The pundit test

Munch Scream

Martyn Bradbury learns that Josie Pagani will be the guest commentator from the left on Q+A this week.

Media organisations are struggling to work out where the lines should be drawn on conflicts of interest, when it comes to appointing political commentators and pundits.

Linda Clark has been under the spotlight recently, after it was alleged that she provided media training to David Cunliffe.

Clark has appeared on various TV shows as a political commentator and moderator, but she is not a journalist. Her involvement in these shows is still a problem for some people.

So what should a radio or TV network do when faced with the prospect of engaging for political comment someone who may actually have some practical experience of the thing they are being asked to comment on?

I have come up with a very simple test.

If they’re on the left, ask hard questions. Have they been involved with helping Labour or the Greens? Do they belong to a political party? Have they ever sought political office? A “yes” to any of these questions should disqualify that person utterly.

If they’re on the right, it’s all good.