There was a lot of snark on the internet yesterday about how The Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Pundit” competition came to the conclusion that the op-ed page needed . . . another middle-aged white man. The diversity issues that you see at the elite level of most of American life are, in my opinion, particularly egregious in the punditry world. People whose job is largely to express a point of view really ought to come from a variety of points of view, and it’s a huge problem in politics since demographics are so closely linked to political opinion. For example, consider attitudes toward Barack Obama:
About 50 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, but he’s overwhelmingly liked among non-white Americans and quite widely disliked by white Americans. Our punditry, however, is done almost exclusively by white people and pretty overwhelmingly by a demographic of older white men that’s pretty much the most right-wing cohort you can construct.