The punditocracy is destroying public discourse in this country. This democratization of expertise that we see on the Internet is breeding a self-serving brand of fake analysis. Look at what's going on with the Mel Gibson situation. You rarely read the words "vile" or "disgusting" in the countless articles that have been written - no, everyone is just in the prediction business now. Will it affect his career? Will he bounce back or be a pariah? Which trash tabloid TV personality will nab the first interview? And how do you like those nutty newscasters using Gibson movie footage to lamely illustrate the event (Who cares? It's self-evident) I'd like to see more outrage, less oracular soothsaying.
But some good has some out of the Gibson tirade: it has brought Hollywood's double-speak into the light. Among the reams of copy I've read, only Patrick Goldstein's LA Times column laid bare the extreme hypocrisy of a community that celebrates its enlightened social awareness every Winter during movie awards season but remains silent when one of its own is exposed as a virulent bigot. As Goldstein points out, only one movie exec has gone on the record in expressing her disgust at Gibson's comments (which was spun into a kind of profound disappointment.)