Chris Cillizza, who wears Donald Trump’s designation as “one of the dumber and least respected political pundits” like a badge of honor, took to Reddit on Tuesday for an AMA to push his multi-platform CNN brand, The Point with Chris Cillizza. The decision—to borrow a real metric Cillizza uses in his political analysis—was worthy of three sad-face emojis.
Cillizza embodies some of the most stereotypically cretinous aspects of savvy insider punditry, prolifically tweeting, writing, talking about, and otherwise bothering us with amoral political minutiae. Formerly the head of the Washington Post blog The Fix, where he mass-produced takes ranging from well-done to fully charred, Cillizza was hired by CNN in March to do the same thing. In announcing its new Cillizza-centric brand last month, the network’s PR shop described the author of such seminal political works as “A second-by-second analysis of the Trump-Macron handshake” as “one of the top political journalists in the U.S.”
Naturally, many Reddit users took the opportunity to dunk on the talking head, with a large chunk asking various foot-related questions in reference to Cillizza tweeting out a photo of his colleague’s shoes in April. Reddit moderators deleted those comments in short order, but here are some of our other favorites about the journalist who jokes about taking home an eight-figure salary:
Are you really so un self aware that you thought this would be a good idea? Or did they make you do it?
Chris, have you considered the fact that your reporting style of repeated and absurd focus on completely inane subjects, like “an analysis of the Trump-Macron handshake” not only makes us all collectively stupider, but fundamentally devalues the role politics has in shaping our lives in favor of absurd horserace coverage that focuses on inside baseball to the exclusion of real working families?
Are you proud of yourself? If not, is it for the same reasons I’m not proud of you? -Dad Cillizza
Is there any possible political event that could occur that you wouldn’t treat like a sports match?
Why do you adopt such a shallow writing style that focuses on subjective emotional reactions towards important political events and not on any type of cognitive analysis that could provide further insight into current events?
Hi, Chris. I was wondering if you and Darren Rovell are bros?
Hi Chris — after Greg Gianforte attacked a reporter and won his election, you said “Republicans bet right” because people didn’t continue thinking about the assault. Don’t you think that’s missing The Point?
I saw you posted a lot of pictures from a U2 concert recently. Do you like any bands that are even more boring than them?
Chris, what do you think of CNN complaining about Trump’s treatment of the media while paying his former campaign staff to lie on his behalf on their network?
Hi Chris! Multipart question for ya:
1) Will you 2) Show 3) The feet 4) Sweetie?
In a naked both-sides-do-it wrestling match, who would win: you or David Brooks?
Why is it that journalists and pundits who habitually get things wrong are rewarded with higher paying, more prestigious jobs rather than being forced out of the national conversation?
Hi Chris! Thanks for doing this. Two part question:
What role do you think media plays in the public discourse, and what can be done to reduce the notion (and sometimes reality) of hyperpartisanship in media?
Secondly, what makes you such an insufferable hack?
Who is your immediate supervisor and their contact information to address the quality of your work?
My Fusion colleague Libby Watson posed the question that’s long been on the mind of many a hardworking blogger: “Why do you think so many other journalists think you suck?”
The question was originally removed. But Cillizza, to his credit, still responded with what could function as a catchall reply for all the other criticism of his work:
Apparently Reddit deleted the original question from Libby Watson at Fusion — which I was trying to answer.
The gist of the question was “Why do so many journalists think you suck?” (Libby, correct me if I got that wrong.)
I would first say that everyone — even reporters — is entitled to their opinion about my work. If that opinion is that it’s terrible, so be it!
I would add that I try like hell to be intellectually honest and fair when I am writing. I think I hit that mark most of the time.
I don’t hit it all the time. I am a human being. I write things where the analysis is off. I tweet dumb things. I occasionally say stuff I wish I hadn’t on TV.
When that happens, I try very hard to be transparent about why I made the error, how my thought process led me to where I got and why it was wrong.
I know that won’t satisfy anyone. And I know it is fun for some people to call me an “insufferable hack” or something similar.
That’s ok. I understand that they feel that way. But I can’t — and won’t — spend my days swimming in a sea of negativity. It’s not a healthy way to live.
While Libby isn’t, obviously, one of these people, I do hear from lots of folks (including journalists!) who generally like my work and appreciate my commitment to transparency in what I do.
Different strokes, different folks.
And, Libby, sorry again that your original question was removed.
He’s trying to kill us with kindness. And for those of us unlucky enough to watch the back and forth between Cillizza and his legions of Twitter followers on a daily basis, it’s a familiar tactic. Self-deprecation can prop up even the most vacuous of pundits.