A Pundit’s Prerogative

 

I noticed that this article by Mark Steyn has already received 2,000 likes on his Facebook page and hundreds of shares, whereas usually when Steyn links to his articles on Facebook, they only receive a couple hundred likes and dozens of shares, if that.

It’s interesting that readers seek out particular pundits during particular scenarios. After an Islamic attack in Europe, people apparently look to Steyn. If a city declares bankruptcy, perhaps they would look to Kevin Williamson.

What pundits do you associate with specific issues? Is that all that explains this phenomenon? Are people looking for validation of their views amid distress? Are they looking for answers?

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There are 28 comments.

  1. Mister D Member

    If we were to be attacked by Klingons I would immediately turn to Jonah Goldberg.

    • #1
    • March 23, 2016, at 11:35 PM PDT
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  2. Titus Techera Contributor

    Mister D:If we were to be attacked by Klingons I would immediately turn to Jonah Goldberg.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me sorry we don’t have a mock Goldberg award on Ricochet; it’s a winner; a born winner, at that, none of that scientific coffee, scientific training regimen & scientific diet sort of athleticism; but I guess we’d have to start a mock Goldberg contest to have the mock Goldberg award. There are precious few contests on Ricochet.

    • #2
    • March 24, 2016, at 12:08 AM PDT
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  3. Titus Techera Contributor

    It’s a great big world out there & every place is crawling with pundits; you can’t pay attention to everything, but as they acquire fame in the long, never-ending contest of ruining the careers of the more well-known pundits & snuffing out the candles of the less famous, most find out they have to specialize.

    So it is probably not just bias confirmation, which used to be called flattery–we like to be flattered & to have our prejudices flattered, too–it is also a matter of elective affinities: Not everyone can hate everything quite so consistently, intelligently, & with innovative touches here & there. It takes a certain panache…

    Then there is another matter. It seems everyone believes they’re rather authoritative about everything, while being quite moral, so that frees people from any loyalty to writers. They pick & choose as they please–as the spirit lists, as it were. So that pundits have to show sticktoitiveness–wait for events to bear them out, & then they can look propheticm whereas most of the time they’re just dully repetitive. They cannot influence policy & people do not read with a mind to policy, so that there is no practical danger; & they cannot concentrate the public mind or any moiety thereof for any period of time, so it does not matter if they only rarely have something worthwhile to say.

    It’s a tough racket; it’s nice work if you can get it; it’s all that & a bag of chips…

    • #3
    • March 24, 2016, at 12:31 AM PDT
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  4. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    Apropos of nothing, it drives me batty when people say, “Pundint,” adding an inexplicable consonant to the word. I keep hearing it in news clips and around about.

    • #4
    • March 24, 2016, at 2:25 AM PDT
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  5. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    I checked Steyn this morning and was glad to see he had something up. He hasn’t posted much since Australia, and I worry about him.

    But I check Steyn most A.M.s, not just after terror attacks.

    • #5
    • March 24, 2016, at 2:31 AM PDT
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  6. Son of Spengler Contributor

    When news breaks and I sense there is more to the story than appears at first glance, I turn to Michelle Malkin. She is unmatched at documenting real facts on real stories.

    • #6
    • March 24, 2016, at 3:44 AM PDT
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  7. Israel P. Inactive

    Pamela Geller.

    • #7
    • March 24, 2016, at 3:46 AM PDT
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  8. Titus Techera Contributor

    Son of Spengler:When news breaks and I sense there is more to the story than appears at first glance, I turn to Michelle Malkin. She is unmatched at documenting real facts on real stories.

    She’s also crazy-level angry. This may be related to her prowess…

    • #8
    • March 24, 2016, at 3:52 AM PDT
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  9. WI Con Member

    Interesting premise/question Aaron.Steyn has been writing of the demographics in Europe there for a while and is a good go-to for those events.

    Heather Higgins on urban affairs. Victor David Hansen’s observations on illegal immigration in California have been heartbreaking. Michelle Malkin as noted above is great on any number of things.

    I like Ralph Peters on military stories.

    Business & economics? – there seem to be so many voices that make valid points on each side of argument, that its hard to have a ‘go-to’ guy.

    • #9
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:06 AM PDT
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  10. Titus Techera Contributor

    By the way, on police stuff, Mrs. Heather MacDonald, who usually writes in City Journal: & for police violence stuff, a libertarian, Mr. Radley Balko of Reason.

    & I suppose everyone knows of Mrs. Hoff-Sommers on feminism.

    • #10
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:16 AM PDT
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  11. Pencilvania Inactive

    Stories about government vs. religious institutions: Mollie Hemingway.

    My favorite Philly beat reporter, the fella who tweeted the photo of the empty pressbox at the Kermit Gosnell trial: J.D. Mullane.

    I hear Ed Turzanski on the radio discussing terrorism in Europe & Middle East, he’s very good. I think he’d be great on a podcast.

    • #11
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:26 AM PDT
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  12. Son of Spengler Contributor

    I read my own old posts, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.

    • #12
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:27 AM PDT
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  13. Pencilvania Inactive

    Spengler for Prez!

    • #13
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:28 AM PDT
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  14. Titus Techera Contributor

    Son of Spengler:I read my own old posts, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.

    The random post was really good!

    • #14
    • March 24, 2016, at 4:29 AM PDT
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  15. Lazy_Millennial Member

    Charles C.W. Cooke for all things Second-Amendment related. The brit knows his court cases and arguments inside out.

    David P. Goldman for international relations, especially in long-term analysis. His demographic diagnosis of both the muslim world and Europe’s suicide is crucial to understanding world events. He also has a decent understanding of the Chinese.

    • #15
    • March 24, 2016, at 6:26 AM PDT
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  16. Scott Wilmot Member

    I agree with WI Con on VDH – I read him because he is right on everything. Steyn and Malkin also seem to be spot-on on everything too. Andrew McCarthy and David French at NR are 2 favorites – and Tom Rogan as well. For my Church issues I trust Jeff Mirus and Phil Lawler, Robert Royal, Steve Skojec, Carl Olsen, and when I need to get wound up – Ann Barnhardt.

    • #16
    • March 24, 2016, at 6:27 AM PDT
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  17. Scott Wilmot Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: it drives me batty when people say, “Pundint,” adding an inexplicable consonant to the word

    This makes me laugh – and cringe. For my entire life people have added an ‘n’ to my surname, spelling it Wilmont – even when I carefully pronounce it and spell it out for them. Drives me nuts.

    • #17
    • March 24, 2016, at 6:29 AM PDT
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  18. JustmeinAZ Member

    WI Con:I like Ralph Peters on military stories.

    And Max Boot also.

    • #18
    • March 24, 2016, at 6:46 AM PDT
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  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Post author

    Right on cue, from The Telegraph:

    Security scanners could be installed at the entrances to airports, under proposals to be discussed next week in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attack, the Telegraph understands. [….]

    Now, back to Steyn:

    Clearly we need a secure zone outside the secure zone – maybe, say, outside the concourse. So everyone has to crowd on the sidewalk. And then when they blow that up we can move it back to the perimeter of the airport. And then…

    And then we will afford more powers to our police and intelligence agencies because terrorism overrides any concern for liberty, right? Why wait for passengers to arrive at the airport? Watch them always and everywhere!

    • #19
    • March 24, 2016, at 6:51 AM PDT
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  20. Owen Findy Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad:Apropos of nothing, it drives me batty when people say, “Pundint,” adding an inexplicable consonant to the word. I keep hearing it in news clips and around about.

    Perhaps “tenant” for “tenet” has the same cause….

    • #20
    • March 24, 2016, at 7:08 AM PDT
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  21. Owen Findy Member

    I hit all Cooke and Williamson pieces, regardless. Often Michael Walsh and Kurt Schlichter. I like the fiery ones.

    • #21
    • March 24, 2016, at 7:15 AM PDT
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  22. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    For all things “Crime,” I turn to Jack Dunphy.

    As I was reading the post, I thought of the “Surrender Dorothy” scene in The Wizard of Oz. In it, after seeing the witch’s skywriting demanding Dorothy’s surrender, the inhabitants of Oz all run to the big green doors shouting, “To the wizard; to the wizard!”

    • #22
    • March 24, 2016, at 8:13 AM PDT
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  23. WI Con Member

    No David Brooks or Tom Friedman? (I’m in the right place)

    • #23
    • March 24, 2016, at 8:17 AM PDT
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  24. EJHill Podcaster

    Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our lonely nation turns its eyes to you…

    Oh, no. Joe was pretty much a dolt and a PITA, too. I can’t say I “turn” to anyone. At my age, if I haven’t got things pretty much figured out by now I never will.

    • #24
    • March 24, 2016, at 8:47 AM PDT
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  25. Trink Coolidge

    WI Con: Victor David Hansen’s observations on illegal immigration in California have been heartbreaking.

    His recent post on the election was typically excellent.

    This:

    ” In other words, staying home or voting for a third party will elect the most unethical politician in recent memory, one who stayed out of court or jail only because of her connections and candidacy. Her exemption from indictment in itself will be a stain on the entire judicial system for generations to come.”

    • #25
    • March 24, 2016, at 10:11 AM PDT
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  26. Robert E. Lee Member

    David Carter. He speaks in a style I can relate to, on issues I can relate. I don’t always agree with him, but I never tire of hearing his thoughts on current events and policies.

    • #26
    • March 24, 2016, at 1:35 PM PDT
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  27. LC Member
    LC

    As a Steyn fangirl, I check his website often. I don’t read Steyn or any other specific columnists because I’m looking for validation.

    • #27
    • March 24, 2016, at 3:54 PM PDT
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  28. True Conservative™ Member

    Demography/gloom and doom – Steyn

    Immigration – Frum/VDH

    Cities going broke and stuff – Kevin Williamson

    2A – Charles C.W. Cooke

    Criminal Justice – Heather MacDonald

    Tech – Milo

    Culture – Ross Douthat

    Economy – Kudlow/Pethokoukis/Sowell

    I also enjoy the commentary of John Derbyshire, Pat Buchanan, Theodore Dalrymple, Jonah Goldberg — I’m all over the place.

    Though controversial and probably unpopular on Ricochet, I like VDARE, Unz, and Taki Mag.

    • #28
    • March 24, 2016, at 5:23 PM PDT
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