A fellow parent in my neighborhood was telling me that she relies on Fox for most of her news and information. I said “What the *#@&!?” We had a cordial discussion and the following day she sent me an email with some news stories.
This got me thinking that, although we all know that consuming food at McDonald’s is vastly different than consuming food at Santa Monica’s Real Food Daily, many people never compare their news sources with other vendors.
Below is an excerpt from my reply email to my dear neighbor. I excluded some of my favorite progressive news sources. Here’s the excerpt:
Regarding news and information: News has become an obsession with observing sordid or sensational stories, but I don’t believe that this is news. This is voyeurism and negatively affects the mind and our relationships with others. Try answering the questions “What is news?” and “Who is promoting the news that I like and that I think is important?” Your news source is important.
Distinguishing fact from opinion is important. I can find Fox News entertaining, but it is just that…entertainment, not news. They take facts and then flavor and intentionally skew information for their own agenda…a common practice of not just Fox.
Everyone knows that Fox and MSNBC’s goal is to promote partisan ideology. What has diminished Fox’s reputation is that Fox promotes itself as an unbiased news source. If a democrat said to you “I have no interest in promoting the idea that government regulation can help and protect people. I just want to give you unbiased information.” You’d laugh and say, “Who are you kidding?”
Fox has lost credibility over the years by openly promoting the republican agenda and at the same time claiming to be unbiased. However, if you like hearing the republican or democratic prospective, there is Fox and MSNBC. But for either to claim an unbiased perspective is itself a dishonest practice. Fox and MSNB are good places to go if a person wants to hear opinion and the thinking behind an ideology.
My suggestion is this: First, using Fox News and some of the links below, go to the lead pages and look at the stories that the sites are promoting. What are the editors choosing to promote? Who is promoting better news stories?
Then, find a story from Fox News and then find the same story from one of the suggested links. Read both and then ask yourself these questions: “Which story was less emotional and got straight to the facts?” “Which has better facts?” “Which article is promoting an opinion and which article is leaving it to you to form an opinion?”
Here are some good links to information where, mostly, you will get a variety of views and, mostly, good facts. These are in no particular order:
http://www.democracynow.org/ (Very left leaning, but a good source of information.)