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If Only Some Of The Professional “Democratic Strategists” Could Have Been There

Reported by Ellen - July 17, 2008 -

I’m just back from a panel called, The Pundit Project: How To Outtalk The Talking Heads, which was run by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel (of Think Progress) and Matthew Yglesias. I sat through at least 10 different role-playing sessions with progressives being “interviewed” on video by the panel. In every single instance, even when the interviewees were unpolished, faltering and uncertain, their passion and enthusiasm far outdid that of nearly every single professional Democratic pundit I’ve seen on FOX News.

Each “guest” got to choose his or her topic that they wanted to discuss. Any of the issues could be slated for discussion on Hannity & Colmes tonight: Voter ID, global warming, offshore drilling, reconstruction of New Orleans, politicization of the Department of Justice.

Faiz, Amanda and Matt did an awesome job of channeling Bill, Sean or E.D. (“What about all those illegal immigrants who are trying to vote?” “You Democrats are in charge of Congress and you’ve done nothing about high oil prices!” “China’s going to be drilling off the coast of Florida, why can’t we ?”)

After the session, I congratulated them on their work and told them I wished they could offer the same session to any number of FOX News guests who probably have no idea how much they could benefit from such training. Amanda ruefully agreed. But if this group of netroots activists are any guide, the future for progressive punditry is looking very good.