No, not the poorly done Bruce Willis vehicle from 2009. Today, the dog barks about the defining down of discourse through the use of "surrogates."
My personal experience with surrogate doping came from my days on CNBC. Since the fairness doctrine had been revoked (#GIK), either a second panelist or a follow up question was the accepted standard op when I appeared. I was generously compensated to give my views and the anchor always indicated my status as such. I can honestly say I never promoted a POV I did not fully endorse. I can also assure you that was not true of others in a like position as me.
Here's how: a phone call or email: Could you appear on- Insert Show Here- and say you don't like - pick Oil, S&P, Yen, 10 year Notes -here?? If you know me, I would rarely answer no to the latter, but certainly not if I was long/constructive. Many other guests in my position would accept the time slot and surrogate the predetermined viewpoint, take the cash and move on.
Today, the major networks (this post in response to a poor decision on CNN's part with a recent "contributor.") now regularly, nightly, always compensate a small gaggle of un-moored heads to spew a POV into the bandwidth under the cloak of diverse opinion. They often have weird pedigree's like "Former Communications Director of Such and Such" or "Former Adviser on Rush Hour Traffic To..." (If they're an expert on the subject why are they all former?) A confrontational delivery, goofy bow-tie or goatee, or southern drawl gets bonus points.
The truth is they are being compensated to spew their message as if clarifying the random ramblings of the POTUS. That is not journalism and no deeper understanding of an issue can be obtained by granting them a seat at the table. Their is a difference between a surrogate and a contributor that needs to be respected. These people are willing to prostitute themselves openly for the check. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of the surrogate vomit.
Here's a qualifying level for future Presidential candidates : if you need someone else to clarify your view through exaggeration, you're out.