AShotAndaBeer's Blog

Politics, Firearms, and things that amuse me

Where Do You Get Your News?

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A new poll out by Politico and George Washington University Battleground asked respondents to rank their main sources of political news. Somewhat not surprisingly, cable news outlets are ranked at the top, with Fox News being the clear winner there. (Also included in those rankings are people who use those networks websites.)

From the Politico article:

The results of the poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 19 to Sept. 22 also reflect a trend that many commentators and media analysts find disconcerting: Voters are turning to media sources that reinforce their political worldviews rather than present them with more objective reporting that might challenge their assumptions.

Read more:

I don’t know so much about that. True, we often find outlets be they TV, Radio, or Internet that we like, or are convenient. I think, however, when it comes to websites, specifically outside the official sites of major media outlets such as your favorite news blogs, people want to find a ‘friendly’ crowd they can interact with in part of a discussion.

As for me, I am a total news junkie. I have news of some form, sometimes multiple forms, in front of me nearly every waking hour. And that generally includes a reasonable sampling of different outlets.

Driving to and from work, I have the local news/talk station on, as well as at my business all day. I also spend much time cruising various websites, interacting on Twitter and Facebook. If I had to pick one website that I had to call my favorite, it would be Hot Air. Other favorites include Michelle Malkin, and Ace of Spades.

The thing is, though, that nearly every one of them, at least reputable blogs, will link back to original sources, which are usually major media outlets, such as newspapers, newsmagazines and their websites, or cable news websites to name a few. For most, there are sections to leave comments, and discuss the article and the author’s findings with others.

I’ve also been known to cruise around so-called “left wing” sites such as the Daily Kos. I’m sure they think much the same thing about the sites I read, but I can’t take the illogical conclusions that are routinely drawn. Additionally, I would never be allowed to comment there, at least not more than once, before being ‘banned’ from posting.

Hot Air, on the other hand, has several on again and off again liberal commentors. If one wants to respectably argue a different point, they are allowed. Ed and Allahpundit don’t tend to ban access for differing views, only when a line has been crossed, such as standards of decency, advocating violence, or personally attacking/insulting other posters. Worth your time to check out, no matter which side you come from.

Additionally, I also tend to pay attention to some “mainstream” sources firsthand. I subscribe to and read the Kansas City Star, although I often get a week or more behind on it. I pay attention to the top-of-the-hour newsbreaks on the radio, in this instance from ABC. Also, we DVR and watch “This Week” on ABC on Sunday mornings; however, I usually end up telling MrsJamesLee to “Pause That!” before going off ranting at someone like Paul Krugman.

Overall, I think I get a reasonable sample of different sources. And if one breaks down, and checks back to original sources, as I encourage everyone to do each time I post a link for commentary, that can translate to a large cross section.

I think it’s good that more people are paying attention and keeping up with news. The more information one has at their disposal, the better decisions they can make in election years. Just be open, regardless of your personal views, and be ready to challenge and be challenged by sources that may be outside your comfort zone.

**Update** I think I should explain one other thing. One reason I am such a totally connected junkie to any sort of news now is related to September 11th, 2001.

At the time, I was working in an automotive shop with two other great guys, SgtK and D. For whatever reason, that day, there was no radio on in the shop, even though I tended to tune into talk radio, and tolerated the shock-jock morning rock DJs that nearly every other co-worker worshiped. StgK and D both liked country music, though, and for some reason, we didn’t even have a radio on.

So I’m cashing out a customer who is busy on his cell phone as I’m finalizing his bill. He slaps his phone shut, says “The north tower is down, the south tower is on fire, the President is in the air. We are at WAR!”

I sort of go along with it, thinking “sure… that’ll be $25.” After he pulls out, I decide to click on the lobby TV, only to see the complete coverage every channel is giving the horrific day we all remember. After that, there was no more business, which continued for at least three days while we all tried to take it in.

So I almost missed September 11th. For the sake of not having a blaring radio or mindless TV set going on an otherwise relatively pleasant workday, I nearly missed one of the most important moments in our modern lives.

I do not intend to ever “miss” anything like that ever again.

Written by James Lee

September 27, 2010 at 20:02

Posted in Uncategorized

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