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Capehart's critique of the video challenge

Post editorial writer and TV personality Jonathan Capehart gave the final four pundit contestants some tough love after their video challenge. Watch his critique below. And when you're ready, cast your vote for which contestant should NOT advance to the finals. Polls are open 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. ET.

For a larger version of the video, click here.


Marisa Katz

 |  October 27, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Category:  Critique of the video challenge , Judge Jonathan Capehart
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Previous: It comes down to heroes | Next: This week's vote results


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Still feel that way, MartyMar.

Posted by: MsJS | October 29, 2010 9:19 AM
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Thanks, MSJS. I notice you have already been cited a time or two as well. Three cheers for the peanut gallery!

I guess now is as good a time as any to mention that the only line I still remember from any of the writing in last year's contest came from MSJS, who wrote(in a context) to the rest of us, "You're the ones who rock." What people remember! There's a writing lesson there, for anyone who's interested.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 29, 2010 6:34 AM
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MartyMar, congrats on getting quoted on the front page of the contest.

Three will vie for your interest and attention on Monday. For all our sakes, I hope at least one succeeds.

Posted by: MsJS | October 28, 2010 6:50 PM
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Agree with curmudgeon6, but Dr.Krauthammer wasn't on the ballot.

Anyone who's seriously interested in becoming a pundit must be able to do well on video. In assessing the this round, two of the contestants were clearly comfortable and two were obviously not. Of the two who were not, one of them is merely inexperienced. I think that given the opportunity, Lauren would do just fine on video. With Nancy, I suspect it is more a matter of temperament, and I don't know whether she would get over that in time or not. As I have said before, some people write because they can't talk all the time, others because they can't talk at all. I suspect Nancy may be one of the latter, and I feel her pain. But she will be getting my vote.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 28, 2010 6:13 PM
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This is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo not fair! I wanted to vote off Charles Krauthammer in the worst possible way, but it wouldn't let me!


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2010 1:53 PM
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I see this round as four intelligent, personable contestants fighting the problem of a lousy moderator. None are political consultants, but Capehart insisted on political strategy and horse race questions. Capehart’s apparent belief that O’Donnell’s view on the establishment clause issue was a “pop quiz” or that Buck was pandering reflected a failure to understand that millions of conservatives shared this position. On the other and, both by Reinstein (that was the point of his comment on Buck) and Goldstein did understand. I agree with others that Williams clearly was the best. On the other hand, commentators are too harsh on Hogan. The substance of her comment on the factors driving the election was basically the same as Reinstein’s, but she stated it much better. Goldstein appeared rigid and doctrinaire both in the video discussion and the Q and A earlier this week. Reinstein was too superficial and breezy. Given the voting format, it will be harder for him to fix this round

Posted by: dwells3 | October 28, 2010 11:01 AM
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Most of the points I would make about the contestants have already been made. Mr. Reinstein felt fake, Ms. Goldstein chose talking points over discussion, Mr. Williams seemed more at ease with the medium, and Ms. Hogan was the proverbial deer in the headlights.

What I find most interesting is WaPo’s response to how the contest has gone so far. Instead of voting for, which plays into mindless click-through ballot stuffing, readers are voting against. This move pretty much takes the social networks out of the equation, at least for this round.

I’ll hazard two guesses as to why:
1) WaPo is less than thrilled with the remaining contestants and wants to wrap the contest up as quietly as possible;
2) WaPo has decided the popularity contest route may not produce the desired increase in site traffic and comes with unintended consequences.

This is mere speculation on my part, of course. Regardless, I extend a sincere thank you to all the commenters who voiced their views, because it might have made a difference. WaPo won’t find any fakers or frightened deer in this crowd.

Posted by: MsJS | October 28, 2010 10:44 AM
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Wow, Ted sure didn't like receiving style techniques from Capehart!

Nancy did well in the blogging round and Ted proved he was a vote-getter, but it's time for one of those two to be voted off the island.

Posted by: GariusRex | October 28, 2010 10:15 AM
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This was interesting and revealing in a number of ways. Reinstein didn't do well at all. He seems to be far too casual about everything (not just his lack of a tie, but his answers). Hogan was very quiet in general. This said a lot as well, since you'd expect her to come out swinging considering the beating she took on her Juan Williams post. Is she scared to make another dive into race? Isn't that her specialty, though? Disappointing performance. Up to this point, I thought she and Williams were neck and neck for the top spot. Williams was probably the winner by default. Not a great performance, but he seemed to do much better than the others. Goldstein...I've been worried about this. She seemed to lack the ability to have a conversation at all. She has talking points...and that's it. Her posts in general lack any real substance or insight, even though they are on very important topics. She does cliff notes, but not much original thought. Too bad...I was hoping she'd turn it around in this round, since she's written about many topics I've covered myself.

Posted by: karlhungus1 | October 28, 2010 2:16 AM
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Can't agree wholeheartedly with Capehart or Jackryan here.

Conor Williams was clearly the winner here, but not just on style points.

Reinstein not only came off as an overbearing jackass, his comments RE buck in Colorado made no sense. WHAT was he talking about? So first he argues that the Tea Party is de-emphasizing social issues, then he brings up Ken Buck's attack on the establishment clause? So which one is it?

I'd agree that Goldstein came off as wooden, unpleasant in affect, and determined to get to pre-written talking points rather than engaging in dialogue. The contrast here with Williams is really striking. While Williams managed to connect current events with his overarching themes throughout the contest (progressivism, the need for progressives to attract support from "Middle" America), Goldstein's attempt to get to her pet issues came off as strained. And her characterization of political anti-intellectualism as simply veiled anti-Semitism was just bizarre.

Lauren Hogan, for her part was simply a non-entity. She seemed passive and uncomfortable and what she did say was completely unremarkable. Hate to put it this way, but Hogan seemed like she should have been sitting at the kids' table.

Posted by: waltersobchak2 | October 27, 2010 8:45 PM
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Wow, Capehart liked this snoozefest?

I'll agree that Williams was "the best" of this round. Of course, that's a tepid endorsement. Maybe he would have done better if he hadn't been responding to panelists with the acting range of William Shatner.

Goldstein came off as angry, dismissive, and uninterested in dialogue; it's also odd that she's finally discovered that there are distinctions between left and right. Reinstein was an Anchorman, in the Will Ferrell sense; I'm surprised that at no time did he make a sexist joke. And Hogan ... well, it looks like she's not black, but she CLEARLY IS afraid to talk about race, since it fell to Goldstein to talk about the Tea Party's racism.

Not looking forward to the vote tomorrow. Can we vote multiple people off the island?

Posted by: JackRyan82 | October 27, 2010 8:28 PM
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