Informed citizens seek a free and vigorous press!
That is not good for solving our problems. People who hear all sides of an issue with an open mind are better able to make informed decisions. Yet people are increasingly substituting obviously biased talk shows and other opinion sources for real news. Listening to someone who says what we already believe is more comfortable than being exposed to ideas from the other side. The proliferation of opinion blogs on web sites insures that we can continue increasing our dose of comfortable ideas while not having to be exposed to those with which we disagree.I'll first suggest that the Leader's dismissal of blogs seems a touch broad. The point is taken if one doesn't seek out alternative views but I'll argue that many liberals are always seeking. We often in fact hold our views tenuously, this being one reason we often seem a touch wishy washy I fear, in that we are seeking out ways to better understand issues. Indeed blogs are a double-edged sword but I'll stack even an average blog from the lefty blogosphere up against even a selected one from the right.
Part of the charm of blogging for me is the ability to process reporting and ideas with a critical eye. A person with even a limited amount of experience and talent can quickly fact check and challenge positions that once might have taken serious work and effort to expose. That being said, or written I guess being more accurate, having an overwhelming amount of information to wade through begs for problems if we use few sources to filter our information.
Certainly humans, even rather learned persons, often avoid constructs that challenge their comfortable views. However, persons that are seeking the truth actually seek out alternative views. I long for resources that stand up to scrutiny presenting a conservative interpretation. That they seem to be few and far between, at least according to that I hope are my genuine efforts to give them a true opportunity to influence my thinking, reveals I hope more about Conservatism than myself.
Online sources on deeply examining media bias include eRiposte but for deep work I'd start with Professor Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media?" . I've got a copy on my shelves if a local person wants to borrow. I've not yet read but Eric Boehlert's "Lapdogs : How the Press Rolled over for Bush" has gotten some good press. Former right wing attack artist David Brock's "The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy" is understood to be a worthy effort.
Online efforts like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), MediaMatters, Crooks and Liars, News Hounds, HuffPo's Eat the Press, ConWebWatch, and ... help use keep an eye on the media. Let us not forget the astroturfing and the right wing think tanks and wingnut welfare and the Mighty Wurlitzer and Rush Limbaugh, King of the Dittoheads, plus Michael Savage and Ann Coutler and Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck and ...
I'll stack up leftist leaning reporting any day with right wing reporting. Peace ... or War!