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The Echo Chamber

posted 3/7/2013 7:52:30 PM |
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I read a lot of Op Ed pieces in the NYT, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, including the conservative writers. George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks are all on my daily reading list. I rarely agree with their point of view, but they present reasoned arguments worth reading.

On the liberal side I read Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, Greg Sargent, Jonathan Capehart, and others. Again, they present reasoned thoughtful arguments.

I don't listen to liberal talk radio or watch MSNBC. Why would I? Do I need to immerse myself in an echo chamber to reinforce my views? Do I have to make sure I'm never exposed to something that might change my mind? Only people who fear ideas avoid those they don't agree with.

With that in mind, I ran across this article by Eric Erickson at redstate, the conservative blog. I'm not a fan, but his critique on conservative media (and of course, he's even less of a fan of the liberal media) reminded me why I don't like cable news or ideologically oriented blogs of the right or the left. Here's some exerpts, and a link to the entire article:

I think conservative media is failing to advance ideas and stories. Certainly part of that is because the general media has an ideological bias against conservatives, which makes it harder for the media to take our views seriously. But many conservatives are, instead of working doubly hard to overcome that bias, just yelling louder about the same things... It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion.

Conservatives are trying so hard to highlight controversies, no matter how trivial, we have forgotten the basics of reporting: W5 + H as I learned in grade school, also known as who, what, where, when, why, and how.

The “Obamaphone” is a great example of this. Conservatives laughed out loud at the video of the lady saying Barack Obama had given her a phone. Conservatives used it as an example of all that was wrong with the expansion of the welfare state under Barack Obama. What many conservatives missed was that the program was a pre-existing program. In fact, the “Obamaphone” idea goes back to the Reagan Administration, but the present program was implemented in 2008 when George W. Bush was President. Government funds are not even used directly.

Conservatives must start telling stories, not just producing white papers and peddling daily outrage. The stories we choose to tell should have all the information we need to be informed of facts and paint a picture of those facts’ impact.

Eric Erickson essay

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Mar 7 @ 8:18PM  
I don't watch a lot of cable news, CNN, MSNBC, or Fox anymore. I stick with local news, and I'll look things up on the Internet. And even then, it's hard to find anything that isn't "us verses them" in it's writing.

I just wish there could be reporting what is going on without the bias in the reporting.

Mar 8 @ 5:15AM  
I still get most of my news from the BBC and PBS. They tend to give the news and nothing but the news and leave the agenda for others,

Mar 8 @ 7:41AM  
I just wish there could be reporting what is going on without the bias in the reporting.

One of the hidden gems for news on the internet is the Christian Science Monitor. Don't let the name mislead you - it's not oriented toward religion. Just very straight-forward, in-depth reporting.

Christian Science Monitor

I still get most of my news from the BBC and PBS.

I agree. They go deep into each story and never feature two angry people shouting over each other.

Mar 8 @ 10:02AM  
Thanks Rhonda, I had forgotten BBC, and there is a channel on the DirecTV line up, Linked In, on 375, which will broadcast news from around the world. I find that to be very interesting to watch. I don't know if other satellite or cable carriers carry that channel, but it's a good source of news without the drama and bias too.

Mar 9 @ 11:37PM  
Unless it is sports talk, I have nothing to do with squawk radio normally. Now on trips through rural areas, I will sometimes get in dead zones to where it is only Dr. Laura, Slush Blimpblob, local talk, or country. Fortunately, those zones are few and far between, and becoming increasingly smaller I might take in Rush as comedy relief under those circumstances to stave off boredom

Mar 9 @ 11:49PM  
My home page is CNN. Almost all news sources do a good job of covering things that aren't political like weather disasters, airplane crashes, significant deaths, etc.

If I want to drill down into something, I have a lot of sources I can turn to, from local on the spot news links or other countries.

I am like TandS, I don't need anybody to spin the news, I can spin it myself and quickly figure out where to go to get more information. My last profession was as a research analyst in global business technology.

Usually it is cut and dry... Hugo Chavez died, Alvin Lee died.

Now on political issues, I can just go to the vanilla site read the blog and comments divide it by the number of comments and be pretty close to reality

That was attempted humor. If I am really interested I can find out what factual information I need in hurry to form my opinion armed with facts to bore others with it

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The Echo Chamber