The Private Lives of Pundits

The Private Lives of PunditsWhat is it like to live your life convincing people that your petty opinions are worth something? Luckily for us, it's easy to find out, because pundits love talking about themselves. There are a bunch of memoirs out there about what they do and how they think.

One fun exercise is to read Bill O'Reilly's A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity and Michael Moore's Here Comes Trouble back to back. It turns out these pundits on opposite sides of the political spectrum have a lot in common. They both grew up Catholic in working-class neighborhoods in the 1950s and 60s, but while Mr. O'Reilly claims this taught him the value of independence and self-reliance, Mr. Moore claims it taught him the value of interdependence and community action. It's no wonder they can't stand each other. These two are practically brothers. Both books are highly entertaining and serve as windows into the personalities of driven, determined people.

Christopher Hitchens was probably more of a gadfly than a pundit, but he still spent his life trafficking in opinions. Hitch-22 is more introspective than the previous two books. You spend a lot of time with an exceptionally smart man running his own thoughts through his head.

Of course, it goes without saying that Moore, Hitchens and O'Reilly all read the audiobooks themselves. I would expect no less.