Are these opinion makers/leaders not (highly) relevant politically? Some of them have a greater audience than many local politicians, whose sayings would undoubtedly be on-topic. And yes, these are political pronouncements. I'm not saying that what Beyonce says about hair style should on-topic (despite her large audience), but maybe if she says something about abortion and it gets discussed in the media, that could be political; or about the police.

But to keep this focused, the media personalities I'm talking about here, e.g. Limbaugh almost exclusively talk about politics. According to Wikipedia's bio of him:

Limbaugh has been one of the premiere voices of the conservative movement in the United States since the 1990s. He has been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[4][5] During the 2020 State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[6]

So why can't I ask here about what Limbaugh says about something political? (Similarly, I can ask the same question about Hannity etc.)

  • @Philipp: somewhat. It could be that that was closed because of the intersection of topics, i.e. that what Limbaugh says about conservatism might be on topic, but what he says about Covid-19 might not be. I'm curious to hear where the line is. – Fizz Apr 12 '20 at 11:15
  • 12
    @Fizz - I think that questions about Limbaugh's opinions could potentially be on topic, but posting and self-answering a question on it is almost certainly a violation of the "asked in good faith" policy. – Bobson Apr 13 '20 at 1:22
  • 1
    @Bobson: I only did that when the question was at 4 close votes. (Which "rained down surprisingly quickly.) I am not terribly happy with the source I found/used for the answer either because it's a rather obscure website. And I think there could be other answers as my questions in not limited to Limbaugh. There are/were questions here like "what does the pro-life movement say about X" etc. – Fizz Apr 13 '20 at 4:54
  • 2
    Cool, so now we also get to questions "How do the COVID-19 fake news media explain away their critic of the China travel restrictions?" And so on. Note the "fake news" because "alt-right media" is apparently ok to use. (Note: I don't like either question, but if you allow the former the latter should be allowed as well) – Sjoerd Apr 14 '20 at 1:09
  • 3
    @Sjoerd How are those equivalent? "alt-right media" is an accurate description of a segment of media that caters to that political group. An equivalent term would be talking about "progressive media" (sites like commondreams.org) or left-wing media (like jacobin). – divibisan Apr 14 '20 at 14:51
  • 1
    @Sjoerd: we actually had a question like that, although of course it wasn't framed with "fake news media", but rather directly with the WHO. – Fizz Apr 14 '20 at 14:54
  • 5
    @divibisan "alt-right" is only used by opponents - Fox News doesn't name itself that. Therefore the equivalent for CNN is a name used by its critics. E.g. Fake News. "Fringe left" is another option. So yes, that's the equivalence. – Sjoerd Apr 14 '20 at 17:46
  • 2
    @Fizz Can you agree that using "alt-right" is framing? – Sjoerd Apr 14 '20 at 17:52
  • 3
    @Sjoerd That's false. "Alt-right" was coined by Richard Spencer and was popularized by its supporters like Bannon and Yiannopoulos. Fox News isn't alt-right, though they often repeat their thinking. – divibisan Apr 14 '20 at 18:25
  • 1
    Probably the most equivalent term would be "The Dirtbag Left" to describe Chapo Trap House and equivalents – divibisan Apr 14 '20 at 18:26
  • 3
    @divibisan So using it for Fox News - as in this case - was wrong. Thank you for admitting that. – Sjoerd Apr 14 '20 at 18:27
  • @Sjoerd Sure. The new title is definitely a big improvement on the original one – divibisan Apr 14 '20 at 18:30
  • 1
    Considering that Richard Spencer is a neo-nazi, inaccurately calling someone "alt-right" is pretty awful. – Andrew Grimm Apr 16 '20 at 11:07
  • @divibisan You wrote "Fox News isn't alt-right, though they often repeat their thinking." Doesn't that make Fox News alt-right? When a person or an organization repeats the thinking of alt-right, by definition, they are the alt-right. – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Apr 22 '20 at 12:54

Popular pundits should be considered as political opinion journalism. Its value as a topic here would be in proportion to what's said is:

  • verifiable. Pundit asserts that a candidate is secretly a lizard-man, because of evidence X,Y, and Z. Questions about X,Y, and Z should be OK, even though we're skeptical that lizard-men exist.

  • measurable. Pundit usually screams with rage whenever a certain politician's name is mentioned, but coos with pleasure when a rival is named. Questions about the average decibel contrast between respective screams and coos should be allowed.

  • acted upon. Pundit promotes anti-lizard-man bill, which becomes law due to Pundit's popularity. Questions about implementation, costs, and effects of said law should be allowed.


If we allow questions that enquire about the opinion of this or that pundit to run rampant on this website, two things will happen: it'll invite more of the same types of question, which gives more publicity to people who and ideas that at times make you wonder if humanity deserves to go extinct; and, it'll attract polarized answers from both sides of the aisle, which then degenerate into soul draining threads of pointless comments that waste everyone's time (the moderators' time in particular).

There's way too much to be aghast about. Just tune in to Alex Jones for a half hour and you'll come out of it concluding that Sean Hannity and Kellyanne Conway are beacons of reason and wisdom. There is so much in need of getting explained or debunked if you care to dig, in fact, that there is an entire wiki dedicated to just this topic. This is on top of the numerous fact checking websites that have been with us for years on end, and the countless news organizations that have set up a fact checking team in the aftermath of 2016.

It's worth pointing out that each of these information venues are one way information streets. Rational wiki is edited by a small team of trusted contributors to avoid trolling and vandalism, and reliable fact checking websites aren't crowdsourced for a similar reason. Contrast this with Politics SE, where a flame baiting troll can easily become a 20k+ rep user if they bother to wear a fig leaf.

Yet another issue springs to mind if you take the latter point to its logical conclusion. Namely, picture Politics SE a few years down the road, swamped by hordes of 4chan users who troll the site and the HNQ with a nauseating stream of "why does [quack] say [flame-bait]?" types of questions.

  • 2
    "this type of question" means what exactly? All q about what conservative media personalities say are off topic? Just the ones which are about how they promote conspiracy theories? – Fizz Apr 16 '20 at 10:21
  • @Fizz: edited... – Denis de Bernardy Apr 16 '20 at 11:19
  • 2
    I see; I have to disagree that we can simply dismiss such top-tier political-opinion influencers as just "this or that pundit". – Fizz Apr 16 '20 at 18:06
  • 1
    @Fizz: it's the same problem as how to deal with Trump's daily update: do you go there and stream it live because, he being POTUS, it's news by definition; or do you just ignore his BS, give a summary of his lies, and focus on what's (not) happening and report on that? – Denis de Bernardy Apr 16 '20 at 18:57
  • 5
    Please try to make this answer a bit more neutral. It's very one-sided now. You could e.g. mention that we don't want "Orange Man Bad" trolls with TDS here either. – Sjoerd Apr 18 '20 at 17:30
  • 4
    @Sjoerd: With respect, I'm struggling to understand why that would be necessary. Unless, perhaps, the request is that I sheepishly conform with unwarranted demands for superfluous whataboutism. It's not like rabid alter-globalists and antifas are raging flame bait on random online forums. Only neo-fascists do that. (And they're not even limiting themselves to public forums if recent 'zoombombing' headlines are anything to go by.) – Denis de Bernardy Apr 18 '20 at 18:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .