Monday, November 9, 2009

We must get our news from many sources

Where do you get your news. Grandma always said that you ought to get your news from more than one source. Of course we all know that did not happen during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s while all the headline stories were filtered down from the New York Times by Satellites called CBS, NBC and ABC and a variety of magazines.

Unfortunately, while America has consistently stayed right of center, the New York Times has remained left of center. At times the Times even seems to be left of left of center, which means it was out of touch with the mainstream. However, for people like you and me who are fiends for absorbing information, what choice did we have?

Thanks to the likes of Ronald Reagan and his getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh who was the first to benefit from Reagan's bold move, William F. Buckley Jr. and his National Review, an array of conservative books that finally made their way on the market in the 2000s, and now Fox News, we now have outlets for getting the rest of the news.

We can go back to the annals of history and listen to Walter Cronkite as he told Americans that we ought to get our of Vietnam, and we Americans trusted him so much we believed him at his word. The news he gave us we saw it as fact. Few of us dared to say, "Is the news you are giving us all the news."

Thankfully there were those who asked these questions, and I mentioned them above. Thanks to them we can now flip through the news channels on cable TV, and click through the Internet, and get every angle of every story. No longer do we have to rely on one reporter. No longer do we have to rely on one news outlet.

I wrote about this before and I'll say it again. I remember when I was in college my two best buddies were democrats. When we were debating they would tell me to prove what I was saying. Then they'd say, "Hey, what I was telling you was in the Detroit Free Press. Now prove your point of view. Prove that higher taxes cause recessions."

I had no outlet. Now I do. Guys like Rush Limbaugh became popular because voices like his were muffled in the past by socialists who ran the country, and they no longer are muffled. That's why programs like his are so popular, because there were a lot of people like me who dared to question the media. There were a lot of people who's voices Rush gave credence to.

The same can be said of Fox News. Fox News, which I believe has replaced the New York Times as the most powerful news outlet, gives credence to the voices not represented by the New York Times (which just laid off a bunch more workers).

To be honest, I love Rush and Fox News. However, I do not get all my news from them. In the morning I watch the Today show. Sure the Today Show Gang tends to call conservatives "controversial" and liberals democrats. Sure the Today Show Gang tends to quiz conservatives harder than fellow liberals. Still, there's some pretty useful information obtained from that show.

Then, if I continue watching TV, I watch CNN. The only time I watch Fox is in the evening when Glenn Beck is on. I love that show. That show has grown from nonexistent a few months ago to the #2 rated news show behind The O'Reilly Factor.

Giving credence to the conservative voice, the voice that represents traditional American values and capitalism, has almost forced Americans to flock to Fox. In fact, most of the shows on Fox in the evenings (including Glenn Beck) nearly have higher ratings than all its competitors combined. If that's not telling of how conservative this nation is then what is?

It's important, however, not to get rid of the other news outlets. We need to continue to get all the news, and the only way to do this is for an array of journalists to ask an array of questions from every angle possible. That, my friends, is what every single news outlet should do. Yet, as the New York Times has taught us, we are all victims of our own biases.

So, as grandma says, we should all continue to read, listen and watch as much as we can from as many news outlets as possible, and never stop questioning the news and then source.

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