Top 50 Pundits
May 06, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Audacious Epigone figures out the demographic breakdown of the London Daily Telegraph's list of top 50 most influential American political pundits.

This is not to say that the Telegraph's list is accurate or inaccurate, just that it's a list somebody made up for a different purpose than demographic analysis, which makes it useful for demographic analysis. These kind of "found subjective lists" have more prima facie plausibility for demographic analysis than when the demographic analyst makes up his own subjective list, since his interest in demographics is likely to bias his list in one way or another.

The most interesting finding, to my mind, was in the Religious/Ethnic background category, where Roman Catholics held a plurality (40% of the top 50 pundits). I guessed that most of the Catholics would be Irish, but I only count seven Irishmen/women (Matthews, O'Reilly, Hannity, Noonan, Sullivan, Bennett, Shields) out of 20 Catholics. (That's leaving out Pat Buchanan, who is German Catholic on his mother's side and Protestant Irish on his father's side).

As usual in lists of achievers, Jews (27%) are represented about an order of magnitude more than their share of the population, but it's such a small share of the population that they come in behind Catholics and Protestants (29%).

Men make up 86%. Whites account for 90%, blacks 10%, with nobody else on it (Michelle Malkin didn't make the list, but people I've never heard of, like Rachel Maddow, did). Average age is 52.4.

It's all about what you'd expect from other lists or just from looking at the First Class cabins on airliners—America is run by middle-aged white men.