Wednesday, March 14, 2007

PunditFight: Glossary of Terms

In case there are people who haven't checked out the Companion PunditFight Myspace page. As a service I'm posting the Glossary of Terms found on that site here. I've also included some new terms. Enjoy!

Glossary of terms
Like most subcultures the APF has its own jargon, an amalgam of elements borrowed from the world of wrestling and politics.

Here are a list of words you’ll find used in the APF. In the future I hope to link to video examples to further illustrate the terms.


angle n. The “storyline”. It may happen over one debate or many and the pundits do not necessarily have to meet. Often the escalation of events occur when the pundits are on their respective shows

base n. people who already agree with a pundit. Those who already watch their shows, buy their books and read their blogs. It is important for the pundit to indulge this audience as they are the loyal core of support

blogosphere n. the set of weblogs on the internet, in this case political. They may be written diaries, discussion boards or Video journals

booker n. the party who invites and sets the tone for the debate. This can be cordial late night talk show appearances, or heated interrogations on a radio show

card n. the series of debates appearing on the program at one time

draw v.t.n. the popularity of a pundit. Popularity is judged by the amount of people tuning in to see the pundit speak their mind. This may be the ratings of their respective TV and radio shows, the columns, blogs and books they write. The spike they create in ratings when they appear on other programs. The attention they receive from the news media and the blogosphere

n. A particularly bad and totally uninteresting debate

entrance theme n. a piece of music that heralds the arrival of a pundit, usually played at the start their TV or radio show. The song is a reflection of the pundit's personality and fanbase.

face n. & adj. [babyface] a pundit well loved by his audience, hero-like. This can be achieved by being receptive to the audience, championing popular ideas or opposing a detestable character

feud n. a series of debates between two pundits. It can be a civil encounter, multiple invitations to discuss current events possibly on a contract basis. It can also be heated, the eventual confrontation when two pundits have baited each other and finally meet

gimmick n. a pundit's personality. The behavior and distinguishing traits apparent while performing, this will often dictate whether a pundit is a Face or a Heel

heat n. Enthusiastic negative response. Controversy can often lead to exposure, by negative referencing and discussion on blogs, the news media and radio. The attention may lead to more invitations for TV and radio appearances

heel n. & adj. a pundit who brings attention to themselves by intentionally alienating or discomforting viewers. Someone who generates ‘heat’. They may be offensive generalizations or unpopular truths told without tact

job n. Losing a debate on purpose by staging it convincingly

jobber n. a weaker pundit brought in to make a debate opponent look comparitively better. It is usually an inexperienced and less charming person

kayfabe n. adj. of or related to inside information about the business, especially by fans. This can be backstory on the debaters’ history, past connections and affiliations

mark n. an audience member who takes everything their favorite pundit says at face value, often regurgitating there talking points. They are usually gullible and uninquisitive, not interested in sourcing different opinions that may discredit said talking points

midcarder n. adj. a personality not quite in the elite group of pundits due to lesser name recognition or audience pulling power.

main-eventer n. adj. an elite pundit, a household name. Commanding larger audiences, fees and media attention

pop n, v.i. positive enthusiastic response to a pundit. Their debates are recorded and featured on blogs and video sites. Their work referenced positively on radio and TV. Audience frequently complimenting when they call in their radio shows. High volume of readership, listernership and exposure

promo n. an organized discussion or speech used to escalate a storyline or feud. It may involve baiting or impugning another pundit in the hope of a confrontation

pundit n. adj. a person who appears in the media offering opinions, analysis or discourse on a subject. Unlike journalists who are expected to be objective when reporting, pundits can provide context and an ideological perspective to highlight the important aspects of the issue for the public

punditocracy n. a term coined by Nation columnist Eric Alterman. It describes the growing influence of a "tiny group of highly visible political pontificators who make their living offering 'inside political opinions and forecasts' in the elite national media." It refers to the notion that politicans no longer seek the approval of the people as it is being eclipsed by the pundit class who are the noisiest and have the last word. This is considered dangerous by some because pundits are not always representative of the community (they are broad by nature) and are subject to personal ambitions such as advancing their status and influence

push n. a personality who starts getting promoted heavily, seen to have potential. A network may give them their own show or a better timeslot.

screw-job n. adj. a debate or ending which is not clean (definite) due to factors outside the normal course of a debate

shoot n. when a pundit breaks the expected decorum of a debate and becomes unfairly hostile, usually to satisfy their base. It may be pressuring someone to answer a loaded question, bringing up something negative from the interviewee’s past irrelevant to a debate

smark n. a political junkie, someone who follows politics attentively. They will read messageboards, blogs and listen to as much media as possible. The depth of exploration makes them more discerning and skeptical. The opposite of a ‘mark’

spot n. The high-point. An event or sequence of events which makes a particular debate distinctive

squash n. a totally passive job where one pundit completely dominates another. v.t. to win a squash match

stable n. A group of pundits working together for the same cause. An alliance

stiff adj. Not quite a shoot, but almost. It involves someone who doesn’t return the same cordiality to a fellow pundit. A stiff worker will act more serious and aggressive to a pundit who may be being light hearted creating an imbalance in attitude

turn n., v.i. change in orientation from heel to face or vice-versa

work n. a deception or sham, the opposite of a shoot. When a pundit sympathetic to his interviewee creates a false appearance of asking tough questions. Usually when a personality needs to do damage control, an agreeable pundit may get an ‘exclusive’ to interview them

workrate n. how hard the pundit works. How often they venture into varying mediums; writing blogs, appearing in debates and interviews on top of their day-to-day job

For those who'd like to compare, here is a list of Pro wrestling terms.

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