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There are too many commentators on cable news.

Yes, I know, the slight hypocrisy of the statement reaches me as well, but stop giggling and just bear with me.

Several weeks ago, MSNBC relieved Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews of their anchor duties at political events.

But why were they serving as anchors in the first place? Both Olbermann and Matthews are commentators, not journalists. Why give them a journalist’s job?

The answer is the problem: They’re famous. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are big names.

Some of the most popular (i.e. the loudest) political commentators include Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs and Nancy Grace. And these are only a few of them who have their own show. There are more, commentators come on news shows just to voice their opinion.

These pundits often don’t provide any special insight. After the Democratic National Convention, Larry King Live on CNN featured a panel of Republicans give their feelings of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.

The pundits’ responses were typical and boring. An hour of Barack-bashing and McCain (i.e. Palin)-fawning mixed with some half-hearted “historic moment” comments.

What did Larry expect them to say? That they realized partisan politics is a waste of time and leaves half the country unhappy?

Elementary teachers and mothers harp on it all the time. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But what if you don’t have anything useful to say?

Quantity over quality also seems to be a theme in political commentary among cable news networks.

CNN has Jack Cafferty, Dobbs, Beck and Grace. And then there’s Fox News’s entire staff and the news crew at MSNBC (not including Chris Hansen and the perverts on “To Catch a Predator”).

The quality of these commentators is questionable as well.

Michelle Malkin is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel. Malkin also happens to be an author — of such literature as “In Defense of Internment.” She defends the stripping of rights from Japanese-American citizens who had committed no crime, and then uses it to justify the same treatment of Arab and Islamic Americans.

Fox News isn’t alone in their choice of incompetent commentary, though they do stand out. During the Jeremiah Wright controversy, Dobbs had a discussion with some peers about the reverend on CNN. I say ‘peers,’ because he only spoke to older white men. Lou didn’t think it was necessary to have an African-American voice on his show when he is talking about African-Americans.

Television’s format means it should have different rules than a print newspaper. In print, you can skip reading the opinion columns (please don’t) and read about how ASU football is overrated.

But there’s only one program on at a time on a television channel. And there are only 24 hours in day, only 16 of which people are usually awake to watch.

Having four hours dedicated to Grace and Beck on a channel called CNN Headline News is too much — way too much considering Grace and Beck.

Was there something wrong with just the news? Granted, it’s not particularly sexy and it has some gray hairs, but it tries to be honest and doesn’t try to sell you something.

Those cable news stations are still news stations, and they should attempt to sell the news every once in a while, not political talking points.

But I don’t need someone to give me their two cents every second of every day. Maybe some of you don’t have opinion of your own and maybe those pundits are helpful.

If that’s the case, I say take those two cents and get some original thoughts — they’re a penny per.

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