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The Evening News And Your Local Newspapers


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What's wrong with them?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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The evening news -- national news -- can be tedious, but I've always liked NBC's local news in the D.C. area. I guess I got hooked at an early age by George Michael's sports and Arch Campbell's movie reviews. It wasn't until college that I realized Arch and I have, ahem, different tastes. I stopped watching local news for several years but resumed regular viewing in the past few years, and found, sadly, that weather forecasts get more time each hour than sports and arts combined. Probably more than the national news, too. D.C. is weather-hyper.

So I usually flip to "The Simpsons."

As for local papers, The Washington Post is the best newspaper in the country (yes, I'm factoring in the New York Times), and the Washington Times is unbeatable if you want to read stories by writers who actually understand conservatism. Otherwise, you're out of luck, at least locally. It's telling that the Post's deficiency in that area isn't enough to topple it from its peak.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I know the Washington Times. Pretty much all conservative writers over there. The Washington Post? Pretty much all liberal writers over there. Christian, would you categorize the papers or the news (in general) in either of these categories? If you do? Are these the problem? Is there EVEN a problem?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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I know the Washington Times.  Pretty much all conservative writers over there.  The Washington Post?  Pretty much all liberal writers over there.  Christian, would you categorize the papers or the news (in general) in either of these categories?  If you do?  Are these the problem?  Is there EVEN a problem?

Yes, I've used those respective terms to describe both papers, but the Post can surprise me from time to time. Their editorial page, for instance, was for the Iraq war -- a position that drove many Post readers crazy, and which continues to raise suspicions in terms of how the editorial writers might or might not be influencing the national news coverage in the Post. Just read the Post's Sunday ombudsman column from this week, and several earlier columns, for a taste of the ongoing debate. The editorial page was also very tough on Clinton, even as they expressed equal (maybe more than equal) disdain for Ken Starr.

Sure, the Post comes across as liberal in many areas, but I no longer expect my news coverage to be slant-free. After years of listening to journalists defensively espouse their dogma of objectivity against accusations of bias, I simply grew tired of the debate and chose to read as many sources of news as I could, holding fast to that which was good (so to speak) and ignoring the other stuff.

The Washington Times is obviously conservative-leaning, just as the Fox News Channel is. I don't like to argue that either is "fair" or "balanced." What's the point? I do think they can be more fair, at times, than mainstream papers and broadcast outlets, but at other times, I think they're less fair. So I don't argue. I just watch what interests me, and read newspapers that tell me interesting things, in interesting ways.

Implied in your question is the fact that newspapers and broadcast news are about more than just politics. They cover sports, entertainment, business. The Washington Times is a little lacking in its entertainment and business coverage -- areas where the Post excels -- but its national news (which it's best known for) can be top-notch, and its sports columnists are criminally underrated and under-read. Plus, its local Metro section breaks stories all the time that the Post misses. And it's nice, in the middle of a tax debate in my state of Virginia, to read stories about the upcoming legislative battle over tax hikes that don't assume that tax hikes are are necessary and responsible -- something that the Post hammers on repeatedly, through the sources it uses (always moderate Republicans, if they both to quote the GOP at all) or its repetition of the unvarnished code words of the current Democratic governor (it's tax "reform," not a tax "hike" or "raise").

So, yeah, I get tired of some of the spin in the Post, but other times it can be refreshingly honest, even when I disagree with how a story is sourced, where it's placed, etc. The Times does what it does well, but the thing is ... I've been listening to conservative talk radio and reading conservative press for years and years, and frankly, some of the hot-button debates on social and fiscal issues just bore me nowadays. I can't be an angry white male forever, ya know? smile.gif

Frankly, my own apathy about media bias the past few years came as a surprise to me. Those conservative books -- "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg, and those Ann Coulter books -- and their ascendency into the publishing mainstream wasn't particularly gratifying for me, because I had tired of the debate over those issues by then. Plus, I can't stand Ann Coulter, who descends to the name-calling I find so reprehensible when directed against those with whom I agree on certain issues.

I hope this response doesn't come across as a slap in the face. I'm glad to answer any follow-up questions. I'm sure some of this longwinded response is confusing.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I can't be an angry white male forever, ya know?  :)

Hee, hee, hee... :mrgreen:

I hope this response doesn't come across as a slap in the face. I'm glad to answer any follow-up questions. I'm sure some of this longwinded response is confusing.

Not at all. I will have to get on it tmw because I have to hit the hay about now (been up since 11:20pm last night). Some very interesting points though. You say,

Sure, the Post comes across as liberal in many areas, but I no longer expect my news coverage to be slant-free. After years of listening to journalists defensively espouse their dogma of objectivity against accusations of bias, I simply grew tired of the debate and chose to read as many sources of news as I could, holding fast to that which was good (so to speak) and ignoring the other stuff.

I'm starting to take the view that the problem with the media is not bias, but rather we have TOO MUCH INFORMATION! Back on this tmw.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Actually, the Post isn't "all liberal writers" as you might think. While the Times sort of invented the "Op-Ed" page, it was Meg Greenfield, Op-Ed editor at the Post in the '70's that gave George Will his shot and he hasn't left. Now, Charles Krauthammer and others are also at the Post, as was the late, lamented Micheal Kelly.

My own news sources are no local TV news at all. I read the Detroit News (after the Wall Street Journal, the country's foremost conservative editorial page; weak on liberal op-eds though), and The Wall Street Journal. I watch Brit Hume and Chris Matthews for national TV news.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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