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Thursday, December 15, 2005

From Comment to Column

The following is a comment I received in response to "Time to Vote". I'm posting it here, because Matthew, who runs A Pilgrim's Digression, asks some very good questions about the media. While our viewpoints on most subjects aren't the same, he's a very good writer. Check out his page.

I haven't watched MSNBC in awhile. I used to watch Chris Matthews but quickly grew tired of his wretched ignorance and stumbling, bumbling question style. I guess I excuse MSNBC this way: it's a counter weight to Fox. I'm sure you'd say the opposite: Fox is a counter weight to MSNBC! So it goes.

The way I look at the debate over the media is this: people who bother to watch the news, any news, these days, let alone actually read a physical newspaper or news website, are not mindless automatons being programmed for despair and defeatism by a pessimistic media. People who follow the news these days can think for themselves and decide for themselves what is fair and right
and accurate.

I am always astonished how Conservatives like Limbaugh and Hannity complain about us liberals and our supposed condescension to the American public. It seems far more condescending, to me, to assume that people who follow the news in a free, open society are so mindless that they can be easily controlled and manipulated by the media. On the contrary, I'd say. I know that mindless person isn't you, or me, or your readers or anyone else I know who is informed of the day's events. So who is he/she? I think that person is a straw man.

My response to the above "straw man" concept is that a person who is getting news from many sources is probably, as he said, not being manipulated by the media. However, if I'm a one source person, either left or right, I may well be. The example I used was the NY Times. If you read just them as your only newspaper, you would think that the public is disgusted by the GOP's corruption problem. However, if you read the Wall Street Journal also, you find out the public thinks both parties have a corruption issue.

What do you think about the media and it's influence?

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Blogger Lone Pony said...

One of the reasons I like reading your blog is the fact that you look at different sources and then give your opinion. Another reason is that you don't get all radical and condescending about it. You're fair and balanced. I had a guy get upset with me because I read NewsWeek. I've started reading different sources while trying to keep their positions in mind.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Freedomnow said...

Isn’t it silly that people will get upset at you for what you read? Controllers are at both ends of the spectrum.

I've had people get angry at me for reading the Fox News website and have had people berate me for reading the CNN site.

The fight for the control of information is disgusting. News should not used as a propaganda tool. I have to continually edit the Wikipedia site because Leftists persistently post false information to conform to their ideological beliefs.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Griz said...

Chris Matthews sucks!!!!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

LP - Hopefully not "fair and balanced" like Fox News :) Being condesending and belittling doesn't prove you're smart, it proves you are insecure in your arguements. It's also why I don't moderate comments or delete them (except in 2 very vile instances).

Griz, I agree.

Freedom- One of the reasons I don't take Wiki as serious is because anyone can edit it. It's neat to read, but I don't count on it as a reference because of the set up. Knockin' On the Golden Door, in the blog roll has a good write up on it from a few days ago.

News should try and be balanced, and while not every story has a good and bad side, when they do both should be pointed out.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Incidentally, I informed a couple of my liberal "fellow travellers" that you posted my comments here. Just two mild, reasonable friends. I did not cross post or otherwise invite massive retaliation against your site :-)

Thanks for giving me another forum.

8:13 AM  
Blogger DLW said...

I agree with Paul Musgrave that a lot of blog-reading is entertainment oriented where we want to read views similar to our own written well.

I'm less optimistic than Matt, in large part because generally I think that most USAmericans have pretty shallow habits for deliberating on political stuff. We try to force too many issues in too few boxes and rely on our ideological short-cuts too frequently and uncritically and therein fail to listen/love our neighbors.


8:39 AM  
Blogger DLW said...

Thanks for the comment CP, I think we can hope for more than venting from ourselves with blogs.

I think that the strengthening of our democracy and love of neighbor requires that we hope for more than that.

4:08 PM  

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