Jack Tapper makes this observation on CNN's Reliable Sources in response to Jon Stewart pointing out how many pundits got their primary predictions wrong. This is something we've all been talking about on the liberal blogs for years now:
TAPPER: It's too bad there is no accountability for pundits the way that there is for doctors and brokers.
C&L and many other blogs have become the magnifying glass which scrutinizes the pundits that inhabit our airwaves and calls them out when they are culpable for the many wrongs we see on a daily basis. Tapper hints at that there should be some sort of culpability factor, but when we do it, they usually recoil in outrage. Glenn Greenwald's email chain to John King is a perfect example of this reaction to valid criticism. Forget about the predictions game on an election cycle because voters end up deciding the outcome, but how about when an issue like a possible WAR is being debated and the public only has the Punditocracy class as their information messengers, so to speak ?
Here's a few things the networks can do to clean up their act. (h/t Nicole for some suggestions)
1) Set up an Ombudsman with a staff for each network that isn't an employee of their corporation and have a weekly segment devoted to policing the media. They will also be available to take complaints reported by individual citizens and investigate them thoroughly.
2) Replay clips of each pundit when they've been proven wrong and let them explain their positions and why they thought they were right and ask them how they will correct their mistakes in the future.
3) Keep track of their infractions and set up a benchmark, like a 3 strikes your out rule for pundits. When they hit the benchmark, suspend them for a period of time so they can reflect on their mistakes.
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4) When they return to work, ask them why they should be believed in the future.
5) It would be nice if they stopped using pundits that we know have been wrong over and over again.