It’s difficult to follow President Obama’s prescription to include alternative viewpoints in one’s media diet.
So often the alternative viewpoints are from the fringe — like the “suggested post” that appeared in my FB feed just now, here Michele Bachman is having a survey to “correct the mass media polls” where Obama has a 55% favorability. I can’t trust anything Michele Bachman says, because in my mind she’s been proven to say whatever will advance her position whether true or not. The base dishonesty of that post makes me livid.
Where can one find alternatives that aren’t strident, that are trying to be even-keeled and conciliatory to their opposing viewpoint? Does attempting to have varied input mean that I have to put up with people calling me a “libtard”? I find that kind of rhetoric distasteful on the side that I most identify with, much less having it sent in my direction.
Errin Haines Whack wrote an article that contains some alternative viewpoints, with some comments from people in a position to have an informed perspective — comments that temper my instinctive blind approval for President Obama.
That’s not all the article contains, it’s also got elements of approval and adoration. It’s pretty balanced and a useful input in my effort to process the world. I’m grateful for that article. I don’t want to live in a bubble. But a bubble of negativity is still a bubble; I refuse to live a negative life.
As I see it, the best way for me to steer a course through the universe is to obtain clear information, as close to the complex, nuanced, honest truth as I can get it. I’m usually willing to put in the work to understand what’s coming in. Usually, not always, but I hope I can get better at realizing when I’m in a “just can’t even” kind of mood.
I do know one thing for sure — bug-eyed, red-faced screaming matches, whether they happen online, in real life, or on television, aren’t going to provide the complex, nuanced, honest truth.
Some publications are better than others at having that conversation. The Economist, for example. Leans conservative, so it’s useful as an input to counterbalance. It’s not *partisan* is the key — it’s not going to absolutely refuse to admit wrongdoing by any particular group, just to adhere to the talking points of its tribe.
If you have other suggestions that are striving for that balance, whether it’s a publication or just an individual writer, I’d love to hear about them.