisor to Gen. Wesley Scott's failed 2004 presidential campaign.
Bill Maher, of HBO: Politically unwise twit whose lack of charm is exceeded only by excruciating facial features. Unfunny, vociferous, vindictive and valueless.
Steve McMahon: Political analyst and Democratic consultant who regularly kisses up to Chris Matthews on his "Hardball" show. Smug, smooth and totally unappealing.
Rachel Maddow, of MSNBC: Maudlin nonentity who revels in her homosexuality and annoys viewers with it. Part of the Air America radio failure and smarmy TV bust.
Chris Matthews, of MSNBC: A non-stop talker-interrupter in the bag for Democrats. He is insufferable and spews biased B.S. that fits his ratings-challenged network.
Lawrence O'Donnell, of MSNBC: Once bounced off the air for unseemly comments, this dogmatic ex-aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan now hosts a new show. Ugh!
Norah O'Donnell, of NBC: Pretty lady who owns TV's most annoying cackle, this committed liberal guffaws at the drop of a hat. A regular Chris Matthews Sunday guest.
Keith Olbermann, of MSNBC: The pits. Snarky snake in the grass and TV's most repulsive poser. Democrats should be ashamed. Truly the worst person in the world.
Bill O'Reilly, of FNC: Boisterous host of the highest-rated show in cable news the last 10 years, big Bill is a big-time bully. A serial interrupter, it's his way or the highway.
Kirsten Powers: A rare FNC Democratic pundit and New York Post columnist, she's an Alaska native who disses Sarah Palin. A gorgeous, narrow-minded lefty.
Rick Sanchez, formerly of CNN: A white Cuban fired by the low-rated network for calling goofy Jon Stewart "a bigot" and insinuating that Jews run the media. Hmm.
Joe Scarborough, of MSNBC: A Republican in name only, the host of "Morning Joe" who, for some reason, now clearly leans left. Once represented Florida in Congress.
Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, of CNN: Their "Parker-Spitzer" gig is awful. Ex-Gov. Spitzer is a disgraced loudmouth, and if Parker is conservative, I'll eat my hat.
Jon Stewart, of Comedy Central: His "Daily Show" is popular with young people, but he comes off as an unmitigated wiseass full of himself. A loser from the get-go.
Joan Walsh, of Salon.com: A serial Sarah Palin-basher and frequent "Hardball" guest. This woman's mean-spirited, left-wing bile know no bounds. She is disgusting.
Juan Williams, of National Public Radio: An FNC regular, he epitomizes its "fair and balanced" mantra. Too bad he wears his far-left liberal dogmatism on his sleeve.
So there they are, undistinguished company to be sure. And they're not alone. For example, I would have included Larry King--the lightweight to end all lightweights--but since CNN has finally ended "Larry King Live," I'll give him a pass. He won't be missed.