Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Message control

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Isn't it funny how conservative radio, print publications and Faux News are always squawking about how the media isn't on their side? Are they serious? They are a big part of "the media."

The amazing thing is people listen to them and — not only do they believe every word — they repeat their talking points verbatim. When people do that, they make it obvious where they're getting their "news."

Here's a better idea: Try exploring several different types of news sources. Why? Because "the truth" everyone is seeking isn't going to be found on one station, in one paper or on one radio setting. "The truth" is likely a mixture of various points of view.

Check out some international news. Don't stop at the "World" section of the newspaper. Check out an actual international news source like the BBC, AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera and more. What are other countries concerned about today? What are they saying about America?

Spend some time with NPR, "Frontline" and "The News Hour" with Jim Leher. Notice how the commentators aren't screaming or being confrontational. That's because they're goal isn't to entertain, it's to inform.

Purposely seek news outlets you believe you'll disagree with. What are they talking about? Can you relate to their point of view?

Interested in a particular issue? Go to the library. Read a book. Heck, read two. Educate yourself on the issues. Don't assume any media outlet or personality has their facts straight. They might, they might not. But, how will you know if you aren't armed with facts? Note: An opinion is an opinion, not a fact.

And, here's a truth for you: We're all more alike than we are different. We all want the same basic things: Safety, a good job, a loving family, a healthy community.

So, what's all the shouting about? Stop bitching like belligerent children and start discussing the issues like grown folks intent on bettering the world for the next generation.

Why elide the fact that Sarah Palin is a darling of Fox News, the highest rated cable news network in America? Or that she is regularly defended by Mr. Limbaugh, famous television personality Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin, a nationally syndicated radio host whose latest book just ended a run atop the New York Times bestseller list? Or again, surely these savvy Sarah Palin defenders know that the editors of National Review and The Weekly Standard, tenured members of the political establishment, lined up behind her candidacy, and that Gov. Palin herself is a millionaire who enjoyed a six-figure family income before she ever took the statehouse—never mind the lucrative book contract and pricey speaking fees now available to her.

More from The Daily Beast.

Here's a preview of a documentary everyone should watch, "Out Foxed."

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