“You don’t know that.”

Neither do I.

Whenever I listen to TV political shows, I find myself muttering, “You don’t know that,” at a variety of political journalists and pundits who, when asked about some important current news, fill their report with maybe three times as many words as needed. One-third of these words are devoted to their interpretation, i.e., wild guess about what public figures and groups are thinking and strategizing.

That’s the point at which my mutter emerges from my mouth: “You don’t know that.”

And they don’t. How do I know they don’t know? Because they don’t validate their info by giving a name to it, or a quote. If they were insiders they’d be able to say where and from whom they got the information. But they don’t. They don’t even offer a “source who wishes to be anonymous.”

I understand what they’re doing. They’re building their Brand, which is “I’m an insider and know stuff nobody else does, so I’m giving you Breaking News.” Except it isn’t Breaking News. It isn’t even breaking news.

This is not political journalism; it isn’t even interpretive journalism based on fact; it’s just pompous self-aggrandizing opinion.

Jake Sherman is the worst at suggesting he knows things that we don’t. He yammers excitedly, multiplies everything he says three times, his vocabulary is jammed with words suggesting hot news, hot tips.

I loathe Jake Sherman and would be happy never to hear from him again.

Betsy Woodruff Swan is the next worst-best.

If it weren’t almost 95 muggy degrees, I’d name more names, but…you know.

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