14 February 2008

Pundit Disclosure Law

We make food producers disclose contents and list nutritional information. Why not do it with pundits?

Let's say that Bill Kristol is earnestly arguing that Iran is a threat and that we should take military action against them. Whether in print or on screen, there should be a little scorecard below his name or face that indicates his track record. (e.g., Predictions Made: 308. Predictions Right: 11. "Facts" asserted: 1,052. "Facts" that could be verified: 104.)

Such a system would help to out the pundits who talk a great game but are disconnected from reality or consequence. It seems to me that this could be made a requirement of anyone broadcasting on public airwaves or accessing shared cable.

The one exception to this requirement could be made for pundits who agree to be clearly labeled as "fiction." There would be a variety of ways to do this. I like the idea of simply having them wear a t-shirt that says, "I'm just making this up as I go along," or "If I turn out to be right, no one will be more surprised than me," or, "I had to end treatment for my delusions because I need the money I get from espousing them."

[Thanks to nunya's post on Bill Kristol for provoking this idea.]


Gypsy at Heart said...

I'm still laughing as I write to tell you that I'm laughing.

Ron Davison said...

I'm glad I could provide this service on a Friday. :) Thanks.

nunya said...

Iran is a threat, but not for the reasons Billy CrystaMeth sez.

HRH said...

love it. maybe it could be expanded to all walks of life in the form of a digital BS meter. i would really appreciate it when talking to a car mechanic, pest control technician or minister (gasp).

Ron Davison said...

I'll have to check this out.

I had not thought about the broader applications but this could be bigger than the windows operating system. I think from now on I'm going to devote about 30% of my R World R&D budget to working on this. Next, I have to get a budget.

exskindiver said...

is this the same Bill Kristol that hosted the Oscars???

Ron Davison said...

yes. He's the one who told us that if we just followed George, things would be absolutely fabulous.