As many of you know, I've been reaching out to republicans, trying to have respectful conversation about our differences in this very polarized political world we live in. In one of my most recent blogs, I wrote about how people of all political perspectives should make extra effort to be respectful of other's philosophies and beliefs, even as we may disagree significantly about how to govern the country. But it's hard to have a conversation if there are two sets of facts out there.
I was reading the Huffington Post the other day and of course there was the provocatively titled article that Fox news watchers are less informed. But if you read further into the article, you are presented with what I believe is actually more important: Those who watched MSNBC and FOX did poorly on questions about international and domestic news.
Other networks also did badly in some sections; MSNBC viewers and Fox News viewers both fared worse in answering international questions than people who watched no news. - Huffington Post
According to a follow-up survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMindTM,
NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets,while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge….Ideological news sources, like Fox and MSNBC, are really just talking to one audience,” said Cassino. “This is solid evidence that if you’re not in that audience, you’re not going to get anything out of watching them.” - Fairleigh Dickinson University study press release
The important part of the quote above is that ONLY watching ideologically based news programs doesn't give you the full picture of the happenings of our world! Too many people are watching or listening to material which only bolsters their own personal views. Personally, this bothers the crap out of me!! When I want to get information, a lot of times I get OPINION and editorial. I want the facts of the situation. In the past, with only the three main networks providing news, all could basically agree on what was actually happening domestic and internationally. News organizations were not, generally speaking, the profit driven agencies they are now. The big three anchors were trusted to give accurate reports. Shows such as 60 Minutes and Nightline told you in depth what was going on, and Meet the Press and This Week with David Brinkley fleshed out the political implications of the news of the day.
When FOX news launched it's right-wing leaning programming and started winning ratings, MSNBC came out with a primarily left-ist agenda. This served to make "non-partisan" news to create even more adversarial based media to attract viewers. I wrote my song, Talkin Like You Know because I was getting confused, angry, and frustrated with "news" channels reporting stuff that didn't feel like the truth. It didn't feel like it was informing but rather entertaining people's love of a good fight. Media today feels like one big op-ed page.