by Libby Sternberg
I'm a news junkie. I regularly check numerous news sites throughout the day and switch on cable news whenever I'm in the kitchen. Although I'm a conservative, free-marketeer, my default cable news choice is liberal MSNBC, whose morning show I watch Monday through Friday. I also watch Chris Matthews's Hardball regularly and the noon news on that station. But for evening news, it's Special Report with Bret Baier at 6 p.m. EST on Fox, in my opinion the best news program on television.
I watch MSNBC and read The Daily Kos, though, because I don't want to be a reflexive conservative who never exposes herself to the "other side," to views that don't jibe with my own. Exposure to views counter to mine has opened my eyes to how those who disagree with me see the world. It's a good reminder, too, that not everyone agrees with me, and if my favorites don't win elections, it's not due to some nefarious plot but because my compatriots failed to persuade a majority.
However, I've noticed that if you rely heavily on sources such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and NPR, you might not be hearing my point of view very often at all. Or you might read and hear lots of bad news about conservatives (e.g., the hacking scandal of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World) but scant information on liberal scandals (the "Fast and Furious" gunrunning story that could reach up into the Department of Justice).
It's easy to come away from that kind of coverage thinking that most conservatives are bad and most liberals are good.
I think this is risky. If all you hear are views that affirm your own, then you begin to think that everyone agrees with you. So, when you see your favorite politicians and policies defeated, it's easy to chalk it up to something underhanded, when, in reality, it was because not as many people agreed with you as you were led to believe. (This happens on the right as well, by the way, if people rely too heavily on only media that affirms their point of view -- it's why I like the website www.HotAir.com -- they're conservative, yes, but they present bad news about conservative pols and ideas, usually in a funny, irreverent way.)
So, I hope this site will provide something of an antidote to all that "everyone agrees with me" thinking that I see in media outlets such as the NYT and NPR. I want this to be a friendly place, but one where my liberal friends can find information that presents another point of view. I'll try to source this information carefully, and I certainly want to hear counterarguments if I'm missing something in a debate.
Let the posting begin!