How To Get (Re)Booked On Cable

Chris Cillizza’s contribution to YouTube’s Reporters’ Center is a video he calls “How To Not Sound Like An Idiot on TV,” but which I’d rename “How To Get (Re)Booked on Cable.” Why? For one, The Washington Post’s Cillizza advises reporters who aspire to talk shop on TV to “have fun” or else “people are going to tune out.” As an example, Cillizza demonstrates how one might make a presidential election sound “like a boxing match, the kind of thing you want to watch.” Which isn’t as much about not sounding like an idiot on TV (never mind about informing TV viewers) as it is about securing another Hardball booking. (Also, Cillizza’s first “lesson” is: “talk about what you know about,” a rule which is, of course, violated hourly by cable’s regular talking heads).

Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.