How to Become a Pundit on $7,500 a Day

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2009 7:31 PM CDT
Steven Pearlstein, Nina Easton, and Rick Stengel listen to moderator David Gregory speak during a live taping of 'Meet the Press' at NBC studios April 19, 2009.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Socrates and his ilk were deep thinkers, but modern-day pundits had better look good, think in sound bites, and be ready to spend $7,500 per day in training to get on TV, CBS News reports. "We coach people to look their best and sound their best any time they're on TV," says TJ Walker, pundit trainer. His keys to success: Don't look up, don't lean back, and never say something as if it's just your opinion.

One analyst who looked at 30,000 pundit predictions found "a negative correlation between how telegenic you are and how accurate you are." Commentator JP Freire says Americans aren't "doe-eyed idiots" who believe pundits, anyway, but one neurological study differs, showing that people's brains go blank when an expert speaks. Says one doctor: "My advice is to have confidence in your own decision-making, and use it. Yes, absolutely use it."