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TV—toxicity—turned on me—now what?


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It is absolutely not 'sorta' what she said. She said absolutely no such thing and didn't come within miles of it. Where in her post are you getting that from? Where does she call for taking down any n

I feel like there's some false equivalences happening here. Having overbearing, strident views and expressing them in a rude way can happen on any side of the political landscape. And does.

To me, someone thinking that there is a deep state where former presidents and first ladies traffic kids for s*x through pizza restaurants and that hundreds of judges, state officials, and corporation

Just now, Plum said:

So looking at this chart, 

a) I feel pretty good about my personal sources, so yay for me.

b) I'd say Fox News-TV does not really have a left-bias counterpart - media-wise (TV news media & news-entertainment shows) I'd say the counterpart is CNN-TV, which rates much higher in reliability and lower in bias than Fox News on this chart. Online sources can be as biased and unreliable, but I don't know anyone who reads Occupy Democrats for hours daily; I do know quite a few people who watch Fox News or CNN for hours daily. 

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5 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

So looking at this chart, 

a) I feel pretty good about my personal sources, so yay for me.

b) I'd say Fox News-TV does not really have a left-bias counterpart - media-wise (TV news media & news-entertainment shows) I'd say the counterpart is CNN-TV, which rates much higher in reliability and lower in bias than Fox News on this chart. Online sources can be as biased and unreliable, but I don't know anyone who reads Occupy Democrats for hours daily; I do know quite a few people who watch Fox News or CNN for hours daily. 

MSNBC seems to me like it would be a counterpart. 
 

ETA I’ve become a fan of WGN News Nation Now. Just boring facts. 

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9 minutes ago, Plum said:

Yes, I suspect most of us are familiar with that or similar media bias ratings. But that's not really the question. It's more -- Is there a media source that has the same level of influence over those on the left as Fox News does on those on the right? If that source is identified, then we could get into whether or not it's as (un)trustworthy as Fox News. But I don't think it exists.

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I think there is a difference between bias and pushing things that simply aren't true. There are left-leaning media sources that are biased. I read WP and NYT regularly, and I think they are slightly biased to the left. However, they try and be factual, even if biased, if that makes sense. You aren't getting a full picture, but the part of the picture you are getting is factual. I don't think there is a left equivalent to FN on cable or regular TV in terms of pushing things that are simply not true. There are certainly plenty of websites though, goodness knows. Lots of wacko left pages.

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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

Yes, I suspect most of us are familiar with that or similar media bias ratings. But that's not really the question. It's more -- Is there a media source that has the same level of influence over those on the left as Fox News does on those on the right? If that source is identified, then we could get into whether or not it's as (un)trustworthy as Fox News. But I don't think it exists.

I think it’s a problem when, as a whole, one side is more widely and fully represented than the other. That all by itself creates the sense of being an underdog or not equally represented and only feeds the Fox crowd.  

Look at the gap between middle and skews right. It drops straight into hyper-partisan. Whereas the Left leaning media bias chart has many more to choose from in a wider range. 

 

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10 minutes ago, livetoread said:

I think there is a difference between bias and pushing things that simply aren't true. There are left-leaning media sources that are biased. I read WP and NYT regularly, and I think they are slightly biased to the left. However, they try and be factual, even if biased, if that makes sense. You aren't getting a full picture, but the part of the picture you are getting is factual. I don't think there is a left equivalent to FN on cable or regular TV in terms of pushing things that are simply not true. There are certainly plenty of websites though, goodness knows. Lots of wacko left pages.

Speculation and opinion isn’t factual though. That is one of the problems with cable news. It’s opinion, not straight news. Just look at the amount of speculation coming out of any 24 hour news channel after a major event. Many of us have been trained now to tune them out until at least a day or two after that event when legitimate verified information has been released by authorities because they speculate and trip all over themselves to be first. Do they retract anything? No. Because it’s all opinion and speculation, which is not fact-based, it’s entertainment-based. 

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The fact that there's a whole crowd of popular left-leaning media vs. one popular right-leaning one means the left-leaning media likely has more influence than Fox, or at least not less.

The optics of the whole gang of left-leaning media vs. Fox are interesting.  But Fox is the bully apparently.

Fox isn't totally right biased either.  They have been bought into by liberal interests, and that does come through in some of their reporting.  Which is why some people look for an even more right-biased info source.

MSNBC is patently ridiculous, but I never see anyone comment on that here.  Only Fox has that dubious distinction.

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7 minutes ago, Plum said:

I think it’s a problem when, as a whole, one side is more widely and fully represented than the other. That all by itself creates the sense of being an underdog or not equally represented and only feeds the Fox crowd.  

Look at the gap between middle and skews right. It drops straight into hyper-partisan. Whereas the Left leaning media bias chart has many more to choose from in a wider range. 

 

I could understand a jump to hyper-partisan as a response (which is shown as going to the right on the chart). I don't understand the jump to non-factual (which is shown as going to the bottom on the chart). Why would feeling like an underdog lead to "selective, incomplete, unfair persuasion, propaganda, or other issues" (where Fox News-TV is situated on the y-axis)?

 

1 minute ago, Plum said:

Speculation and opinion isn’t factual though. That is one of the problems with cable news. It’s opinion, not straight news. Just look at the amount of speculation coming out of any 24 hour news channel after a major event. Many of us have been trained now to tune them out until at least a day or two after that event when legitimate verified information has been released by authorities because they speculate and trip all over themselves to be first. Do they retract anything? No. Because it’s all opinion and speculation, which is not fact-based, it’s entertainment-based. 

But according to this chart, the left's speculation and opinion TV networks are decidedly more factual than Fox News. MSNBC shows as slightly more than 1 grid more factual than Fox News. CNN is a hair over 2 grids more factual. They are all in the "Yellow Zone", but I don't know if you can "both sides" this issue. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I just got off the phone with my mother (who is not the woman I referenced above). The woman recently went off on my sister and my mom as well. 

So, on one hand I am relieved it’s not just me. On the other hand, my mom also sees no signs of a mini stroke or other organic cause. She attributed it to her watching more tv than usual because of covid. She is essentially home alone with her tv a lot.

I have traditionally been one of the ones who has helped her in a crisis (staying in her home for a week or two post-surgery, etc.) because she is a widow with no children, but I don’t think I could do that right now. I am down to deal with hallucinations, repetitive conversation, truly odd ideas, quirks, and total nursing care (all things we have done with other family members) but not the vitriol.... I think I just need to grieve the relationship we once had...this is what today feels like, a loss of a person I knew and much loved. The woman yelling at me today was not really her. 🥺
 

 

Since you mention that this relative is a widow/no children, is she holding an inheritance over your head when she is ranting at you and threatening to disinherit you?   I'm sorry your relative has put you in this position, especially now that your children have seen her in action.

I haven't been in your situation, but I'm a practical person and might confront the person with what her future could look like.   She may never change her attitudes, but maybe someone needs to rattle her cage and let her know that she may end up having to move to assisted living, a nursing home, or have a visiting nurse come into her home at some point.  Does she think she's going to get to choose other residents, her nurses, etc.?  How is she going to relate to people around her?   Is she going to be a racist loudmouth around other people?  You could tell her that you're worried about her ability to relate to others and form positive relationships with people she may have to depend on who aren't family and aren't going to look the other way/try to change the subject when she gets going.   

And if she only wants to talk about tv, I'd jump in and talk about the commercials for charities like St. Jude and other places that help sick and hurting people and animals.   If she has no empathy for children with cancer, etc. then she's a lost cause and I'd tell her so.  

 

 

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No, I don’t plan to inherit anything at all. The funds will go elsewhere, to people less involved in her care. This hasn’t ever been about money. She has plenty of it, but for me this was about making sure another human being is being cared for, both emotionally and physically. 
 

She will go to assisted living when she can no longer drive, when she is wheelchair bound, when she needs skilled nursing or when her memory goes. She previously held herself together socially when she was seeing friends daily. Don’t know if she still is or not—hence my querying family about if they had seen this also. 
 

I really don’t want this convo to turn partisan and divisive. 

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This thread reminded me of the documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad, streaming on Amazon. The filmmaker explores the change in her father and in her parents' marriage after the dad starts watching Fox and listening to right-wing talk radio, and then after he stops. A couple things that struck me were that he was a Democrat beforehand, and that he no longer ate lunch with his wife, because he wanted the TV or radio on and she didn't want to hear it. Seemed like a metaphor for what's happened nationally with echo chambers, polarization of political views and fewer conversations and in-person connections between people with differing views. 

All that to say--I think TV, radio and now social media have a lot to do with it. 

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3 hours ago, livetoread said:

I think there is a difference between bias and pushing things that simply aren't true. There are left-leaning media sources that are biased. I read WP and NYT regularly, and I think they are slightly biased to the left. However, they try and be factual, even if biased, if that makes sense. You aren't getting a full picture, but the part of the picture you are getting is factual.

I like to use Media Bias Fact Check to check sources, because it has a detailed review of how factual the source's reporting is, not just the political bias. I highly recommend it. It's helpful to know bias, but it's even more important for me to know how factual what I'm reading is likely to be.

 

3 hours ago, SKL said:

Fox isn't totally right biased either.  They have been bought into by liberal interests, and that does come through in some of their reporting.  Which is why some people look for an even more right-biased info source.

MSNBC is patently ridiculous, but I never see anyone comment on that here.  Only Fox has that dubious distinction.

I admit I'm curious what the liberal bias is at Fox, but I don't know if we can discuss that here. I think a difference between MSNBC and Fox is one of scale and scope of influence. I don't think MSNBC has anywhere near the viewership that Fox does (I've almost never watched it myself), and I think a large percentage of people who lean liberal recognize it as being biased. CNN too for that matter, even though they're not as far left. All the left leaning people I know acknowledge CNN as a biased source for news, though sometimes entertaining, and mostly use it as a TV option if looking for in-the-moment reporting of an event as it's happening. Yet it still has a much better track record than Fox as far as being factual goes.

 

eta: I decided to look for statistics, and there's actually been a huge shift this past month. For the first time, Fox now trails (maybe due to the perceived new "liberal interest" @SKL mentions? In any case, "Fox News’ daytime viewership fell 17% from a year ago, while CNN’s rose 176% and MSNBC’s went up 90%. "

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewster/2021/02/03/fox-news-january-slump-network-finishes-behind-cnn-msnbc-in-viewership-for-first-time-since-2000/?sh=673d4762614c

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Without having read the other posts and going based just on the OP....

 

When someone makes a statement that you feel could be politically charged...avoid and or agree.  Pretend you don't know where they are going with it and take it somewhere else.

 

A statement like " glad your kids aren't in school right now" to me clearly signals that this conversation is heading towards a minefield.  In non covid times, it might not have, but right now...yeah, to me, the red flags are all over the statement.

 

SO...don't ask the clarifying questions.  Just presume the most neutral stance possible  "Yeah, me too.  We love homeschooling and and I am so glad we can just keep continuing as we were."  Or something as similarlly innocuous as possible based on what you know about the person.

 

It used to be impolite to discuss politics or religion.  The reason was that it was known to devide people sharply.  The politics are different now and the religion is different now too, and those things can make it tough to figure out what might be a politics discussion or a religion discussion.  But if you think one might be coming in any way shape or form......just avoid.  Pretend you don't know that they are trying to push buttons.  As believeably as possible of course...."pass the bean dip" doesn't literally mean 'yeah, I am glad too, can you pass the bean dip, I love this stuff do you have the recipe'

 

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5 hours ago, SKL said:

The fact that there's a whole crowd of popular left-leaning media vs. one popular right-leaning one means the left-leaning media likely has more influence than Fox, or at least not less.

The optics of the whole gang of left-leaning media vs. Fox are interesting.  But Fox is the bully apparently.

Fox isn't totally right biased either.  They have been bought into by liberal interests, and that does come through in some of their reporting.  Which is why some people look for an even more right-biased info source.

MSNBC is patently ridiculous, but I never see anyone comment on that here.  Only Fox has that dubious distinction.

Fox does bill itself as the most watched cable news network, I don’t know how that compares to the other major contenders either separately or combined in terms of viewership. And except MSNBC, none of the others are rated even remotely as biased as Fox and all are rated as significantly more reliable, so I think that and its large audience is why it gets more criticism. (I mean I’ve never even heard of any of the left leaning sources that fall in the same spot on the chart as Fox, let alone used them). I’ve definitely seen MSNBC mentioned on these boards as very left biased. Left leaning sources that are considerably less biased and more reliable than Fox are actually regularly called out on these boards for bias (e.g. NY Times). I personally don’t watch or listen to any news.

I’m actually just as concerned about right wing talk radio as any TV network. Personally, I think it’s a cancer on our country that was a major source of division and anger before all of the other media and social media sources contributed their share. I once watched a great documentary short that featured two WI legislators, an R and a D. They were lamenting how in their state there used to be lots of bipartisan working together, but both put the blame squarely on right wing talk radio for destroying that cooperation.

And I honestly don’t understand choosing and supporting a know very biased source (like Fox or something more extreme because it’s not biased enough! MSNBC, or talk radio) as one’s primary source of news. Sure it can be interesting to see other perspectives, but why would someone not want the least biased and most factual sources as their primary one(s), regardless of medium?

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9 minutes ago, Frances said:

Fox does bill itself as the most watched cable news network, I don’t know how that compares to the other major contenders either separately or combined in terms of viewership. And except MSNBC, none of the others are rated even remotely as biased as Fox and all are rated as significantly more reliable, so I think that and its large audience is why it gets more criticism.  I’ve definitely seen MSNBC mentioned on these boards as very left biased. Left leaning sources that are considerably less biased and more reliable than Fox are actually regularly called out on these boards for bias (e.g. NY Times). I personally don’t watch or listen to any news. I’m actually just as concerned about right wing talk radio as any TV network. Personally, I think it’s a cancer on our country that was a major source of division and anger before all of the other media and social media sources contributed their share. I once watched a great documentary short that featured two WI legislators, an R and a D. They were lamenting how in their state there used to be lots of bipartisan working together, but both put the blame squarely on right wing talk radio for destroying that cooperation.

And I honestly don’t understand choosing and supporting a know very biased source (like Fox or something more extreme because it’s not biased enough! MSNBC, or talk radio) as one’s primary source of news. Sure it can be interesting to see other perspectives, but why would someone not want the least biased and most factual sources as their primary one(s), regardless of medium?

I whole-heartedly agree about talk radio being a cancer. Marriages have ended because of it. 

I have shared this before, but it’s worth saying again: years ago I listened to Dr. Laura daily. But I had an epiphany one day and I realized that that show brought out a condescending and superior part of me that was making me less happy and more judgmental. Every day, I was reveling in my self-righteousness because I was also “my kid’s mom”. So between that and hearing her cut a couple people to ribbons who did not deserve it made me quit listening to the show. Her books were also garbage because they were just a re-hashing of all her self-righteous, philodoxical bloviating. 

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In terms of the leftist media that's "as bad" - I agree that there's not a TV equivalent, but some of the stuff that trails the left side of the media bias chart is incredibly widespread among my liberal bubble and it's maddening to me. Occupy is every bit as obnoxious as it's opposite equivalents up there.

One of the things that happens on both sides of that chart is that the farther out and down you go, the more it becomes about outrage and not about solutions. Like, ProPublica writes about things from a left slant for the most part, and writes about things that could make you furious if you care about the issues involved at all. But it's detailed wonky in the reeds of a specific problem reporting most of the time. And it's about very specific stuff. It's never just outrage culture. And if they're writing a lengthy piece involving policy, they're going to quote experts who discuss specific strategies and reasons that things aren't working or went wrong and what is working or could work or best practices. When you look at the stuff on the tails there, it's just saying "X was bad. Bad things are BAD. The other side is ruining EVERYTHING and they ALWAYS WILL." Well, that's useless, thanks very much.

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6 hours ago, Plum said:

I think it’s a problem when, as a whole, one side is more widely and fully represented than the other. That all by itself creates the sense of being an underdog or not equally represented and only feeds the Fox crowd.  

Look at the gap between middle and skews right. It drops straight into hyper-partisan. Whereas the Left leaning media bias chart has many more to choose from in a wider range. 

 

But perhaps that is because of what people on the right prefer and are choosing to support with their $, clicks, and views. Is there a strong desire for a moderately right leaning, pretty factual TV or radio news source? I certainly haven’t seen it in any of the discussions on these boards, in fact, quite the opposite. There’s lots of criticism of MSM (which includes several media sources reliably rated center and factual and also some moderately right leaning), praise for right wing talk radio, defense of Fox News, and some not even willing to name their primary media sources.
 

Even with its strong bias and relatively low factual rating, Fox attracts a very high viewership. Some here have stated that Fox is becoming too liberal influenced and so people are moving to sources even further right (and even less factual?). Does right wing talk radio even have a true counterpoint on the left? It seems like the market is providing what people want and support.
 

 

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7 hours ago, livetoread said:

I think there is a difference between bias and pushing things that simply aren't true. There are left-leaning media sources that are biased. I read WP and NYT regularly, and I think they are slightly biased to the left. However, they try and be factual, even if biased, if that makes sense. You aren't getting a full picture, but the part of the picture you are getting is factual. I don't think there is a left equivalent to FN on cable or regular TV in terms of pushing things that are simply not true. There are certainly plenty of websites though, goodness knows. Lots of wacko left pages.

The Guardian has form, sadly, for pushing untrue things to a left-wing readership, often due to undeclared 'sponsorship' deals. (I am left wing/a Guardian reader).

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5 hours ago, Frances said:

 And I honestly don’t understand choosing and supporting a know very biased source (like Fox or something more extreme because it’s not biased enough! MSNBC, or talk radio) as one’s primary source of news. Sure it can be interesting to see other perspectives, but why would someone not want the least biased and most factual sources as their primary one(s), regardless of medium?

FTR I don't watch any TV news and I check a variety of online sources, but I want to address this question.

The left bias of all the other "legitimate" news sources is obnoxious to anyone who isn't a liberal wanting to hear his own views confirmed.  Just because some of what is spoken is technically true does not mean listeners are getting a realistic picture of what's happening.  It should be obvious that the selective "reporting" combined with slanted commentary is not serving those who just want to know what's happening.  I check CNN (web) periodically, and just the front page shows blatant bias, while certain important happenings don't appear there at all.  The idea that people who want to know objective facts turn to CNN is laughable to me.  Aside from these shortcomings, a lot of their reporting attacks conservative positions and individuals on a constant basis, so it shouldn't be surprising that conservatives don't enjoy a frequent diet of that.

Fox is just as biased, and most conservatives know it;, but without Fox, you'll never get the other side of any story.  Without the other side, how can anyone believe they are really informed?  Because CNN says so?

It would be awesome if the current climate of distrust of media spawns some truly trustworthy journalism somewhere.  I kind of doubt it will happen any time soon, but I'd welcome it.

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

FTR I don't watch any TV news and I check a variety of online sources, but I want to address this question.

The left bias of all the other "legitimate" news sources is obnoxious to anyone who isn't a liberal wanting to hear his own views confirmed.  Just because some of what is spoken is technically true does not mean listeners are getting a realistic picture of what's happening.  It should be obvious that the selective "reporting" combined with slanted commentary is not serving those who just want to know what's happening.  I check CNN (web) periodically, and just the front page shows blatant bias, while certain important happenings don't appear there at all.  The idea that people who want to know objective facts turn to CNN is laughable to me.  Aside from these shortcomings, a lot of their reporting attacks conservative positions and individuals on a constant basis, so it shouldn't be surprising that conservatives don't enjoy a frequent diet of that.

Fox is just as biased, and most conservatives know it;, but without Fox, you'll never get the other side of any story.  Without the other side, how can anyone believe they are really informed?  Because CNN says so?

It would be awesome if the current climate of distrust of media spawns some truly trustworthy journalism somewhere.  I kind of doubt it will happen any time soon, but I'd welcome it.

🙌🙌🙌 Agree

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57 minutes ago, SKL said:

FTR I don't watch any TV news and I check a variety of online sources, but I want to address this question.

The left bias of all the other "legitimate" news sources is obnoxious to anyone who isn't a liberal wanting to hear his own views confirmed.  Just because some of what is spoken is technically true does not mean listeners are getting a realistic picture of what's happening.  It should be obvious that the selective "reporting" combined with slanted commentary is not serving those who just want to know what's happening.  I check CNN (web) periodically, and just the front page shows blatant bias, while certain important happenings don't appear there at all.  The idea that people who want to know objective facts turn to CNN is laughable to me.  Aside from these shortcomings, a lot of their reporting attacks conservative positions and individuals on a constant basis, so it shouldn't be surprising that conservatives don't enjoy a frequent diet of that.

Fox is just as biased, and most conservatives know it;, but without Fox, you'll never get the other side of any story.  Without the other side, how can anyone believe they are really informed?  Because CNN says so?

It would be awesome if the current climate of distrust of media spawns some truly trustworthy journalism somewhere.  I kind of doubt it will happen any time soon, but I'd welcome it.

All of the other legitimate news sources (I take it you are only talking about TV news here) are left biased?!? That certainly doesn’t square with the charts posted. Many are center and highly factual, others are only barely left leaning. Sure, CNN and MSNBC are more biased (and I’m confused about why you were using CNN as an example as I never mentioned it and it is not one of the center or barely biased sources that are rated high on factual reporting I was referring to), but there are plenty of others including CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC, CNBC, etc. if one desires center or only slightly left leaning and highly factual. Personally, I don’t see how watching something highly partisan and rated so low on factual reporting like Fox makes one informed. If TV is the only option, then it would seem that choosing a center, highly factual source would be best (and no, I don’t mean CNN or MSNBC). If one wanted to get the story from “the other side” and was interested in facts, then they could choose another type of media. The market responds to what people support.

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Yes - watching/watched it happen over the past few years with several family members and many, many friend/acquaintances. At first, I was like, "Wow, I wish I wasn't following this person on social media so that I didn't know this about them," because the things they were saying/forwarding weren't things they had ever alluded to in real-life discussions.

As time has gone on, though, they freely talk like this now. It's abhorrent & I've culled many people from my acquaintanceship without regret.

With family, of course, it's much more delicate. But, we've pulled back in our relationships a LOT and shorten conversation times, etc. And when they say nonsense, we calmly respond with factual information and then tell them that we are changing the subject.

It's incredibly maddening. I want to pull the plug on everyone's cable and internet for 30 days for a detox.

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50 minutes ago, Frances said:

All of the other legitimate news sources (I take it you are only talking about TV news here) are left biased?!? That certainly doesn’t square with the charts posted. Many are center and highly factual, others are only barely left leaning. Sure, CNN and MSNBC are more biased, but there are plenty of others including CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC, CNBC, etc. if one desires center or only slightly left leaning and highly factual. Personally, I don’t see how watching something highly partisan and rated so low on factual reporting makes one informed. If TV is the only option, then it would seem that choosing a center, highly factual source would be best. If one wanted to get the story from “the other side” and was interested in facts, then they could choose another type of media. The market responds to what people support.

Who makes the charts?!?? Who are the enlightened ones who are making the determination of what is factual? It seems that a lot of people are kidding themselves believing they are “just a little left of center”.

Just out of curiosity...how many minutes of ((pick a Fox talking head—anyone except Hannity who’s never had an original thought in his life)) have you actually listened to—with a curious mind. Because if you are only hearing brief sound bites played by Maddow or Cuomo or another “left leaning” (I feel I’m being very gracious here) talking head, then you are missing so much. This is why I force myself to listen to the talking heads with whom I am completely at odds.

I’m thankful for Fox.

Note: I will not hesitate to call out a conservative talking head when I think they are wrong. I nearly lost my mind over what many of them were saying at the beginning of the pandemic. I am NOT a sheep. But if you think that CNN and the NYTimes are “mostly factual” then...I just don’t know what to say about that. We are truly living a dystopian nightmare. These media charts have been posted on multiple threads like “just trust the chart.” “Don’t think any deeper than that.” I’ve played my hand here. I know I’m in the minority opinion, but we’ve hit rock bottom in this country. I’m just desperately hopeful that God will cause the scales to fall from our eyes—every one of us—that we might take a step back and not be SO convinced of our own rightness. I’m preaching to myself here to be clear. 

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Y'all talk like Fox news and CNN are the only news sources available. There's a whole bunch of news organizations at the top of that chart that are both factual and fairly close to neutral/unbiased. AP News, Reuters, UPI are all highly factual and pretty darn close to neutral. 

Why aren't you reading news there if you "just want to know what's happening"?

 

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11 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Y'all talk like Fox news and CNN are the only news sources available. There's a whole bunch of news organizations at the top of that chart that are both factual and fairly close to neutral/unbiased. AP News, Reuters, UPI are all highly factual and pretty darn close to neutral. 

Why aren't you reading news there if you "just want to know what's happening"?

 

The chart! Ha! I think a lot of journalists need to go back to elementary school and do those worksheets—you remember doing the fact vs opinion worksheets? Because I read from those sources, too. They aren’t much better. I subscribe to The Economist. Great publication, but I’ll be reading an article and run across just one sentence that clearly reveals an extreme bias. It’s like it seeps out of their pores and they can’t help themselves. That one sentence will give me pause as to the credibility of the writer/editors because in almost every case the sentence was completely unnecessary to the report. I see this in virtually every news outlet in existence. Bias has poisoned all of media imo. This is why I often find myself digging deeper looking for primary sources rather than relying on a Reuter’s piece. Sigh.

Edited by popmom
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On 2/3/2021 at 10:02 PM, popmom said:

Thank you for clarifying. I agree with you. Since I occasionally/rarely watch talking heads on both extremes of the political spectrum (not because I enjoy it or want to be outraged--I just like to keep up with their talking points and narratives), I have seen some of them who will no longer allow for discussions on certain policies topics, and instead just say, if you believe this you are a racist. Or if you voted for that/him/her, you are a racist. 

pardon the horrible grammar

 

Perhaps they mean, if you believe this or voted for that person, then you are voting for someone who enables racists. 

I know it is hard for some people to want to have discussions with people who are accepting of political figures who provide a platform for intolerance.  Maybe they aren't racist, but they are associated with them.

Edited by rainbird2
Late night incoherence.
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OP, we are dealing with a radicalized extracurricular teacher, so someone very close, but not a family member.  We had to let that person go.

I vote we prioritize civics and logic in schools across America.  Something has to change, and now. 

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12 hours ago, Plum said:

Daily Mail in the centre?  I would have said that that just reflects US vs. UK definitions, but if The Guardian skews left (I would agree with this) I don't think that the Daily Mail is in the centre.  Here's the ever-reliable Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Mail#Editorial_stance

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2 hours ago, popmom said:

Who makes the charts?!?? Who are the enlightened ones who are making the determination of what is factual? It seems that a lot of people are kidding themselves believing they are “just a little left of center”.

I agree with this.  But like many other things that are presented as "fact," the mere fact that there is a chart and the chart agrees with certain biases will give the chart complete credibility to people with those biases.

To answer other posters:

I used CNN for my example because some others upthread indicated CNN was the go-to source for most people who don't prefer Fox.  And it may be.

As for why not read WSJ or someone else high and center ... I am not sure (like I said, I don't watch TV), but maybe those are not as accessible to the TV watching crowd?  I know my mom is almost blind and my dad is dyslexic.  And others just like being able to turn on the TV and have it in the background while they do other things.  I know one educated person who keeps TV news on all day while she works.  She considers herself very informed because of all the "news" she is consuming.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Just because some of what is spoken is technically true does not mean listeners are getting a realistic picture of what's happening. 

I think this is what @Farrar is talking about.  There are facts.  There is commentary.  They are not the same thing.

At some point along the downward slopes of the charts, "reporting" becomes "blogging."  Media literacy can help us, our students, and civil society pinpoint the moment that reporting ends and commenting begins.  I had to giggle when I saw that Wonkette was defined on the earlier chart as a news site - obnoxious, profane, hysterical commenting it is indeed, but reporting?  Absolutely not.  Sites that represent themselves as news that are actually blogs are part of the problem, and when they are liked and followed via social media, are given a grotesque sheen of legitimacy.  Just because it might have "news" in the title does not a news outlet make. 

 

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3 hours ago, Frances said:

All of the other legitimate news sources (I take it you are only talking about TV news here) are left biased?!? That certainly doesn’t square with the charts posted. Many are center and highly factual, others are only barely left leaning. Sure, CNN and MSNBC are more biased (and I’m confused about why you were using CNN as an example as I never mentioned it and it is not one of the center or barely biased sources that are rated high on factual reporting I was referring to), but there are plenty of others including CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC, CNBC, etc. if one desires center or only slightly left leaning and highly factual. Personally, I don’t see how watching something highly partisan and rated so low on factual reporting like Fox makes one informed. If TV is the only option, then it would seem that choosing a center, highly factual source would be best (and no, I don’t mean CNN or MSNBC). If one wanted to get the story from “the other side” and was interested in facts, then they could choose another type of media. The market responds to what people support.

My radicalized-by-Fox-News relative is elderly and barely computer literate. She relies on TV (and some radio, I think) for her news. She used to love the ABC nightly news and I think she watched their morning show, too. And then she got hooked on Fox and now believes that ABC is totally liberal.

 

3 hours ago, popmom said:

 

Just out of curiosity...how many minutes of ((pick a Fox talking head—anyone except Hannity who’s never had an original thought in his life)) have you actually listened to—with a curious mind.

Years ago I watched a LOT of Fox. Almost every night I'd tune in. And I thought "wow, there's a lot of truth to what they're saying." But I did some critical thinking and thank goodness realized how very slick they are at sucking people in, and how very much there was that was incredibly, awfully wrong. With careful thought I realized how much overlap there was in the way they go about things and the way Rush Limbaugh does (yeah, I spent way too much time listening to him, too, but I don't criticize things without having some actual knowledge of them). I don't purport to be a Christian much anymore, but when dealing with my radicalized relative I very much have a "there but for the grace of God go I" feeling. Now my brush with it was during the Glenn Beck/Bill O'Reilly years, so maybe they've improved. But my guess--and from what I've seen while in restaurants and other public places in the before times--is they've gotten much worse. The only person on FN I have any respect for at all is Chris Wallace.

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3 hours ago, popmom said:

Just out of curiosity...how many minutes of ((pick a Fox talking head—anyone except Hannity who’s never had an original thought in his life)) have you actually listened to—with a curious mind. Because if you are only hearing brief sound bites played by Maddow or Cuomo or another “left leaning” (I feel I’m being very gracious here) talking head, then you are missing so much. This is why I force myself to listen to the talking heads with whom I am completely at odds.

I’m thankful for Fox.

My two cents: I used to watch Fox every morning (Fox & Friends) and watched another show or two (opinion news) at night, including O’Reilly, Greta VanSusteran and even Hannity, but I disliked Hannity from early on and rarely watched him. (I now find him completely unbearable.) I did watch those shows with a curious mind. I *thought* the point of those shows was to be “fair and balanced” and “the no-spin zone.” 

I started to realize a lot of stuff was happening in the world that I never heard or saw on Fox. For instance, I didn’t understand why many people hated Sarah Palin. I didn’t understand because I was only seeing/hearing good things about her. I also began to simply disagree with some of the positions put forth on those shows, i.e., same-sex marriage; I never could see what was the big deal about two adults of the same gender choosing to commit their lives to one another, just as I was allowed to do as a hetero.

I also started to realize that Fox & Friends constantly had stories on the same theme, over and over and over again, always shared like it was the worst grievance in the world. For example, there were constantly stories about someone who couldn’t have a Bible study club at their school/wherever, a request to remove a religious icon from a public space, or some perceived disrespect of the American flag. They started the “War on Christmas,” and told us viewers that we should be mad when stores capitulated to saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” It made no sense to me. I have known many Jewish people over the years and was very accustomed to saying Happy Holidays simply because it better carried the sentiment I wished to impart: have a happy time, no matter what your religious background. For years, I had given out two sets of Christmas cards, one with a specifically Christian sentiment and one without. To me, this was just being courteous of different beliefs. 

So. Didn’t mean to get so lengthy. But, for me, it was literally the fact that I *was* watching Fox with a curious mind that led me away from that channel. I also think it became more heavily biased over time. (Hannity used to be Hannity and Colmes, who represented the left-leaning view for “balance”. He retired, probably because he was sick of just being the punching bag.) 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

So. Didn’t mean to get so lengthy. But, for me, it was literally the fact that I *was* watching Fox with a curious mind that led me away from that channel. I also think it became more heavily biased over time. (Hannity used to be Hannity and Colmes, who represented the left-leaning view for “balance”. He retired, probably because he was sick of just being the punching bag.) 

I watched some of Hannity & Colmes back in my FN years. I honestly don't remember that much about Hannity, but Colmes--OMG. He seemed like a very nice person, but it was also glaringly obvious that he was just a milquetoast type prop so they could spew the "fair and balanced" nonsense. I haven't watched CNN in a long time because they used to (maybe still do) have Rick Santorum on for the same empty prop purpose and it irritated me too much. Give me a break. If a media outlet wants to represent both sides then do it legitimately, with people who are intelligent, articulate and who are actually allowed to have a voice. Say what you will about MSNBC's bias, but they do in fact have legitimate Republicans (Joe Scarborough, former Republican congressional representative, and Nicolle Wallace, former WH communications director for GWB spring to mind, there may be others) as some of their talking heads who have their own shows and therefore lots of "voice." They're both vehement never Trumpers, but they are also both very legitimate, traditional conservative Republicans. Charlie Sykes and Bill Kristol are regular contributors, George Will and Peggy Noonan are on occasionally. These are all people with a tremendous amount of traditional conservative Republican gravitas and credibility. They're intelligent and articulate their opinions well. Is there anything remotely resembling that on FN?

Edited by Pawz4me
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Still waking up and having my first cup. Here’s another chart from AllSides. I really like their app because they list 3 articles for each topic, each article representing L, R and Center. 
Their app has a print media bias list that show how they came to their result. 
 

https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news

 

6917A9D2-F9D1-4BD1-B6E6-3977581C96B5.jpeg

Edited by Plum
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Two other aspects to keep in mind are:

1. Conservatism is generally about maintaining tradition whereas progressivism is generally about change. (Yes, yes, I know it's much more complicated than that, but we can't get into the weeds for general discussion purposes here.)

2. Modern America is experiencing unprecedented rates of change in society. 

Older people are generally increasingly resistant to change the older they get because they're tired.  When you consider today's older person (someone in their 70s would've been born between 1951-1942) you'll see someone whose formative years weren't spent in rapid change compared to younger generations.  It's the Downton Abbey problem: rapid change unsettles the establishment. If those elderly people also live in regions of the country where traditionalism and conformity are more highly valued (like The South, The Midwest, and many rural parts of the US that have been slower to change) life today is a nerve wracking fright for them. All the things they're comfortable and familiar with are fading away or transforming, even in institutions like marriage, gender roles, gender identity, social norms, the role of religion in society, and layered on top of that mass media, transportation, communications, types of employment, etc. 

Someone already prone to being inflexible and adaptable is going to run as fast as they can to anyone talking about the good 'ol days and how all these changes will be the end of the world as we know it and possibly the end of the world literally. They already feel like it's the end of the world, so they want voices to tell them their feelings and fears aren't crazy. They want someone to do something about it from the top down and doing something about it looks like keeping it the same as it used to be.

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The most glaring problem that I see with these charts is that there is such a wide range of opinion. There should be a much tighter cluster in the top middle than there is. When we all get our facts/opinions from varying places that echo our world views then we are losing our connection to each other. 

Another thing that bothers me about those charts is the lack of trust in the audience. Facts are facts. Let the audience come to their own conclusions. Stop telling us what we should think. That’s why people can’t have normal conversations. That’s why critical thinking and civil discourse is dead. 

For some reason we must all have an opinion on everything whether or not we know something about it. So people run to the news source that most closely resembles their pre-conceived notions so they have something to regurgitate. It’s not okay to say I don’t know or I don’t have an opinion on that in this age of internet.

Media literacy is a pet project of mine and I find all of these changes both fascinating and truly disturbing. I don’t like teams. That’s what the Taibbi piece I linked upthread really shows about the media. It’s all about teams and not about finding the truth. It’s all about finding your niche audience and pandering to them. That’s why the top middle of the chart is not packed. 

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2 hours ago, Wheres Toto said:

Seems odd that Fox News is lower than OAN.

Not Fox News -- "Fox News: Daily Wire" which is a commentary/opinion show about the news, not news reporting. I missed that, too, the first time I looked at the chart. 😉 

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I was going to mention RealClearPolitics, and I'm glad to see it showed up in the chart above.  They're a news aggregator that seems to have a pretty good range of articles.  Their specialized services, including RealClearEducation, are interesting as well.  

Sites like these might not appeal to the OP's relatives, but since they cover a lot of stories that are often neglected in the overall din, I wonder if they might be a good resource for learning about current events topics that might bridge the gap.   In other words, when the person starts going on about X, one might say:

"Oh, hmm.  And did you hear about 'Y'?  I was really surprised to hear that."

So if the relative has some desire for drama or outrage (which seems to be the case for a lot of people), they get an opportunity to satisfy that to some extent, without the polarization.  

Just a thought!

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3 minutes ago, ElizaG said:

I was going to mention RealClearPolitics, and I'm glad to see it showed up in the chart above.  They're a news aggregator that seems to have a pretty good range of articles.  Their specialized services, including RealClearEducation, are interesting as well.  

Sites like these might not appeal to the OP's relatives, but since they cover a lot of stories that are often neglected in the overall din, I wonder if they might be a good resource for learning about current events topics that might bridge the gap.   In other words, when the person starts going on about X, one might say:

"Oh, hmm.  And did you hear about 'Y'?  I was really surprised to hear that."

So if the relative has some desire for drama or outrage (which seems to be the case for a lot of people), they get an opportunity to satisfy that to some extent, without the polarization.  

Just a thought!

I saw Real Clear Politics, too, on the charts. I wonder if they've been updated to reflect news sources in 2021. RCP has shifted from center to right in the last couple of years. I have a family member who insists he sees every side because he uses it, but when I've looked at RCP to see what he's seeing, I see primarily right viewpoints. There is very little from left-leaning news. I believe there was an ownership change a few years back that caused the change.

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2 minutes ago, Wilrunner3 said:

I saw Real Clear Politics, too, on the charts. I wonder if they've been updated to reflect news sources in 2021. RCP has shifted from center to right in the last couple of years. I have a family member who insists he sees every side because he uses it, but when I've looked at RCP to see what he's seeing, I see primarily right viewpoints. There is very little from left-leaning news. I believe there was an ownership change a few years back that caused the change.

That's interesting.  I was just coming back to say that, after taking another look, they seem a lot more sensationalist than I remember (it's been a few years since I followed them much).   They seem to be at least giving lip service to being "balanced," but they're focusing much more on hot-button issues.  This is disappointing.  

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36 minutes ago, Wilrunner3 said:

I saw Real Clear Politics, too, on the charts. I wonder if they've been updated to reflect news sources in 2021. RCP has shifted from center to right in the last couple of years. I have a family member who insists he sees every side because he uses it, but when I've looked at RCP to see what he's seeing, I see primarily right viewpoints. There is very little from left-leaning news. I believe there was an ownership change a few years back that caused the change.

Yes. The change has been very noticeable.

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A lot of the issues with the media are around editing and fact checking, but even more so around ‘common knowledge’.  

When the common knowledge of an entire editorial team does not include basic knowledge of large group teachings, history, beliefs, and/or assumptions, then the most stupid mistakes get by them and into their reporting, and they don’t seem credible because of this.  

I was interested to hear an NPR feature recently on the need to increase diversity in their reporting team in order to have more accuracy from a whole picture perspective.  There was no mention of trying to include in conservative voices or fundamentalist Christian ones or Republicans or rural ones or Midwestern ones—all of which are notably lacking to a large extent.  It was interesting to hear this show.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.

To the OP—it’s very hard, and you have to walk a fine line here.  I don’t think blasting anyone actually accomplishes anything except a feel good venting of spleen.  I don’t personally countenance racist talk in my presence without calling it out, and also I try to do so without sounding heated.  I prefer to be more productive than that.  

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20 hours ago, Plum said:

MSNBC seems to me like it would be a counterpart. 
 

This looks about right (correct 😆). And I do know someone who has tendencies to watch it non-stop, as do some Fox News viewers. It is my mom. And while we are on the same side politically (left leaning), she drives me nuts because she drops "Trump this, Trump that" into every. single. conversation. It's like yes mom, I agree. Can you pass the bean dip? Because when I'm having a nice day I don't like to be reminded of that guy. 

I lived in a red state for a long time so I had many republican friends. I would always cringe when certain friends brought up politics because I don't like to ruin my once a week meal at a restaurant. In fact, I often thought they would do it to goad me into an argument. But it occurs to me, it's not that these specific friends were republicans, it was that they watched Fox News constantly. So they thought it was perfectly fine to bring up politics whenever, since that's all they consumed day and night.  

The 24 hour news cycle has done awful things to our country, and it seems especially our elderly (my friends were older, one was semi-retired) who have nothing but time to sit around and be radicalized, right or left. They have forgotten what makes for polite conversation in the real world. IDK. 

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So, I watched the movie suggested earlier last night on amazon. It’s free, but with ads. I found the history of the rise of conservative media bit helpful. Some things came together in a personal timeline for me. I also found the interview with the advisor from Fox News helpful—talking about why they all use certain hand gestures, why they purposefully repeat stories, why words matter (estate tax v. death tax, etc.) and how anger—with its endorphin release—can be addicting.

I think people on both sides of the spectrum can find bones to pick with it, but there was some good meat there.

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