Here’s a fun game I like to play. Each morning I check the top headline on three news sites… one which (arguably) leans left, one which (arguably) stays moderate, and one which (arguably) leans right.
CNN: “TURNING POINT – Travel ban fundamentally changes US history”
NYTIMES: “IMMIGRATION BAN PROVOKES CRISIS – ‘This Is Not About Religion,’ Trump Says of Order”
- A bit more factual, even if ‘crisis’ is strong language. One nice thing worth note is that the NY Times always lists some summary bullets beneath their major headlines, which hit on the major points of the article. Low clickbait potential if you can’t misread the headline as a result, I like that. Overall NYT’s pretty solid in presenting a mix of content without misleading silliness.
FOX: “TAKING AIM AT ‘TEARS’ – Trump defends extreme vetting travel order, chides Schumer and protesters”
- ‘Tears’ meaning Trump making fun of a Senator’s emotional reaction to the ban. Emotions are for wimps and commies! ‘Chides’ is also a fun word, isn’t it? You chide a naughty little child who’s too young to understand what real adults do. (CNN’s no better here, preferring ‘blasts.’ Liberals love ‘blasting’ people, apparently.) Anything that makes Trump’s critics look silly will be highlighted, every time. Can’t say I like this ridiculous alpha-male grandstanding they do any more than I like CNN’s constant state of absolute panic.
…but let it be known I’m not one of those hyperbolic ninnies who screams “FAKE NEWS!” at everything they disagree with, nor do I believe that all media is run by scammers and cheats and liars. In the end you need to get your news from someone, and it can’t come directly from the government itself, no matter what Steve Bannon thinks — they’ve got their own agenda to push and push hard. Nations which rely entirely on government-owned media tend to resemble Orwellian nightmares. You need a third party whose entire business is conveying the facts… ideally, multiple third parties.
As much fun as I’ve made of the above headlines, I feel the best method is to read all three. But read mindfully. Read and make up your own mind, parsing the filters you’re getting information through, playing one against the other. It takes more work, but I’d rather be busy and smart than lazy and ignorant.
These are difficult times we’re going through. Let’s do our best to stay informed and stay rational.