I used to be a political pundit, a punditizing player in the world of punditry and a member of the media's talking-headed, talking-pointed punditariat, that last a recent coinage of Lorrie Goldstein of The Toronto Sun. The root word attracted a trail of sniffing suffixes: pundit, from the Sanskrit "learned man," was publicized by Henry Luce as a courtesy title when he started Time magazine in 1923. Its offspring are hot today because at their best they can denote fresh reporting with an unconcealed point of view.
The latest is pundicity, a Web site of "informed opinion and review" edited by Grayson Levy of the set New York Sun. I caught it because he reprinted an opinion article by Judith Miller, a former Times reporter and now a Fox News contributor, from the April 6 New York Post headlined, "Jailing Reporters: Why the U.S. Needs a Shield Law." It's about David Ashenfelter of The Detroit Free Press, a Pulitzer winner threatened with jail next week for refusing to reveal a source for his article about a 2004 investigation of a federal prosecutor who was later indicted for withholding evidence. (Shades of the Ted Stevens case.) The prosecutor, who was later acquitted, sued Justice and demanded that the reporter testify about his sources. The judge threatens jailing for contempt. "Every word he wrote was true," says Lucy Dalglish, the lawyer who heads the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "yet now he faces jail and possible bankruptcy for doing his job."
Here goes some punditry: In the age of pundicity, where are the other outraged blogs? Why is the Web-footed punditariat ducking? Where's Instapundit?