A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

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Entry from September 14, 2012

A “punditocracy” is influence or rule (like an “aristocracy") by political pundits and pundettes. The term was used by political pundit Michael Kinsley in 1987, but was popularized by Eric Alterman in the August 1988 New York (NY) Times article “A Neo-Con Job by the Punditocracy” and in his book, Sound and Fury: The Washington Punditocracy and the Collapse of American Politics (1992).

Wiktionary: punditocracy
+‎ -cracy
(plural punditocracies)
1.A group of political pundits who are thought to have too much influence.
Usage notes
Usually used as disparaging or tongue-in-cheek commentary on the extent of pundits’ influence (alluding to aristocracy or theocracy), rather than to suggest that a government is literally led by pundits.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
pun·dit·oc·ra·cy noun \ˌpən-dət-ˈä-krə-sē\
plural pun·dit·oc·ra·cies
Definition of PUNDITOCRACY
: a group of powerful and influential political commentators
pundit + -cracy
First Known Use: 1987

(Oxford English Dictionary)
punditocracy, n.
Etymology:  < pundit n. + -ocracy comb. form.
Chiefly U.S. Polit.
Elite members of the news media, typically seen as having political power in their own right. Cf. commentariat n.
1987 M. Kinsley in Wall St. Jrnl. 10 Sept. 33/1 This analysis comes from..the Washington punditocracy, including leading conservative sages whose concern for the health of the Democratic Party is, let us say, problematic.
1993 New York 21 June 16/2 The punditocracy can be an arrogant, blinkered lot, given to singing from the same conventional sheet music.

New York (NY) Times
A Neo-Con Job by the Punditocracy
By Eric Alterman; Eric Alterman is a fellow at the World Policy Institute, a public-policy organization
Published: August 02, 1988
According to this ‘’punditocracy’’ - as I call it - an American attempt to overthrow a foreign government thousands of miles away was ‘’self-defense’’; a desire to participate in international institutions was evidence of ‘’isolationism’’; a refusal to countenance the opinions of our allies before acting was ‘’leadership.’’

The punditocracy is drawn from the nation’s leading Op-ed pages and small but politically influential magazines. Most appear regularly on television. Those who were never able to reach the status of a regular chair on ‘’The McLaughlin Group,’’ ‘’This Week With David Brinkley’’ or ‘’Inside Washington’’ vied with one another for occasional guest spots on the ‘’MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour’’ or ABC News’s ‘’Nightline.’’

OCLC Worldcat record
Sound and fury : the Washington punditocracy and the collapse of American politics
Author: Eric Alterman
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, ©1992.
Edition/Format:  Book : English : 1st ed
Summary: Never in our history has the American political system seemed so aimless, so irrelevant, and so downright disgraceful as it does today. Television has become dominant to the point that it now not only serves as the sole viable medium for the debate of issues but has also provided the fodder for political platforms, and even budding presidential candidates. “Objective” reporting in the print media is political double-speak, but, even more important, it deprives us of the context that would allow us to make an informed judgment about a given issue.

OCLC WorldCat record
The political pundits
Author: Dan D Nimmo; James E Combs
Publisher: New York : Praeger, 1992.
Series: Praeger series in political communication. 
7. Conclusion: Democracy or Punditocracy?

OCLC WorldCat record
The perilous punditocracy
Author: Greenwald G.
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: National Interest, n95 (2008 07 01):

OCLC WorldCat
The rise of the media punditocracy? Journalists and media pundits in Danish election news 1994--2007
Author: D N Hopmann; J Stromback
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Media, Culture & Society, v32 n6 (20101122): 943-960
Database: CrossRef

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