The Washington Post Launches America's Next Top PunditS

Internet blogs are killing newspapers and stealing from them and full of blowhards who don't know what they're talking about, so where does the Washington Post look for it's next "great pundit"? The internet.

The Post has launched a reality-show-style contest seeking out a columnist for the paper to anoint as "America's Next Great Pundit," because "pundit" no longer means "person who expounds from knowledge and experience" but instead means "category of celebrity, like glorified hooker or bug-eater."

Here's your chance to put your opinions to the test — and win the opportunity to write a weekly column and a launching pad for your opinionating career!

Start making your case.
Use the entry form to send us a short opinion essay (400 words or less) pegged to a topic in the news and an additional paragraph (100 words or less) on yourself and why you should win. Entries will be judged on the basis of style, intelligence and freshness of argument, but not on whether Post editors agree or disagree with your point of view. Entry deadline: Oct. 21, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Then get ready for the great debate.
Beginning on or about Oct. 30, ten prospective pundits will get to compete for the title of America's Next Great Pundit, facing off in challenges that test the skills a modern pundit must possess. They'll have to write on deadline, hold their own on video and field questions from Post readers. (Contestants won't have to quit their day jobs, but they should be prepared to put in about eight hours a week for three weeks.) After each round, a panel of Post personalities will offer kudos and catcalls, and reader votes will help to determine who gets another chance at a byline and who has to shut down their laptop.

Eyes on the prize.
The ultimate winner will get the opportunity to write a weekly column that may appear in the print and/or online editions of The Washington Post, paid at a rate of $200 per column, for a total of 13 weeks and $2,600. Our Opinions lineup includes a dozen Pulitzer Prize winners, regulars on the national political talk shows and some of the most influential players inside the Beltway. We'll set our promising pundit on a path to become the next byline in demand, the talking head every show wants to book, the voice that helps the country figure out what's really going on.

THE VOICE THAT HELPS THE COUNTRY FIGURE OUT WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON. Somewhere, in America, a sad blog commenter knows WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON. The Post certainly doesn't. But they're going to find that person by way of the internet, test their knowledge of WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON by putting them through challenges to find out if they have the "skills a modern pundit must possess," such as how to make videos of themselves, and then pay them $200 per column to tell us what's REALLY GOING ON. Give these people a bailout. Their continued operation is crucial to the survival of our democracy.