The Press: Punditry & Partisanship

The U.S. newspaper political columnist is paid to have opinions, and objectivity is neither required nor expected. Particularly in national election years, the pundit is seized with an unconquerable urge to 1) gird his partisan loins, 2) sashay, spear in hand, forth into battle on behalf of his own political beliefs, and 3) relate the whole struggle in uncompromising terms to the state of the nation. Last week, with decision day at hand, the pundits were performing with great zest.

Like the Washington press corps as a whole, the pundits are mostly Democratic. Among...

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