The term “pundit” applies to both men and women. Critics of U.S. president Bill Clinton in the 1998 Monica Lewinsky intern sex scandal included conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham—both young, attractive and blonde. Media critics labeled these women “pundettes” by September 1998.
The word “pundette” is cited in print at least as early as 1988, but this appears to be an isolated citation. A 2008 blog was titled Pundit & Pundette.
11 July 1988, InfoWorld, “Notes From the Field” by Robert X. Cringely, pg. 78, col. 1:
And while it’s true that every industry pundit deserves his pundette, there is no sexism at work here.
Salon (Spetember 1, 1998)
ASK CAMILLE —CAMILLE PAGLIA
Yes, Washington insiders—who obviously know more about Starr’s report than they can print or say on air—have been resorting to a striking panoply of quaintly coded language ("repulsive," “disgusting,” etc.) to describe Clinton’s inappropriate workplace escapades. I am particularly irritated to hear those terms flowing so glibly from the mouths of pampered, peroxided, wet-behind-the-ears conservative pundettes whose limited life experience and history of naked ambition hardly qualify them for postures of moral outrage.
16 September 1998. USA Today, “Female Voters: Stand By Your Man” by Susan Estrich, pg. 25A:
Or how many self-righteous media pundits and pundettes have made sexual advances to people on their staffs, or used their own sexuality just like Monica Lewinsky did?
13 November 1998, Washington (DC) Post, “The Reliable Source” by Ann Gerhart and Annie Groer, Style, pg. D3:
We preferred her prose definition: “A pundette is a lightweight lightweight . . . someone who goes on TV and tells you the same thing over and over and over.”
Guy Walks into a Press Briefing...
By Jamie Malanowski/Washington Monday, Nov. 23, 1998
Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, the rather whiny Clinton critic from MSNBC, did something unique to the evening: she engaged in self-mockery, with a long riff on television “pundettes"--"someone who says the same thing over and over and over, but never wears the same dress twice”—and then, even more bravely, actually sang a smoky number called The Pundette Blues.
11 December 1998, Washington (DC) Post, “The Reliable Source” by Ann Gerhart and Annie Groer, Style, pg. D3:
Caddell was invited by David Horowitz—whose Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles is a Dark Ages sponsor—along with Washington founders, lawyer Jay Lefkowitz and MSNBC pundette Laura Ingraham.
18 July 1999, Washington (DC) Post, “Okay, We’re Hopeless. See You Saturday?” by Jake Tapper, pg. B1:
Most recently, there was a column in George magazine by conservative pundette Ann Coulter with a headline that said, “When it comes to dating, Washington’s young male Democrats and Republicans have a lot in common. They’re dull, cheap and clueless.”
The Hillary Trap:
Looking for power in all the wrong places
By Laura Ingraham
New York, NY: Hyperion
West Coast leftist law professor Susan Estrich published a piece in Legal Times titled: “Sex Scandal Spawns Clinton-Bashing Peroxide Pundettes.” She was denouncing me and other conservative women for dissing her man Bill. Incredible!
("To Dye For: Sex Scandal Spawns Clinton-Bashing Peroxide Pundettes,” Legal Times, December 21, 1998, pg. 41—ed.)
The Obesity Myth:
Why America’s obsession with weight is hazardous to your health
By Paul F. Campos
New York, NY: Gotham Books
Ann Coulter had been a law school classmate of mine. The Lewinsky affair soon propelled her to the position of alpha female among a bevy of telegenic right-wing commentators; a group of conventionally attractive young women television critics had dubbed the “pundettes.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, October 30, 2009 • Permalink