Oh this is just too rich. The Washington Post is having a contest to find America's Next Great Pundit. Winner gets a paid WaPo column.
Oh gosh! Let's see, do I know anyone who can write one of these?
a short opinion essay (400 words or less) pegged to a topic in the news and an additional paragraph (100 words or less) on yourself and why you should win
And they insist that
Entries will be judged on the basis of style, intelligence and freshness of argument, but not on whether Post editors agree or disagree with your point of view.
... "not on whether Post editors agree or disagree" ... interesting, no?
So what mad skillz does the WaPo think a Great Pundit hast to have? You're gonna love this.
So you've sent in your 400 word essay and three Wheaties boxtops, and the wise heads in WaPo op-ed land have sagely nodded and hmmmmed over your submission. What happens then? Next, the contestants will be
facing off in challenges that test the skills a modern pundit must possess.
Ooooh, the skills a pundit must possess! Like accurately forecasting events? Thorough investigation of their statements? Documenting their conclusions? Followup afterwards to confirm if their predictions held up?
Of course not, silly. This is WaPo bloviation. Facts? Accuracy? You thought those were the job qualifications? Hahahahahaha!
They’ll have to write on deadline, hold their own on video and field questions from Post readers.
All you have to do is shove your junk into the machine on time, and look pretty on the teevee. Oh, and dodge artfully when DFHs get on your case.
So who decides?
After each round, a panel of Post personalities will offer kudos and catcalls ...
Judged by "Post personalities" ... oooh! Then it'll be Fair And Balanced™ for sure. Ya think?
... and reader votes will help to determine who gets another chance at a byline and who has to shut down their laptop.
I love the "reader vote will help to determine" business. Writing With The Stars!
Boy, I hope I win. Otherwise I'll have to shut down my laptop.