Saturday, September 29, 2007

If Democrats had any brains, they'd be republicans?!

We welcome a new book to the APF book club. The latest in a series of incendiary work from the APF's greatest heel, Ann Coulter. The book is titled 'If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans'.

ann coulter black dressLike any good wrestler Ann is wearing her usual ring attire for the book cover, the patented black dress. The same outfit she's donned for previous covers and TV appearances. Its an outfit as iconic as Stone Cold Steve Austin's black trunks and black boots.

ann coulter black dress
Ann Coulter in a black dress
Ann gives us a teaser of some of her new catchphrases which are sure to get her heat from her detractors and cheers from her fans.
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans (Randomhouse)
This is Ann at her best, covering every topic from A to Z. Here you’ll read Coulter’s take on:

• Her politics: "As far as I'm concerned, I'm a middle-of-the-road moderate and the rest of you are crazy."
• Hillary Clinton: "Hillary wants to be the first woman president, which would also make her the first woman in a Clinton administration to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office instead of under it."
• The environment: "God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.'"
• Religion: "It's become increasingly difficult to distinguish the pronouncements of the Episcopal Church from the latest Madonna video."
• Global warming: "The temperature of the planet has increased about one degree Fahrenheit in the last century. So imagine a summer afternoon when it's 63 degrees and the next thing you know it's ...64 degrees. Ahhhh!!!! Run for your lives, everybody! Women and children first!"
• Gun control: "Mass murderers apparently can't read, since they are constantly shooting up 'gun-free zones.'"
• Bill Clinton: "Bill Clinton’s library is the first one to ever feature an Adults Only section."
• Illegal aliens: "I am the illegal alien of commentary. I will do the jokes that no one else will do."
See the books featured on the APF book club
Read my previous post on why Ann is the greatest heel in the business
Read all previous posts featuring Ann
Go to Ann's official website
Read more about Ann's new book
Read what people think of Ann Coulter

Friday, September 28, 2007

The APF street team - Calling all supporters!

Announcement:
In the past I've made available little trinkets and graphics in order to promote your favorite APF pundits:
- Pundit Badges
- Pundit flags
- Pundit mugshot graphics

In the near future I will be making custom graphics and animations to decorate your blog or social networking page. It will be the figurative lawn sign of your favorite Pundit.

Email me at pundit.fight(@)gmail.com to express your interest.

Laura Ingraham: Power to the people!

Just wanted to highlight two interesting clips from APF pundit Laura Ingraham.

1) Conservative Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appears on Laura's show. Mitt reinforces some of what I said in the last post, about how people vote for the person and not the policy. How a person portrays themselves is more defining to the voter than their plans as leader.
"in my view it is the characters of our Presidents that had the biggest impact on this nation, even more than the policies that they espoused at the time"

2) Laura on her book tour has welcomed a less partisan discourse. She chats with WABC stablemate Ron Kuby on matters ranging from Iraq, protecting America and partisanship. It's a fiery debate, but its clear that Laura has softened her stance in the spirit of the conciliatory tone of her book, Power to the People.

Listen to Laura chatting with Mitt Romney
Listen to Laura duelling with liberal radio talker Ron Kuby
Click here if you'd like to hear more Laura Ingraham clips.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why politics is less UFC and more WWE

In my last post I described the importance charisma, presentation and psychology play in politics and punditry. There might be some confusion amongst some readers who may be unfamiliar with what I mean by 'wrestling'. There is a tendency to think that wrestling is just a soap opera where brutes fight each other. They may think the analogy with politics lies simply with the feuding and name-calling.

In fact wrestling, among many other things is a popularity contest. Wrestlers show off their wrestling ability, but they also need to display charisma in the way they execute their persona and engage with the audience and other wrestlers. A wrestler who connects with the audience will be rewarded. There merchandise sales will go up, the fans will demand them and soon they will command a larger stage. Often times in spite of poor wrestling ability.

There are fundamental differences in philosophy between liberal and conservative pundits and politicians. But often the debate isn't between these differences but rather the presentation of their proponents. We don't vote for politicians because we like their policies. We vote for them because they look good on TV, they seem tough, they look like fun to hang around and they show courage and conviction PLUS we like their policies. Conversely people have withdrawn votes because they didn't like a candidates' haircut or seeming "Frenchness".

In professional wrestling its the same. We rarely choose our favorite wrestlers based on their mat skills alone. We also factor in how well they present both in charisma and persona. In the UFC however we are more likely to admire the fighters based on athletic and technical skills alone.

When I say wrestling is like politics. I don't mean it like this:

Politics isn't like wrestling because they fight with each other and don't get along.

Politics isn't just about two opposite sides debating over how to run a government. Presentation is key as the ideological arguments need to be palatable to the people, you need engage with a story. There is psychology involved in trying to intimidate and paint the other side as being weak in the minds of the voter. There is charisma involved as the champion for the cause must be able to captivate the masses. It isn't just a fighting match, its theatre. It's not the UFC, it's the WWE.

If you'd like to see politics thats looks more like the UFC. Read this post from Washington Post blogger Emil Steiner, Top 5 political fights.

If you'd like to read previous posts on how similar punditry is to wrestling, kindly read these archived posts:

- Two of the best 'heels' in the business, Bill Kristol and Ann Coulter
- Shoot Fights, when wrestling doesn't go according to plan
- Wrestling is real, and Bill O'Reilly is an independent
- Aura, Part 1 and Part 2

What is the APF?

People often stumble onto this blog and wonder 'what is the APF?'. Is it a game? Is it an animation? I've explained it over time in previous posts that you can find here:
- 'About the blog' posts
- Why the wrestling analogy? ... to further illustrate the point.
- Explanation of terms, The Glossary
- Explanation of the ratings system.
- Meet all the pundit wrestlers on the Myspace Page.

To tell you the truth, American Pundit Fighting was created as a way to draw people to my animations and art. This will hopefully allow me to slide into some editorial illustration work. The blog is a non-partisan venture that will hopefully encourage people to explore the sentiment among all sides of the political spectrum as represented by the pundit class. To a large extent Radio talkers, pundits and bloggers represent the people and the grassroots. This blog should be a resourceful introduction on the important players of the 'Opinion' landscape. By using the wrestling analogy I hope to highlight the crucial role presentation, charisma and psychology plays in our politics.

If you'd like to promote the APF by incorporating animations or art such as this below:


kindly email me at pundit.fight(@)gmail.com.

Monday, September 24, 2007

trimming the fat

To make things easier, I've trimmed down the labels to an acceptable minimum.
In the past where I had tags for people like "Eric Alterman" and
"Matt Taibbi" etc... I've just placed them under the more generic label - "Columnists".

For more mainstream personalities and pundits like "David Brooks" and "Tom Friedman", I've slotted them under Mainstream Media Pundits or "MSM Pundits" for short.

The larger TV and Talk Radio pundits like John Gibson, Michael Medved and Thom Hartmann who may be honorary APF pundits or are in consideration as future APF pundits. They come under the umbrella of "Non-APF pundit".

The only names that should be available as tags will be official APF pundits, as indicated by their surname.

I hope this has made things easier and tidier. Kindly let me know if otherwise.
Thank You

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Success! One post a day achieved

I'm quietly pleased with myself that I achieved my goal of one post a day.

Whilst in the past I've fashioned this site into a warehouse of longer essays and art. I'm moving the APF into a more gruelling tour schedule of regular shorter posts. Personally i never minded the fact that I only updated every so often. When I allowed myself the time to fully articulate a thought or illustrate an analogy I was generally very happy with the result. I'd be be quite happy for those posts to be turned into a magazine column. Ultimately I'd like to take the APF to the big stage of 'The back page of Time Magazine' so the longer posts were good practice in writing on a theme.

Regular readers will notice that a lot of my media references were not always current. This is because the psychology and presentation techniques are old standards. Thats why I never felt the pressure of updating the site to conform to the current news cycle. I never felt compelled to have short conversational posts or quick links as I always felt obliged to a long proper commentary to accompany it. I could actually include an apt wrestling analogy at this point (you know I've got one!). I won't bore you with it this time, unless the fans demand otherwise.

At any rate, brace yourself for more frequent posts. Whether you are a new reader or a loyal supporter I thank you and hope you keep on reading. Make sure you spread the word about the APF

I've been thinking about taking the APF in this direction for a while. This post on Truehoop about blogging probably tipped my decision over the edge.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Political Action Figures

Here are 2 little games.
Game No.1
See if you can spot which collection of action figures are the pundits and which are the wrestlers? Check if you are right by clicking to enlarge the image.
Pundit Action figures or Wrestlers?
Wrestling Action figures or Pundits?
Game No.2
Guess which wrestler or pundit provides the voice for these lines?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anthony Weiner - When politicans cut promos

You'll notice i've been running with a theme the last few days. Promos! So far i've featured APF pundit Sam Seder and a not-entirely-convincing tough guy, Tom Friedman.

Today i'll be showing a politican in action, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. Watch as the congressman cuts a promo on what he sarcastically calls the "Republic Party".

VIDEO: Anthony Weiner cuts a promo on the "Republic Party"

Of course its less raucous and a lot more civilised on the hill compared to the wrestling ring. If the promo was done in a wrestling environment it might resemble this type of scene:

VIDEO: Kane cuts a promo
Note: I originally featured another video, however I think this new one might capture the feeling better as its a promo between two warring stables. This wrestling example also shares a tone of mocking and contempt similar to Anthony Weiner's promo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The one-post-a-day promise

I'm quite happy to report that I have been posting once a day this week as promised. It can be a bit misleading just by looking at the dates, but rest assured its been a consistent 1 post per day.

Profile 7: Michelle Malkin & Keith Olbermann

michelle malkin art caricature pundit Michelle Malkin is a conservative blogger and columnist. She established and administrates two highly trafficked blogs, her personal site at michellemalkin.com and hotair.com, a Video news channel. Apart from writing daily for both blogs, Michelle formerly hosted a daily Video segment "Vent With Michelle Malkin". This segment is no longer a daily feature..

Michelle is a frequent contributor to Fox News. She is also a regularly fill-in host on the O'Reily Factor. Michelle also co-hosts a show about blogging and technology called "It's Out There" with Kirsten Powers, a regular liberal sparring partner.
Michelle Malkin has written three books.
1) Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores, 2002
2) In Defense of Internment: The World War II Round-Up and What It Means For America's War on Terror
3) Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, 2005

keith olbermann art caricature pundit Keith Olbermann is a liberal news anchorman, and sports caster. Keith hosts his own self-titled political news show on MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Keith's show blog is called 'Bloggerman'. He is also the cohost of a sports program, Football Night in America with Bob Costas.

Keith is most known for his impassioned dialogues and taunting of ideological opponents. The former is patterned after Keith's rolemodel, esteemed journalist Edward R Murrow. Keith has had a long running and sometimes controversial feud with Bill O'Reilly. Keith's features a segment on his 'Worst Person in the World', it is primarily a vehicle to highlight but also antagonise persons he feels are causing harm to America. It is largely tongue in cheek, in tone and delivery.

Keith has written two political books:
1) The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders, 2006
2) Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thomas Friedman has two words for ya!

To continue with the theme, I wanted to show one of the more fascinating promos I've seen. I enjoyed it not because it was convincingly executed but because it was delivered with an overselling and bravado reminiscent of wrestling. It was promo by Thomas Friedman, not directed at a person but abstractly a region in the world.

It came from an interview with Charlie Rose conducted in May 2006.

Watch here


Just to recap...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Seder 'cuts a promo' on the right wing (part 2 of 2)

continued from Part 1 of 2

3) Sam Seder VS John Gibson
Sam Seder takes on Fox News pundit John Gibson, who he refers to as an "unparalleled moron". Sam ridicules John Gibson for mangling a meme that Presidential hopeful Barack Obama was raised in a Madrasa. Sam is amused by Gibson's misplaced hubris and obliviousness
SAM SEDER: He just can't catch on... he tried the War on Christmas thing and it just came off as a cheap rip-off of O'Reilly
Listen to Round 1 of Sam VS John Gibson
Listen to Round 2 of Sam's humiliation of Gibson

4) Sam Seder VS Armstong Williams

Sam Seder cuts a promo on a relatively lesser known conservative pundit, but this time pays a price. There are usually few repercussions for attacking other pundits. A feud may erupt but this could actually result in a positive outcome. The hostilities can bring exposure and drama, as well as providing content for the show.

Sam was taken 'off air' by his native New York affiliate for undermining Armstong Williams. Sam is Armstrong's stablemate and formerly filled the timeslot after the show Armstrong co-hosted. Many speculate that it was this type of outspokenness from Sam that may have contributed to his eventual demotion.

Listen to Sam's smackdown of Armstrong Williams here:
Part 1 "Its not my fault that Armstrong Williams has had such a chequered past..."
Part 2 "apparently Armstrong Williams has thin skin..."
Part 3 Listen to Sam explaining why Armstrong Williams is fair game.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flag waving pundit supporters

Bill O'Reilly flag
'American Pundit Fighting' flag (Bill O'Reilly)
Here is a simple tutorial for making your very own flags of your favourite APF pundits. All you need to begin is blutack, toothpicks, scissors, sticky tape, some paper and a printer.

Step 1.

Download the PDF file which you will be printing. Go here or download directly here. You will need to feed your paper twice in the printer as you will be printing on both sides.

Step 2.
Cut off the pointy ends of your toothpick. Make your flags by cutting the rectangles from your paper. You should have 29 rectangles.

Step 3.

Cut off a strip of tape and affix a tiny piece vertically on the gray portion of the rectangle. Use the over hanging tape and curl it around your toothpick. Your paper (flag) should now be wrapped around the toothpick (flag pole)

Step 4.
The paper can still uncurl itself around the toothpick. Don't fret. On the inner or back part of the flag, simply tape the paper to the stick area to hold firm in place.

Step 5.

Now its just a matter of propping your flag on some blutack and sticking it on a surface for everyone too see and enjoy. But remember, please don't litter.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seder 'cuts a promo' on the right wing (part 1 of 2)

Its not often that pundits will turn against their own kind. The talkers on the right will rarely draw attention to their liberal pundit counterparts. There could be many reasons for this:
1) The conservative audience may not be familiar with the personalities. There aren't too many prominent liberal pundits who are recognised by the right, with the exception of Keith Olbermann and Al Franken. The reference would be futile.
2) The right has dominated the radio landscape and does not feel like it needs to draw attention to the fledgling/emerging liberal talkers. Its an old boxing maxim, the champion should dismiss challengers as focusing on them elevates them to their level.
3) If liberal pundits are mentioned it is often in generic terms.

It is the left who are more likely to reference their ideological counterparts. Largely because the right has more visible and well defined targets, from Rush to Hannity and the Independent Bill O'Reilly. There are a few ways to attack a fellow pundit. Keith Olbermann takes the mocking and taunting approach. Whilst Sam Seder of Air America takes a media critique approach. Disassembling talking points and adding insults for humorous effect.

In wrestling terms, to demean someone skillfully is referred to as "Cutting a Promo". I will be highlighting some of Sam's more amusing critiques in this post. 4 different right wing targets on 4 different issues.

1) Sam Seder VS Michael Medved
Sam covering his pet topic of "Anti-gay gay republicans". Conservative pundit and movie critic Michael Medved wrote a column on the Tim Hardaway controversy. It was a piece on the unwanted distractions for a sportsman with an openly gay teammate.
Where Tim Hardaway Was Right by Michael Medved
Recent comments by retired basketball star Tim ("I hate gay people") Hardaway did serious damage to his image and career but also unwittingly raised serious cultural issues about sexuality and gender.

Hardaway appropriately apologized for his harsh remarks, but many (if not most) Americans no doubt share his instinctive reluctance to share showers and locker rooms with open homosexuals...
Sam deconstructs this perspective and offers his own theories on Medved based on his own experience meeting the man.


Listen to Sam on Medved Part 1
Listen to Sam Vs Medved Part 2

2) Sam Seder VS Michael Savage
Sam turns his attention on one of the most influential men in the punditocracy, Michael Savage. Sam analyses a monologue by Savage regarding the perceived weakness of America in the eyes of the bedouin (muslims).

Savage argues America is seen as weak because of its tolerance of gay culture, "doing to each other what is despised by 99.9% of humanity from the beginning of time until now". Savage also believes that the enemy finds comfort in seeing America cowed by women in leadership. "Seeing a loud mouthed, foul tempered woman in high places bossing men around" in reference to
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. Sam unpacks Savage's rationale and tries to comprehend Michael's clumsy references.

Listen to Sam take on Michael Savage. Sam also inserts a few digs at Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Sam continues dissecting Savage's meme, but this time targets Glenn Beck's statements. Listen here.

Continued in part 2 of 2>>

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

American Pundit Fighting badges

Here are my first round of badges. Feel free to use them on your networking site or blog of choice. This is the collection as it stands now. If there are any requests for designs simply leave a comment or drop me a line.

The images are 60 x 60 pixels.

Ann Coulter badge caricature art pundit Al Franken badge caricature art pundit Rush Limbaugh badge caricature art pundit Bill O'Reilly badge caricature art pundit Jon Stewart badge caricature art pundit American Pundit Fighting badge pundit American Pundit Fighting badge independents pundit American Pundit Fighting badge democrats pundit American Pundit Fighting badge republicans pundit


Also the site will be undergoing a few design changes. So please bear with us.

MORE Pundit Fight updates

I know those who've subscribed to the APF reader haven't been rewarded by a deluge of posts. Rest assured as there is always activity behind the scenes. I'm in the process of creating a range of buttons and avatars for use in your favorite blogs and networking sites.

I also encourage readers to trawl through the archives. I am constantly updating old posts with newly available accompanying media and improved grammar corrections. Impressed?

I am also making a promise for this week, that may sound to good to be true. I will be posting one new story for each day of this week, starting from today.

Stay tuned

Saturday, September 8, 2007

You can now subscribe to the APF feed

Just a quick update on some of the developments in the APF. If you look to your right under the 'Links' sidebar you will find some buttons to important APF resources.

I've added a feed which will allow you to get all the APF developments delivered to your computer. To be frank i've never really explored RSS feeds etc... so here's hoping it works.

There is also a link for you to download and make your very own APF flags. Its a PDF that contains a template for you to print double sided flags as well as instructions on how to do make them.

Finally there is a link to the APF myspace page. It is the official companion site to this blog. It contains many animations and is a great primer for the APF and all the pundits featured in it. Be sure to befriend us on myspace and share your comments of the pundits through the pictures page.

Go to the RSS feed
Go to the myspace page
Download your very own APF flags

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Don't APF hate. Perpetuate!? Matt Taibbi on the vicious circle of hate in punditry

I've actually mentioned this Matt Taibbi's essay on Punditry and Hate before. But it was in audio form. I only read the 2006 piece today and he makes some good points about the culture that is 'American Pundit Fighting'.

Matt highlights the circle of hate that is available for us to consume. A sushi train he calls 'Blame, Hate, Coalesce':
THE LOW POST: Keep on Hatin' by Matt Taibbi
That's what's happening now. When I go to a bookstore now, I don't see any relief from the same basic Blame, Hate, Coalesce strategy Murdoch started rolling half a generation ago. I just see it working in reverse. We had Bernie Goldberg's "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America" and now we have Keith Olbermann's "The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders." We had Bill O'Reilly's "Culture Warrior" and we now have "Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly." We had Ann Coulter's "Godless," which in turn spawned "Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter" and "Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate" and even the inspired "I Hate Ann Coulter!" by Anonymous. You had Rush's "The Way Things Ought to Be" and the way things are according to Al Franken, which is that Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. For those who don't want to buy all the new liberal books, you can get it all in one volume in "The I Hate Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity. . . Reader: The Hideous Truth About America's Ugliest Conservatives," edited by Clint Willis.
You'll be happy to know that I've hyperlinked all the titles, for those who intend to perpetuate the hate.

But for the rest of you, consider the implications of a culture and media landscape built on division.
Keep on Hatin' (pg 2)
It is amazing to me that people can walk into a bookstore, see a pair of books whose titles begin with "I Hate...," and still believe that the two books are different, simply because the politics of one are conservative and the politics of the other are liberal. Even though it is astoundingly obvious, I'm beginning to think that the vast majority of Americans will not realize until it is too late that this is the same shit. Hating the other guy, it's the new racism. It's imposed from above, like racism, and it serves the same purpose. It keeps the population mesmerized by irrelevant passions and distracted from their natural business of tending to their own real political problems.
Listen and download a Matt Taibbi interview on this topic