Monday, November 14, 2016

Sources Of News and Opinion

I will have comments about where I disagreed with Antifragile, but today is not that day.

I wish I had a neutral source of news, or especially of news commentary. 
I don’t have TV.  I hear some Boston radio, and even though that is largely sports radio, there is news at the top of the hour, and some political commentary, with even one conservative on the morning drive.  I listen to Howie Carr  very occasionally, but he is a corrective, not a general source.

Online, I see whatever the news boxes are at the bottom of the Bing site.  Those tend to have a liberal slant, but not extreme.  Similar to mainstream news, I think.  FB, we have established,  has a slant in it’s trending now, but a lot of that isn’t news, but personalities. I get lots of HuffPo, TPM, Truthout, and Occupy Democrat links there, though I seldom read more than the headline of those.  Sometimes, if the person posting it is generally reasonable, I will give those a whirl, and nearly always have Suspicions Confirmed almost immediately.  The question they are not asking, the mirror they are not looking at, the determined effort to hear nothing contrary – these are quickly apparent.  I voluntarily go over to Volokh Conspiracy, which gives me a sidebar of Washington Post articles, clearly quite liberal, and I seldom go beyond those headlines either. I go to my sidebar sites, which tend strongly to conservative and libertarian POV’s. (My obsessive nature tells me that should be P's OV.)  When I have time, and the political fit is on me, I will also hit Instapundit. My son follows NRO and sends me links or tweets them out.  I haven’t had any problems with stories turning out to be untrue, but I know that the basic design of those sites is to highlight stories that they think are underplayed in the mainstream media, and to comment from perspectives that are less-often heard.  They are trying to complete the picture, not be a complete picture themselves. is the completer of the completers for POV’s – a lot of people who have been kicked out of other venues. Most are some version of conservative (never neocon), such as Pat Buchanan, John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, but they had Alexander Cockburn, they’ve got some strongly anti-Israel, even anti-Semitic writers, at least two that I would say are alt-left rather than alt-right, they have some unclassifiables. I don’t ever go there for news, really, but I get there every month to stretch my own thinking, making sure I try the half-gainer with full-twist versions of the current discussion.  There’s an awful lot of interest there, even if one rejects the general conclusions of half the articles read.

Anytime I go to those sites which accord with my POV, my first thought is “Why are all these stories not bigger news? They would be news if the shoe were on the other foot. I didn’t see or hear anything about this on Bing/WP/radio/FB.” However, I can get the same impression going the other way when I have embedded in my usual sites too long.  I get to a CBS page and see stories that my sites have not carried. Not just general-interest or nonpolitical stories, but protests, assaults, foreign events, and controversial statements that the conservative/libertarian sites would certainly cover if that shoe were on the other foot.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I still check in at NRO, but Jay Nordlinger is the only one who mostly eschews politics in his writing.