The Ham Hock of Liberty

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pop Quiz for Pundits

You know who you are. Put away your Lexis/Nexis and Rolodex, and take out your pencils. It's time for a pop quiz.

1. When Connecticut Democrats enter the polls on August 8, they will be voting on which of the following:
        a) Proposition 28: The Democratic Party has no room for centrists.
        b) A ballot initiative holding a referendum on whether Joe Lieberman is a good person.
        c) Whatever Kos tells them to vote for.
        d) Whether they would rather be represented in the Senate by Ned Lamont or Joe Lieberman.

2. Webster's Dictionary defines which word as follows: "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections:
        a) Blogofascism
        b) Inquisition
        c) Purge
        d) Democracy

3. If the President of the United States is videotaped trying to give backrubs to female heads of state during economic summit meetings, which of the following facts is not relevant to a discussion of this event?
        a) Whether this behavior is appropriate for a G8 economic summit meeting
        b) Whether the rubbing was consensual
        c) Why the President does not treat male heads of state the same way
        d) Whether certain bloggers know that the President was a member of the "Deke" fraternity and not "Sigma Chi"

4. When war erupts in an historically volatile area of the world, and two groups of people are killing each other by the hundreds, which of the following subjects is least worthy of around-the-clock discussion?
        a) What steps the United States should take, if any, to intervene in the conflict
        b) What long-term effects the conflict has on regional stability
        c) What factors lead up to the outbreak of violence, and how those factors affect the resolution of the fighting
        d) Whether a few Americans being evacuated from the region should have to pay for being evacuated

5. When people suggest that you or other journalists should be put to death for lawfully publishing information of public concern, which of the following is the least appropriate response?
        a) Immediately and unequivocally condemn such radical hyperbole
        b) Ignore the radical hyperbole because it is an irrational and unjustified opinion
        c) Discuss the historical and legal basis for a free press in a representative democracy
        d) Invite the people calling for the execution of you or your colleagues onto roundtable television shows, and discuss whether their ideas have merit

6. If you answered anything besides "D" to any of the above questions, either during this quiz, or as part of your punditry, you should:
        a) Give up punditry and go back to reporting news for a while, and try to figure out how you became so confused
        b) Give up punditry, move to Tibet and try to figure out how to atone for your damage to the very notion of rational thought
        c) Write an article about how those uncivil and crazy liberal bloggers just don't "get" your maturity and wisdom
        d) A or B, but not C


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