There are a number of news sources I admire and pretty much trust, like NPR and Diane Rehm. However, there is established practice in the mainstream media that is creeping into these high quality sources of balance and perspective. This is the seemingly reasonable practice of inviting "news makers" to participate in the commentary and analysis of those issues in which they are involved. I am not talking here about inviting the UN Secretary General to discuss future directions in international cooperation. The problem I have is when the campaign manager for John McCain spends 15 minutes shouting at the democratic party official. What the hell do you think these guys are going to say? Do you really expect the Obama supporter to concede that McCain has a forward-looking and innovative plan for mass transit? Of course not. You are going to get spin, spin, spin, spin, spin. Please don't waste my time. The same goes for predictably doctrinaire pundits. I know what Bill Kristol is going to argue so I simply turn off the program as soon as he launches into his standard spiel.
Now there are some somewhat more nuanced pundits. Pat Buchanan, for instance, is unexpectedly evenhanded at times. But I want insight and perspective from people who have listened closely, cut through the crap, and can present honest, intelligent analysis. You can keep the shouting heads.