It’s been a while since I have participated in FPQ even though I’ve always looked forward to it!
This week Fandango’s Provocative Question is as follows:
Where do you get most of your news from? Do you consider your primary news source (or sources) to be objective purveyors of truths and facts?
I admit to being a news junkie – or more accurately, an information nerd. I rely on a variety of media for news. I always watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and usually Lawrence O’Donnell right afterwards. Being on Central Time, these shows are on at 8 and 9 pm, respectively, not too late to then catch the local news at 10, followed by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. These news sources are somewhat subjective, but there is good analysis and an attempt to present more than one side of an issue.
When I’m working in the kitchen or on laundry, or when I’m alone in my car, I tune in to NPR on the radio. National Public Radio is the most objective news source, in my opinion. I hear various opinions on there, and I also like the stories people tell.
I also subscribe to a regional newspaper. The Daily Herald that I get covers the northwest suburbs. I like this newspaper because they have a mix of national and local news, as well as human interest stories. And I always turn to the editorial page and read the letters to the editor and the columns. It’s interesting to know what people feel compelled to write to the newspaper about.
However, I am alarmed at the plethora of sensationalist “news” outlets, online, on TV and the radio. Some of these media outlets perpetuate conspiracy theories that are completely outlandish and untrue. Yet, millions of Americans tune in to these media outlets and are indoctrinated into believing the mainstream press is “left-wing” and “fake news.” I am concerned with the millions of Americans who live in a seemingly alternate world when it comes to current events. I visualize it as a chasm, such as a fault after an earthquake. How does one talk to a person who thinks, for example, that Donald Trump really won the 2020 election and that Biden is illegitimate? It may seem ridiculous, but a lot of people do believe this, and what will this ultimately lead to in a country with a proliferation of semi-automatic weapons? We’ve already gotten a preview with the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. As long as there are Republicans and Donald Trump fanning the flames of these false narratives (even though they know better), and states “recounting” the ballots from the 2020 election, there will be plenty of people who think it is real.
It’s also sad, because many people have become so jaded about the news and about journalism in general. I have noticed that some of the commenters about this question on Fandango’s page express their complete disaffection with the news. I have great respect for journalists and am an advocate of a free press which is necessary for democracy to succeed. But with social media and the easy access to online “information” there are a lot of lies being perpetuated. And therefore many intelligent people just tune out completely. An apathetic or misled public is a very dangerous trend!
3 thoughts on “FPQ #120: All the News That’s Fit to Disseminate”
Did you see Rachel Maddow’s show tonight? It both depressed and scared me.
Yes, and yes. I see real trouble coming with all these voting restriction laws, Trump supporters who are brainwashed to believe the election was stolen and have lots of weapons seeing themselves as a “militia” against tyranny, and the “recounting” of ballots in several states to uncover “fraud.” It’s too bad, because I think Biden could be an excellent president. He’s trying to ignore all this right now – handing voting rights over to the VP to deal with – but I think dark times may be coming if there isn’t a forceful enough challenge to this trend.
I was disappointed with some of your commenters who said they don’t watch or read the news, because apathy can also be dangerous. We had apathy before and look where it got us. I don’t know what my role, or that of ordinary citizens, will be yet but I don’t think I’ll be able to stay out of the fray.
Keep watching, Fandango, and stay engaged even – or especially – if it is depressing or scary!
I, too, think that Biden could be an excellent president, but he needs to realize that he’s going to be blocked by Mitch McConnell and the GOP no matter how much he wants bipartisan support. And Merrick Garland needs to grow a pair and start going after these criminal Republicans.