Most well-known political pundits say trite things, offer no new insight into politics, and are content to report and comment on the conventional wisdom inside Washington, D.C. They all say the same thing because most political pundits work for corporations and most corporations don't value risk-taking.
Consider for example the production of movies and television shows. If there is a hit movie or television show, then the following season there are several knock-offs of the original. Why? Because if you are an executive at a studio and you "greenlight" a production that bombs, but is a knock-off of a previous hit, you might not lose your job. If, heaven forbid, you have "greenlighted" an experimental film or TV show that bombs, you better get your resume ready because you could be hitting the bricks.
The same is true in political punditry. If you report or comment on the conventional wisdom, then your editors, supervisors, colleagues, or whoever is important to you are not going to think you are an idiot. If you start giving out radical insight that is not supported by the conventional wisdom, then you have set yourself up for questioning and being made to look foolish.
This is why, even though the polls show that Bush's popularity has been falling steadily over the last year or so, the media continued to act as if the American public still liked Bush. The media had adopted that nugget of conventional wisdom in 2000, it was reinforced in 2001 after 9-11, and reinforced again by his re-election in 2004. Never mind that he got re-elected by an incredibly small margin when compared to other re-elected presidents. The conventional wisdom of the political pundits was that every American voter was just dying to have a beer with good old George. Only recently has it occurred to the political pundits in Washington that the American voters have left the bar and no longer want to pick up the tab.
Once the media gets a theme into its collective heads, then God only knows what it will take to get it out. With the illusion of Bush's popularity it has taken the incompetence of this administration in Iraq and during Katrina to convince the media that these idiots have no idea what they are doing. The American public, however, has been way ahead of them.
Don't think of political pundits as reporters, think of them as your former high school classmates. The well known political pundits are the "cool kids" who set the trend for others. How many of those "cool kids" actually thought for themselves as compared to how many just echoed what others thought? If your high school was like ours, not very many of the "cool kids" were original thinkers.
The bottom line? Don't take the political pundits seriously. They are, after all, only mimicking what they have heard from others.
MCDAC authorizes the use of the above without attribution.